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GM Product Development chief and Vice President Bob Lutz is calling on Washington to give U.S. automakers large loans and suspend some crash test requirements. He is concerned that some product lines may need to be scrapped due to CAFE, but is confident the Chevy Volt will be a hit.  (Source: GM)
General Motors' product development chief encourages the government to lift crash test restrictions to help U.S. automakers

It's no secret that America's largest automakers -- General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler -- are struggling.  Weighted by the burden of a troublesome economy, and facing increasingly strict legislation on fuel economy, the future of the trio seems uncertain.  Still, each has forged ahead with its efforts to produce hybrid vehicles, generally accepted to be the future of the auto industry.

None has put as much effort into the field, perhaps, as GM.  GM has invested a great deal of money into the development and advertising of the all-electric Chevy Volt, to launch in November 2010 and the development of biofuels.  However, despite its best efforts, GM remains concerned about the effects of CAFE (coporate average fuel economy) legislation.

General Motors Corp.’s vice chairman and product-development chief, Bob Lutz, is calling on the federal government to take an unusual step to ease pressure on automakers and allow them to focus on fuel economy -- suspend crash testing requirements.  Mr. Lutz is particularly worried about, among other vehicles, the future of the fuel hungry Corvette.

Mr. Lutz encourages the presidential hopefuls to push through new loans and/or to consider dropping crash safety standards, stating, "I’m not going to get into individuals, but I will tell you what we want from whoever it is.  We have tremendous pressure from mandates on fuel economy and safety that are going to add weight to vehicles, and so we are victims of the federal government.  So it’s not unreasonable to request federal loan guarantees from the government to fund the new technology needed to meet the mileage and safety mandates."

GM and its fellow Detroit automakers are pushing Washington to make available a proposed $50B USD in loans to help them finance their efforts to make cars more fuel efficient.  In addition, Mr. Lutz says some crash testing requirements need to go.  He states, "We also would like a 3-year moratorium on certain U.S. front- and side-impact crash test regulations.  The regulations impact our ability to bring in several high-mileage small cars we make elsewhere in the world.  In Europe, the crash-test procedures are different than in the U.S., so the tests are different. If our government says cars that meet crash tests in other countries are good enough to be sold here, we would have more high-mileage, small-car flexibility."

In addition to challenging lawmakers to act, Mr. Lutz detailed the effects that the CAFE standards and high gas prices are having.  The fullsize rear-drive Chevrolet and Buick have both been dropped, due to being to gas hungry.   He rejected wide speculation that GM would drop the Lamdba-based Saturn Outlook cross/utility vehicle in 2009.  Mr. Lutz says he'd like to include a new Camaro sports coupe that GM fans are pleading for, but that he feels his hands are tied.  He describes, "I get letters from people saying they heard we were going to add a supercharged 600-hp V-8 to the Camaro lineup, and I write back saying ‘Sorry, with new (corporate average fuel economy) standards (for 2020), we aren’t going to do it.‘"

The automaker is pressured by the CAFE regulation that mandates that by 2020 cars get a minimum of 35 mpg (6.7 L/100 km).  Trucks and SUVs will have their own, slightly lower targets.  As a result of the upcoming restrictions and state mandates in California and 15 other states on carbon emissions, Chrysler is considering ditching its Viper high-performance model.  It announced this week that it was considering selling the unit.

Mr. Lutz gripes, "Setting lower CO2 limits would equal setting CAFE at 43 mpg (5.5 L/100 km).  This is why the sale of the Dodge Viper by Chrysler makes sense, because anyone selling fewer than 50,000 vehicles annually would be exempt (from fuel-economy requirements).  So if someone else bought Viper, they could sell to capacity, but Chrysler couldn’t. This is why we are concerned about Corvette.  The reason California set the exemption for less than 50,000 units is that it would mean the Hollywood folks could keep driving their Lamborghinis and Ferraris."

He continues to criticize this loophole, pointing out, "Porsche could sell 11-mpg (21.4 L/100 km) Cayennes, but we couldn’t sell 20-mpg (11.8 L/100 km) Chevy Tahoes."

At least he can take comfort that the Chevy Volt development is finally on track, according to his estimates.  He states, "The batteries have proven trouble free.  It’s almost frightening.  We’ll start releasing (the car) to the public in November of 2010. No one, no one, will get one any earlier."

He warns that the car will not be profitable at first.  When asked how small cars, many of which are not making profits, can be made viable he answered, "Profits follow demand. When SUVs were in big demand it meant profits. When small cars are in big demand, it will mean profits.  The Chevy Malibu transaction price is up by $4,000 this year because it is in big demand.  The old Malibu it replaced we had to give away with incentives."

As for his own plans and working arrangements, Mr. Lutz concluded, "I have no plans to retire, but that doesn’t mean someday Rick (Wagoner, GM’s chairman) or the board might say, ‘Hey, you’re starting to ramble.’  When I’m 80 we’ll have a party in my office and have cake. (Mr. Lutz is currently 76)  I’m not shy about taking my vacation time, I just don’t take it all at once -- as I get older, I think I’ll probably take more time off.  I think I’ve figured out the perfect work week – Fridays and Mondays off."


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MPG
By HammerFan on 9/3/2008 8:57:29 AM , Rating: 2
"Fuel Hungry Corvette"

30+mpg freeway is fuel hungry? Wierd.




RE: MPG
By mdogs444 on 9/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: MPG
By mdogs444 on 9/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: MPG
By noxipoo on 9/3/2008 9:04:25 AM , Rating: 2
who buys a corvette to drive it like a grandma on the freeways?


RE: MPG
By omnicronx on 9/3/2008 9:24:34 AM , Rating: 3
You don't need to drive like a grandma.. my dads 89 corvette only hits 1300-1400 RPM when cruising at 75MPH.. That means even if you push it to 80+ (i.e not driving like a grandma) you would still get really good highway mileage for a sports car. Having a 6 speed manual can really make a difference in highway mileage.. His car gets better highway mileage than my Mazda protege...


RE: MPG
By AlvinCool on 9/3/2008 9:36:50 AM , Rating: 2
My 88 had a 240hp V8 and a 4+3 transmission (4 speed manual with a two speed auto behind it). It averaged 22mpg and got 33 on the highway. And I passed everything in sight. Their current cars suck, the plastic is sub grade. The rubber is sub grade. They don't last. I can't remember the last time I saw an American car that didn't have faded plastic in 5 years with all the rubber hoses and belts cracked. People want to buy a car that gets decent gas mileage, decent power and lasts for at least 200k miles.


RE: MPG
By othercents on 9/3/2008 10:12:52 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with the Corvette has nothing to do with highway mileage. Most people drive stoplight to stoplight and it is a race every time. I only averaged 5mpg when I had a large V8. However I doubt your normal driver would ever own a Corvette, so who cares what the mileage is. The only problem is that since GM has to meet CAFE standards they might have to ditch the Corvette and they don't think they can sell the line because it probably isn't profitable.

Other


RE: MPG
By DrKlahn on 9/3/2008 10:42:07 AM , Rating: 3
My '99 Corvette gets 18-22 overall average and 30+mpg on the highway. Things have come a long way.


RE: MPG
By gamerk2 on 9/4/2008 8:02:24 AM , Rating: 2
My 76 Camry gets 18-19 City and about 22 Highway. Yep, things have improved a lot over in the US...


RE: MPG
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 11:20:22 AM , Rating: 2
I've heard on good authority that the Vette will not be ditched. Lutz is just trying to get some money from the gov to support the upcoming CAFE mandates. Even if the gov doesn't loan them the money (which they'll get back), they'll be able to meet the mandates anyways but at a higher cost to the consumer.

We asked for it, this is what we get. Pay up or shut up.


RE: MPG
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 2:53:17 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah. GM would ditch a lot of other things before they ditched their flagship. The Corvette is a test platform for a lot of technology that eventually makes it down to the lower models.


RE: MPG
By lagomorpha on 9/3/2008 11:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
Like what lightweight pushrod valve actuation, pent-roof combustion chambers optimized for power at relatively high rpm (for what they are) and transverse leafsprings? Yeah I don't really see any Corvette tech being useful in anything other than a Corvette.


RE: MPG
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 11:22:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I only averaged 5mpg when I had a large V8.
You must've had a sh!tty car. Even a Lamborghini Gallardo gets better city gas mileage. Modern muscle cars get quadruple that gas mileage.


RE: MPG
By lagomorpha on 9/3/2008 11:32:06 PM , Rating: 3
The way a car is driven makes a pretty big difference.


RE: MPG
By mindless1 on 9/4/2008 4:44:47 AM , Rating: 2
Has nothign to do with sh!tty, that's just the reality of performance tuned big blocks back when they were carb'd and gas cost well under a dollar.


RE: MPG
By DrKlahn on 9/3/2008 10:45:26 AM , Rating: 2
I have a 10 year old and a 15 year old car. Both American made and neither has any issues with plastic or rubber. And the 15 year old car has 150k miles and sits outside all winter long in the midwest.


RE: MPG
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 10:46:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
with all the rubber hoses and belts cracked.


You should replace your hoses and belts at least once in a 5 year period. And how quickly hoses and belts wear out also depends on where you live. How hot it is.

And how quick plastic fades also depends on these things. Plus how much someone takes care of the car. My Cobalt is nearly 3 years old and the interior except for a few nicks still looks brand new. Because I take care of it by treating the leather regularly and use protectant(Armor All) on the dash and other areas. The leather seats still look pretty much new except for just some creases from sitting on them. No fade or rips or anything though.


RE: MPG
By AlvinCool on 9/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: MPG
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 11:46:08 AM , Rating: 4
Changing your belts and hoses is routine maintenance for ANY car. Not just American one's!!! LOL! Look at your service manuals (oh that's right...no one reads). My Solstice is my first American car. I've had nothing but Japanese and one German (VW POS Fox). I've regularly changed belts and hoses on ALL of my cars. It's rubber. It cracks, it stretches. Normal stuff. It has nothing to do with American or Japanese or German. It's the properties of rubber.

Some of you guys are just crazy...LOL!


RE: MPG
By omnicronx on 9/3/2008 12:02:37 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
It's the properties of rubber.
Which is why smart people use engine cleaners and other products to help condition these rubber hoses and seals. It is very possible that with proper upkeep that you won't need to replace anything for 10+ years of operation.

