Blog Archives

The Chicago Auto Show Vandalism: This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Just a few short days ago, we posted about the awesome race-run Viper on display at this year’s Chicago Auto Show. Now, only a few days later, some of Chicago’s finest citizens have taken a very cool, unique display; something unlike what most of us ever get to see and vandalized it. It’s bad enough people steal shift knobs, pull off HVAC controls, etc…

The 2014 Chicago Auto Show: European Hammers

Dear BMW: you’re not Audi, an M3 can be available in both coupe and sedan – even convertible if you want. It’s not necessary to neatly line them up against Audi’s S5 by having different numbers for different body styles of the same chassis, muddying the water with 2 cars when there should only be one. Furthermore, the original M3 WAS A TWO DOOR, why not make the M4 the 4-door?!? Here it is, the new M3 4-Door in near as makes no difference Laguna Seca Blue. We love blue, but LSB was a horrible shade last time, this is slightly better, but not good enough to offer. What’s next, Phoenix Yellow?


Sexy coupe-inspired sedan, room for 4 (yes, 4) and plenty of power on tap here in the RS trim. Finished off with a phenomenal shade of blue (hint hint, nudge nudge BMW) the Audi RS7 is sure to be a winner! Stop by and drool, I know we did.


Yesterday’s news, the SLS “Final Edition”. Will they sell? Maybe, but only because there is certain to be a limited number produced. Aside from that, people either already purchased them or have been holding out for an SLS Black Series which is like bringing a gun to a knife fight as compared to a “regular” SLS in both appearance and strength.


The 2014 Chicago Auto Show: American Muscle

2014 and 2015 are poised to be big years for American Muscle cars. Chevrolet rolled out the new C7 Corvette as a 2014 model but ’15 brings it’s biger, bolder, stronger brother: the Z06.




Also on display, the new Camaro Z/28, one of the most exciting cars for us to see at the show. The Z/28 wore a VIN # that decoded to 2012 however, causing us to wonder if the Z show car was in fact the real deal, or an SS with new clothes. Maybe an early test car? Someone at GM knows the answer, but that someone is not us. Nonetheless, the car looks AWESOME in black with its wide fender flares, aggressive aerodynamics, and front splitter that is just waiting to tear up the straight at Gingerman or rip itself off on the first parking curb you inch too close to. Inside the Recaro seats look quite inviting as does the traditional H-pattern 6-speed gearbox, no flappy-paddles here.


New for ’15 is a completely redesigned Ford Mustang. We like it’s new look and are excited about the prospects of what the GT-500 and *gulp* GT-350 might look like. Yellow seemed to be a big color theme in this year’s show, the sign of a new trend? We like the more bulging hood with bold body lines and vents up top.



It will be interesting to see what happens with the Viper in ’15 with high prices and resultant bad sales numbers taking its toll on the SRT flagship. We hope it can hold on long enough for a rebound and have always loved its unique look and no BS attitude about straight line performance.



Last but not least, Cadillac brought back its Black Diamond CTS-V wagon. We love big power wagons and are told that on a track the wagon is the best / most balanced of the three (wagon, sedan, coupe). Unlike other “power wagons” the V is available in your choice of a 6-speed manual or paddle shift automatic and we appreciate the option. We were, however, surprised to see it here, hoping to catch a glimpse of the forthcoming new model CTS-V. This body style was phased out 2 years ago but sticks around only in the V trim…for now. It may be collectable if the new version doesn’t come with a wagon or stick shift option so buy it and 100 lbs of metal flake, while you can!


Looking for more American Muscle? Check out this post: The 2014 Chicago Auto Show: Because Racecar






The 2014 Chicago Auto Show: The Invasion of Japanese Supercars


The 2014 Chicago Auto Show is home to what appears in our eyes to be an absolute plethora of past, present, and future Japanese Supercars…we’re excited. The newest supercar to debut is the 2014 Toyota FT-1. We’ve longed for a suitable car to replace the Supra ever since it was discontinued over a decade ago and (like everyone else) are hoping this is it. Time will tell if the FT-1 reaches production and of course how much the production car will differ from the concept below. All we can say is it’s worth a trip to the show just to check out. From the radiator fan setup to the interior, built in air jacks (that will never, ever see production) to the overall design, “she’s a looker”.







New Nissan GT-R Nismo – Moar Better

When it burst onto the scene in 2009, the Nissan GT-R excited automotive enthusiasts and has continued to do so annually ever since. The best part in ’09 was its reasonable asking price, the worst part was dealer mark-up. Fastforward to 2014 and the MSRP of this Nismo performance model is almost 200% of the original MSRP. That’s right, this bad boy is expected to be over $150,000 when it becomes available for purchase. A bit steep – used Ferrari territory, but for a very capable car to be sure and she sure is purty!


