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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-10-2007, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hang On To Your Monaro/GTOs, Boys...

...it may be one of the last GM performance cars ever.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...i-bizfront-hed

Quote:
GM puts brake on rear-drive vehicles


Published April 10, 2007


General Motors has put a hold on future rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

"We've pushed the pause button. It's no longer full speed ahead," Vice Chairman Bob Lutz revealed in an interview.

Two of the most important RWD cars in the works are the Chevy Camaro sports coupe due back late in 2008 and the full-size, RWD replacement for the Chevy Impala sedan for 2009. Both are expected to be huge sellers and contribute major profits to a GM till burdened with IOUs the last few years.

"It's too late to stop Camaro, but anything after that is questionable or on the bubble," said Lutz, noting that also means Camaro derivatives -- along with a big Impala sedan, "if we call it Impala."

The RWD cars, you see, would be larger and heavier than front-wheel-drive cars or are high-performance models.

So it comes down to the matter of fuel economy. Or as Lutz says: "We don't know how to get 30 percent better mileage from" RWD cars.

That 30 percent bogey arises from a proposal by the Bush administration to raise corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards by 4 percent a year so cars would have to average 34 m.p.g. by 2017, up from 27.5 m.p.g. today. On top of that, the Supreme Court ruled last week that the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate carbon dioxide expelled by cars, a gas that contributes to global warming. The EPA doesn't do so now.

"We'll decide on our rear-drive cars when the government decides on CO(-2) levels and CAFE regulations," Lutz said, adding that limiting CO(-2) would increase mileage, too.

"Carbon dioxide is a natural byproduct of burning gas and directly proportional to the amount of fuel burned. If we legislate CO(-2) from cars, why not legislate we take one less breath per minute since humans release capricious amounts of CO(-2) each time they exhale?" offered a testy Lutz.

Lutz also points out that higher mileage will come at a price, with the proposal to raise CAFE certain to increase costs by as much as $5,000, which will be added to a car's sticker, an amount most consumers won't be willing to pay. There are no hard numbers for how much CAFE compliance adds to the sticker now.

"Rather than buy new, people would hang onto their old cars. We could eat the $5,000, but that would put us out of business."

Besides, those who see cars as more than just an appliance are eager for the new RWD offerings.

Among other cars affected are a high-performance midsize Pontiac, a replacement for the full-size Buick Lucerne sedan, a compact smaller than the current CTS at Cadillac and possible 300-horsepower versions of the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky roadsters.

"This is very disappointing," noted Erich Merkle, director of forecasting for IRN Inc., in Grand Rapids, Mich. Most of the cars coming are necessary to GM's turnaround as showroom magnets.

"What the public buys makes CAFE work, not what the industry builds," Merkle added. "To improve mileage you change demand, not supply, by raising gas prices through taxes. But no politician is going to do that so they throw the responsibility on the back of the industry."

Lutz also objects to the talk that carmakers can easily raise mileage with a very low investment.

"Academics assure us that for $200 we can get 30 percent better mileage. If anyone can figure out how to do that for $200 -- or even for $1,000 -- I want them in my office today. Show me how to do it and we'll adopt it," he said. "If I could increase mileage by 30 percent for $200, why wouldn't I? What's my motivation not to when a gas-electric hybrid gets 27 percent better mileage and I hope someday to get the cost down to $9,000?"

Others insist that carmakers simply have to sell more small cars, such as the trio of 1-liter concepts that promise 40 m.p.g.-plus that GM unveiled at the New York Auto Show.

"Small-car mileage only counts toward CAFE if you build them here, and you can't build small cars here at a profit," Lutz said, explaining that foreign-made cars would count toward the automaker's import fleet, and its domestic fleet is where GM needs help.
My take?

What a sniveling cop out.

First Lutz says that they won't even try and compete with the Germans, now this. Cry me a freaking river.

Put a fork in GM. They've given up, and are now officially dead. Mort. Toast. Room temp.

Oh well. Maybe Toyota will let them build a RWD in 2012.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-10-2007, 01:01 PM
 
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well i'll probably never buy another gm vehicle in that case. i've never had a fwd vehicle and i can't say i ever want one. maybe awd but not a fwd. tires are meant to turn or accelerate. not do both.think of the many people out there with my same strange oddball philosophy who don't want a fwd car? i would be joining the "you should have bought a honda" crowd. as far as what lutz says about fuel economy and making increases, i don't believe gm puts enough money nor time into r and d. honestly i don't think many automakers do. just my pence and a half.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-10-2007, 02:53 PM
 
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If they would just switch to a rotary valve design, they can achieve the better fuel economy, with high compressions, and more power. Problem with that is then they would have to buy the right to make such an engine from Coates.

Rotary valves basically eliminate OHC's and OHV's. Smart design to say the least.

"Some people are like slinky's. They really have no useful purpose, but they can still put a smile on your face when you push them down stairs."
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-10-2007, 03:41 PM
 
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I'll tell you how to get "30 percent better gas mileage," Bob and for less than 200 dollars per car. Set a dollar per car aside and after each year send that money out to some of those crooked burocrats in Washington, those scum will in turn declare GM cars get whatever mileage is necessary.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-10-2007, 04:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
...it may be one of the last GM performance cars ever.
I Am glad I went ahead and bit the bullet and go ta GTO now. I have had 2 FWD cars over the last 20 years, I kept them both less than a year. I am just not a FWD fanatic.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-10-2007, 05:25 PM
 
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When I saw the Supreme Court ruling I thought that this was akin to the late sixties when emission regs destroyed the auto industry. My next thought was cars like the GTO and my C6 will go away or be turned into wimps that no one wants. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-10-2007, 05:39 PM
 
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just when i thought GM was getting fun again...
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-10-2007, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by JerseyGoat View Post
just when i thought GM was getting fun again...

...they roll over and surrender like a Frenchman.

Inspiring, huh?
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-10-2007, 06:11 PM
 
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I know how to get better mileage. Aero dynamic mods.....rear wheel fenders, and small skirts in front of the tires, and underbody panal's that cover the entire bottom of the car. ALso when the car is cruising reduce the alternator output from 14 volts to 12 volts.

The civic VX did that back in 92.

Those are just a couple thoughts that can help. That and reduce weght.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-10-2007, 06:22 PM
 
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Still got Cadillac.
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