There is a reason that mechanics tell you not to let your car sit if you are not using it, these hoses and seals dry up and crack overtime. My dad does not drive his corvette in the winter, so every 3-4 weeks he has to travel out to where it is stored, and start up the car for 20-30 minutes. A little common sense can save you a lot of money...


RE: MPG
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 1:39:23 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
A little common sense can save you a lot of money...
Yup. I agree 100%.


RE: MPG
By StillPimpin on 9/3/2008 4:42:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I've had nothing but Japanese and one German (VW POS Fox).


My first car was an '87 Fox, POS as you call it, and that was the best car that I've ever owned. Got it used and that thing was a tank. Only major problems I ever had was a fuel pump and radiator. Drove it from ALA to NY several times and regularly traveled from ALA to ATL till I totaled it (damned old drivers). Still looking to buy a '93 to use as a daily run-around. Great cars.


RE: MPG
By rudolphna on 9/3/2008 12:29:40 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely. I own a 6 year old Ford Expedition, and it looks brand new, except for a few dings and scratches, but hardly noticeable when I wash it real good. The interior is near perfect, and it always has, and still does, perform well. The only mechanical problems Ive had are I lost the alternator about a year after buying it, and ive had 4 of the 8 ignition coils go. But those are easy fixes you can do yourself, ($50 for the part, as opposed to $300 for part and labor)
You really should replace belts and anything remotely damaged after 5 years or so, to keep it in best running condition.


RE: MPG
By Screwballl on 9/3/2008 2:20:55 PM , Rating: 2
How about my 1991 Suburban with a 454 V8
Sure it gets 10 mpg city (grandma driving at that) but at 164K miles, the belts and hoses and such have only been replaced once around 120K miles. It still runs good, runs strong and can haul a semi trailer worth of Prius' through the Tennessee mountains without blinking an eye. Without a load, I can usually see around 11 mpg city (a 10% increase!! lol) and the few longer trips I have taken usually saw around 18mpg.

Of course I have had it for sale for 6 months now... maybe with the hunting season starting and gas prices dropping, I will be able to sell it. Going to get me a 90s Jeep Wrangler with a 4cyl (and 15-17 mpg).


RE: MPG
By Samus on 9/4/2008 5:20:04 AM , Rating: 1
low-rpm @ high speed doesn't equal high MPG. resistance is a constant. yea, gravity...it's a bitch. the drag co-efficient of your dad's 89 corvette is .29 which means for every 10mph you go over 55, you lose 12% fuel efficiency. so going 75mph, you're getting 24% less MPG than you would at 55mph, but will also arrive at your destination in 3/4 the time.


RE: MPG
By aeroengineer1 on 9/5/2008 12:37:00 AM , Rating: 2
I love these small remarks that throw in a few numbers to try and look like they know something. First off you have not defined your efficiency number. Are you talking aerodynamic, chemical, mechanical, or some sort of overall eff number, because from the given information you cannot derive fuel efficiency. If you have a formula it would be interesting to see the simplifications to come up with your numbers.

Also please remember that aerodynamic drag is not the only thing that plays into fuel eff at high speed. I have run tests with my car (a 97 Honda Civic). There is nothing special about my 4 door sedan. I tried driving an entire tank of gas at 55, then 65, finally at 75. Most of the driving was highway (about 80%). The numbers; there was less than 1 mpg difference between all speeds. These tests were repeated and the numbers were the same. On a long trip is where I start to see a difference, though on the same trip that I was making that took a half tank of gas, I found that 70 gave me the best mpg (about 42, and the other speeds that were tested were between 60-75 on cruise control giving 39 to 38 mpg at those speeds), and on a trip back from St. George, UT at an average highway speed of 82, I still got 37. I usually get 32-34 in mixed driving, with that number going up 5-10% in the summer time (I do not mind the PHX heat and drive without AC).

One might ask why this might be. A car can be optimized for different efficiencies, and the drag of a car can change with speed as any lift will cause pitching, which will change the angle of attack of the car, as well as add some induced drag (before someone tries to say that only airplanes experience induced drag, realize that induce drag is proportional to the coefficient of lift squared, and hence anything that produces any lift has induced drag).

Also the engine has an RPM that it breathes the best. If one were to have engine performance curves displaying power available and fuel consumption for a given HP rating at a predetermined RPM, they would see that there is an ideal RPM for a given speed which will reduce fuel consumption. At the low end you are dealing with valve timing and overlap which is set for higher RPM's and at high speed/low power (eg going 65 in 4th gear instead of 5th) you are dealing with higher frictional losses due to the higher RPM's.

Also, depending on which gravitation constant you are referring to G, or g, only G is the same, but little g varies with altitude, and is usually the one that people are trying to state is constant.


RE: MPG
By 91TTZ on 9/3/2008 9:35:13 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
who buys a corvette to drive it like a grandma on the freeways?


GM sells a car that can get decent gas mileage and still be powerful. If someone wants to floor it all the time they can, just don't expect it to get good gas mileage. In that case that's the user's fault, not GM's.

If someone drove their Prius like a Formula 1 car should they complain that it doesn't get 50 mpg?


RE: MPG
By Cobra Commander on 9/3/2008 9:48:29 AM , Rating: 5
And in fact if you drive a Prius on a track (Top Gear demonstrated this) it will get worse fuel economy than a BMW M3 that tails it the entire time.

Not a knock against the Prius, but demonstrative of your point: the driver dictates, the car merely provides potential.


RE: MPG
By afkrotch on 9/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: MPG
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 10:49:26 AM , Rating: 3
Are you that dense? His point was that a car gives you a certain potential. How you drives it determines what it actually will do. It doesn't matter how fuel efficient a car is, it will still get poor mileage if you floor it all the time. Maybe still better than an otherwise less fuel efficient car, but no where near what its rated at.


RE: MPG
By MozeeToby on 9/3/2008 10:55:27 AM , Rating: 2
The thing is, even if you want good mileage you can lay on the gas, at least according to Wikipedia... "generally acceleration is most efficient at 75% to 100% throttle openings".

The thing you can't do is slam on the brakes at every stop sign and corner. That's what kills your fuel milage, not flooring it up to 75 on the freeway.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_economy-maximizi...


RE: MPG
By mindless1 on 9/4/2008 4:51:54 AM , Rating: 2
That 75-100% figure is highly doubtful and if people drove like that all the onces with better than an anemic 4 cyl under the hood would appear to be drag racing, possibly even get a ticket for reckless driving (believe it or not I got one once for simply accelerating too fast, no loss of control or burning rubber either).


RE: MPG
By aeroengineer1 on 9/5/2008 12:40:42 AM , Rating: 2
Actually depending on how the engine is set up for fuel control, that number is quite correct as it will reduce flow losses in the throttle body/carb. If you have a larger flow control device than is needed, ie one that will give you much more HP than is needed for normal driving in the vehicle, then this will not be true.


RE: MPG
By mindless1 on 9/7/2008 8:00:32 AM , Rating: 2
... and as I wrote, most engines bigger than anemic 4 cylinders do have a trottle that provides more HOP than is needed for *normal* driving. In the US that is practically any 6 cylinder engine in a midsized or larger car, though sometimes it means the middle or upgraded engine instead of the base engine.


RE: MPG
By rippleyaliens on 9/3/2008 12:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
I own a Buick regal GS.. on the highway, it gets 27-28 w\ sun roof open, or AC on. While doing 60 70 it drops to 24. HIGHWAY. Stop and go traffic eats it up as well. My old Mustang GT. 24-25 highway. at 65-70.
A hybrid, which is very cool, and sweet and all, on the highway, sure you get 30-40.. mpg, COASTING up to 70. not hitting the switch to 70. If you live in a crowded metro area, tahn yah, get the hybrid. Me, i have to commute 37 miles each way. I94 in mich, from ann arbor to detroit.
Give me the Vette -... If i have to hit the gas, boom- go baby go. Traffic, well i can manage stop and go for 5-7 miles. But yah, a car (2009 zr1), with that kind of POWER and still gets over 20mpg, on the highway, you can count me in, (if i could afford it).

Prizzim, or prisus, whatever it is.. Sure, you sacrifice 1. Comfort (im 6:2, 210 lbs, 8% body fat) so yah i am kinda a big guy, YET there is no way i can fit in a baby hybrid.
2.. Sometimes i dont like having to wait 10 whole seconds to get to 70, with a tiny car shaking like i am in a hurricane, trying to rev its tiny little engine.
3. It snows up here, so OHHH NOOOO for a little bitty car...
4. Most important.. for $28,000 i can get a 2009 Honda Civic HYBRID.. wow.. OR for $28,000 i can get a slightly used 2006/2007 Cadillac CTS - V, in chich i rather have that versus a honda, OR i could get myself a 2 year old LEXUS RX3xx series, versus a honda that WOW, it saves me $400 a year on gas, but the ride is horrible, and the thought of replacing that battery is gonna give me a headache...

MPG doesnt = SMG (smiles per gallon)..

I rather have my Regal GS, with super charged action, nice ride, Leather, comfort, (first car i ever owned, that with the seats all the way back, my feet cant touch the pedals), i rathe rhave that, then a high MPG car, that will be really hard to pay off. Sure it is high re-sale. but then again, cars are not investments, they are reasons to get to /from work, to pay for investments

Most importantly, if a guy has a new vette on his way to work, 1.. if he can afford the car, i dont think gas MPG is his big stress point. 2- i rather have a heavy car with some balllzzz versus a tiny car, that i have to pray that a suv sees me, or i am squished... 3- MPG does not = SPG


RE: MPG
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 1:59:52 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't mind a 1986 Buick Regal GNX. ;)


RE: MPG
By JoshuaBuss on 9/4/2008 7:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
a lot of people seem to think the prius is a small, cramped car.

it's not. it's actually very roomy and quite large for a hatchback..

compared to a mazda 3 hatchback, vw golf, or honda civic the prius is quite large


RE: MPG
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 9/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: MPG
By Cobra Commander on 9/3/2008 9:51:31 AM , Rating: 2
But yet you make others' point here yourself: power in of itself CAN be an ally. I'm not defending anything beyond what I just said by saying that.


RE: MPG
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 10:58:33 AM , Rating: 3
In the city the Corvette gets the same mileage as many V6 sedans. The V6 Accord is rated at 19 mpg. A Corvette that's not driven hard can get that as well. I mean even my dad's 02 Trans Am gets 17 in the city. And yes I measure with pen and paper. Not just guess.


