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Chicago Auto Show

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid And Plug-in Hybrid Get Refresh For 2018 MY

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2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Hyundai used the 2018 Chicago Auto Show to unveil the refreshed, 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid.

Both models benefit from an updated design that’s similar to the regular Sonata, featuring a bolder front fascia, a more modern rear end and new wheel designs.

Interior upgrades include a new instrument panel center stack, upgraded infotainment system with an available audio/video navigation system, wireless phone charging, and USB charging ports.

Safety has been beefed up with automatic emergency braking, lane change assist and standard blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert.

The 2018 Sonata Hybrid is powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that works together with a 38 kW electric motor and a six-speed automatic transmission. The gas engine produces 154 horsepower and 140 lb. ft. of torque, while the electric motor adds an additional 51 horsepower and 151 lb. ft. for a combined total of 193 horsepower.

In the United Sates, the Sonata Hybrid is rated at 39 mpg in city driving, 45 mpg on the highway and 42 mpg combined.

The 2018 Sonata Plug-in Hybrid utilizes much the same powertrain as the Sonata Hybrid but is equipped with a larger 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack that’s more than five times larger than the Sonata Hybrid’s battery, helping give it an all-electric range up to 27 miles.

Hyundai says the steering system, anti-roll bar and rear suspension on both models have been modified for more responsive handling without sacrificing ride comfort.

The updated, 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid goes on sale in the first quarter of 2018, while the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid arrives in the second quarter .

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Chicago Auto Show

Ram 1500 Adds More Versatility With New Split Tailgate

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Rram 1500 Multifunction Tailgate, opened

It can fold like a traditional tailgate, or swing open like double door.

Not to be outdone by the GMC Sierra’s multi-function tailgate and even the Ford F-150’s simpler ‘Man Step’ setup, Ram has given it’s 1500 pickup truck a new split tailgate option that should provide a owners some added versatility.

The aptly-named “Ram Multifunction Tailgate” is essentially a standard tailgate that can be swung open in a 60/40 fashion. It still drops down like a traditional tailgate, but users are also able to lower a single side of the unit.

“The Ram Multifunction Tailgate is intuitive to operate, and owners will find it immediately useful,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand – FCA. “Combined with Ram’s class-exclusive RamBox feature and new tailgate step, we’re taking Ram’s cargo management and storage to the next level.”

The doors also swing open nearly 90 degrees, allowing easier access to the truck’s bed. Moreover, the split opening function can be used when trailering, and despite the added complexity, the tailgate has a 2,000 pound load rating.

The Ram Multifunction Tailgate is a $995 option that will be available across the entire 1500 pickup truck lineup starting in the second quarter of 2019.

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Chicago Auto Show

Dodge Makes Charger And Challenger Sublime

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2019 Dodge Challenger Charger Sublime Green

The company wants you to make your friends green with envy.

Dodge has brought back ‘Sublime’, an eye-catching shade of green first introduced in 1970 on a number of its models.

The heritage-laced color made a returned on a limited run of Charger R/T Daytonas in 2007, as well as for the Challenger’s 2015 model year. It will once again be offered on the Charger and Challenger starting in February 2019, specifically on the Charger Scat Pack, the Charter SRT Hellcat, the Challenger Widebody, and the Challenger T/A.

“By bringing back a high-impact color like Sublime across the 2019 Challenger and Charger lineups, we’re continuing to give our enthusiast customers another way to make their muscle cars even more unique when they showcase the legendary Dodge performance attitude,” said Steve Beahm, the head of passenger car brands for Dodge, Chrysler, and Fiat.

Don’t like the green but still want to stand out from the crowd? Fortunately, Dodge offers a wide selection of other special colors that should strike your fancy, including B5 Blue, Go Mango, F8 Green, Plum Crazy, and TorRed.

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Chicago Auto Show

Fiat 500 Lineup Goes All Turbo For 2018

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2018 Fiat 500 hatchback, America

Fiat used the 2018 Chicago Auto Show to announce that every version of the North American-spec. Fiat 500 lineup will now be powered by a turbocharged engine.

The 2018 Fiat 500 Pop and Lounge models are now powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 135 horsepower and 150 lb.-ft. of torque — 34 more standard horsepower than the previous model year — while the performance-tuned 500 Abarth makes dues with a funner 1.4-liter turbocharged engine rated at 160 horsepower and 183 lb.-ft. of torque.

The Pop and Lounge models also get standard 16-inch aluminum wheels, performance braking system, sport suspension and a rear backup camera. Relatively unchanged, the Abarth adds 16-inch Hyper Black aluminum wheels wraped in Pirelli tires, red brake calipers, and a “double-tip” dual-exhaust system.

Fiat’s designers revised the exterior of all three models, giving them updated front and rear fascias, side-sill ground effects, a new spoiler, fog lamps, and “Turbo” badging on the liftgate. as well as three new colors (Brillante Red, Mezzanotte Blue Pearl and Vesuvio Black Pearl).

These changes should help breathe a little life into the Fiat 500 lineup, which has been struggling to find buyers. However, considering the 500 is now over eight years old (13 years in some global markets), what Fiat really needs is an all-new model.

What do you think about the changes?

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