Archive for January, 2012

Hyundai Brings More Power to 2013 with the Veloster Turbo and Genesis Coupe

Hyundai announced two new model upgrades for 2013 at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit:  The brand new 2013 Veloster Turbo and the revamped 2013 Genesis Coupe.  The running theme here appears to be power, with both vehicles offering drivers a veritable turbocharged experience.

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

The 2013 Veloster Turbo is an extension of the standard Hyundai Veloster which was just introduced for the 2012 model year.  The Turbo version is the first vehicle in Hyundai’s “7/11” product initiative that calls for seven new or redesigned models in the next eleven months.  While the standard Veloster is on its own one of the sportier offerings from the Hyundai lineup, the turbo version will take this even further.  The 2013 Veloster Turbo houses a new 1.6-liter Twin-Scroll Turbocharged Gasoline Direct Injection (T-GDI) In-Line 4-Cylinder Engine that delivers 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque.  It also has best-in-class highway fuel economy (38 mpg), best-in-class specific output (125.6 horsepower per liter), and best-in-class weight to power ratio (14 lbs/hp), along with sport-tuned steering and engine intake.  Paired with these performance features is plenty of style.  The Veloster Turbo sets itself apart with a more aggressive front fascia, wider fenders, side skirts, 18-inch alloy wheels, and exclusive interior styling.

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Also on the sporty menu for Hyundai in 2013 is the newly redesigned Genesis Coupe.  The facelift begins on the exterior with a revised front fascia, grille, headlight, fog light, hood design and 18- and 19-inch wheels, all of which give the new coupe a striking and aggressive stance.  Under the hood is where you’ll really notice the difference though, with both engine options offering impressive performance upgrades and technology enhancements.  The 3.8-liter V6 now has direct-injection, boosting it to 348 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque.  The 2.0-liter turbo gets a twin-scroll turbocharger and more thermally-efficient intercooler, with 274 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque. Both offer improved fuel economy and new eight-speed automatic transmissions with paddle-shift SHIFTRONIC capability.

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General Motors Regains Title of “World’s Largest Automaker”

Less than two years after trudging through a bankruptcy and government bailout, General Motors has bounced back to regain the title of world’s top-selling automaker.  GM had previously held this title for more than 70 years before Toyota claimed it in 2008, but the numbers are in and GM is back on top.  GM sold 9.03 million vehicles in 2011, a 7.6% increase from 2010’s sales.  Toyota dropped to number three with 7.9 million vehicles sold, and Volkswagen holds strong at number two with 8.16 million sold.

GM’s comeback was partially powered by the strength of its flagship brand, Chevrolet.  The Chevrolet brand on its own sold nearly 4.8 million vehicles, which was not only a record number for the brand, but is also more than what many entire auto companies posted in sales last year, including Nissan and Honda.  GM as a whole also performed well around the world, with particularly strong sales in both the U.S. and China.

Also coming into play was the fact that one of GM’s biggest competitors, Toyota, was adversely affected by the aftermath of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami last March.  GM has been careful, though, to avoid celebrating excessively amidst Toyota’s struggles.  In an interview last year, Chief Executive Daniel Akerson said, “I want to win in the marketplace, but I want to win against a healthy and vibrant Toyota and Honda.  Next year, we’ll put the gloves back on, and I’m sure they’ll go right back at us and we’ll go back at them.”

But for now, General Motors gets to quietly celebrate quite a prestigious honor and accomplishment, and it’s expected that the morale boost will only further the company’s success throughout 2012.

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Chevrolet and Buick Among the “Best Cars for the Money”

When it comes to purchasing a car, many buyers are wary of sacrificing quality for value.  Does a lower-priced car necessarily mean you’re getting an inferior quality product than something priced higher?  Not at all, says U.S. News and World Report, which recently doled out the 2012 U.S. News Best Cars for the Money Awards.  In this comprehensive study, U.S. News ranked the contenders by compiling the following data:

1.    Average price paid
2.    Five-year total cost of ownership
3.    Owner feedback ratings

The results covered 23 automotive categories, and revealed a varying mix of brands both domestic and foreign, illustrating that no single car company has a lock on value.  Over half of the winners had been introduced or significantly redesigned in the last three years, pointing to the fact that newer cars not only offer better value but also hit the mark in customer satisfaction with the latest technology in styling.  The winners list can provide a great starting point for buyers navigating a confusing automotive market and looking to score the best deal for the money.