RE: MPG
By theapparition on 9/3/2008 12:49:08 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I love how everyone loves to point to the Corvette's highway fuel economy, yet forget about its rather dismal in-town performance.

And I love how you continually berate the Corvette, while it gets comparable or better rated city milage to ANY other competing model. Go ahead and name one "sports car" or performance car that get's better.

Let's see:
Porshe?
About the same as the 911 Carrera S with a full 50hp more.

Exotics?
Ferrari/Lambo/et al. Let's not even go there. No comparison with most getting in the single digits.

Rally and Autocross cars?
Smaller turbo engines must be better, right?
20/25 rated for the 2008 Evo X, with a full 140hp less!!!

How about a sport-luxury tourer?
BMW 335i 17/26 300hp
BMW M3 14/20 414hp

And for the American comparisons?
Ford?
GT 13/21 550hp
Mustang GT500KR 14/20 500hp (yet can barely keep up with C5's, much less C6's)

Dodge?
Challenger 13/18 425hp (get rid of 1000lbs and we'll talk)
2008 Viper 13/22 600hp (viper is awesome, but I couldn't take the ride)

Comparing it to a Prius is a pointless as pointing to SPECViewPerf results between a MSI Wind and Alienware Quad SLI tower. When talking about performance cars, there is no better combination of price, performance, and fuel economy as the vette. Period.

My '07 Z06 averages around low 20's, and that's mostly city type (suburbs) driving. Plus it's been supercharged! My wife's '08 C6 averages pretty much the same, yet has gotten 34+ on longer trips. My C5 gets in the low teens, but what do you expect when it's a 454 LSX block putting out a tad over 1000hp?

As it's been pointed out, that doesn't mean much, the epa rated numbers are more "repeatable" when comparing cars. Point being, there are pleny of V6 Nissan Maxima (19/26) that get comparable fuel economy, yet you continually rag on the vette? Why is that? Why not call out the Maxima (or similar car) too.

quote:
The ONLY reasons why the Corvette can rack up high 20's on the highway is because all of that torque and its gearing allow it to troll along at low RPMs.

Not completely accurate. It's low Cd, drag and weight help as well.

BTW,
The Corvette is going nowhere. It's one of GM's few signifigantly profitable divisions. Plus, it only contributes 3% to total car sales. Impact on CAFE is minimal. However, spinning off the vette as it's own brand has been discussed in the past and is entirely possible.


RE: MPG
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 2:56:21 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
My '07 Z06 averages around low 20's, and that's mostly city type (suburbs) driving. Plus it's been supercharged!


Can you adopt me so I can have your cars when I kill you? :)


RE: MPG
By theapparition on 9/4/2008 11:28:35 AM , Rating: 3
Sorry, my wife already has dibs on killing me.

She came close to closing the deal a few weeks ago when I went to talk about a ZR1. Been on the waiting list for a while, but took a pass.


RE: MPG
By Andrwken on 9/3/2008 1:20:13 PM , Rating: 2
More importantly, an exceptionally low Cd, which is much more beneficial on the highway than driving between stop lights.


RE: MPG
By JustTom on 9/3/2008 9:39:12 AM , Rating: 2
The 'Vette gets no where near 30 MPG for CAFE calculations.


RE: MPG
By Radnor on 9/3/2008 10:30:17 AM , Rating: 2
On highway with 6 gear gearbox, it might.

I drive (in Europe) an old Lancia HF Turbo. It is the Road version of a Rallye Serie B car. I can get 37mpg or better in freeway at constant speed. For its size and engine at 120Kms for example it will have a better MPG than other "greener" cars. Of course in a city environment, or in heavy traffic, the mpg lower considerably. As i do mostly freeway an drive in low rpms, it doesn't between 34-37 Mpg. Don't under estimate the economy of good power/weight ratio at a constant speed, and in acceleration for example. But in a powerful car, his MPG depends alot of the driver. I can make 37 or better, or i can make about 11mpg.

And when i am not in a green mood, i get smiles per gallon. About 35-37 secs to 0-240Kmhs. I want to see your Prius doing that. Oh, it is a 1988 car :)


RE: MPG
By therealnickdanger on 9/3/2008 11:00:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
smiles per gallon

Depending on how I drive, I can either get 25MPG or 15MPG... it's usually around 17MPG. ;-) Definitely a LOT of smiles!


RE: MPG
By Hare on 9/3/2008 11:20:13 AM , Rating: 2
You get good mileage because your car doesn't weight anything. Drive that thing to a tree and there's absolutely nothing left. Modern cars have a lot better chassis and can actually survive crashes. People often forget this when comparing old cars to newer ones.


RE: MPG
By Radnor on 9/3/2008 12:56:57 PM , Rating: 1
Actually a 4 door sedan Hyundai crashed into the rear of my car last year. Speed bumps he said, i just saw two girls with mini-skirts. So he got distracted. Anyway his big 4 door sedan need a new bumper headlight and grid. In my car i just had to adjust the bumper "hangers" and polish a bit the bumper in a rubber part.

Now, i doesn't ABS, nor ESP, traction control, nor a bunch of things that make driving easier (and safer, or at least feel safer). That i can agree with you. While new cars are made with plastics or fibers, mine is still made on good old materials.

But lets say when the Turbo kicks in, and im on wet tarmac, with pedal to the medal, i don't have car, it is more like wild horse.

Making a insurance is a bitch because that car is blacklisted by most (my country) insurance companies. Although im quite the safe driver.


RE: MPG
By theoflow on 9/3/2008 9:47:42 AM , Rating: 2
This is getting out of hand.

Corvettes do not get 30+ mpg, but more like 28 in the best conditions possible.

If the rating is 26 MPG highway, where do the extra 4-5 miles come from?

I've said it again though that 26 from a huge V8 is extremely impressive.


RE: MPG
By AlvinCool on 9/3/2008 9:57:20 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Corvettes do not get 30+ mpg, but more like 28 in the best conditions possible.


I'm sorry, did you own my car and drive it for 4 years like I did? Oh yeah, no you didn't. I stated my car got 22 average and 33 on the highway and it did. I say that because not only could I see the actual mileage on the computer, but I checked it on paper. That's just how it is. If you did the research you would see that they went all out on the 88 model to try to get the best possible gas mileage to keep from going from an L88 engine to an LT-1. The result was my car. Oh and it was totally hot looking with those factory 17 inch 40 series tires


RE: MPG
By theoflow on 9/3/2008 10:22:00 AM , Rating: 1
No I didn't own your car, but there tends to a bunch of exaggerations about people's personal experience with their own cars. There isn't anything wrong with loving one's car but there isn't a need to be a snob about it.

If you say you did, then you can believe what you want, but until it is published then your going to have a hard time convincing everyone to your point. If you have actual data and not internet sources I'll be happy to read it if you provide it.

Hell, people who own hybrids ALWAYS exaggerate their actual MPG saying they get 50+ when actually they get 40-45.

Oh yea, do you work at a major car manufacturer or do you just own the car?


RE: MPG
By AlvinCool on 9/3/2008 10:38:22 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Oh yea, do you work at a major car manufacturer or do you just own the car?


I just owned the car, and mine isn't an opinion but it may not be the norm. That isn't the issue, I simply stated a fact that I encountered and was thrilled with at the time. I think new corvettes are Chinese junk too, but I bet most don't share that opinion, oh yeah that's an OPINION rather than something measured since I have not had one of those.

You seem to be defending GM, the company that paid off Ross Perot when he swapped EDS for stock and a seat on the GM board. They, basically, told him that they didn't need his stupid ideas of re-designing plants to be more efficient and building better more efficient and longer lasting cars. If they had any imagination at all they would have seen what he was talking about. GM would be the king of cars instead of looking in trash cans for sales like a skinny cat looks for fish bones.

Oh, and you can google that one just fine


RE: MPG
By omnicronx on 9/3/2008 10:40:27 AM , Rating: 1
While I do agree that he is probably overstating what his actually MPG is, its not unheard of. My dads corvette is only rated 20MPG highway (when compared to ratings of 2008 cars), but when the windows are closed and the AC is off, he surely does get around 28-30 MPG highway going 70MPH. Open the window or turn on the AC and those numbers change drastically, but it is possible, I have seen it with my own eyes.


RE: MPG
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 10:55:25 AM , Rating: 2
What year is your dads Corvette?

Hell a guy I knew in college had a 77 Corvette with a 4 speed and 3.73 gears and he got more than 20MPG in the city with a modified engine. He got 17 MPG in the city with the secondaries on his carb set to only open under 3/4 or more throttle(mechanical secondaries).

Any LS1 or higher Corvette with a 6-speed is going to get 17-20 mpg in the city if you're not beating on it. And 27-30+ mpg on the highway.

Those old 4+3 manuals from the L88 C4s were awesome too. 3 overdrives. And above a certain speed it disabled the power steering since you didn't need it and it kept it more stable since you could make more minute steering corrections.


RE: MPG
By AlvinCool on 9/3/2008 11:01:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Those old 4+3 manuals from the L88 C4s were awesome too. 3 overdrives. And above a certain speed it disabled the power steering since you didn't need it and it kept it more stable since you could make more minute steering corrections.


Finally! Someone else who actually knows the later C4 corvettes. Thank you


RE: MPG
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 11:07:05 AM , Rating: 2
You're talking to a Chevy fanatic here(doesn't make me lie though). I usually tell the year of any Camaro or Corvette I see within a few years but can't remember my sisters birthday.

I'm better with Camaros than Vettes though since that's what I've owned.


RE: MPG
By omnicronx on 9/3/2008 12:07:01 PM , Rating: 2
1989 6-speed manual coupe supercharged to 345HP. Seems he gets great highway mileage, but terrible city because of the supercharged engine (which is expected).


RE: MPG
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 2:02:24 PM , Rating: 2
Ah ok. Makes a little more sense now. 345HP ain't much for a supercharged engine but I'll bet it puts out a sh*tload of torque though. Gotta love the low end grunt of TPI.


RE: MPG
By rudolphna on 9/3/2008 12:34:52 PM , Rating: 3
RE: MPG
By omnicronx on 9/3/2008 10:22:17 AM , Rating: 2
Your car is only 240HP.. the new corvette is 430HP.. not exactly apples to apples is it? The new numbers are what matters to the EPA, not numbers from 20 years ago. I have seen the 08 corvette in action, and it maybe gets 28MPG while cruising at 70MPH max..

