Chicagoans are lucky. The Chicago Auto Show is one of the best auto shows in the country, if not the best. Held at the spectator-friendly McCormick Place, it features almost every significant new production car and concept vehicle the automakers have to offer. Plus, it offers a fair amount of its own news.
Elsewhere in this section you can find the news the domestic automakers made in Chicago. Here, we’ll concentrate on new products from four foreign auto companies, two from Japan and two from Korea.
2010 Acura TSX V-6
Based on the European Honda Accord, the TSX has been known as the responsible entry-level luxury car since it was released for the 2004 model year. The TSX grew a bit with its 2009 redesign, and now it is getting its first V-6 engine. Acura unveiled the 2010 Acura TSX V-6 at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show.
“We’ve taken a great car and we’ve kicked it up a notch,” said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. By doing so, Acura believes it has made the TSX more competitive with the likes of the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Lexus IS.
The TSX’s 3.5-liter V-6 engine, which also powers the base Acura TL, will produce 280 horsepower. It will be mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with a manual shiftgate that can be operated through the shifter or a pair of steering-wheel shift paddles.
Acura hasn’t announced fuel economy numbers, but the 3.5-liter V-6 gets 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway in the larger TL. That’s in comparison to 21/30 mpg for the TSX’s base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine when paired with the five-speed automatic transmission.
The 2010 Acura TSX V-6 will also get a front fascia with a slightly more prominent lower lip. Underneath, the suspension damping will be slightly firmer for sportier handling. And at each corner, the five-spoke alloy wheels will be one inch larger, growing from 17s to 18s, and will be wrapped in Michelin Pilot all-season tires.
The 2009 Acura TSX V-6 goes on sale this summer. Pricing has not been announced.
2010 Hyundai Genesis coupe R-Spec
Hyundai released the award-winning Genesis sedan last year and is now coming out with a coupe version. But before the company’s first rear-drive coupe hits the streets, Hyundai is already expanding the lineup. Hyundai took the wraps off the performance-oriented 2010 Genesis coupe R-Spec at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show.
The R-Spec is designed to appeal to enthusiasts who want a low starting price and a car that can be tuned to their specifications.
The Genesis coupe R-Spec will get its performance features from the 2009 Genesis 2.0T Track model, but will have a starting price of $23,750, $3,000 less than its better-equipped sibling. The engine will be the same – a 210-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that will deliver an estimated 30 mpg on the highway and a top speed of 137 mph. The lone transmission will be a six-speed manual.
Like the Track model, the R-Spec will have quicker, more responsive hydraulic steering. Brembo brakes will do the stopping, with 13.4-inch front and 13-inch rear ventilated rotors and red four-piston calipers. The suspension will feature higher-rate coil springs, firmer shock absorbers, an additional front strut brace and thicker front and rear stabilizer bars.
The tires will be summer performance Bridgestone Potenzas, P225/40YR19 up front and P245/40YR19 at the rear, on gunmetal finish alloy wheels. A Torsen limited-slip differential will also be standard.
To reduce weight and price, the R-Spec will not have several of the features of the Track model or even base model. Hyundai has not announced an on-sale date for the 2010 Hyundai Genesis coupe R-Spec, but has said it is scheduled for a mid-model year release.
Photo credit: Frank Filipponio/Autoblog
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