Of the 23 winners, we noted several stand-outs:

2012 Chevrolet Cruze:  Best Compact Car for the Money
– Extremely roomy cabin
– Upscale feel and features
– Excellent fuel economy, especially in the ECO trim level
– IIHS Top Safety Pick

2012 Buick Regal:  Best Upscale Midsize Car for the Money
– Fun to drive
– Long powertrain warranty
– High-tech features
– Less expensive than competitors

2012 Chevrolet Equinox:  Best 2-Row Compact SUV for the Money
– Long powertrain warranty
– Handy features like a slide-and-recline rear seat
– Good fuel economy and cargo space
– IIHS Top Safety Pick

2012 Chevrolet Suburban: Best Full-Size SUV for the Money
– Seats up to 9
– Long powertrain warranty
– Powerful towing capabilities
– Comfortable and easy to maneuver

Additional winners:
Subcompact Car:  Ford Fiesta
Upscale Small Car:  Volkswagen GTI
Hatchback:  Ford Fiesta
Affordable Midsize Car:  Ford Fusion
Affordable Large Car:  Ford Taurus
Hybrid Car:  Ford Fusion Hybrid
Affordable Sports Car:  Mazda MX-5 Miata
Wagon: Subaru Outback
Affordable 3-Row Compact SUV:  Toyota Rav4
Luxury Compact SUV:  Audi Q5
Luxury Midsize SUV:  Lexus RX 350
Affordable 2-Row Midsize SUV:  Ford Edge
Affordable 3-Row Midsize SUV:  Mazda CX-9
Luxury Large SUV:  Cadillac Escalade
Minivan:  Mazda Mazda5
Hybrid SUV:  Lexus RX Hybrid
Off-Road SUV:  Jeep Wrangler
Compact Pickup Truck:  Toyota Tacoma
Full Size Pickup Truck:  Ram 1500

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Corvette Celebrates 60 Years with 427 Convertible Collector Edition and 60th Anniversary Package

2013 is a special model year for the Chevrolet Corvette as it’s not only the model’s 60th anniversary but it also marks for the final year of production for the “C6,” the Corvette’s 6th generation model.  Thus, it would be expected for Chevrolet to do something special for the 2013 model year to celebrate these milestones.  And celebrate they will with not one, but two, special offerings:  The 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition and the 2013 60th Anniversary package.  In fact, it’s the first time a Collector Edition and Anniversary Edition are being offered in the same year – and available on the same car at Rogers Chevrolet Dealer in Chicago.

Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition

Chevrolet is celebrating its anniversary and bidding adieu to the 6th generation in style with the 427 Convertible, which is purported to be the fastest and most capable convertible model in Corvette’s history.  As its name might suggest, the engine is the 427-cubic-inch (7.0L) LS7 that you’ll also find in the Z06 and is exclusively mated with a 6-speed manual transmission to produce 505 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque.  It’s the most powerful engine ever installed in a production Corvette convertible, with 0-60 mph estimated at 3.8 seconds and a top speed reaching more than 190 mph.  The 427 also features weight-reducing carbon-fiber components which give it a power-to-weight ratio that beats top sports cars like the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet and Ferrari California Convertible.  This powerful machine has got style covered too, with available 2LT, 3LT and 4LT trim levels, Black Cup or chrome wheels, and of course the undeniable Corvette look that has carried this model to its 60-year anniversary.

Corvette 60th Anniversary Package

Also on tap for the celebratory 2013 model year is the Corvette’s 60th Anniversary Package. Available on all models, including the 427 Convertible, the package features an Arctic White exterior with a Blue Diamond leather-wrapped interior with suede accents, and a blue top for convertible models. Other highlights include a ZR1-style rear spoiler, special badging, gray-painted brake calipers, “60th” logo on the wheel center caps, steering wheel and seat headrests, and an optional graphics package that adds full-length racing stripes.

Both the 427 Convertible and 60th Anniversary Package will make their public debut at the Barrett Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., on January 21, 2012.  The 427 will be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with proceeds benefitting AARP’s Drive to End Hunger initiative.  The special edition Corvettes will arrive at Chicago Chevy dealerships this summer.

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2012 Buick Achievers Scholarship Program

Rogers Auto Group is proud to partner with Buick and the General Motors Foundation in promoting the 2012 Buick Achievers Scholarship Program.  This program is set to recognize and reward 1,100 college-bound high school seniors and current college undergrads nationwide who excel both in the classroom and in the community.

The Buick Achievers Scholarship Program is one of the nation’s largest scholarship programs dedicated to assisting outstanding students interested in engineering, technology, design and business, who lack the financial means to reach their goals.  The program will award 100 qualifying students with up to $25,000 a year, and 1,000 students with $2,000.

“As a company, and as a nation, we have a responsibility to support opportunities for higher education,” said Dan Akerson, GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The Buick Achievers scholarship will help foster the next generation of leaders destined to develop future innovative solutions to global issues.”