I will agree that late 80's corvettes were great on gas though, all things considered.


RE: MPG
By DrKlahn on 9/3/2008 11:02:17 AM , Rating: 2
As I stated above I see 18-22 mixed driving and 30+ on the highway. My Corvette is a '99 with the 6spd manual. The car's computer reports average mileage and instantaneous mileage. I have verified it's calculations with my own math on fillups (the recorded mileage is usually 1 mpg or so high). This particular car has engine modifications I performed and it dyno'd at 430rwhp (~506 crank hp) at Finish Line Performance in Naperville Illinois. As it sits now it should be making a little more power due to recent modifications, but I have not had it to a dyno to verify.

These cars do not do horribly in town mileage wise. And two of my friends, one with another '99 6spd and an '03 Z06 (which were all 6spds) see similar mileage. The current Corvette is the only 400+hp car to not receive a gas guzzler tax and the current Z06 is the only 500+hp car to not receive one as well.


RE: MPG
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 3:00:01 PM , Rating: 2
What was funny with the GTO when it was out was that it was cheaper to buy the manual with all the options (all 2 of them) than it was to buy the base one with an automatic. You had to pay the gas guzzler tax with the automatic but not with the manual.


RE: MPG
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 11:02:09 AM , Rating: 3
Well I see it all the time from Corvette owners I talk to. My dads "huge" 5.7L V8 Trans Am gets 27 mpg on the highway. And a Corvette is even more aerodynamic.

And with some tuning he could get even better. I've met a guy with a supercharged Corvette who gets 35 mpg on the highway. Just runs a different tuning on the track and on the street.

Until you've owned or even driven one, shut your mouth.


RE: MPG
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 12:04:48 PM , Rating: 2
The EPA's estimates are just that....estimates. Your actual mileage may vary and it does. It depends on a multitude of factors and most have been explained in other threads of this type. I won't rehash it. I know people that have never gotten more than 23 mpg in my car and others that get high 30's.

Aerodynamic drag plays a HUGE part in fuel efficiency as well as driving style. YMMV.


RE: MPG
By Polynikes on 9/3/2008 11:36:24 AM , Rating: 1
Actually, the 'Vette only gets 26MPG (Non-Z06, 6 speed) on the highway, but that's still better than the Honda Pilot 2WD, which only gets 22MPG. They get the same, 16MPG, in city driving.

It's not exactly a Ferrari when it comes to fuel efficiency (11/16MPG), but it's American so it gets more scrutiny. It's OK for exotic, expensive sports cars to get crap gas mileage, but it's not OK for the affordable but equally fast American sports car.


RE: MPG
By foolsgambit11 on 9/3/2008 3:34:25 PM , Rating: 2
it doesn't matter what you get on the highway. It matters what the CAFE tests come up with for overall mileage. Although slightly different, EPA's results are 16/26 city/highway for the Corvette. Considering they have to average 35 MPG by 2020, it's going to get harder and harder to justify something that CAFE testing probably puts around 20 MPG. You'd have to sell as many cars that made 50 MPG as Corvettes to average out in the green. Or 3 times as many 40 MPG cars as Corvettes. 40 MPG would be, what, 35 city, 50 highway, or something like that, and 50 MPG would be 45/60 or so. Then the answer becomes, yes, 30 MPG highway is gas guzzling compared to 60 MPG (which probably isn't a reasonable target for 2020).

Or they could increase fuel economy of Corvettes - their highway mileage has gone up in the last couple of years. But in order to get the gains they'd need, it would adversely affect performance.

I think this is partly hype. What they'll probably do is limit production numbers - this will let them sell the cars at higher prices, and reduce their impact on GM's overall CAFE numbers. They may start tuning the car for better fuel economy, too - reduced weight, reduced power, better mileage.... the American muscle car morphed into the European performance sports car. With worse handling.


RE: MPG
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 4:01:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But in order to get the gains they'd need, it would adversely affect performance.
Nope, just needs a dose of Direct Injection and maybe some other tech tweaks and that would do it. Besides, average doesn't mean ALL. It means average. As it stands, they won't have to do anything with it. The production numbers are way too low to affect anything. But more than likely they will, and performance will be the same, if not better.


RE: MPG
By lagomorpha on 9/3/2008 11:08:02 PM , Rating: 2
A new Corvette's 16 city / 26 hwy (19 combined) isn't really going to help them increase their CAFE.

IMO CAFE standards should be based on number of passengers and not car vs SUV. Why should an Explorer be allowed to get less mileage than a sedan or wagon that has just as much passenger and cargo space? Don't get me started on 4 passenger SUVs like the X6. If your kids are so fat you need an SUV to take them to soccer practice then odds are you need to find them a different coach!


FAO Bob Lutz
By Amiga500 on 9/3/2008 9:18:29 AM , Rating: 3
STFU and do your job.

If you were doing your job:

(a) your companies would not be in the financial state they are in.
(b) your product lineup would not be in the dire state it is in.
(c) your company would have no fear of going toe-to-toe with other manufacturers across the world.

All they are doing is making excuses.

I'm sure almost everyone here is behind the idea of letting the free-market "sort them out", weed out the inefficient etc etc?




RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By theoflow on 9/3/2008 9:54:08 AM , Rating: 2
Did you not read the article?

Do you realize we do not in a free market?

Many of the top auto manufactures' #1 client is the USA because the taxes on imported goods is low and there is a demand for cars at those prices. If you were to go to Europe and Japan where there are huge protective taxes imposed on imported goods.

It is not a free market so it is not an equal playing field. Hell, look at the quote from above:

The reason California set the exemption for less than 50,000 units is that it would mean the Hollywood folks could keep driving their Lamborghinis and Ferraris."

quote:
He continues to criticize this loophole, pointing out, "Porsche could sell 11-mpg (21.4 L/100 km) Cayennes, but we couldn’t sell 20-mpg (11.8 L/100 km) Chevy Tahoes."


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By Amiga500 on 9/3/2008 10:43:14 AM , Rating: 2
If you were to go to Europe and Japan where there are huge protective taxes imposed on imported goods.

Import duty is 10% to the EU.

There is VAT on top of that - variable per country - but that also exists for indigenous goods.

Infact, it is cheaper to import from the US and pay duty than buy local:

http://www.import-car.info/times2.shtml

Importing into the US, I understand that this is 2.5% for cars, and 25% for trucks.

If GM are concerned about minority manufacturers getting an advantage, perhaps they can become a minority manufacturer themselves. Heck, perhaps they might irrespective of their wishes.


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By omnicronx on 9/3/2008 11:22:18 AM , Rating: 2
You know you just proved his point right...
I understand that this is 2.5% for cars (USA)
Import duty is 10% to the EU.


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By Amiga500 on 9/3/2008 12:22:44 PM , Rating: 2
Not really - you can import US cars into the UK cheaper than you can buy local cars.

Yet very few do - why? Lack of quality?

(Hence why I included the web-link.)


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By Polynikes on 9/3/2008 11:48:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The reason California set the exemption for less than 50,000 units is that it would mean the Hollywood folks could keep driving their Lamborghinis and Ferraris."
quote:
He continues to criticize this loophole, pointing out, "Porsche could sell 11-mpg (21.4 L/100 km) Cayennes, but we couldn’t sell 20-mpg (11.8 L/100 km) Chevy Tahoes."

California: State of hypocrites.


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By silversound on 9/3/2008 1:59:21 PM , Rating: 2
I think GM should fire Bob!

Safty is the top priority, the only pro I can see in domestic car is safety due to its heavy weight and sucks lotta gas.

Its not likely the failing banks are loaning significant amount of money to GM when economy is bad and even FDIC need to borrow cash to return the money to investors with the failed banks...

Who wanna get a Tahoe if you can afford a Porsche?
Cayenne is releasing a hybrid next year, if Bob you still doing the talk not doing the work, GM will bankrupt soon...


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By SuperFly03 on 9/3/2008 9:55:56 AM , Rating: 2
Very easy to criticize from the outside isn't it?

American cars (read not trucks and suvs) have basically sucked for the past 20 years, minimum. The companies put their money where money was to be made and had the greatest return on investment. Why should they put money into vehicles that don't command a nice ROI?

It takes approximately 2 years to design a car from beginning to end so companies are still flushing out some of the less efficient designs. In the next year or two (read 2010-2011 model years) we'll start to see what happens when the big three put their minds to it with regards to cars. Chrysler can't seem to get their head out of their ass but Ford is workin it hard and to an extent GM is. GM's problem was they were less aggressive up front with the turn around effort.

Should a company have a diversified portfolio? Well they technically did but their cars weren't up to snuff against Japanese competition. Japan also stayed the F out of the truck business. Toyota made a sickley Tacoma and there was a Mazda truck once but Toyota didn't bounce around in GM's backyard and GM stayed out of Toyota's. Then gas prices rose and everyone flipped the F out.

People started whining about MPG like it was the only thing that mattered and Toyota just happened to be poised well to take advantage.

If GM/Ford actually went under... the repercussions in the broader economy would be brutal. There are broader implications to laizze faire when you have companies as big as GM hangin around.


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By Amiga500 on 9/3/2008 10:20:39 AM , Rating: 2
Japan also stayed the F out of the truck business.

You dismiss the Mitsubishi L200 - ok I can forgive that oversight :-)

You dismiss the iconic Toyota Hilux?!?! No way dude - best pick-up in the world - bar none.


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By SuperFly03 on 9/3/2008 10:33:03 AM , Rating: 2
Ok ok ... I didn't get them all.

My bad. :p


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By rudolphna on 9/3/2008 12:37:37 PM , Rating: 2
F-150 Still kicks ass lol.


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By EnderJ on 9/3/2008 6:41:52 PM , Rating: 2
As long as you don't want to steer that is..


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By The0ne on 9/3/2008 1:07:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
American cars (read not trucks and suvs) have basically sucked for the past 20 years, minimum. The companies put their money where money was to be made and had the greatest return on investment. Why should they put money into vehicles that don't command a nice ROI?


The last sentence is the key point imo. At this point I really don't care if the companies go down. They did it themselves, for the most part. They pinched all the money they could from the consumer and now that things have change and they can't do that anymore they're crying and making excuses.

