Acura debuts updated Acura RDX at Chicago auto show

Chicago kicked off the media portion of its auto show yesterday and will open up to the public with a charity fundraiser tonight. Some of the debuts, such as Acura’s ILX and revamped RDX, were concepts at last month’s Detroit show and are now in production trim. Here’s some good stuff so far:

2013 Acura RDX

Acura’s RDX concept is now the real thing and looks much like the concept vehicle shown here. Ironically, the RDX replaces the turbo I-4 engine with a 3.5-liter V6 and will get better gas mileage – roughly around 28 miles per gallon on the highway.

It also gets a horsepower bump to 273, 33 more than the outgoing engine. The new RDX is wider and longer and gets a six-speed transmission. The all-wheel drive system is lighter and the five passenger interior is much more elegant. A host of new technologies including Pandora internet radio interface, SMS text message feature, a smart entry keyless access system, pushbutton start, and a three view rear camera.

2013 Ford Taurus

Ford tweaks the Taurus with an optional 2.0-liter Ecoboost engine, the first car in it’s North American lineup to get such. It’s also built in Chicago so traffic should be heavy at the booth. The engine makes 237 horsepower and 250 pounds-feet of torque. That’s fairly healthy considering it will deliver at least 31 miles to the gallon on the highway. You can still get the 3.5-liter V6 which ups performance, making 290 hp and 255 lb.-ft. of torque. You can get all-wheel drive to the V6 model. There was no mention of the SHO version in the press material. All models offer an improved MyFord Touch, a more muscular hood, heated steering wheel, LED taillights, Sony sound system and park assist. The trunk will gobble up 20.1 cubic feet of stuff.


2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Hyundai’s Genesis coupe was aimed squarely at Mustang and Camaro buyers and did well. It looked the part of a sports coupe and gets a newly enhanced fascia, grill, headlights and hood. Under the comely hood is either a 2.0-liter turbo four with 271 hp or a 3.8-liter V6 that bumps the fun to 348 horses and nearly 300 pounds-feet of torque. A six speed manual or an eight (8) speed automatic with paddle shifters is available. Eighteen or 19-inch tires are available along with  Hyundai’s proprietary telematics platform, Blue Link, which will give owners a variety of infotainment services.


2013 Acura ILX

Acura will receive a lot of grief for the ILX. Most have dubbed it a Civic in Acura clothing. True, it does borrow liberally from the Civic but not in a bad way. I think this is slightly larger and the engines are tweaked. That is unless you get the hybrid, a first for Acura, which is lifted right out of the Civic. It’s also built at a Honda plant, not the first time for an Acura. This may not be a new Integra, but it will add to Acura’s bottom line. It’s attractive, will be the lest expensive thing it sells and, well, looks like an Acura.The ILX will feature a well-appointed interior that, ummm looks a lot like the Civic’s but includes a smart entry keyless access system and pushbutton start, along with Pandora internet radio and SMS text message function. Hey, it’s built in the US at a plant in Indiana.


2013 Dodge Dart

The Dodge Dart was featured at the Detroit show but I have a little more info. It’s the first Chrysler Group vehicle based upon Fiat’s architecture – adapted from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. I’ve seen the Giulietta in pictures and it may still come to the US but until then the Dart will do nicely. Five trim levels will be available: SE, SXT, Rallye, Limited and R/T. Drivers can select from three different four-cylinder powerplants – the Tigershark 2.0-liter; a 1.4L MultiAir Intercooled Turbo and a new Tigershark 2.4-liter MultiAir engine. Horsepower and torque ratings range from 160hp/145lb.ft. to 184hp/171lb.ft. Any of these engines can be matched to a six-speed manual, six-speed automatic or dual dry clutch six-speed automatic transmission. It is said to have responsive steering, a four-wheel independent suspension and available 18-inch wheels.The colors –  Header Orange, Blue Streak, Winter Chill, and Citrus Peel – sound a bit much but we’ll see.

The Chicago Auto Show is open to the public Feb. 10 – Feb. 19. You can follow the show at



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