Chicago Auto Show Highlights Part 2

We have already seen the cars from Chicago, but what about the Trucks and SUV's? Chicago brought out a handful of very impressive machines and it just wouldn't be right to not show them some love.

LoneStar Class 8 Rig

Auto Shows are all about making a big impression, and it doesn't get any bigger than this. Meet the LoneStar Class 8 Big Rig from International. Their design team wanted to build a rig that was very aerodynamic, while still offering a unique look and room for customization. According to the truckers, customization means more lights, chrome and options. From the factory it offers a total of 42 options, 23 inside, 19 outside and International plans to create a large aftermarket as well. Even though it looks like a throwback to the 80's, it is still equally as efficient as the newest and most aerodynamic semi's.

Alton F-650 XUV

If the semi is a little too large to fit into your garage, then this slightly smaller truck might do the job. The Alton F-650 is massive with a GVWR of nearly 26,000lbs and requires a 7.2L Caterpillar V8 making 660ft/lbs to get moving. If you do decide to call up Alton Manufacturing, spending the $200,000 for the F-650, you will get hardwood floors, custom captains' chairs and a 42-speaker "surround" sound system. The latter of which will work very nicely with the 2 drop down 16 inch LCD TV's and a 42inch Plasma. If you are on vacation and you need to get some work done, you can use any of the 4 computer workstations and just in case someone is in your way, a train horn should have no problem motivating them to move in a hurry.


The new HUMMER received very little attention on the GM show floor. The H3T is sporting a longer wheel-base and a slightly more aggressive stance. For power, you have 2 options. The base model is equipped with the 3.7L inline-5 that owners have grown to hate. If you go for the top-level Alpha trim package, it gets bumped to a 5.3L V8. The max towing capacity is 5,900 pounds, which should be more than enough to keep you and your family busy for a few weekends.

GMC Denali XT Concept

The Denali XT is the first RWD truck to hit the US that is based on the Zeta platform originally designed at GM's Australian Design Studio. The frame and powertrain are based on the slightly newer Holden Commodore/Pontiac G8. The XT is also the first time GM's Two-Mode Hybrid is coupled with a Flex-Fuel engine. The 4.9L Direct Injected V8 is designed to maximize both power and fuel economy which it accomplishes very nicely, according to GM. They report producing 32hp while still exhibiting a 50% boost in fuel efficiency compared to a conventional V8. Although there is no official word as to production, but the powertrain will almost certainly be seen elsewhere.

Suzuki Equator

The Equator is basically a rebadged Nissan Frontier, but with a few additional packages. Suzuki is known for its motorcycles and according to Gene Brown, that and a sales figure of 1 million plus bikes sold in the past 5 years should equate to some decent sales. His argument is that people have grown to trust their bike line and some of them will most likely prefer having the same label on their truck. Fair enough. The truck was accompanying 3 different concept trucks, known as the RMZ-4, Quad and Quay with each offering slightly different experiences. The Equator will be available with either a 152-hp inline-four or a 4.0L DOHC V6 delivering 261hp and 281ft/lbs of torque. From there, the power will go through either a 5-speed auto or standard for the I-4. If you landed the V6, you get the 6-Manual.

Porsche Cayenne GTS

The Cayenne GTS also made it's American debut at Chicago. After seeing how well the previous Cayenne did, it was only a matter of time before Porsche decided it was time to break out that racing mind we all know and love. The GTS uses a combination of 21inch wheels, a 20mm lowering in overall ride height and Porsche's Active Suspension Management to offer the best handling in the SUV world according to Porsche's North America Marketing VP David Pryor. With 405hp from a 4.8L Direct Injected V8 flowing through a 6-speed manual gearbox, that claim will be put to the test on more than one occasion. The GTS is currently on sale in the US at a cost of $69,300.

2009 Chevy Traverse

Another crossover to add to the growing list, the Traverse is the twin of the Acadia. The design is very similar to the other 2009 models with a pair of upswept rear panels and more aerodynamic front end. The engine is the standard 3.6L V6 which is joined to a 6-speed automatic transmission. It can seat either 7 or 8 adults depending on which you decide and comes in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive configurations. Other than that, everything is the same as the Acadia.

Well, that about wraps it up for Chicago this year, next stop on the autoshow list, Canada.

Original : AutoBlog

George Delozier
Automotive Innovations