Their lack of quality sickens me, particularly because I'm in the same business (QA, MF, Eng, Test). Even after all these years of QA improvements they still haven't learned and/or implemented some of the principles effectively. Heck, one of the last company I worked for we converted it to pure Six Sigma in less than a year and a half. No paperwork for CO's, no waste of paper around offices, computer on all MFG stations, elimiated many 2nd+ suppliers, improve DFX during concept/design cycles, etc. Now I'm not saying GM aren't doing these, but it seems if they are they're not very effective...as products have shown.

This isn't just GM lacking in QA as well. I've been waiting to get myself a EVO X MR but the material quality of the vehicle is crap. I love the performance but I haven't yet brought myself to want to live with such poor quality.


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By DeepBlue1975 on 9/3/2008 11:06:26 AM , Rating: 2
100% agreed.

Nobody tells any car maker they can't research on new, higher resistance and lower density materials to reinforce the structure while driving weight down at the same time.

If, for example, they'd start slowly introducing materials such as carbon fiber on the mass market, it'd start going cheaper, giving them great resistance and lower weight than steel in many parts of the car.

And as for fuel consumption... The same story. Nobody told automakers to sit on their asses and continue to use the same old, über inefficient ICE technology we've been seeing since the 19th century.
They had to wait till now to start thinking about all electric cars and the likes.

I think car makers always had their life too easy:

1- no big effort to come with really new engine technologies. We'd be stuck on the ICE age 4ever.

2- the best innovations they came up with, actually were developed on other areas.
It's not that they're constantly researching in a thorough enough way to allow them to come up with something revolutionary.

So basically, they'd better start investing more in R&D and also start forgetting about making easy money.

Tesla is a sillicon valley born car maker, if more like them start appearing, traditional automakers will be seeing how their presence in the market vanishes gradually till they get totally wiped off.


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 11:12:15 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah because those massive health care costs from being around for nearly 100 years and the massive pay differential between domestic manufacturers and imports due to unions has nothing to do with their financial state.


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By Chudilo on 9/3/2008 12:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe if GM and other Domestic automakers haven't sold so many LARGE SUVs to try get around the CAFE Gas requirements early on, the safety standards could have been more lenient, because the roads would have been a much more leveled playing field. They created this mess they should be paying for it.

They also created the Union mess themselves as well.
If they made good cars, something a person could be proud of owning and making, this would not be an issue.
They've been fine tuning their planned obsolescence for years.
American car interiors have been terrible for the past 20 years. A car has to feel like a quality product. Everything you touch should feel solid and not like brittle plastic. Europeans have been laughing at our interiors for years. What is it about the perception of quality that makes it so difficult to understand. How much can GM possibly be saving on using cheap knobs and bad plastic panels for the interiors? Even if it's $100-200 It completely ruins a customer's experience. I think they got the point with Malibu, but knowing them I'll bet it'll all fall apart in 3-5 years , I surely will not be buying an american car again until they prove themselves overtime. this has been a sad situation for too long.


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By DrKlahn on 9/3/2008 12:21:06 PM , Rating: 2
They sold what the market wanted. No one forced consumers to buy the SUV's. Domestic car interiors have been fine for years. They've been steadily improving them. Both of my cars are domestic and the newest one is about 10 years old. Both cars have held up excellently.

They have proven themselves. You simply wish to look at the market in the 80's and early 90's and not what it is today.


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 12:23:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maybe if GM and other Domestic automakers haven't sold so many LARGE SUVs to try get around the CAFE Gas requirements early on
Because no one actually WANTED SUV's, we were just FORCED to buy them. :rollseyes:


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By rudolphna on 9/3/2008 12:42:58 PM , Rating: 1
I dont know what your talking about. My 6 year old Ford Expedition doesnt feel "brittle" at all. It feels great, Im not sure what it is, but its not flimsy plastic. The cloth seats are very comfortable, the steering wheel has held up fine, the CD player still going strong after constant 6 years of usage, (2003 model year) and even teh 4.6L engine has plenty of get up and go, plenty of passing power, what more could you ask for to seat a family of 5 and a big dog?

My fathers 99' Jeep Wrangler has a nice interior (granted he put big ol tires, and spray painted the interior black) But its still intact, and that little ol 4-banger has enough grunt to move those 33s. Though I can complain abou tht shitty Dana 35 rear axle. Yeach.


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By rudolphna on 9/3/2008 1:16:33 PM , Rating: 2
doncha love how you get voted down for posting your own experience with a great car?


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By Amiga500 on 9/3/2008 1:32:13 PM , Rating: 2
You ever sat in an Audi?


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 1:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, great interiors for sure. Have you sat in a new CTS-V? Domestic car interiors are getting better by the date. Check out the new Malibu or the new Cruze (if you're in a market to see those).


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By rudolphna on 9/3/2008 4:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, as a matter of fact I have sat in an Audi. But I dont need one. I need a big car, that can haul 5 people, a german shephard, and luggage for 3 week trips, and also be able to tow a big boat, tow a jeep (~5000lbs btw thos things are HEAVY) or a camper. Name an Audi that can do any of those things. Exactly. I do like the Audi A4, but Its not economical for my purpose. I like my Ford. My mother is going to be dissapointed though. She was looking forward to buying the new Camaro with its 600hp V8. She'll just have to deal with whatever the smaller one is though. Besides, I have family that works for Ford, so we get the Xplan. To put it in perspective, our truck originally cost $40,000 USD. With teh xplan, we got it for $32,000. Not bad, wouldnt you say?


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 4:53:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not bad, wouldnt you say?
Good deal. The savings can help pay for gas and maintenance. You have to forgive some of the DTers. Some can't see past their own noses yet demand that others do so.


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By rudolphna on 9/3/2008 10:10:53 PM , Rating: 2
I know what you mean. :) Gas IS killer, costing near $80 per fillup, but I knew that going in. Maintnence isnt too bad. I do my own oil changes, and rotate my tires every 3000 miles. Ive had to replace a few ignition coils, but if you do it yourself, which is fairly easy engine work, the part only costs $50, whereas the dealer charges $200 for parts and labor. So its not so bad. Its served me well during its 47,000 miles. (lived in hawaii for a couple years so not so many miles on it there) I know other people say that domestic cars are unreliable and POSs, but I have never had a problem with any Ford or GM car i have ever owned.


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By Chudilo on 9/4/2008 10:30:34 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah I just got rid of my '98 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Coupe (supercharged from factory) thi year. Over the life of it (100k) , I had to replace the transmission 2 years ago (and it is dead again) blue book value for that car is 2k but because of the dead tranny I got $600 for it. And by dead tranny I mean DEAD , not just sticking gears. In addition I had to replace the shocks and springs 2ce(because replacement dealer shocks died in less then a year), rotors and bearings, the alternator 2ce, the water pump , the fuel pump, ough and 3 years after purchase both headlight lenses got unglued and fell off (I caught the second one and glued it back on) ... the list goes on and on. The stock radio sounded better then many Bose units but the way it feels is a whole different story.
All the knobs were total crap, (the new GP has a radio that looks and feels the same, it does have XM added on though) ).
Right before I sold it ,everything rattled and squeaked like crazy.
Ough and just for the record I sat in the new Malibu, the inside does feel better (I did mention it in the original post) but that does not mean that it will hold up overtime.
So thanks but no thanks until proven wrong.
And how many SUV drivers actually lug a Boat and a camper around? Can't be much more then like 20% , I doubt that it's even that much.


RE: FAO Bob Lutz
By Staples on 9/4/2008 12:21:08 PM , Rating: 2
I agree.

To me a large part of this article is an excuse for, we can't compete, give us a huge loan please. And we would love to make more gas guzzlers (that no one wants and will probably kill the company) but we can't because of the new standards.

This guy sure is obsessed with mediocrity.


safety vs. fuel economy
By nace186 on 9/3/2008 9:04:05 AM , Rating: 2
safety vs. fuel economy...Hmm, which would I rather have?

Doesn't seem like a tough choice for me.




RE: safety vs. fuel economy
By mdogs444 on 9/3/2008 9:05:48 AM , Rating: 2
Sign me up for a new Tahoe. Those are bada$$.


By therealnickdanger on 9/3/2008 9:32:34 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Hmm, which would I rather have?

Doesn't matter what YOU want, leave everything to the government!


RE: safety vs. fuel economy
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/3/2008 9:46:24 AM , Rating: 2
What I don't get is why we have to choose? Cars like the Honda Insight -- $19,000, 60 MPG, based on Honda's relatively good safety record don't skimp on much and are looking awfully sweet.

Sorry GM. The Volt is appealing, but @ 40K its a tough sell.


RE: safety vs. fuel economy
By Cobra Commander on 9/3/2008 9:52:12 AM , Rating: 1
You're complaining about having a choice?!?!


RE: safety vs. fuel economy
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/3/2008 9:57:23 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not complaining about the concept of "having a choice", I'm saying that offering people the specific choice of deciding between safety and fuel economy is a pretty poor one to offer consumer.

Companies should be able to offer both. Those that don't are going to struggle.


RE: safety vs. fuel economy
By omnicronx on 9/3/2008 10:11:24 AM , Rating: 3
I agree with you totally Jason, but many people forget the differences between Europe and the United States which is probably one of the main reasons that safety laws have to be higher in the states. SUV's and bigger cars make the roads unsafe! When everyone mainly drives cars that are no bigger than a civic, safety ratings do not need to be as high, because you are much less likely to hit a vehicle that is twice the size of yours.

Personally I think that SUVS are useless and a waste of space, especially since smaller hatchbacks that are half the size have comparable storage space. Having a Van is one thing if you have a large family, but I do not know one SUV owner that actually 'needs' to have it. Anyone I have ever met that actually needs a vehicle of that size has bought a truck, because SUVS are just not conventional, hell most can't be taken offroad..

Luckily i think the big vehicle trend is going to chance with rising gas prices, (which is one of the reasons aside from city density that Europe has had smaller cars for a while now). But I don't think that until this happens, that US safety regulations can be safely lowered.


RE: safety vs. fuel economy
By theoflow on 9/3/2008 10:34:22 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed (mostly)

There are people in rural America that do need Tahoe's and Suburban's. If I have 2-3 children and owned a boat and/or various other trailer luxuries, a SUV is a better alternative to a large van in those cases.

But I agree that the safety standards can be very harsh. A big example is the 88 Civic hatch that got 40+ mpg, mostly because it was super light. A lot of the weight penalties we have now are also for ride quality. I can think of no better way to judge the difference than to test drive a Honda FIT and then a Civic right after each other.


