Hip, high-powered or heavy-duty: Familiar models get special treatment

'Automotive News' reports on new model launches at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show.

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Automotive News

The Chicago Auto Show can be summed up in four words: "More of the same." No huge world debuts this year, merely different flavors of familiar vehicles.

Ford Motor Co. will aim its spotlight at a high-powered Taurus that revives the SHO moniker. Dodge will unveil its heavy-duty Ram pickup. Hyundai will take the wraps off a low-price Genesis coupe aimed at the tuner crowd. A handful of other models will debut.

General Motors' display will focus on the imagination: vehicles that play prominent roles in an upcoming science fiction thriller.

Here are the primary world debuts scheduled.

Dodge

The reengineered, restyled 2010 Dodge Ram heavy-duty pickup will be introduced. Sales begin in the fourth quarter. The new heavy-duties--the 2500, 3500, and 4500 series--will be offered with a 6.7-liter Cummins V-8 diesel.

The most noticeable difference will be the look of the sheet metal and interior. Expect the truck to adopt the same upmarket interior first seen on the 2009 Ram 1500 along with similar sheet metal.

Ford

Ford's big offerings for the Chicago show include a performance version of the 2010 Ford Taurus sedan and the first showing of the production version of the 2010 Transit Connect, a small, front-drive commercial van.

When the reengineered and restyled Taurus goes on sale this summer, a twin-turbocharged V-6 engine will be available. The Taurus gets Ford's new 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, which has gasoline direct injection in addition to the turbocharging. The EcoBoost engine is expected to produce about 350 horsepower.

The performance model could be named SHO, resurrecting a Taurus name from the late 1980s and early '90s.

The Transit Connect also goes on sale this summer. Ford will show multiple versions outfitted for various commercial uses.

General Motors

General Motors is expected to point its spotlight at several Chevrolet vehicles that will have a predominant role in a science fiction movie.

Hyundai

Hyundai will introduce a performance version of the rear-drive 2010 Genesis coupe, called Spec R. To make the car's price and performance more appealing to tuners, the car's weight was reduced by eliminating some standard equipment.

The car will be powered by a 212 horsepower, turbocharged, 2-liter, four-cylinder engine. Hyundai will announce prices for its Genesis coupe line.

Suzuki

Three modified versions of the 2010 Suzuki Equator pickup will be unveiled. Sales of the Equator began in December; three truck magazines were given an Equator to customize.

(Source: Automotive News)

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