That's a Wrap: Final Photos From Chicago

1 Chicago Show lead II

If we had to choose the most improved area of the 2014 refreshed Toyota Tundra on display at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, it would be the new instrument gauge cluster (below). Gone are the deep barrel gauges (bottom below) that had drivers looking down a long tube to get engine and speed information, not to mention other important warning lights that sometimes were difficult to read because of odd angles. Welcome to the modern instrument panel Toyota.

2 New Tundra Gauges II

3 Old Tundra Gauges II

Buick partnered with Chicago Sky WNBA superstar Tamera Young and Samaritan’s Feet to put more than 300 girls into new socks and athletic shoes. It’s not every day you see dozens of grade-school-aged girls get their feet washed by Buick and Samaritan’s Feet volunteers, as well as Tamera Young herself. “It’s always about the men in sports, so this day is special,” said Young, who flew to Chicago for the opening weekend. “This day gives us the opportunity to show kids what’s out there and what women athletes are capable of doing.”

4 Buick footwash II

We can’t tell you how disappointing it was not to be able to get into the two new premium-level trucks (the Platinum and 1794) to see how sharp or dull the new interiors looked. This photo was taken through smoked glass. Both Ford and Ram truck have done a pretty good job of getting a number of top-of-the-line option package choices in front of their core buyers — and they’ve been reaping big profits ever since. It’s good to see Toyota figuring this out too. We’ll let you know as soon as we see a real pre-production truck we can take a closer look at.

5 Tundra 1794 II

Ram Commercial did a good job of having several different vehicle configurations on hand at the press conference to reveal the ProMaster. ProMaster is claiming the most cargo volume of any vehicle in the segment — which includes the Sprinter and Transit that look to have larger vehicles in their fleets — but we’re fairly certain there are several ways to calculate that number, one of which is supposed to be a Society of Automotive Engineers standard. When we hear more, we’ll pass it along.

6 Ram ProMaster II

The Chicago Tribune had a small display to promote the newspaper that included a gorgeously reconditioned 1923 Model T flatbed that was reportedly used to deliver the newspapers through several downtown Chicago neighborhoods. The truck uses a 20-horsepower inline four-cylinder engine and should have a top speed somewhere near 45 mph.

7 1923 Model T pickup II

Both Chevy and GMC had several new 2014 vehicles on display, with the extended cab version getting most of the attention from dealers during preview days. From what we heard from the groups that walked by, there seems to be a debate as to whether changing to a more conventional second-row door (and away from the wide-mouth dual-pivot doors) was a good idea. Several 2013 heavy-duty models were on display as well.

9 Chevy Silverado II

This is the same Power Wagon we saw when the 2013 Ram HDs were introduced at the Texas State Fair last year but this time Ram truck is putting a truck expert next to the pickup to answer questions throughout the show. We were told the truck had a custom 4-inch suspension lift, 37-inch-tall tires and 4.56:1 gears (the latter we know to be stock). He also told us this one did have a custom 6.5-foot RamBox tied into the key fob so you can lock the tailgate, side boxes and all the doors at one time, something that the 2013 could do even though this Power Wagon was a 2012.

10 Power Wagon II

The new ProMaster commercial vans can be ordered as high- or low-roof cargo vans, chassis cabs or chassis cab cutaways, the latter of which comes only as a one-ton in either the medium- or long-wheelbase version. The chassis cab on display had its own spokesperson, who told us about the eight reinforced cross-members exclusive to the cutaway, pointing out the 3500 uses only two longish leaf springs and a tag axle to distribute more than 5,000 pounds of maximum payload. All that and a nice tool belt too? Well done.

11 ProMaster Chassis cab II

Nissan showed that its little commercial van is several feet shorter and hundreds of pounds lighter than the larger, full-size Nissan NV that comes in 1500, 2500 and 3500 cargo and passenger configurations. The NV200 had originally won the Taxi of Tomorrow competition earlier last year, and Nissan is hoping to sell a good number of the smaller NVs to the city of New York. In the meantime, this compact cargo van is likely to be quite popular with small businesses and owner-operators than with huge fleet buyers. The NV200 is a front-wheel-drive platform and uses an efficient 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder. MSRP, including delivery, will be just less than $21,000.

12 NV200 II

*Editor's Note: We mistakenly identified the 1923 Model T as being at a Chicago Sun-Times booth. It was the Chicago Tribune.


New Tacoma Engine???

No new Tacoma engine. Yet. It was *supposed* to be this year, but it ain't. Not sure why...I'm sure we'll hear some excuse soon.

Two leaf springs on the Dodge van and they call it a 3500 one ton. That is crazy!

@TundraHQ - I've read several stories and they all indicate that Toyota's strategy across their product lines is to come out with bold new exterior styling and new interiors with drivetrains coming in a few years. I suspect to coincide with the 2015 emission standards.