RE: safety vs. fuel economy
By omnicronx on 9/3/2008 10:51:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If I have 2-3 children and owned a boat and/or various other trailer luxuries, a SUV is a better alternative to a large van in those cases.
Sure if you tow your boat on a regular basis, then an SUV may be warranted, but having kids is no excuse when the average SUV only holds 5, maybe 6 people. Also tugging around your boat 10 times a year does not warrant an SUV either, amazingly midsized cars do have the power and weight to pull your boat around. Sure, you can't pass a car going 80MPH, but that's a luxury, not a need. People have become way too comfortable sitting 6 feet in the air.

People who live in rural areas do have a need for such vehicles, but its not these people that are problem, its the soccer moms driving their SUV's to the mall, and people driving them to work (alone of course). Most of the midsized to small SUV's that are sold do not have more internal space than hatchbacks or stationwagons, sure its not as 'cool', but its big waste of money, space, and keeps safety ratings high.


RE: safety vs. fuel economy
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 12:34:40 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
amazingly midsized cars do have the power and weight to pull your boat around.
LOL!!! They may have the power but it would be illegal to do so, not to mention they are NOT designed to do it. Toyota doesn't just slap a hitch receiver on their trucks and call it a day. The stresses of pulling and slowing down that weight are engineered into the chassis. I guess you've never towed anything in your life otherwise you would know this.


RE: safety vs. fuel economy
By rudolphna on 9/3/2008 12:46:23 PM , Rating: 2
*raises hand* My expedition gets same gas mileage as modern Vans do (not great, 17mpg highway on a good day) I have a family of 5, and a german shepard. I also tow a Jeep, Campers, and a large boat around occasionally when we borrow it from the neighbors. A little rinky-dink van cant do that.


RE: safety vs. fuel economy
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 2:41:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Companies should be able to offer both.
They can, they just don't want to have to charge us more for it. But they will, if they must. I can afford the price increases but not everyone.


GM owns what???
By Marlin1975 on 9/3/2008 8:53:20 AM , Rating: 3
"GM is considering ditching its Viper high-performance model."

O-Really




RE: GM owns what???
By The Boston Dangler on 9/3/2008 9:14:40 AM , Rating: 5
not only that, but:

"Plans to discontinue the Saturn Outlook are proceeding, with it being replaced by the Chevrolet Traverse.

and, two sentences later:

"He rejected wide speculation that GM would drop the Saturn Outlook cross/utility vehicle in 2009.

if you can't be bothered to read what you wrote, why should i?


RE: GM owns what???
By omnicronx on 9/3/2008 9:35:50 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Plans to discontinue the Saturn Outlook are proceeding, with it being replaced by the Chevrolet Traverse. The Lambda crossover has not been axed, according to Mr. Lutz.
I would agree that this was obviously not researched, and paraphrased from another article. The saturn outlook is a Lambda crossover.. as it is the platform, not the car itself. Both the Outlook at the Traverse use the lambda platform, which is why his original statement was
quote:
Lutz says simply, “No Lambda-based crossover will be dropped.”


RE: GM owns what???
By Camikazi on 9/3/2008 9:19:39 AM , Rating: 3
Did I miss the news that Daimler Chrysler and GM merged?


RE: GM owns what???
By HOOfan 1 on 9/3/2008 10:58:21 AM , Rating: 2
You must have missed the news that Daimler doesn't own Chrysler anymore, although when Daimler went to sell Chrysler, GM was one of the companies that was mentioned.


Lighter cars are deadlier cars
By BitByRabidAlgae on 9/3/2008 1:03:56 PM , Rating: 1
But, heavier, safer cars get worse mileage. That's what it all comes down to. Lutz is saying that GM already sells cars that would meet the CAFE requirements, but only in Europe. They aren't allowed to sell them here because they don't meet US crash test requirements. Lutz wants a relaxation of the safety requirements so they can sell these cars here and meet their CAFE obligations. As I believe someone already pointed out, European crash test requirements aren't as strict due to the predominant type of vehicle on the roads there. Two Renaults hitting each other, even at high speed, isn't as bad as Renault being hit by a Chevy Suburban at high speed. Are these European cars death traps? No. They are just "less safe" than the US gov't likes. The real question is how much "less safe" are they, and are we willing to accept the additional risk that this lower safety level would bring? So, why are the European requirements lower? I've already mentioned the different balance of vehicle types on the roads, but there's more.

Americans spend a lot more time on the road than most Europeans. We drive farther and more often. So, by simple statistics, we have a much greater likelihood of being in a car accident. As a result, cars for the American market tend to have more safety gear. This stuff is all dead weight, until you hit something (then it's worth its weight in gold). More safety gear in cars makes people worse drivers, which leads to more safety gear. Between seat belts, anti-lock brakes, crumple zones, being surrounded by airbags, and/or driving a big vehicle built like a tank, a lot of people get complacent and are willing to take more risks on the road. If we were all driving 70's era Ford Pintos (the ones that had a habit of exploding when hit hard enough) people would probably pay a bit more attention to how they drive.

This may not be the case in all European countries, but for many, getting a drivers license requires a bit more than it does in the US. I believe the average cost to get one in Germany is $2500-$3000. This entails attending an actual driving school, not just a few weeks of driver's ed in high school. In other words, European drivers tend to get more formal training in the art of driving. The additional cost and training requirements help keep some of the idiots off the road. Whereas in the US, any moron that can spell his name (or come close) and pass a multiple choice test can get a license.

So, again, it boils down to the question of are we willing to accept the greater risk (and body count) that putting these cars on American roads would bring? I don't think we're talking thousands here, maybe a few hundred more fatalaties a year. I don't think the safety regs should be lowered across the board. I have to deal with too many idiots on the road each day to give up my airbags, ABS, etc. just for a few more MPG. But, some people might think it's worth it. I do think special waivers should be granted to import these vehicles. So long as the buyer is made well aware of the fact that they don't pass US crash test standards, and they can't turn around and sue the maker if they wrap it around a tree and get hurt. Leave it to the buyer to make the final decision on whether it's worth the risk. This way the makers get to meet their CAFE requirements, and buyers get a 60MPG car (even if it is a "less safe" one) if they want it.




RE: Lighter cars are deadlier cars
By Schrag4 on 9/3/2008 2:00:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
More safety gear in cars makes people worse drivers, which leads to more safety gear. Between seat belts, anti-lock brakes, crumple zones, being surrounded by airbags, and/or driving a big vehicle built like a tank, a lot of people get complacent and are willing to take more risks on the road.


I disagree with this statement. Nobody on the road is thinking "Hey, I have all this safety gear so I'm going to drive like a maniac." Nobody ever wants to get in an auto accident, no matter how safe their vehicle is.

quote:
I believe the average cost to get one in Germany is $2500-$3000. This entails attending an actual driving school, not just a few weeks of driver's ed in high school.


Although I agree that there are plenty of high-schoolers (and even adults) on US roads that have no business behind the wheel, I think spending as much as $3000 to obtain a license is pretty outrageous.

quote:
I don't think the safety regs should be lowered across the board. I have to deal with too many idiots on the road each day to give up my airbags, ABS, etc. just for a few more MPG. But, some people might think it's worth it.


Unfortunately, some people, because of their financial position, will be forced to go with the less-safe, cheaper car, regardless of how well they drive, if given the choice. Now that they don't have ABS (and they still drive like a maniac), you're gonna get rear-ended.

Overall, I tend to side with the crowd that says we should always have a choice rather than the government telling us what we can and can't do, what we can and can't buy. For that reason alone I'm not sure where I stand on this particular issue. I really want to say that cars should meet the standards we have now (and tomorrow the standards should be more stringent than they are today, etc etc). As you put it, the safety equipment becomes worth its weight in gold once it's used, but I'd argue that a couple of hundred pounds of gold is worth nothing compared to my family's safety. I'd put the return on investment for safety equipment somewhere around eleventy-kajillion percent. Seems like a no-brainer investment to me.


RE: Lighter cars are deadlier cars
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 3:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
I would rather spend the safety money on better driver instruction. Driver awareness and preparation is better than any airbag. Avoiding the accident is the best form of prevention. Teaching drivers car control and situational awareness would rid us of most of these mandatory safety features. Then they can becomes choices (like they should be).


By CascadingDarkness on 9/5/2008 5:06:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I would rather spend the safety money on better driver instruction.

If only life was more like a logical dream instead of a cluster f*ck with insane idiots.


RE: Lighter cars are deadlier cars
By BitByRabidAlgae on 9/3/2008 3:02:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

quote:
More safety gear in cars makes people worse drivers, which leads to more safety gear. Between seat belts, anti-lock brakes, crumple zones, being surrounded by airbags, and/or driving a big vehicle built like a tank, a lot of people get complacent and are willing to take more risks on the road.

I disagree with this statement. Nobody on the road is thinking "Hey, I have all this safety gear so I'm going to drive like a maniac." Nobody ever wants to get in an auto accident, no matter how safe their vehicle is.


It's called the Offset Hypothesis. It predicts that consumers adapt to innovations meant to improve safety by becoming less vigilant about safety.

The above statement was paraphrased from this article:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/06092...
quote:

Unfortunately, some people, because of their financial position, will be forced to go with the less-safe, cheaper car, regardless of how well they drive, if given the choice. Now that they don't have ABS (and they still drive like a maniac), you're gonna get rear-ended.


Who says they'd be cheaper? Since they'd be imported, there could be customs duties to be paid. And the higher MPG rating could be used to justify a higher price tag. Putting them on par, price wise, with the "safer" alternative. People then have the choice, 60MPG + greater risk, or 35MPG + lower risk. There's also insurance rates that would effect uptake.

The car makers are looking for a way to meet their CAFE obligations while investing as little as possible in R&D. It's a sound business plan, if not the most ethical.


RE: Lighter cars are deadlier cars
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 4:05:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's a sound business plan, if not the most ethical.
It's still ethical because the cars are still safe. They do meet safety standards in Europe and you don't see them dying by the millions. I know, I know...SUV's and trucks. I get it. But how many more deaths will occur because of this change especially when it seems (too early to tell) that people are not buying more SUV's or trucks like they used to?


By Schrag4 on 9/3/2008 5:08:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Who says they'd be cheaper?


Oh, so I can get less safety equipment AND pay just as much or more! Great!

