GM announces new Ecotec small engine development

October 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

General Motors has announced plans to completely overhaul it’s smallest engine range. This will involve replacing three engine families with a new modular Ecotec design.

Production of the more economical engines will begin around 2015 and it’s expected that by 2020 GM will be producing around two million of these motors per year.

The engines will be developed for global applications but GM hasn’t revealed what models are most likely to receive them. The displacements will range from 1.0-litres through to 1.5-litres in three- and four-cylinder formats. They will feature direct injection, a turbocharger and alternative fuel compatibility. There’s no word on specifications, but GM says the engines will deliver increased fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions. Continue reading “GM announces new Ecotec small engine development” »

GM introduces new front centre airbag (+video)

October 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

If you think that having up to nine airbags in your car will keep you safe, you’re probably right but just to make sure General Motors has developed a new type of airbag.

GM’s latest safety innovation is a front centre airbag which is designed to keep the driver in place during a far-side impact. It will also prevent front occupants from smashing their heads together in a collision. Bet you wish you had one now.

The first cars to see the new airbag will be U.S spec models like the Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia beginning in 2013. The tube-shaped airbag deploys out of the drivers seat between driver and passenger and inflates in the centre of the vehicle.

Doing the research behind this new technology GM analysed American National Highway Traffic Safety data, which revealed that far-side impact crashes accounted for 11 percent of the belted front occupant fatalities in non-rollover incidents between 2004 and 2009. Those deaths represent 29 percent of all fatalities in side-impact crashes. Continue reading “GM introduces new front centre airbag (+video)” »

GM reveals plan for huge reduction in platforms and engines

August 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

At a recent business conference, General Motors has revealed details on a new plan that will apparently ensure long-term sustainable performance for the Detroit carmaker.

It calls for some extreme measures including a significant reduction of platforms used by its brands globally. This will help cut development costs and increase profits.

“More of our components will be common and more of our vehicles will be on global architectures” said the GM CEO, Dan Akerson.

Like it’s arch rival Ford with its ‘One Ford’ policies GM will reduce the number of core architectures, parts and subcomponents. GM’s platforms also be reduced from 30 in 2010, to just 14 by 2018. Continue reading “GM reveals plan for huge reduction in platforms and engines” »

Chevrolet sells five million Camaro muscle cars

June 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Once it was reintroduced into the American market in 2009 the latest-generation Chevrolet Camaro began selling faster than party pills. Now the Camaro model line can celebrate a milestone that spans all the way back to its original 1967 version.

General Motors has just built the five-millionth example of its Camaro, but surprisingly few of the total amount of cars produced are the current generation. Only 225,844 of the total 5 million sales come from the 2010-2011 model. The remaining 4,774,156 models arrived in the years between 1967 and 2002.

As for the landmark five millionth vehicle, it’s a fairly modest example. Built at GM’s Oshawa plant the Camaro is a 1LS Coupe in black with the 3.6-litre V6 engine, a six-speed manual trans and steel wheels. The owner of this special machine is located in Kentucky, USA and paid $24,700 USD for the car.

New Chevrolet Impala could kill Commodore’s U.S market hopes

May 27th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Production of the next-generation 2014 Chevrolet Impala will be shifted to GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing plant. At this production facility the new Impala will be produced alongside the Chevrolet Volt and Malibu with the decision being an early indication that Holden’s Commodore won’t be returning to U.S. shores.

The next American-market Impala will use a stretched version of GM’s Epsilon II platform, with a front-wheel drive layout. It certainly won’t prove a popular move with Chevy enthusiasts who want the famous-named large sedan to be rear-wheel powered and it also lessens the chances of the Commodore ever returning to the U.S., in either sedan, wagon or ute bodystyles.

With the Impala going front-driven GM is showing an awareness of fuel economy regulations. GM’s decision to keep most of its range front-wheel drive shows that the automaker has a preference for better fuel economy over performance. The front-wheel drive architecture also helps with developing more modern interiors due to the absence of a bulky driveshaft running the length of the car. In simple terms the Commodore just doesn’t fit into GM’s new politically correct range. It was popular in Pontiac G8 form but that was a different time and with the new Malibu being a direct competitor within the GM range the Commodore will have a tough time finding its way back into the lucrative America market. Continue reading “New Chevrolet Impala could kill Commodore’s U.S market hopes” »

Holden Commodore ready for next O.E in American market

April 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

When the Pontiac brand was killed off in the States so was the Holden Commodore, but at that time financially desperate General Motors had little idea of the following that the Commodore/Pontiac G8 already had.

Now, after serious demand, the Commodore will likely return to the U.S market badged as a Chevrolet SS sedan. There is also a chance that the Commodore’s ute and wagon form will also be sold in the states, but they remain unapproved at this stage. The Commodore ute would likely receive the El Camino moniker and the long back car would keep the SportWagon name.

If the Commodores do make it to the States in Chevy trim it won’t likely be until early 2013 as GM is waiting for the next-generation “VF” Commodore to be developed by Holden. GM will be most interested in performance models for the American market so expect Holden’s exports to be mostly V8 powered. Continue reading “Holden Commodore ready for next O.E in American market” »

General Motors to recall 2,000 laid-off workers

March 28th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

According to the United Auto Workers union in the States, General Motors is ready to recall another 2,000 of its previously laid-off workers by September this year. The UAW announced that most of the recalls will affect southern Michigan, where the economic downturn and large scale redundancies had the most impact.

An exact timeline for the recall of the workers hasn’t been specified by GM but UAW officials say the workers will be back building cars in September. GM is also ready to go further and with the laid-off employees back at work, GM will begin hiring again, but exact details haven’t been announced.

This is extremely positive news for the laid-off workers and also General Motors which is making strong progress on its road to recovery.  Several dire years and the death of four of its once iconic brands crippled GM but now a more positive day is dawning. According to GM bosses, they’re starting a third shift of 750 workers at the Flint, Michigan truck plant, 600 for a second shift to build Cadillacs in Lansing, and 1,550 to build small cars in Lake Orion, Michigan.

Cadillac returning to motorsport with CTS-V Coupe racer

January 20th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Cadillac marque is officially on the verge of returning to the world of motorsports with its new CTS-V Coupe race car. Following the track-spec Caddy’s world debut at the Detroit Motor Show last week, the race-ready CTS-V Coupe hit the track for the first time on Monday driven by Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim, for testing at Sebring International Raceway.

GM’s luxury car division had already pulled out of racing before the U.S. government bailed out the company in 2009. The last time Cadillac officially competed was in 2007 in the Sports Car Club of America World Challenge GT series. Now the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe race car will return to the Sports Car Club of America World Challenge GT series in 2011, with its first appearance taking place at the season-opening race in St. Petersburg, Florida on March 25-27.

The CTS-V Coupe race car was built as a collaboration between General Motors and Pratt and Miller. Their goal was to make the race car as close as possible to the production vehicle, but at the same time, make a racer compliant with the SCCA technical rules. Technical details of the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe race car have not been released yet. Continue reading “Cadillac returning to motorsport with CTS-V Coupe racer” »

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