Chicago 2008: Mitsubishi shows off 2009 Eclipses


click above for high-res gallery of the 2009 Eclipse and Eclipse Spyder

Mitsubishi rolled out its updated 2009 Eclipse Coupe and Spyder today in Chicago, with revised fascias that complement and simultaneously update the swoopy flanks. The nose in particular brings the Eclipse in line with the design theme spreading across the rest of Mitsubishi's model line. If you happen to have a slight sense of deja vu while looking at it, more than one of us has also noticed that the new schnoz bears more than a passing resemblance to the Nissan GT-R, as well. And lest you think the changes are all skin deep, there are several non-cosmetic updates to augment the rhinoplasty. The GT models sport a newly tuned dual exhaust that promises to not only sound better, but boost horsepower by a deuce as well, bringing the total from 263 to 265. On the inside, power comes via a new 650-watt Rockford-Fosgate audio system as part of the optional Sun & Sound Package on GS and GT models, as well. You can read more details in Mitsubishi's press release after the jump or check our lives pics in the galleries below.

Chicago 2008: Mitsubishi shows off 2009 Eclipses


click above for high-res gallery of the 2009 Eclipse and Eclipse Spyder

Mitsubishi rolled out its updated 2009 Eclipse Coupe and Spyder today in Chicago, with revised fascias that complement and simultaneously update the swoopy flanks. The nose in particular brings the Eclipse in line with the design theme spreading across the rest of Mitsubishi's model line. If you happen to have a slight sense of deja vu while looking at it, more than one of us has also noticed that the new schnoz bears more than a passing resemblance to the Nissan GT-R, as well. And lest you think the changes are all skin deep, there are several non-cosmetic updates to augment the rhinoplasty. The GT models sport a newly tuned dual exhaust that promises to not only sound better, but boost horsepower by a deuce as well, bringing the total from 263 to 265. On the inside, power comes via a new 650-watt Rockford-Fosgate audio system as part of the optional Sun & Sound Package on GS and GT models, as well. You can read more details in Mitsubishi's press release after the jump or check our lives pics in the galleries below.

2009 Honda Fit

Retaining compact dimensions similar to the previous model, the new 2009 Honda Fit sports entirely new sheetmetal and more functionality inside. An improved version of Honda's Magic Seat allows the rear seats to fold flat without removing the headrests, even when the front chairs are pushed all the way back. The long-object, utility, and tall-object (where the cushion folds up to accommodate items like plants) modes from the previous car are available again, and a hidden bin under the driver's side rear seat provides even more storage. Techies will be satisfied by the availability of Honda's navigation system with voice-recognition and a 6.5 inch screen, as well as a USB audio interface that's iPod compatible. Both the Fit and Fit Sport receive a new 1.5 liter 4 with V-TEC mated to either a five-speed manual or automatic transmission (with paddle-shifters on the Sport), and the Sport also comes with 16-inch tires, up from the standard model's 15s. Safety is improved with available stability control, standard front, side, and curtain airbags, and ABS. Along with the Mini, Honda's Fit began to prove to Americans that small and economical cars could also be fun. With a host of improvements, the new version should continue the trend.

More on the 2009 Honda Fit:
2009 Honda Fit to make New York show debut











2009 Honda Fit

Retaining compact dimensions similar to the previous model, the new 2009 Honda Fit sports entirely new sheetmetal and more functionality inside. An improved version of Honda's Magic Seat allows the rear seats to fold flat without removing the headrests, even when the front chairs are pushed all the way back. The long-object, utility, and tall-object (where the cushion folds up to accommodate items like plants) modes from the previous car are available again, and a hidden bin under the driver's side rear seat provides even more storage. Techies will be satisfied by the availability of Honda's navigation system with voice-recognition and a 6.5 inch screen, as well as a USB audio interface that's iPod compatible. Both the Fit and Fit Sport receive a new 1.5 liter 4 with V-TEC mated to either a five-speed manual or automatic transmission (with paddle-shifters on the Sport), and the Sport also comes with 16-inch tires, up from the standard model's 15s. Safety is improved with available stability control, standard front, side, and curtain airbags, and ABS. Along with the Mini, Honda's Fit began to prove to Americans that small and economical cars could also be fun. With a host of improvements, the new version should continue the trend.