Lexus LF-A – More than meets the eye

The Lexus LF-A hasn’t been for sale in years. Much like when manufacturers occupy booth space with race cars, for example, the LF-A still draws a crowd. One of the best things about the LF-A is the sound. Fine tuned to an exacting frequency, it is certain to send shivers up your spine. The display this year features one LF-A. It’s gorgeous, look at it, but don’t miss the console directly behind the car itself that allows you to play and maneuver the exhaust note to your hearts content. We were there for much longer than we’ll admit. It sure is sexy.



The 2014 Chicago Auto Show: Because Racecar

Racecars are always party of any major auto exhibition and the 2014 Chicago Auto Show is no exception. The SCS team was fortunate enough to tour the show during Media Day and provide you with an inside look at what we believe to be the highlights. This post, the first in a forthcoming series focuses on racecars: why they’re taking up valuable booth space and their back-stories.

The Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona Dodge Viper GTS-R


Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with motorsports knows about Daytona. The 2.5 mile 40-foot wide superspeedway in sunny Florida is also home to a 3.56 mile road course. There are a plethora of important events that take place at Daytona annually: The NASCAR Daytona 500, Daytona Bike Week (for you motorcycle fans) and of course the granddaddy of American sportscar racing, then Rolex 24-Hours of Daytona in which drivers pilot their machines (generally 3 per car) for 24 hours straight. It’s one of the ultimate tests of driver tenacity, vehicle durability, team problem solving, and operating in a high-speed, no room for error environment on no sleep.


For the 2014 24 Hours of Daytona, SRT Motorsports lead a factory backed effort fielding two cars that finished 12th and 27th respectively. Shown here is the #91 car, the front-runner of the SRT effort. Racing is a dirty sport, physically. Dirt, oil, dust, grime, etc coats every nook and cranny of a vehicle’s surface. Typically after a car returns from the track, the team spends several hours cleaning it before disassembly and moving forward with necessary vehicle maintenance. That leads us to what we regard is the coolest aspect of this display. It appears to have been put in the truck and sent to The Chicago Auto Show in the same condition in which it finished the race. Dirt, bumps, and bruises all intact. It alone is worth the price of admission, but there’s plenty more to see.


Why is there a race car here to begin with? Two reasons: 1) you can actually buy them, but almost nobody will and 2) to sell the car below, the Viper SRT street car which has not been selling very well since its introduction. High prices and fierce competition from our next racecar / street car combo from the other side of the motor city,  or in this case McCormick place.


The Corvette C7.R


Competing in the same class at Daytona (GTLM) and on the IMSA Tudor United Sportscar circuit is the new Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. There’s no doubt Viper has a following, but they don’t hold a candle to the obsessed faction of Corvette owners and enthusiasts. With the display of the C7.R and Z06/Z07 performance variant street car it’s easy to see why. Our staff engineer Brendon pointed out that unlike the Viper, this C7.R was built for car shows; it has never, and likely will never see a racetrack if it even sees pavement. It’s like the hot blonde that sat across from you in high school history class: you spent hours drooling over her and when you eventually were lucky enough to take off her clothes you found out some of the “hardware” was bolt-on. Disappointing as it may have been, you still enjoyed staring at her the rest of the semester; because face it that’s all you could do with that restraining order in place. Too far? Probably, let’s move on.


This picture had to be included, I love the Michelin Man…is that so wrong?


Unlike with most other cars, the C7.R and 2015 Corvette Z06 were designed in tandem. The Corvette Racing program exists to showcase sportscar superiority and garner the attention of fans around the world who will hopefully turn into customers. Be it behind the wheel of a Corvette, Colorado, or Cruze, Chevrolet is working to capture market share and dare we say is doing a fantastic job of it…well except for the Cruze, that one is on our SCS rental car blacklist.

Once upon a time ago when they re-introduced Corvette Racing with the C5 the racing team had to adapt the street car. After years of C5.R and C6R success, however, the production and race teams now work hand in hand transferring knowledge from the racing program to the street program and improving both cars in the process. The new Corvette C7 is in many ways the best yet much due to the efforts of the racing program.


The new 2015 C7 Z06 shown above is a product of that synergy. Design and engineering parallels can be drawn until the cows come home. The new Z06 should have 650 horses on tap thanks to the new supercharged LT4 engine. You can be sure that Chevy’s color choice here was no accident. As lovers of the C6 ZR1 we’re excited about this car. It has a new motor and more power than the ZR1 and an interior that absolutely blows it away amongst other accolades. The new Z06 is a bit heavy but is otherwise the real deal. Kick it up a notch to the Z07 and get more carbon fiber, better handling, carbon ceramic brakes, sticker tires, and more! We predict pricing to start around $85k and head north to +/- $115,000 but time will tell.

