The News for March 29th, 2013


Welcome to the Hooniverse News – New York International Auto Show Edition! In this, the 27th post about the show this week, I’ll be going into detail about a handful of the more interesting and/or relevant cars that our overlords have already looked at. This week:

  • Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG is a small car with big performance

  • Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 returns with a face lift

  • Cadillac CTS is all new for 2014

  • Jeep brings back the Cherokee with an even bigger face lift

  • Plus full coverage from Autoweek

Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG 4Matic


First there was the CLA, and now there’s the AMG version. The CLA45 AMG 4Matic will be their smallest sedan when it goes on sale this November, accompanied by the also small A45 AMG hatch we saw just a month ago and eventually a new compact SUV that we’ll get to see this fall. 

The new baby AMG will share a powertrain with the A45, so that means 355 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque out of a 2.0-liter turbo four-banger channeled through a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. As the 4Matic denotes, all-wheel-drive is standard. All that combined with a fairly small and thus lightweight car means the CLA45 is capable of a 0-60 mph time of just 4.5 seconds, which isn’t too far off what some V8 performance sedans can manage. And since it’s still a four cylinder, fuel efficiency on the European cycle is rated at 34 mpg, but no word yet on official EPA estimates.


Handling-wise, the car benefits from a bespoke suspension setup with new springs, dampers, and a height reduction. A new 3-way traction control system is included and it’s aimed at keeping the car out of the guard rails without being too much of a nanny and ruining the driving experience. 

The CLA45 also shares a number of aesthetic features with the A45, including the larger openings up front inspired by Formula 1 or something, its twin blade grille, a rear bumper with lots of holes in it, and 18″ multi-spoke wheels. The interior also features special gauges, aluminum and carbon fiber trim, sport seats with some leather, and red seat belts.

Benz has already announced we won’t see the A45 AMG over here, so consider the CLA45 as the next best thing. This next best thing can be yours for $48,375 with deliveries to North America beginning this November.

Source: Mercedes-Benz via Autoweek

2014 Camaro Z/28 plus face lift


Chevrolet is officially bringing the Z/28 back to life, and just like every other new Camaro variant that’s come before it, it’s the most track-capable Camaro ever. No, for real this time. It’s also coming back with a new face lift soon to be on all 2014+ Camaros, for better or for worse.

Beginning with the exciting bits first, a 7.0-liter V8 co-developed by Corvette Racing is the motor of choice, and it produces 500 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. Fun fact: the 7.0L (427 cid) LS7 was originally developed for the Corvette Z06, and it features titanium intake valves, CNC-ported cylinder heads, a forged steel crank shaft, and a 10.5 quart dry-sump oiling system, in case you were wondering. The only transmission available is a Tremec 6-speed manual transmission which works with a limited-slip differential to put the power down at the back.


The car also runs on Pirelli PZero Trofeo R tires sized 305/30ZR19 and features a Performance Traction Management system to improve traction further.  Its heavy duty suspension, Brembo Carbon Ceramic Matrix brakes, and its 300 lb. weight loss compared to the ZL1 all contribute to its track-readiness, which is perhaps highlighted by its 1.05 G lateral grip.

As far as the face lift goes, it looks like the Camaro gets new headlights, taillights, some bumper work, and, uhhhm, maybe something else. They didn’t really talk much about that part. Just know that you’ll see those updates you see on every 2014 Camaro including the Z/28.

Source: Chevrolet

2014 Cadillac CTS


On the other side of GM’s plot of the Javits Convention Center, Cadillac had their all new ATS XL CTS on display for the world to see. At a glance, it’s longer, lower, and leaner than the outgoing model and Cadillac hopes to once again shake up the midsize luxury market.

With the car’s new athletic proportions and modern “Art and Science” design philosophy, Cadillac hopes to attract a wide variety of new buyers and then retain them with the redesigned cabin with its 8 new interior environments and improved space thanks to its longer wheelbase. They also hope to attract enthusiasts with its powerful new powertrain, which consists of a 2.0-liter turbo 4 with 272 horsepower, a 3.6-liter V6 producing 320 horsepower, or a twin-turbocharged V6 with 420 horsepower available in the CTS Vsport (more on that in a bit) – all paired with either a 6-speed automatic or an 8-speed automatic depending on your engine and drive train of choice (RWD and AWD).


The CTS also went on a bit of a diet as they claim it to be 200 lbs. lighter than a BMW 528i, which to be honest, doesn’t say as much as it used to. That relatively light weight contributes to its perfect (according to them) weight distribution which also helps make this CTS the best-driving CTS yet. Until we get a full-fledged V model, Cadillac is giving drivers something to hold them over with the CTS Vsport.