More on the 2009 Honda Fit:
2009 Honda Fit to make New York show debut











Chicago 2008: Reskinned 2009 Mitsubishi Galant seen with new nose



Mitsubishi just unveiled its freshened-for-2009 Galant sedan at the Chicago Auto Show, and unlike our favorable response to the changes made to its Eclipse sibling, we think Mitsu might need to do a hard refresh on the Galant a couple of more times before it looks as handsome as it could. The new uninterrupted grille might look better than the prior split version, but it still doesn't seem to work as well as the nose on the EVO or new Eclipse. Out back, however, the new Lancer-inspired taillights and slightly reshaped fenders are a big improvement.

As we recently reported when the info was dropped in our laps a few days ago, the 2009 Mitsubish Galant will be offered in four versions: the top-shelf Ralliart model (red car in pics), V6 Sport, four-cylinder Sport edition and the four-cylinder ES (gray). The Ralliart is still powered by a 3.8L MIVEC V6 producing 258 horsepower and uses a 5-speed Sportronic automatic transmission. The Galant V6 Sport gets a 230-hp 3.8L V6, while the two remaining models are powered by a 160-hp 2.4L MIVEC four-cylinder. The V6 models get a 5-speed Sportronic automatic, while the four-cylinders make do with four-speeds. The two Sport models (both V6 and four-cylinder versions) also feature a power glass sunroof and heated cloth front seats as standard equipment. A ho-hum enhancement for a model that never caught on after its last redesign, we think Mitsubishi missed the target on this one.

Chicago 2008: Reskinned 2009 Mitsubishi Galant seen with new nose



Mitsubishi just unveiled its freshened-for-2009 Galant sedan at the Chicago Auto Show, and unlike our favorable response to the changes made to its Eclipse sibling, we think Mitsu might need to do a hard refresh on the Galant a couple of more times before it looks as handsome as it could. The new uninterrupted grille might look better than the prior split version, but it still doesn't seem to work as well as the nose on the EVO or new Eclipse. Out back, however, the new Lancer-inspired taillights and slightly reshaped fenders are a big improvement.

As we recently reported when the info was dropped in our laps a few days ago, the 2009 Mitsubish Galant will be offered in four versions: the top-shelf Ralliart model (red car in pics), V6 Sport, four-cylinder Sport edition and the four-cylinder ES (gray). The Ralliart is still powered by a 3.8L MIVEC V6 producing 258 horsepower and uses a 5-speed Sportronic automatic transmission. The Galant V6 Sport gets a 230-hp 3.8L V6, while the two remaining models are powered by a 160-hp 2.4L MIVEC four-cylinder. The V6 models get a 5-speed Sportronic automatic, while the four-cylinders make do with four-speeds. The two Sport models (both V6 and four-cylinder versions) also feature a power glass sunroof and heated cloth front seats as standard equipment. A ho-hum enhancement for a model that never caught on after its last redesign, we think Mitsubishi missed the target on this one.

Surprise! Dodge Challenger convertible planned




During yesterday's unveiling of the Dodge Challenger, Chrysler's Vice Chairman, Jim Press, confirmed what we've already known; that Dodge expects to sell between 20,000 and 30,000 Challengers a year once production goes full-bore. All 6,400 Collectors Edition SRT8 models due to hit dealers this spring have been sold and there's a waiting list for the 2009 models. Naturally, more variants will be available next year with less powerful engines and a convertible version is supposedly in the works.

According to the Freep, Press expounded on the Challenger's virtues, saying that the SRT8 has a higher top speed (170 mph) than BMW's M5. Kind of a misnomer considering that the M5's speed limiter keeps the BMW sedan below 155 mph – unleashed, it has the potential of doing 205 mph. The Freep also quoted Press as saying that the Challenger has more torque than the Porsche 911 Turbo. Ummm... no. The 6.1-liter Hemi V8 produces 420 lb.-ft. of twist compared to the 911 Turbo's 460 lb.-ft. Maybe he was misquoted (he meant or said 911, not Turbo?), since his next line gave us pause. "When you sit inside, it makes you feel younger and richer than you are." Younger? Maybe. Richer? Not quite Mr. Press. We've seen the interior and it's hardly what you'd call luxurious, let alone exciting.

Surprise! Dodge Challenger convertible planned




During yesterday's unveiling of the Dodge Challenger, Chrysler's Vice Chairman, Jim Press, confirmed what we've already known; that Dodge expects to sell between 20,000 and 30,000 Challengers a year once production goes full-bore. All 6,400 Collectors Edition SRT8 models due to hit dealers this spring have been sold and there's a waiting list for the 2009 models. Naturally, more variants will be available next year with less powerful engines and a convertible version is supposedly in the works.

