Print 58 comment(s) - last by tallguywithgla.. on May 26 at 2:35 AM

  (Source: Hybrid Cars)

Bob Lutz is a legend among auto enthusiasts  (Source: Patrick Arena/The Car Lounge)
Lutz may be back if things go sour

Questions regarding price and whether the Chevy Volt will be sold, leased, or both have remained unanswered until now. While the price is still up in the air, GM has announced that the Volt will be available for sale and for lease, and the once-again newly retired GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz could not be more excited for the November 2010 release date. 

"I love it. I just absolutely love it," said Lutz. "I think it's a great car to drive. I'm personally going to get myself on the list for one, no question about it. No question that I think it's the greatest achievement of my career."

Lutz, 78, has been in the automotive business for 47 years, nine of which were spent with GM. He is a former Marine fighter pilot who has worked as an executive at all three Detroit carmakers as well as BMW. He officially retired from GM on April 30 of this year, and had a final farewell party on Tuesday in Warren, Michigan where his wife, Denise, and several GM executives and employees were in attendance.

"I think this is the third time I've retired," said Lutz. "I think this time I can actually achieve it and not go back to work full time for anybody. 

"If I see things going wrong, there will be the ghost of Bob Lutz, and it ain't going to be friendly."

Lutz was praised as one of the largest reasons for GM's $865 million profit success after having to claim bankruptcy last year. Lutz was to retire late last year, but stayed on board to work with the creative aspects of GM's marketing, advertising and designs. 

"GM is in good shape coming out of Chapter 11 because of Bob Lutz," said Tom Stephens, vice chairman of global product development. "You taught us how important it was to listen-not only to other people, but to listen to your gut. In the automotive industry, that gut reaction is probably the most important reaction."

Lutz received two gifts at his retirement party, one being a replica of GM's Supercharged LS9 engine and the other a set of aluminum scale models, most notably the Chevrolet Volt Plug-in hybrid. Lutz has made the Volt the center of GM's campaign to become the industry's environmental leader. He has compared the Volt to President Kennedy's moon shot, saying it will be "sensational," and "will have the same sort of symbolism."

"I don't think it would be a vast overstatement to say the Volt is in many ways symbolic of a renaissance in the American auto industry," said Lutz. "If we pull it off successfully, it can really put us back at the top of the heap of automotive technology instead of being called laggards that are being left behind by the Germans and the Japanese."

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt will carry a 40 mile all-electric range and on-board range-extending gasoline engine. While such new innovations will likely make some buyers skeptical, GM expects the Volt to be well-accepted by the public. Now, we wait for some purchase figures.


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RE: Wrong Mr Lutz
By jimbojimbo on 5/20/2010 3:14:31 PM , Rating: 2
No, you would be wrong. You think the Volt isn't a new idea because the EV1 existed? Where's the gasoline engine in the EV1? Can you take the EV1 cross country without having to stop overnight every now and then? The Volt manages to make an electric car with basically a gasoline generator to give it reserve power so that it can still maintain its ability to drive long distances and refuel quickly. Most people drive shorter distances so essentially most of the time it would be an electric car but it's nice to know you can go further.

RE: Wrong Mr Lutz
By AEvangel on 5/20/2010 3:49:13 PM , Rating: 2
There has been purely electric vehicles and Hybrid vehicles, both Prior to the Volt. Like I said the Technology is not new something anyone with half a brain could figure out.

RE: Wrong Mr Lutz
By thurston on 5/20/2010 6:44:44 PM , Rating: 2
Can you take the EV1 cross country without having to stop overnight every now and then?

I don't know of any automobile that can drive cross-country without refueling.

RE: Wrong Mr Lutz
By AEvangel on 5/20/2010 7:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know of any automobile that can drive cross-country without refueling.

Actually this car possibly could and it was built in 1979.

According to David, the Opel has not only a virtually unlimited range (when driven prudently), but also a top speed of 90 miles per hour ... and emits a minimum of pollutants as it tools along the highway. Better yet, the car can-if need be-run on its batteries alone for short in-town hops ... and will never be "stranded" as long as there's fuel in the "on board" generator!

RE: Wrong Mr Lutz
By monkeyman1140 on 5/21/2010 1:37:48 AM , Rating: 2
I saw that article. It was just a converted opel with lead-acid batteries and an electric jet engine starter motor.
The main problem was that you had to park the car while the generator charged the batteries. It wasn't a true hybrid, but it was a nice amateur effort back in the 1970s.

RE: Wrong Mr Lutz
By chick0n on 5/21/2010 1:30:48 AM , Rating: 1
That simply means you don't know shit about any places other than the US-fuxking-A.

RE: Wrong Mr Lutz
By monkeyman1140 on 5/21/2010 1:26:10 AM , Rating: 2
Very true. Think about it. No 3000 mile oil changes, no coolant flushes needed, no air or oil filters, no PCV valves, no emission control systems, no fuel pump, no valve adjustment, no spark plugs, no ignition system, no exhaust system, no catalytic converter.

O'Reilly Auto and Autozone would go out of business, not to mention dealerships would have to screw customers out of money some other way, perhaps through fake "electric motor tuning service intervals".

RE: Wrong Mr Lutz
By callmeroy on 5/21/2010 2:06:45 PM , Rating: 2
There's still moving parts in an electric car right?

Any moving part is not only going to have an eventual failure point but is also going to need lubrication of some sort -- unless parts in electric vehicles don't succumb to the forces of friction.

But that's not the main point I wanted to make.....there will still be a vehicle service industry in the future its just going to evolve to look more like a computer or electrical parts store more than a modern day mechanics supply store.

In other words there will definitely be points of failure and things to service in an all electic vehicle "country"'ll just be mostly computers and electronics more than gears/fears/transmissions....

RE: Wrong Mr Lutz
By callmeroy on 5/21/2010 2:08:30 PM , Rating: 2
"gears *FEARS* transmissions".....

yeah *I* don't even know what that typo was SUPPOSED to be...

Hey its Friday...gimme a break!

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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