Automakers put the pedal to the floor as they unveiled high-performance models at the Chicago Auto Show, a venue that traditionally has been truck-centric.
Chrysler Group LLC’s performance SRT brand showed off its Dodge Challenger SRT8 and Chrysler 300 SRT8. Both are powered by Chrysler’s 392-cubic inch Hemi V-8, which delivers 470 horsepower, mated to either a standard manual or optional automatic transmission. The company says the cars accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in the high four-second range.
“With exclusive content, including the standard premium ‘Ballistic’ cloth interior from the new SRT Viper, SRT-tuned sport suspensions and distinctive exterior accents, the new Challenger SRT8 and 300 SRT8 ‘Core’ models are designed and built with the back-to-basics performance-driving enthusiast in mind,” said Ralph Gilles, president and CEO, SRT Brand and Motorsports.
The new versions have black grilles and black SRT rear spoilers, unique black 392 decals on the front fenders, 20-inch cast-aluminum wheels with black painted pockets, black Brembo brake calipers and more radical exterior colors. Chrysler is also offering a 2013 Charger SRT8 Super Bee that comes in what the company calls “historically significant” paint schemes.
Nissan Motor Co.’s Nismo performance brand unveiled the new 2013 Juke Nismo version of the crossover, as well as a 2014 370Z Nismo. The two models are part of an expansion of the Nismo brand worldwide. Nissan also showed a higher-performance version of the 2014 Nissan GT-R, the limited-production GT-R Track Edition.
“With the global expansion of Nismo-branded products like the new Juke Nismo and 370Z Nismo, we want to make Nismo the most recognized and respected performance brand from Japan,” said Simon Sproule, Nissan’s corporate vice president, global marketing communications.
The Juke Nismo will go on sale in March. It has a new turbo engine, new interior and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
Volkswagen AG announced it will offer the performance R-Line trim on another model for the U.S. market: The Beetle Convertible R-Line will join the Beetle R-Line coupe, Tiguan R-Line and Touareg R-Line.
Kia Motors Corp. unveiled its Cross GT concept, bigger than its Sorento. “The Cross GT, with its raised stance and large cargo area, allows us to envision the GT in the form of a full-size luxury crossover,” said Peter Schreyer, Kia’s president and global chief of design.