I hope i can get the 4" Mopar lift from the factory when i order my new 2014 Power Wagon with the 6.4L Hemi. I will take care of the 37"tires and 17"rims after delivery. I could make extra gas money recovering stuck vehicles while out on the trail.

That Ram Promaster is even uglier from the side profile.

@ Greg You or a family member get run over by a Chrysler product at some point? Why the constant hate for anything they make?

Thanks for the shot of that sweet Power Wagon!


Dang! The headlights on the new Silverado look exactly like those from National Lampoon's family truckster! Never noticed until that photo. Whats old is new I guess.

After seeing the 204 Chevy it makes me want one more and more, never had a 1/2 ton, always use the HD trucks, but for a shop truck i think the new GM will fit the bill. Like the photo of the Power Wagon too. Looks like Toyota is going with the wanna be cowboy interior like the King Ranch, should be a nice ride.

I gotta wonder how Nascar and Chevy will try to make that new Chevy look aero, as it as a brick? Once upon a time, they had to have a real front end, not just a nose piece with stickers on it. Back when it had to be the original, the Ram had a definite advantage, and it still does have an aero adnatage. It doesn't need to pretend it's 1981 or whatever.

Ugly in a word! Yeesh!

That girl in the toolbelt looks nice.

Is Toyota serious? That Tundra 1794 badge looks so cheap like it was sewn on in an Indian sweat shop with child labor. Can't wait to see the rest of it.

Love the Power Wagon! It just needs a Cummins, and it also makes me want Ram to do a RamCharger version, because a true off-roader really needs a SWB.

I'm looking forward to the all electric Nissan NV200 for my business. I already have a Ram 2500 CTD Manual and a Tesla Model S 85kW. The electric NV200 will save my company thousands a year and be a hoot!

@ TundraHQ -- I tell you this I will not buy a tacoma until they update the powertrains. There is absolutely no reason that the two engines still have Single VVT. My 1993 300zx TT has single VVT. Don't feed me that durability crap either because the 4.0 in the Tundra uses DVVT. Toyota is just being cheap b/c there is no competetion in that segment.

Only two things that aren't ugly here... one is wearing 37's, the other one a toolbelt.

@ Jordan! Look at the 3500 van pictured in the article. Pretty poor excuse for a one ton van! Or do you think it is awsome?

Two leaf springs on the Dodge van and they call it a 3500 one ton. That is crazy!

Posted by: Greg | Feb 11, 2013 8:05:57 PM

Just about all of the manufacturers do that now. My friend drives a 2012 F-250 Ext Cab long bed 2wd for a company truck. It only has 3 leaf springs.

Sheesh, I don't know about the Ram Promaster, which is the Fiat Ducato in Europe. That thing looks like it should be a semi-tractor. I'll see how many are on the road and how well they perform. The Iveco Daily would have been a better platform for the Promaster, in my opinion.


Chrysler is still coming out with a heavy duty/bigger Van based on a reworked Iveco Daily,RAM and Iveco engineers are working on it right now.

This one is just a mid level van,as they want to have all business needs covered.Also a smaller van is still to come out ! So 2 more are in the works.


One, all the trucks have the nose sloped back. Two, calling the GM a brick and the Dodge nose slopes forward into a V shape which catches air like a scoop, that is calling the kettle black. The dodge nose is no more aerodynamic than the GM hypocrite...

LOL @ Hemi ever taking his "TRUCK" on the "TRIAL", we all know he only owns street queens...

@ Manual Trans, keep 'em alive,

Electric isnt the future,(Toyota king of the hybrid even said so as did everyone else)they only make electric vehicles today because to sell in California,car companies need to offer a so-called 0 emissions vehicle.Nissan loses money on the Leaf,as does every company that makes an electric vehicle...They lose money on them.Yes for a car company to sell their products in California they need a so-called 0 emissions vehicle,this is the only reason electric cars are being made today ! It is not sustainable,renwable its a total scam for the crazies in California !

In my business we cant have electric,especially in a work van because after 30 miles it would be out of power we need a vehicle that can run/drive 24 hours a day,drive 300 miles then sit and idle with equiptment running,electric is useless..even the small Nissan Leaf cant run more than 30 miles in heat or cold !Sure 100 miles in a room temp dyno tester as thats how they test them.

Furthermore,if all cars were electric did you know road tolls/price per mile would be made into a law,so you would be charged more money than paying $10 a gallon for gas and driving 60,000 miles per year.As fuel tax keeps the road maint up,pure electric cars dont use gas,but did you know they still cause pollution,and the batteries have to be put in a special land fill forever !


