2009 Chicago Auto Show Photos & Coverage
Since 1901, fans of motorized four-wheeled transportation have been visiting the Chicago Auto Show, and despite the continued bad news emanating from the world's top automakers and the woeful economic situation in general, the 2009 edition of the annual Windy City event is pressing on as scheduled. Chicago is the heart of the Midwest, which has been truck country for as long as trucks have been around, and this auto show in particular has traditionally been the show where more trucks are introduced than anywhere else.
While there aren't as many truck introductions at this year's show, there are still some interesting and significant debuts, including the 2010 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150, the Dodge Ram Heavy-Duty, and the production version of the 2010 Ford Transit Connect van. Follow all the action at www.trucktrend.com.
|2009 Audi Q5 - U.S. Production Model|
Audi's all-new 2009 Audi Q5 compact luxury crossover will carry a starting price tag of $38,025.
|2009 Suzuki Equator|
Suzuki handed the Equator pickups to truck magazines 4Wheel & Off-Road, Off Road, and Truckin for some SEMA-style treatment.
|2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty|
The 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty lineup continues its trend toward greater comfort and improved towing prowess -- punctuated by an expressive, big-rig design.
|2010 Ford F-150 Harley Davidson|
The 2010 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150, marks the 14th iteration of such a vehicle, and stays true to the Harley-branded F-150 tradition.
|2010 Ford Transit Connect- U.S. Production Model|
First displayed stateside at last year's Chicago show, the Transit Connect is new to the U.S.
|2010 Toyota Tundra- Platinum & Work Truck Package|
Tundra customers will be able to choose from two new packages, the luxurious Platinum or the hard-knuckled Work Truck.
2009 Suzuki Equator
Chicago is a long way from Las Vegas, but that didn't stop Suzuki from handing three new 2009 Equator pickups to truck magazines 4Wheel & Off-Road, Off Road, and Truckin for some SEMA-style treatment with the help of aftermarket companies. The two off-road magazines predictably chose to improve the Equator's prowess in the dirt while Truckin went with a sport-truck motif.
4Wheel & Off-Road outfitted its Equator with beadlock wheels from Allied Wheel, Hankook Dynapro MT tires, a custom front bumper from Shrockworks, and a bumper-mounted Warn winch. Inside are Master Craft RS Camelback seats for the driver and front passenger with the rear bench receiving matching upholstery. Off-Road went in a similar direction, fitting its creation with a custom bumper from Randy Ellis Design, three bumper-mounted KC HiLites carbon fiber HID lights, and BFGoodrich ATKO tires.
Truckin's Equator, however, is completely different, its off-road prowess intentionally reduced rather than enhanced. Nicknamed "Street Shark," this truck sports a GSX-R style custom paint job supplied by Summit Racing. It has been lowered using an AIM Industries lowering kit and fitted with 22-in. Giovanna wheels with low-profile 265/35R22 Nitto tires. Magnaflow provided a new exhaust for the 2.5L 152-hp inline-four, Stillen supplied performance rotors and color-matching powder-coated calipers, and Polk Audio threw in three 12-in. subwoofers and 1800 watts worth of audio power. The package is rounded out with a custom grille, leather interior bits by Classic Soft Trim, and a Suzuki GSX-R 750 in the bed.
2009 Audi Q5
When it hits showrooms next week after its latest auto show appearance in final production trim at Chicago, Audi's all-new 2009 Audi Q5 compact luxury crossover will carry a starting price tag of $38,025. Though distinct in amenities, the three available trim levels -- Premium, Premium Plus ($42,325) and Prestige ($49,825) -- are powered by the same 3.2L V-6 engine sending 270 hp and 242 lb-ft of torque to all four-wheels. All prices include a standard $825 destination charge.
Standard on the model are a three-zone climate control, folding and reclinable 40/20/40 rear seats, LED taillights and roof rails for extra cargo capacity. Additionally, enthroning front passengers are twelve-way power seats, while leather and wood lines the cabin. A third-generation Multi-Media Interface (MMI) Navigation plus manages entertainment, communication and navigation duties while on the fly. Customers inclined to pulling trailers will find a standard issue hitch package rated at a segment-leading 4400 lbs capacity. The Q5 is fuel efficient, with an EPA rating of 20 mpg combined -- a figure Audi claims is class-leading. It can also move out when you put your foot in it, with a 6.7 sec 0-60 time, according to the automaker.
Based on numbers, the 2009 Audi Q5 slips right in with the best of them. According to officials, the Q5's main competitors are the Mercedes-Benz GLK 4MATIC ($35900, 268 hp/258 lb-ft), BMW X3 xDrive3.0i ($39700, 260 hp/225 lb-ft) and Lexus RX 350 AWD ($38200, 270 hp/251 lb-ft).
2010 Ford Harley Davidson F-150
It was only a matter of time before the badge found its way to the 2009 Motor Trend Truck of the Year's flanks. This, the 2010 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150, marks the 14th iteration of such a vehicle, and stays true to the Harley-branded F-150 tradition.
Exterior changes designed to Harleyize the F-150 include a new front fascia, six-bar billet grille and plenty of chrome "Harley-Davidson" badging. Standard 22-in forged wheels with low-profile tires reside on both ends of the deployable running boards. Paint selection includes Tuxedo Black and new "Lava," which Ford describes as a deep maroon with a three-color metal flake.