In all seriousness, though, I understand that people are willing to pay more for more fuel efficient vehicles, like hybrids. However, if you had 2 vehicles that are basically the same, except one has ABS brakes, air-bags, and all the other things you deem as unnecessary, I would expect it would be more expensive than the one without. Think of the safety equipment as add-ons that make the car more expense to buy (and to operate since it would get worse mileage).

Let me again state that in general I'm all for people having a choice. If you want to drive a car that would be considered less safe (in the event of a collission) then by all means, go ahead. However, somehow I think relaxing safety standards in the name of better fuel economy is just the first step in stripping me of the choice to drive the safer vehicle.


By Hoser McMoose on 9/4/2008 7:41:27 PM , Rating: 3
Heavier cars are NOT safer by default.

While it might be true that there is a general trend in larger vehicles being slightly safer, it is absolutely NOT universally true, and in fact the two safest types of vehicles year after year have proven to be luxury sedans and minivans. Large SUVs and pickup trucks have consistently tended to be LESS safe than these smaller vehicles.

Check some time for vehicle fatality numbers, they show some rather interesting things. For several years the Chevy Blazer held the unfortunate honour of being considered the "Least safe vehicle on the road". Drivers of this vehicle were somewhere between 3 and 4 times as likely to be killed in a collision as drivers in a Toyota Yaris or Mini Cooper. The VW Jetta, meanwhile, ranks well above average in keeping it's occupants alive.

The basic idea that bigger = safer for cars is false for two main reasons:

1. You're assuming a basic 'billiard ball' theory where the vehicles are a perfect match other than size and weight. If this were true than ALL 3,500lbs (for example) vehicles would perform exactly the same in vehicle fatality comparisons, yet in reality you can have a full order of magnitude difference between two vehicles of the same mass.

2. You're assuming that drivers have an equal chance of being in a collision in the first place regardless of what vehicle they are driving. This again is totally false in that a driver is MUCH less likely to be in a collision in a vehicle that can handle rapid direction changes well and has good brakes. This has tended to work against SUVs and pick-up trucks in particular because those vehicles are designed wrong from a handling perspective (high centre of gravity, soft suspension to deal with uneven terrain). Heavier vehicles, of course, require bigger brakes to achieve the same stopping power. And finally being in a bigger vehicle quite simply makes for a 'bigger target'.

The end result is that there are many large vehicles where you might be safer IF you get into a collision, but your chance of getting into such a collision is much higher so overall you're LESS safe driving that vehicle as compared to a mid-sized sedan.

.... and that brings up my biggest complaint about safety, all we seem to care about is how a vehicle survives in a crash. Think about it for a second, would you judge aircraft safety by which plane was going to do the best to keep it's passengers alive in the event of a crash or by which plane is least likely to fall out of the air in the first place?

By the time you're IN a collision the vast bulk of 'safety' has long since been thrown out the window REGARDLESS of what vehicle you're driving. It's always going to be safer to avoid a collision in the first place!


What?
By JS on 9/3/2008 9:34:29 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not into the details, but I have a hard time imagining that European crash tests are that much cheaper/laxer than the American ones that it would severely impact American car makers. Obviously the Japanese are up to the task, since they also assemble cars in American factories, no?

Perhaps it is time for GM to simply make better cars that people want to buy. That would be an excellent way to improve their earnings.




RE: What?
By 91TTZ on 9/3/2008 10:06:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm not into the details, but I have a hard time imagining that European crash tests are that much cheaper/laxer than the American ones that it would severely impact American car makers.


They're quite different. If you notice, even the American companies sell small, fuel efficient cars over in Europe. They can't sell them here because they wouldn't meet US safety regulations.


RE: What?
By JS on 9/3/2008 10:32:12 AM , Rating: 2
But aren't there small and fuel-efficient Japanese cars manufactured in and for sale in the US? Or are all of those those imported?


RE: What?
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 12:49:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But aren't there small and fuel-efficient Japanese cars manufactured in and for sale in the US? Or are all of those those imported?
Yes and they meet US safety regulations if they're sold here in the US.


RE: What?
By StevoLincolnite on 9/3/2008 10:20:48 AM , Rating: 1
I don't think it matters if it's cheaper, if they can drop all the separate tests and just have a single base-line instead of doing a new crash tests for every country, I can see how they would save allot of money, Think about it, Dozens and Dozens of countries, I would imagine the tests would probably scale into the Millions to perform for each vehicle, I know that GM's Holden VE Commodore ended up costing GM over a Billion Dollars alone just for Australia.


RE: What?
By RU482 on 9/3/2008 10:34:25 AM , Rating: 2
I think what they are saying is, they have already performed the crash tests on the small cars for the European market. If the US would accept the passing grade on those tests as good enough, they could start importing those small cars to the US today, at very little additional cost, instead of retooling the saftey features to pass US tests.


RE: What?
By RU482 on 9/3/2008 10:36:26 AM , Rating: 1
Is a car that passes the European safety tests more safe than one that passes the US safety tests?

If yes, then please, let them do what they are requesting. If no, then don't


RE: What?
By Zanna on 9/3/2008 10:50:25 AM , Rating: 2
MPG > L/100km
By englisboa on 9/3/2008 8:58:59 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
minimum of 35 mpg (6.7 L/100 km).


Thanks for the MPG to L/100KM conversion, for us europeans it always seams that we're on the wrong side of the gun with mileage numbers :)




RE: MPG > L/100km
By Cobra Commander on 9/3/2008 9:52:57 AM , Rating: 2
I'm consistently amazed Top Gear quotes "miles" and "Miles per Hour" and "Miles per Gallon"... I keep thinking "Aren't the Brits running this show???"


RE: MPG > L/100km
By omnicronx on 9/3/2008 10:14:06 AM , Rating: 2
Obviously us metric users love dividing everything by 3.785, as base 10 is just too complicated for the masses =/


RE: MPG > L/100km
By piroroadkill on 9/3/2008 10:16:08 AM , Rating: 2
The UK still uses miles for distance measurements on signs, and all UK bound cars have Miles Per Hour on their speedo gauges.

Pretty much everyone in the UK thinks in miles - it's only the mainland Europeans that use Kilometres solely.

For the record though, our gallons are bigger than US gallons.


Another horrible article on Dailytech.
By 91TTZ on 9/3/2008 9:27:39 AM , Rating: 2
Do kids write these articles?

He didn't say to stop crash testing, he wanted the safety restrictions relaxed. In other words it's hard to make a fuel efficient vehicle if it has to be so heavy to meet safety restrictions. If you wanted to make it light you'd have to make it really small in order to be solid. It would be tough to make a full size car that's light enough to be fuel efficient and still meet crash test requirements.

quote:
As a result of the upcoming restrictions and state mandates in California and 15 other states on carbon emissions, GM is considering ditching its Viper high-performance model.


Yeah, let me know how that works out. Maybe Ford can discontinue the Corvette or BMW can cancel the Mustang.




RE: Another horrible article on Dailytech.
By rudolphna on 9/3/2008 12:48:39 PM , Rating: 3
You must have missed the line to halt crash testing in there. Pay attention before you make ignorant comments, idiot.


By Spuke on 9/3/2008 1:53:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
GM's Lutz: Stop Crash Testing to Speed Fuel Economy Improvement
You must have missed the TITLE of the article. Idiot.


Crash test restrictions are there for a reason
By xii on 9/3/2008 11:42:09 AM , Rating: 2
Am I the only one reacting to this? If the US has higher restrictions on crash tests, it's probably for a good reason. For one, people just drive a lot more in the US than in Europe. And more generally, do we really want to give up higher restrictions on safety? Is that really a reasonable cost reduction? Even if it is to get higher MPG




By snownpaint on 9/3/2008 12:55:27 PM , Rating: 2
Volvo is known for their safety.. They must follow the same tests as GM.. To me this sounds like another example of US inadequacy in manufacturing.. Something we developed, but held on too tight to the old ways of doing things.. Making more and more Executive positions as time went on during the good old days.. Now that competition is at the door, and pay roll is fat, they are look at ways to get a loan from US tax payer for their failure to act and plan well.

Cut the Fat, Build the future, Advertise thru design.

Other companies have no problem building low MPG cars, with great safety ratings, that sell.

The 9 most expensive words in business are "That is the way we have always done it"


RE: Crash test restrictions are there for a reason
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 1:56:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Other companies have no problem building low MPG cars, with great safety ratings, that sell.
Neither does GM or other US car makers. You know these same companies sell cars in Europe, right? Lutz is asking that Euro crash standards be accepted in the US to make it cheaper for them to bring Euro cars over here. Get it now?

And, WTF does Volvo (a GM car BTW...LOL!) have to do with anything?


By AssBall on 9/4/2008 11:56:57 AM , Rating: 1
Volvo is Ford owned...

If your going to type things like BTW WTF LOL please get your shit straight first.

P.S. KKTHXBYE


so..
By superunknown98 on 9/3/2008 10:52:10 AM , Rating: 2
Saftey isn't job #1 anymore?

I also think the big three are really just being lazy. The Japanese have no problem with this. The Toyota highlander is available with a 4-cylinder, while no american midsized suv has a 4-cylinder. Granted it might not be the fastest car, but unless your towing does it really need a huge engine? How about engineers design cars to be light weight, with lighter materials, and smarter engineering. Don't let the bean counters run the company, let the engineers do their job.




RE: so..
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 2:05:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Saftey isn't job #1 anymore?
No one meets the new CAFE requirements. Honda is the closest but they'll have to make changes too.

BTW, that's a Ford quote, LOL! How about smarter readers?


RE: so..
By SuperFly03 on 9/3/2008 2:23:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry we "bean" counters run the company.

Somebody has to watch the money because engineers sure can't.


Corvette MPG
By KingofL337 on 9/3/2008 11:05:58 AM , Rating: 1
The Corvette would do better if they upgraded the frame to carbon fiber and added direct injection. They could totally get the MPG up.

A company in Colorado has found a way to stamp carbon fiber like you would with a metal press. They print out a sheet of carbon fiber using strands of carbon fiber and plastic chips like in injection molding. Then stamp it, they built a whole car like that and it was like 50% lighter. I can't find the site maybe someone else does.




RE: Corvette MPG
By KingofL337 on 9/3/2008 11:09:13 AM , Rating: 1
Here is the link, just found it.

http://www.rmi.org/


RE: Corvette MPG
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 2:16:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah and that would also raise the price of the base Corvette above $100,000.