The Pirelli World Challenge GTS Champion Blackdog Speed Shop Camaro ZL1


Located in the Illinois Camaro Club booth on the far side of the Toyota off-road test track you will find Blackdog’s mean-looking flat black Chevrolet Camaro. Fresh after a victory in its first season of Pirelli World Challenge competition, this LS3 powered behemoth is the real deal. A full roll cage, carbon fiber fenders, hood, and rear decklid and of course its new championship pedigree. It will be interesting to see if the Pirelli World Challenge series homologates the factory’s new Z/28 track car into the series for 2014 or if teams stick with the ZL1 bodied, SS powered efforts.

Mazda Skyactiv Prototype


The Skyactiv prototype is powered by a diesel engine. That’s right, a diesel powered racecar. We’re big fans of diesel here at SCS, it keeps you in a non-hybrid car while providing incredible longevity and fuel efficiency as compared to gas. In a race application, however, Mazda’s gamble didn’t pay off. Every car in their diesel-powered Skyactiv fleet found its way back to the garage with the race still ongoing. Beaten? Yes, but kudos to Mazda for heading into uncharted territory. We’re hopeful that they return next year with an improved effort and that the diesel technology they’ve developed for the track will filter down to more consumer level offerings.


What to expect at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show

For those of you who missed it, we’ve been covering the 2013 Chicago Auto Show on Twitter and Facebook and Jeremy made a quick post from the road yesterday. The show runs for 10 days and tickets are available everywhere from Groupon to your local dealer and even, believe it or not, at the event itself! It’s a great, family friendly activity that shows you the current market trends and even predicts the future of the automotive landscape.
































Note the outline of the Nurburgring embossed in the Viper door pull!




















Jeremy waiting in line for coffee in the VW booth





































Tanner Faust


Ken Block



Behind the scenes


Quick and Dirty: 2013 Chicago International Auto Show via Camera Phone

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This morning the SCS team is very excited to be at the Chicago International Auto Show for 2013 Media Day! We have been (and will continue to be) providing coverage across our social media outlets (you know, Facebook and Twitter) throughout the day as well as making some subsequent blog posts with more respectable images later in the day. This is just a small preview of what the show has to offer, so check it out over the next 10 days at McCormick place!


Cadillac ELR? ATS-V? What could it be? EDIT: It's an ELR

Cadillac ELR? ATS-V? What could it be? EDIT: It’s an ELR ELR parked here in the parking lot on purpose with a dirty window?

…an ELR parked here in the parking lot on purpose with a dirty window?

You'd never guess what this is! But It's the best looking Corolla we've ever seen!

You’d never guess what this is! But It’s the best looking Corolla we’ve ever seen!

The future is near!

The future is near!

Excited for the Toyota pickup concept unveil later in the day!

Excited for the Toyota pickup concept unveil later in the day!

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FANTASTICALLY engaging display by Honda

FANTASTICALLY engaging display by Honda

The new Viper

The new Viper

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From over Function? Maybe, but we wouldn't object to some off-road CPD YouTube clips!

From over Function? Maybe, but we wouldn’t object to some off-road CPD YouTube clips!

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2013-02-07 08.52.06

We like the Rally Miata

We like the Rally Miata

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Cool Frost Blue wrapped Beetle

Cool Frost Blue wrapped Beetle


Brendon with Ken Block and Tanner Faust

Brendon with Ken Block and Tanner Faust


Modified Ford Fiesta ST

Modified Ford Fiesta ST


Modified Ford Focus ST

Modified Ford Focus ST


Sure a Touareg towed a 747 on Top Gear...

Sure a Touareg towed a 747 on Top Gear…

2013-02-07 08.52.19

The best, most ingenious piece of media swag

The best, most ingenious piece of media swag


Laguna Seca...ish

Laguna Seca…ish


Nismo Juke, better than the plain Juke but still not enough power for me...come on Nissan, make a more powerful, stick-shift  Juke I can afford.

Nismo Juke, better than the plain Juke but still not enough power for me…come on Nissan, make a more powerful, stick-shift Juke I can afford.

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I'm a sucker for orange!

I’m a sucker for orange!

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Nicely Customized Lexus LS, Would you call it VIP style?

Nicely Customized Lexus LS, Would you call it VIP style?

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2013-02-07 12.15.02

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...I have my doubts about this car, but I'm still a sucker for orange

…I have my doubts about this car, but I’m still a sucker for orange


Another of my favorite displays

Another of my favorite displays


If the ELR is in here, why is it dressed in camo out there?

If the ELR is in here, why is it dressed in camo out there?


LF-A, Always a show-stopper

LF-A, Always a show-stopper

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2013-02-07 12.19.08

The TURBO Camaro

The TURBO Camaro

2013 Camaro SS 1LE, makes us wonder how the upcoming Z/28 will top this one!

2013 Camaro SS 1LE, makes us wonder how the upcoming Z/28 will top this one!

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2013-02-07 12.17.20