The Vsport gets the twin-turbo V6 with an 8-speed auto mentioned above. It also gets Brembo brakes, Pirelli summer tires (or all-seasons), a quicker steering ratio, heavy-duty track cooling package, an electronic limited-slip differential, and Magnetic Ride Control with a special track setting. That magnet suspension thing is available on every new CTS, minus the track mode that nobody will ever use. 0-60 mph is estimated to take just 4.6 seconds.

Production begins this fall. The on-sale date and price have not been released yet.

Source: Cadillac

Jeep Cherokee revived


We’ve finally been given a more detailed look at the all-new Jeep Cherokee (not to be confused with the Grand Cherokee). It sports an all-new design that Jeep claims to be designed for the future with a global appeal and it brings some new hardware into the Chrysler family for the first time. 

For starters, it’s based off the same platform as the Dodge Dart, which means it’s as small as it looks, maybe smaller. That could prove to be useful on the trails, especially since they’re giving you three four-wheel-drive systems to choose from, those being Jeep Active Drive I with a one-speed power transfer unit, Active Drive II with a two-speed PTU and low range, and finally Active Drive Lock with a two-speed PTU, low range and a locking rear differential. A 56:1 crawl ratio and a 5-way traction control system help the Cherokee earn its Jeep Trail Rated badge that they put on everything.


Four trim levels are offered: Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk. The Trailhawk level adds everything on the options list that might help out in the wild, like a 1″ factory lift for improved ground clearance, tow hooks, Jeep Active Drive Lock, and skid plates. 

Power will come from either a 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir four-banger with 184 horsepower or a new 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 with 27o horsepower, both paired with a Chrysler-first 9-speed automatic. Yes, 9, because why not. With the V6, the Cherokee can town 4,500 lbs. or you can have 31 mpg with the I-4. To help with efficiency on both, the rear axle can automatically disconnect when not in use to prevent energy loss from the 4×4 system.


The interior features include a 7″ LCD configurable gauge cluster, an 8.4″ touchscreen with Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system, “thoughtful” storage, and premium materials. 

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee will go on sale sometime this fall at an undisclosed price.

Source: Chrysler, Autoweek

Complete Coverage from Autoweek along with our own crew


Between our pals at Autoweek and our overlords who have been posting their shenanigans all week, they’ve got the rest of the show covered. Click on over to Autoweek for their full coverage, including that of the Mitsubishi Mirage, a Shelby Raptor, an Audi A3 sedan, and an America-bound Volvo V60 wagon! For everything else, including live photos and whatever else our overlords and a young gentleman named Jack have been doing, check out our NY Auto Show coverage as well.

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24 responses to “The News for March 29th, 2013”

  1. Scandinavian Flick ★ Avatar
    Scandinavian Flick ★

    I like the subtle changes on the Camaro, but I am really digging that CTS… Seems like a good styling direction for Cadillac. Almost a bit Mercedes-esque. That interior looks like a damn nice place to be. 275hp out of a 2.0-liter turbo 4?? That's damn impressive.

    1. calzonegolem Avatar

      How long ago was it that 275 would be impressive from twice as many cylinders and displacement?

      1. pj134 Avatar

        I thought maybe the LT5 in the C4 ZR1, but that was cranking 375… I'm not sure.

    2. Vavon Avatar

      "Seems like a good styling direction for Cadillac. Almost a bit Mercedes-esque."
      I was thinking exactly the same thing, but as in Mercedes before they went overboard with gaudy details!

    3. GregKachadurian Avatar

      I agree that Caddy has a nice styling direction going (although I wish they'd tone the LED down a few notches), but it also has me worried. When I first saw the photos, I thought I was looking at an ATS. Now that I've looked at it long enough, it's easy to tell the difference by looking at the lower valances and stuff, but I fear they're going the "same sausage, different lengths" route.

  2. calzonegolem Avatar

    That Benz just gave me a button-gasm. What is up with that?

  3. danleym Avatar

    The new Cherokee looks worse and worse every time I see it. It looks like they're at least adding some legitimate off road equipment to the options list. And 9 speed? Just go with a CVT already, what's the difference at that point?

    1. Devin Avatar

      I actually kind of like it, though the high-mounted taillights just make the rear end look tall and a bit silly. They're trendy, but they probably should have gone with something a bit different just to keep it from looking top-heavy.

      1. JayP2112 Avatar

        I like it too…
        Jeep's version of the Equnox-Santafe-whatever CUV if the flavor of the month.

  4. $kaycog Avatar

    I really like the front end of the Jeep Cherokee, but that rear end does nothing for me.

  5. pj134 Avatar

    That CTS is making me want to do dirty things. I remember thinking that Mustangs and 350zs had respectable power at 300. The whole horsepower game is just getting out of control.
    Not that I mind.

  6. DemonXanth Avatar

    The more I look at the new Cherokee the more I wish I didn't. The CTS looks very nice though.