I have not heard of this company you speak of. If it ever became massively possible to stamp carbon fiber out like steel or aluminum, they would start producing all cars out of it. Not just the Corvette.


RE: Corvette MPG
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 2:58:05 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is making complex shapes with CF. You know, stuff like fenders. It just doesn't like to do that. To get it do so costs lots of money. Ask any Formula One team.

Also, CF doesn't deform like steel, it shatters like glass once it reaches its "breaking point". And the shards are sharp enough to puncture tires, etc, just like glass. Maybe they could put some sort of laminate over it but that would add weight and more expense.

I won't count it out but if they do use it, it WILL be expensive.


I just bought a Toyota Echo
By Mithan on 9/4/2008 2:18:13 AM , Rating: 2
I sold my 2002 Ford Escape and bought a Toyota Echo (with $5k left over to boot).

It gets 40MPG in the city as oppsed to 18MPG that my Escape was getting.

Screw the oil companies.




RE: I just bought a Toyota Echo
By AssBall on 9/4/2008 12:05:10 PM , Rating: 1
What the fuck does that have to do with the article? Good for you!


No
By bobcpg on 9/3/2008 9:25:38 AM , Rating: 2
Why would I want to drop safety for a few extra MPGs. You know they will take any safety relaxing of requirements as far as they can take them.

This is bad PR, I can not believe he is saying this.




By Schrag4 on 9/3/2008 11:58:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Weighted by the burden of a troublesome economy, and facing increasingly strict legislation on fuel economy, the future of the trio seems uncertain


I thought they were also hurting because of the benefits that they've negotiated with the unions whose workers they employ. If I remember correctly, they were even paying their workers huge chunks of cash to 'retire' early so that they wouldn't have to pay even larger benefits down the road. I'm no expert on this subject. Am I way off?




7th gear.. Please
By snownpaint on 9/3/2008 12:29:31 PM , Rating: 2
The Driver determines the MPG.. Heavy foot=low MPG..
Doesn't matter if you drive a Vett or a hybrid..
Unless you have good sized electric Engine to get you going, 100% torque off the bottom, heavy foot driving is Bad for MPG.

Why not look into Diesel Turbine generators hooked to Electric engines with a transmission.

Why not, put a 6th or 7th gear on all cars.. Once we are cruzing at 65 mph, why not drop the RPMs below 2000. You have the get up and go, and insane MPG on highway..




By vladio on 9/3/2008 2:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
crash test restrictions to help U.S... citizents
to go to Hell cheeply!
Wow!!

To: GM
"If you did fire this guy right now, YOU are a looser!"




worse than expected
By Basekid on 9/3/2008 7:41:35 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, American cars suck even more with their milage than I thought.




By kilkennycat on 9/3/2008 10:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
I suggest that 50% of a windfall tax on Big Oil be directed to the US car industry and the remainder directed to taxpayers. It would be nice to see Big Oil and the US car industry share the same revenue bed. After all, the gas-guzzlers produced by the Big 3 have contributed to the massive profits of the US oil industry, so why not return some of that money to rebuild the US car industry and the rest to help the citizenry pay for their price-inflated basics. Certainly no bail-out for the US auto-industry from the poor down-trodden tax-payer.




By mac2j on 9/4/2008 1:41:00 AM , Rating: 2
Ok I look at all this and I see 2 things:

1) American car makers are in trouble - they coasted too long, have huge labor costs, lack younger - more ambitious designers and execs. You CANT drop US safety standards to meet CAFE recs - put all logical arguments aside and just imagine the public outcry and sensational headlines (and lawsuits). You also CANT complain about the costs of CAFE when Honda and Toyota are on track to meet it with arguably more attractive, more affordable, more reliable products.

2) CAFE, though, could have been much better designed to protect more of the American auto industry. For example, allowing each maker to exempt say 2 models with a 100,000 unit sales cap per year or something like that would have protected the niche markets of large SUVs and muscle cars which are VERY important to US Auto's profitability and image without really significantly compromsing any environmental standards.




Its your own fault
By almskidd on 9/5/2008 8:16:19 AM , Rating: 2
GM you have been selling heavy and old technology cars for so long that you have to play catch up to the rest of the world now. Boo Hoo, My investors are not making any money. Stop whining, you did this to yourselves. You, Ford and Dodge created the SUV/Gigantic car craze by brain washing Americans to think they actually want those things. Mean while for 20 years you people refused to put real research and development into your cars so that you could reduce emissions, increase fuel milage and increase power, because that kind of research is far more expensive than just "tweakin' what you got". Honda, Toyota and Nissan have kicked you butt in advancement of motor technology and in the mean time brought more and more factory jobs to the US. INFACT Honda, Toyota and Nissan cars have more than 50% of the cars sold in the US made right here in the US. Not Mexico or Canada like you people. Everyone keeps complaining about our jobs being sent over seas but continue to turn a blind eye to the Asian three bringing jobs over here while the Detroit three move them out. By the time you finish reading this Detroit will have shut down one more US plant only to build another one in Mexico.




By 44 mpg by 2010 on 9/5/2008 2:02:17 PM , Rating: 2
This is so sad it is almost funny ....

"Mr. Lutz encourages the presidential hopefuls to push through new loans and/or to consider dropping crash safety standards..."

... now how does that help FUEL ECONOMY or OIL IMPORTS? What is a 100 pound weight reduction worth in fuel savings ... 0.2% to 1% maybe?

If Lutz wanted a SERIOUS concession, how about waiving ALL import restrictions on vehicles achieving greater than 53 mpg(Imperial) [43 mpg(US)] combined cycle plus meet (or exceed) current Euro emission and safety standards for a period of 24 to 36 months while the Det3 get their act together.

The President could do this with an Executive Order under the War Powers Act because OIL IMPORTS are a Nation Security Issue .

Are there vehicles from Ford and GM to satisfy potential demand? Yes! And they are NOT ALL SMALL!

Look at Ford/Mazda/Volvo and GM/Chevy/Volvo vehicles rated above 51 and 61 mpg(Imperial) [42 and 50 mpg(US)] combined cycle on the following site:
http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/search/fuelConSea...

In case you are interested in the vehicle specs like weight, use this site (I think there are well over 50 machines):
http://www.autocar.co.uk/SpecsPrices/SpecsAndPrice...

With this type of WAIVER Ford and GM could IMMEDIATELY start distributing their 43 mpg, and higher, vehicles through their US dealers to
1) learn consumer preferences
2) generate revenue
3) allow time to resolve any emissions AND safety issues
4) retrofit domestic manufacturing facilities to build these vehicles domestically
5) time to retrain personnel
6) give the consumer experince with more advanced FUEL FRUGAL power trains (at very little/no cost to the Det3)

The entry of true FUEL FRUGAL vehicles into the US would further cut OIL IMPORTS that are currently costing the US ECONOMY between $500 and $800 BILLION annually just for the oil ... plus an EQUIVALENT loss in Federal and State tax revenues. Total loss to the US is more than $1 TRILLION per year (more than 1/10 of the current NATIONAL DEBT)!

Just the $500 Billion/year is a HUGE amount of commerce, jobs, and autos.

Just an idea for your consideration ...

Did you notice not a single new oil well was required?




$50B Loan Compensation for..
By whirabomber on 9/3/08, Rating: -1
when you cant do it yourself
By tastyratz on 9/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: when you cant do it yourself
By SuperFly03 on 9/3/2008 10:46:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
American automakers are obviously failing here and are having trouble making a car worth selling to get out of a paper bag.


Yeah. That's the problem.

Are you forgetting just how far the big three have come with cars in the past 2 years? GM's G8, new Malibu, Ford Taurus, Ford Fusion, Dodge Charger and Challenger. These are all great new cars. The Chrysler products suck gas faster than a frat guy downs beer during rush but the others are on the up and up. They've come a long way fast.


RE: when you cant do it yourself
By fuzman on 9/3/2008 11:00:22 AM , Rating: 2
American car companies do have it right, but car buyers in the US don't like small fuel efficient cars, that they offer in Europe.

The new 2009 Ford Fiesta was introduced in Europe recently.

quote:
the new 1.6litre turbo diesel packs a punch but still delivers over 60mpg. It is also very green, with CO2 emissions of just 110g/km putting it in the lowest road tax band.


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/motors/ken_gi...

Toyota has had it right for years, and they did venture into the truck market with their new Tundra. Now sales are suffering just like the big three. Who wants a 4.7 L V8 that gets 17-18 mpg...


RE: when you cant do it yourself
By SuperFly03 on 9/3/2008 12:15:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Who wants a 4.7 L V8 that gets 17-18 mpg...


Shhhh don't tell anyone. I do! [think more like a vette or a M3 with a v8 rather than a truck]

Assuming there is power to match.

Anyways, Americans drive far more than Euros and from what I understand (which admittedly isn't a whole lot so correct me if I'm wrong) Euros do more city driving and short distance driving. So Euros don't mind the smaller less powerful cars and also it isn't part of their identity. In America cars have become a symbol of wealth and identity and power.


RE: when you cant do it yourself
By Amiga500 on 9/3/2008 12:30:48 PM , Rating: 2
In America cars have become a symbol of wealth and identity and power.

Which is a sign of how insecure some people are.

Pretty sad really.

Y'know, over here the running joke is that every Porsche driver has a small dick - and needs to buy a Porsche to try and make up for it.

Although recently that has moved from Porsche to all SUVs. (I'll not count SUVs as 4x4s as a Land Rover Defender does not deserve to be lumped in with shite like the Audi Q7/BMW X5/Grand Cherokee etc etc)

In conclusion... the owners of Porsche Cayennes must have dicks that need microscopes to measure!
:-D


RE: when you cant do it yourself
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 1:02:31 PM , Rating: 2
You can have the 4.7L, I'll take the new 5.7L. ;) My wife and I were considering buying a new Tundra to replace our old one because we're interested in buying a small 5th wheel but it seems that even with the new 10k lb tow ratings (and 16k lb GCWR's), 1/2 tons in general aren't really designed to tow even moderately heavy 5th wheel trailers. I mean, you can do it, but you'll be cutting it close on the pin weight. Too close for me anyways.

So we're considering getting a used Ford V10 instead. MUCH cheaper than a used diesel (add $5000-$7000) and has similar tow ratings, GAWR's and GCWR's (at least for the single rear wheeled versions).


"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein














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