But as it is a Toyota the journelists will praise it for high quality,though it looks after 3 rubs it will fall off ! Looks very cheap to me,but like all Toyota's they get praised for putting out pure garbage !

first off Greg, I bet you would have a cow if you found out the "springs" you are talking about are not even metal! but a type of composit material, I know, I have driven a printer at work, it is also a 3500 6/wheeler, and the springs in back have just two leaves! and they are not metal, I know because I was very currious, and put a magnet up to one, and it fell off! so it is not steel! you would alos like to know his tech has been used for quite some time, it was has been used in the Corvette for a while, and in European vehicles. Now TRX4Tom: as far as NASCAR goes, every one of the trucks in their races have almost the same exact body demensions as one another, there is a template they need to conform to, and all the lights and chrome you see are nothing but decals vinyl wraping or paint! there is nothing stock about stack car-truck racing!

@ Manual Trans and HEMI

I'd love to have that Model S myself (I am super jealous right now). I think for a lot of modes of transportation electric makes a ton of sense. I think in the coming 3-5 years we are going to see some real advances in the battery and storage capacity that will make electrics far more cost effective than today's cars.


you do bring up a good point about road taxes since there would be reduced gasoline and diesel sales the DOT would need income from another source. They likely need increased taxes already to fund roads and electrics only compound the issue. Some states are charging an extra registration fee to try and make up for this and that seems reasonable. That is only state specific though and the federal DOT needs its funding too.

Personally I'd much rather pay a $100 extra "fee" to drive teh electric since my electricity rates in Idaho are very low and there are environmental benefits that I am willing to pay a modest sum for.

The girl with the tool belt should be standing in front of the Power Wagon instead of the cowboy with the sh-t eating grin.
Funny to hear all of the complaints about the new "Euro" vans looking ugly. Aerodynamics at work. Guys used to complain when all of the transport trucks went to the sloped nosed ant eater look.
The only look companies care about is the look of money in the bank account. Those ugly noses will save 10-20 % in fuel costs.

Both Ford and Ram truck have done a pretty good job of getting a number of top-of-the-line option package choices in front of their core buyers — and they’ve been reaping big profits ever since. It’s good to see Toyota figuring this out too. We’ll let you know as soon as we see a real pre-production truck we can take a closer look at.

@Mark, I'm really shocked to see Toyota come out with this sort of thing. I thought Chevrolet would have a long time ago to combat the King Ranch trim Ford. No such luck for the Chevy guys. Even Dodge beat them to the punch with the Longhorn and Limited packages. What's going on in the Bowtie camp? I also disagree with some of those dealers you mentioned. This is the right way to do a second set of doors. Was not Dodge the first to do this? I could be wrong. They were the first to do the swing arm SFA front end I believe in 1994 and even the first to do a 4x4 truck too in the 40's? Not that I'd buy a Dodge or Toyota but these two trucks seem to be storming in on Ford. And jumping straight over Chevrolet to do it as if they mean nothing any longer. Ford better be on it's game.

@ sandman4x4

not tryin to pick at ya bud but just because a magnet doesnt stick doesnt automatically make it not metal..... there are PLENTY of non ferrous metals out there INCLUDING stainless steels

@ Greg How would I know if it was a poor excuse or not? Kind of hard to tell by a little picture.

@Jordan Last - Greg is the GM version of Oxi. He stops at the badge on the hood. If it isn't wearing his favorite badge, it ain't worth sh-t.

@ Lou I agree.

Wow that ProMaster van has to be one of the ugliest vehicles I have ever seen...I know those things arent about looks but damn that thing is looks like a heavy duty Nissan Leaf.


Electric vehicles aren't the future!
... flying cars that run off our own body heat, make us breakfast, avoid accidents, and clean air pollution at the same time... are the future.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. I think everybody in this forum could agree that;
emissions from gasoline/diesel burning vehicles are... wait for it... bad.
There, I said it, now if anybody can deny that statement, let them sit in a closed garage with and their truck on. Any takers?
Didn't think so.

Once you realize that vehicle pollution is bad (which is something that we've all know since grade school), we can all agree that the opposite of pollution is... wait for it... good!

Did I just prove the need of EV technology?
Now this oversimplification is; just that, an oversimplification. Obviously there are massive massive logistical problems with switching, as a society, our vehicle usage from gasoline to electric(range, efficiency, charging stations, old battery disposal, and countless others) and in no way are the currently available EVs even close to accomplishing this.

We'll probably not see in our life-time extreme progress toward this goal, but I think everybody who reads this, should at least cede the following point:

If electric technology were advanced enough, to make your favorite truck run just as well/long/strong as it does on gas, you would buy the electric version over the traditional version.

That's all. EV technology is pretty much a joke to everybody who drives more the 40-50 miles a day, but the technology is only going to get better.

You don't have to be a naysayer that will eventually... wait for it... be driving an all electric vehicle. Just think about how much people must have laughed at the first automobiles, "Wow, that horse-less carriage only goes 8 miles an hour! Those things will never replace horses."

Look who's laughing now.

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