According to the Freep, Press expounded on the Challenger's virtues, saying that the SRT8 has a higher top speed (170 mph) than BMW's M5. Kind of a misnomer considering that the M5's speed limiter keeps the BMW sedan below 155 mph – unleashed, it has the potential of doing 205 mph. The Freep also quoted Press as saying that the Challenger has more torque than the Porsche 911 Turbo. Ummm... no. The 6.1-liter Hemi V8 produces 420 lb.-ft. of twist compared to the 911 Turbo's 460 lb.-ft. Maybe he was misquoted (he meant or said 911, not Turbo?), since his next line gave us pause. "When you sit inside, it makes you feel younger and richer than you are." Younger? Maybe. Richer? Not quite Mr. Press. We've seen the interior and it's hardly what you'd call luxurious, let alone exciting.

Sith Pickup: Toyota Tundra Warrior



Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we can all admit that this Toyota Tundra "Warrior" prototype has a sinister presence in its shiniest, blackest finery. That silly fake intake is still there in the grille surround, but the rest of the look is successful. It's too bad Toyota didn't pay attention to the TRD Off Road concept's schnoz; thankfully that 2007 show-goer was free of faux scoopery. The Warrior appeared at the Chicago Auto Show to gauge public reaction to the SR5-based upgrade package. We like it. In fact, we think it's the best looking Tundra we've seen. The "none more black" exterior is complemented by various touches of brushed metal on the side mirrors, door handles, and fuel door, the latter of which you'll be seeing a lot of if Toyota builds a 5.7-liter 4x4 version. There's also tinted taillight lenses and handsomely contrasting 17-inch TRD wheels, and can we get a "hell yeah" for the revised lower fascia out front?

We haven't seen any interior shots, but it reportedly banishes some of the Gladware feel of the cabin we experienced when the Tundra visted the Autoblog garage. Mirroring the outside's carbonite treatment, the interior is also decked out in inky hues with brushed metal brightwork. If and when the Warrior hits showrooms, it could be available as an upgrade on 4x2 and 4x4 models with the 4.7- and 5.7-liter V8s, so no V6 Warrior for you.

Sith Pickup: Toyota Tundra Warrior



Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we can all admit that this Toyota Tundra "Warrior" prototype has a sinister presence in its shiniest, blackest finery. That silly fake intake is still there in the grille surround, but the rest of the look is successful. It's too bad Toyota didn't pay attention to the TRD Off Road concept's schnoz; thankfully that 2007 show-goer was free of faux scoopery. The Warrior appeared at the Chicago Auto Show to gauge public reaction to the SR5-based upgrade package. We like it. In fact, we think it's the best looking Tundra we've seen. The "none more black" exterior is complemented by various touches of brushed metal on the side mirrors, door handles, and fuel door, the latter of which you'll be seeing a lot of if Toyota builds a 5.7-liter 4x4 version. There's also tinted taillight lenses and handsomely contrasting 17-inch TRD wheels, and can we get a "hell yeah" for the revised lower fascia out front?

We haven't seen any interior shots, but it reportedly banishes some of the Gladware feel of the cabin we experienced when the Tundra visted the Autoblog garage. Mirroring the outside's carbonite treatment, the interior is also decked out in inky hues with brushed metal brightwork. If and when the Warrior hits showrooms, it could be available as an upgrade on 4x2 and 4x4 models with the 4.7- and 5.7-liter V8s, so no V6 Warrior for you.

2009 Dodge Challenger

The 2009 Dodge Challenger comes in three grades: the 425 horsepower SRT8, 375 horsepower R/T, and 250 horsepower SE, all standard with a healthy dose of retro-modern style. With the Challenger SRT8 serving as the halo model, we guess that means the 375 horsepower, 404 lb-ft of torque Challenger R/T serves as a "midlevel model." The numbers above are achieved when the Challenger R/T driver has the six-speed manual -- the R/T with a five-speed automatic makes do with 370 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. Challenger R/Ts go from 0-60 mph in less than six seconds, Dodge says.

More on the 2009 Dodge Challenger lineup:
First Look: 2009 Dodge Challenger











2009 Dodge Challenger

The 2009 Dodge Challenger comes in three grades: the 425 horsepower SRT8, 375 horsepower R/T, and 250 horsepower SE, all standard with a healthy dose of retro-modern style. With the Challenger SRT8 serving as the halo model, we guess that means the 375 horsepower, 404 lb-ft of torque Challenger R/T serves as a "midlevel model." The numbers above are achieved when the Challenger R/T driver has the six-speed manual -- the R/T with a five-speed automatic makes do with 370 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. Challenger R/Ts go from 0-60 mph in less than six seconds, Dodge says.

More on the 2009 Dodge Challenger lineup:
First Look: 2009 Dodge Challenger