Interior styling retains the signature Harley-Davidson look, with shared brand apparel materials. The seats are designed to resemble the biker jacket, with button snaps and map pockets on the seatbacks with zippers from Harley jackets. A limited-edition serial plate with a handmade badge resides on the console, denoting model number. 2010 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 interior
The standard 5.4-liter V-8 under hood still produces 320 hp and 390 ft-lbs of torque, augmented only by a sport-tuned exhaust. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and the package can accelerate to a top speed of 115 mph. The Harley-Davidson F-150 is available in either two- or all-wheel drive configurations.
2010 Ford Transit Connect
The 2010 Transit Connect, set to hit Ford dealerships this summer, offers 135 cu. ft. of space and costs $21,475 including the destination charge, a price commercial outfits should find fairly appealing given its mission. To get that much covered cargo space in Ford's lineup, you'd need to step up to the Expedition.
First displayed stateside at last year's Chicago show, the Transit Connect is new to the U.S., but not to Europe, where it won the International Van of the Year award in 2003. Ford says it has sold more than 600,000 Transit Connects to customers in 58 countries.
With a 2.0L Duratec four-cylinder delivering an estimated 136 horsepower @ 6300 rpm and 128 lb-ft of torque @ 4750 rpm mated to a four-speed automatic transmission (with overdrive), the Transit Connect takes its time. We imagine buyers might be more interested in maximizing fuel economy -- estimated by Ford to be 20 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. A final-drive ratio of 4.20 to 1 is designed to give Transit Connect additional pulling power, and it rolls on 15-in. steel rims wrapped in P205/65R-15 rubber.
Like the Ford E-Series commercial vehicle family, Transit Connects will come with the option of various bulkheads, racks, and bins.
If you like the idea of the Transit Connect but want better fuel economy, you'll want to wait for the Transit Connect BEV, a battery electric vehicle with a 100-mile range Ford says it will send to select dealerships in 2010.
2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty
The 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty lineup continues its trend toward greater comfort and improved towing prowess -- punctuated by an expressive, big-rig design. Hoping to build upon the momentum generated by its well-received light-duty Ram late last year, Dodge has added a crew cab option to the HD lineup for the first time, and boasts of improved overall capability and interior upgrades. The HD models will be available in the fall.
With a 90% take-rate, the 6.7-liter Cummins diesel is clearly the Ram HD's most popular engine choice. As such, the Cummins hasn't received any changes and still pumps out an extra stout 650 lb-ft of torque @ 1500 rpm and a peak 350 hp at maximum high-idle speed of 3000 rpm. In an effort to further clean up emissions, a particulate filter has been added to the exhaust system that Dodge claims drops NOX emissions by 90%. The 50-state legal diesel meets 2010.5 emissions standards and requires oil change intervals at 7500 miles.
Those opting for the diesel have their choice between the G56 six-speed manual and a 68RFE six-speed automatic. A heavy-duty 545RFE five-speed automatic is the sole transmission option on the V-8. Both five- and six-speed automatics include an Electronic Range Select, which allows the driver to limit the highest gear and manual up- and down-shifts. For four-wheeling duties, purchasers can choose between two transfer cases.
Passenger space comes in three flavors, but first the regular and crew cab. Storage space abounds in each, from front and rear door panels, to seatbacks and even the floor. A redesigned center console is now large enough, Dodge claims, to store a laptop and provides a power outlet. A lower bin allows for hanging files. Combined, the glove boxes offer 800 cu in. of storage space. And then there's the Mega Cab, which claims the greatest interior space, length and size of anything in class.
2010 Toyota Tundra Platinum & Work Truck Package
Toyota revealed its slightly revamped full-size 2010 Toyota Tundra lineup at the Chicago show this week and announced the truck will receive an all-new 4.6L V-8 when it hits dealerships this April. Along with the engine, Tundra customers will be able to choose from two new packages, the luxurious Platinum or the hard-knuckled Work Truck.
The new 4.6L V-8 is touted by officials as the best combination of power and fuel economy in the full-size truck segment. Toyota claims its new engine achieves 15 mpg city/ 20 mpg highway, while at the same time putting down 310-hp @ 5600 rpm and 327 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm.
As you can tell, the $5140 Platinum package strives to tame the brand's biggest beast into comfortable cruiser. It's only available on CrewMax Limited models with the 5.7L i-Force engine option and adds to the outside a billet-style front grille, chrome bumpers, daytime running lights, door sill protectors and appropriate logos and badging. Stepping inside the cabin, owners get power mirrors, a power driver's seat, tilting and telescoping steering wheel, moonroof and wood trim.
Those looking for a new workhorse in their commercial business will likely find the Work Truck package more to their liking. The new package is available on 4x2 and 4x4 regular or 4-door double cab models, with either a standard or long bed design. It also can be tacked on to a truck with any of the brand's V-6 or V-8 Tundra motors under their hoods. Black is the name of the game, both inside and out for the Work Truck. Chrome is replaced by regular black trimmings outside. Basic gauges indicating fuel, speed and oil line the dash, while some interior comforts like cruise control, lighting and keyless entry have been deleted. As such, a truck built specifically with the Work Package is expected to be around $550 to $655 less than the standard Tundra's MSRP.
Overall, the 2010 Tundra lineup gets a reworked grille, tail lamps and seven-pin tow hitch setups, as well as height adjustable headlamps. Inside, front passengers are protected by knee airbags and entertained by a new Tech Audio multimedia system. Prices have yet to be set, but expect them close to the truck's market introduction.