There was only a few things at the Dallas Auto Show this year that were really newsworthy.
Also check out our Quick Drive review of the 2013 Buick Regal GS we drove after the Dallas Auto Show.
2012 Ram 1500 Lone Star “Texas-big” 10th Anniversary
One newsworthy event was the reveal of the 2012 Ram 1500 Lone Star “Texas-big” 10th Anniversary edition. That’s right, the Lone Star Ram was started back in 2002 because the people at Ram knew how special the Texas market was for Trucks. The Lone Star Ram was so popular that it was expanded across the U.S. It’s the top selling Ram in Texas and we see why with great interior and exterior addons. This 10th anniversary Lone Star has special commemorative logos and badging to let it stand out.
Our first look at the 2013 Buick Encore:
The Buick Encore was released at the Detroit Auto Show, and of course we don’t go that far north so we didn’t get a chance to see it in the flesh. Well, the team at Buick was nice enough to bring it along to the Dallas Auto Show where we got our first real look at the 2013 Buick Encore.
The Encore is a small crossover that integrates Buick’s signature style. They are really excited to be the first to the American market with this type of vehicle. Buick is looking at the European BMW X1 and Audi Q3 as competitors which have yet to make their mark in the U.S. You’ll be looking at a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine matched up to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Expect pretty good fuel economy numbers and a great interior which is standard in Buicks today.
We’re excited to see the technology in this small SUV and see how well it does for the Buick brand. Also, expect to see a Chevrolet version within a few years.
Checking out the all new Chevrolet Spark:
We posted our full review of the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic a few months ago, be sure to check that out, but this Spark is even smaller than the Sonic. The Spark is an A-segment car which competes with cars like the Fiat 500, Smart fortwo, and the Scion iQ. We weren’t able to check out the interior of the car, but we’re expecting it to be youthful and cheap, but packed with technology. Chevrolet was quick to show off the plethora of unique color options offered on the Spark. You can have your Spark in Salsa, Jalapeno, Denim, Lemonade, or Techno Pink. They will also offer a Grey Area, Black Granite, Silver Ice and Summit White. All to appeal to the all important youth market.
Powering the Spark will be a 1.2-liter 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual transmission straight out of Europe. This shouldn’t make the Spark that fun and sporty to drive, but will give you very competitive fuel economy.
The production version of the Scion FR-S:
We saw the FR-S at the Houston Auto Show, but it was still a pre-production version with a 5-axis body kit. It really looked good, but we were still anticipating our first look at the true production FR-S. Well here it is!
Seeing the Scion FR-S in the flesh didn’t take anything away from the hype. We’re still excited to drive this thing – and that review will be coming soon enough – but we already noticed a few things. The FR-S at the Dallas Auto Show was equipped with an automatic transmission. We know they’ll have to sell them, but it didn’t even have paddle shifters on the steering wheel. My opinion, if you have an auto in your sports car, it better have paddle shifters, otherwise just give me a manual. Second, this is a small car. I drive a Genesis Coupe and this is much smaller than that. This means the back seat is basically a shelf. It would be incredibly uncomfortable to have more than 2 people in this car.
You already know all the stats on this car, I’m sure, but the other thing I noticed was how nice the engine is laid out. It’s really low in the engine bay and pushed behind the front axles. This is going to make its center of gravity really great and it seems there’s plenty of room for…say a turbo?
The Abarth 500 brought by Fiat:
Fiat showed off its Abarth 500 and I’m actually really excited to drive one of these as well. The team at Abarth did a lot to make this not just look really cool, but go really well. This should be a true track-day fun car. Drive it normal and get great gas mileage during the week and able to hoon it on the track during the weekend. Look for a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo engine, Abarth-tuned suspension and brake system, and race-inspired design.
We checked out a lot more cars than just these, but these were some of the bigger ones we haven’t seen yet. Check out all or our photos below!