  7. jeepjeff Avatar

    It's never going to grow on me. But, the exterior design never bothered me that much. It has the Jeep grill, and it adds some efficient aerodynamics while still implying the traditional boxiness of Jeeps. That was always going to look funky. (Ok, the GC pulled it off…)
    No manual, and a fake, front biased 4WD system. On those that aren't FWD only. It's terrible, and going on the Do Not Wave list.
    Get off my lawn.

    1. danleym Avatar

      Saw this a while ago, been waiting for the right time to use it here. This seems like a good time.
      <img src=""&gt;

    2. CherokeeOwner Avatar

      You do get two low-range options with Active Drive II and Active Drive Lock. It's one option better than what you can get with the Jeep Caliber twins, it's not yoked to a craptastic CVT, and more pertinently, it's not based on a Caliber. Yes, it's based on Alfa Romeo hardware, but come on, that HAS to be better than Caliber underpinnings. After all, we haven't really heard any major complaints about the Dart, right? Be optimistic!
      And no, I'm not getting off your damn lawn.

  8. mikltaz Avatar

    Is that an Audi 100 in front of that city bus?

    1. Vavon Avatar

      Yes, it's an Audi 100 like this:
      <img src=""&gt;

  9. GregKachadurian Avatar

    It's weirder for me because I don't like the looks of it at all in Sport -> Limited trim, but in TrailHawk trim (the red one) it looks kinda cool. Not pretty, but cool. Would-take-for-a-prolonged-test-drive out of 10.

  10. Devin Avatar

    I think I might be the only one who kind of hates the new CTS. It's mostly the front end, because it's a complete mess, and I will now explain why.
    – The hood has too many lines. I can understand the 'power bulge' that is derived from the center section of the grille. But then you have the three lines that are derived from the A-pillar. One comes off of the grille, and could have been integrated into the pillar but isn't. Instead we have a second line that runs parallel, which makes no visual sense, which just kind of fades into nothing in the bumper. Then there's another line under that, which makes a little channel that reaches the A-pillar, but also competes with lines derived from the headlights. There are so many lines going basically parallel to one another that it makes it visually messy, and also feels like it was an errant line that nobody thought to erase.
    -The LED trail makes the front look quite blunt, but also looks quite last minute, note the weird cut into the bumper next to the lower light strip, it's very abrupt and unrefined, almost as though they didn't have enough time to refine the shapes. The sloppy handling of the surfaces is kind of surprising. It's also actually a strange cue anyway, since it makes the front end look extremely blunt while it's actually not, which screws with the proportions from many angles. Because it gives you a lit-up vertical line, it distracts from how the front end is actually shaped like.
    -Headlights are too small, and set too far back, which was probably done to emphasize the gigantic grille but it makes the front end slightly cartoonish and exaggerated. The surfaces between the headlight and the grille are quite tortured as well, since they're derived from the overly-complicated hood surface, and are trying to connect a chopped-up and pushed back headlight area to a grille that seems pushed forward as far as possible. It's kind of this no-man's land in the body where they just couldn't figure out how to connect these disparate elements.
    -The badge positioning is strange. I understand why they did it at least, to make the badge more prominent, but it just seems like it's in the wrong spot. In general I think the grille is a bit comically over-done – if it was shorter with a larger lower intake it might make more sense proportionally.
    Otherwise it's not bad from the A-pillar back, though I wish the reverse light wasn't an afterthought that seems to be a GM trademark lately.
    It's a facelift away from being quite lovely – and they're definitely capable of doing a lot of this right, since the ATS isn't very far off design-wise but is much more successful – but right now I'm not a fan.

    1. danleym Avatar

      I think the overall design looks nice, but here's my problem. It screams Mercedes wannabe. Apparently American cars aren't good enough, and we have to make people think they're European.
      I'm not one of the "Buy 'Merican or you're a traitor" crowd, I just think that the US has a long history of making our own style of car. Some like them, some don't, that's fine. But do your own thing, don't go off imitating others. That's never good. I dunno, to me you could swap out the Caddy emblem on it for a Mercedes one and it wouldn't look out of place.
      Or maybe I'm just being crabby because it's Friday and I'm still at work.

      1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
        mr. mzs zsm msz esq

        Everybody says Mercedes, but I see Volvo.

    2. craigsu Avatar

      As one who has hated the CTS styling from day one (I got to give a Cadillac focus group an earful about this), this profile looks marginally better. I still hate it though.

  11. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
    mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    Somebody forgot to plaster VOLVO WAGON RETURNS TO USA!!!!!!!!!! over the lede photo.

  12. JayP2112 Avatar

    Z/28 is terrific.
    We need more cars like this.
    AC as an option.
    Thinner glass.
    No sound deadening.
    One speaker.
    No trunk carpet.
    Mega wide wheels that weigh 10oz.
    Then I see the carbon brakes that will likely cost more than my first 3 cars combined.

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