The program is in its second year, and after a successful awarding of scholarships to 1,100 bright students in 2011, the 2012 installment continues Buick’s mission to “inspire, celebrate and enable human achievement.”  As an active supporter of the budding youth of its surrounding communities, Rogers Auto Group is committed to increasing awareness of this life-changing opportunity.

Eligibility requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be high school seniors or graduates or be current undergraduate students
  • Plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited U.S. four-year college or university for the entire 2012-13 academic year (excluding proprietary and online schools)
  • Plan to major in a specified course of study that focuses on Engineering/Technology or select Design and Business-related programs of study.
  • Be interested in pursuing a career in the automotive or related industries
  • Be U.S. citizens and have permanent residence in the United States

Award Criteria

Scholarship recipients are selected based on the following factors:

  • Academic achievement and financial need
  • Participation and leadership in community and school activities, work experience and interest in pursuing a career in the automotive or related industry
  • Please note special consideration will be given to the following applicants: first-generation college, female, minority, military veteran or a dependent of military personnel

For complete eligibility requirements, award criteria, and applications, visit

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Hyundai Elantra Wins 2012 North American Car of the Year Award

For the past 19 years running, an esteemed panel of 50 independent automotive journalists has selected the “North American Car of the Year,” an award designed to recognize the most outstanding new vehicle of the year based on factors including innovation, comfort, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. For 2012, that award goes to the Hyundai Elantra and is yet another indicator of Hyundai’s growing impact on the automotive industry.

To be eligible for this prestigious award, the vehicle must be all new or substantially changed.  The Hyundai Elantra was one of more than 50 cars considered, and edged out two other finalists, the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Passat.  The award was presented at the opening of the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and is Hyundai’s second win for this honor, with the Genesis earning it in 2009.

The selection panel had nothing but glowing praise for the Hyundai Elantra:

“The Hyundai Elantra is sporty, yet sensible. Luxurious, yet affordable. Spunky, but safe. The Elantra is a series of paradoxes and every one is another argument for the latest, impressive entry in the Hyundai lineup.” — Jayne O’Donnell, USA Today

“A small car with all the attributes of a larger, more expensive one — responsive engine, roomy interior, road presence, attractive design — and a few attributes of its very own; excellent fuel economy and a shockingly attractive price.” – Alex Taylor, Fortune Magazine

“Another well-executed, stylish product from the Korean manufacturer.  As an overall package, this is obviously the car to beat in its class.” – Paul Weissler, Motor

It doesn’t come as much surprise to us that the Hyundai Elantra would earn this honor.  From its bold “Fluidic Sculpture” design to its best-in-class standard fuel economy and highest owner satisfaction stats, the Elantra reached record unit sales in 2011 and helped Hyundai achieve overall sales records as well, with a 20% increase over the course of the year.

Clearly, the consumers have already given the Elantra plenty of reinforcement, but the 2012 North American Car of the Year Award is one of the most prestigious distinctions in the industry and officially solidifies the Elantra’s leading stance.   Hyundai’s president and CEO, John Krafcik, was humbled by the award and said, “In a year with some truly breakthrough competitors, we are honored that the jury recognizes Elantra’s far-reaching impact on the industry.”

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Buick Enclave vs. Lexus – “Best SUV Yet!”

In a recent Chicago Sun-Times article, automobile reviewer Edward Noble gave the 2012 Buick Enclave top marks, praising it as “the best SUV yet,” “the perfect vehicle,” and “unmatched in every category.”

Let’s take a closer look.  Starting with the styling, the Enclave will make a big impression on any driver.  From its bold trademark Buick grille to the port holes on the hood sides to the sleekly shaped body, the Buick Enclave is in a luxury class all its own.  On the inside, this SUV seats 8, with easy access to the third row.  The cabin styling is luxurious and intuitively designed, and cargo room is spacious, with a power cargo gate for easy loading.  Under the hood, the 3.6L 288-horsepower V-6 engine packs plenty of punch, with optional all-wheel drive.  Luxury add-ons include a second-row skylight, second-row console, and navigation and rear-seat entertainment.

The attractive features of the 2012 Buick Enclave are clear, but what Noble particularly notes in his review is the vehicle’s stance with foreign competitors.  Noble claims that “the Buick Enclave can match or exceed its foreign competition in every aspect that matters.”  Comparing the Enclave with a Lexus RX 350, the Buick outshines the off-shore luxury in a myriad of aspects.  The Enclave has a lower price, more rear legroom, longer driving range, higher torque engine, more horsepower, a quieter ride, and seats more passengers.  The Enclave dispels the myth that you need to buy foreign to get style and quality.  Visit Rogers Buick in Chicago for a test drive.

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