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” »
October 6th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
General Motors has revealed the production version of its 2012 Chevrolet Colorado which will be rebadged as the Holden Colorado when it arrives in NZ next year.
The new Colorado was unveiled in Thailand where it will enter the local market shortly. Holden hasn’t officially announced a schedule for its entry into the Australian and NZ markets.
According to GM, the Colorado is the end result of a vehicle program that began five years ago and cost $2 billion USD. It will be offered globally with a total of 26 variants, two diesel engines, two- and four-wheel-drive layouts, different ride heights, wide and narrow body styles and various cab options.
Engine options will include two Duramax four-cylinder diesel engines. One will be a 2.5 litre motor and the other a larger 2.8 litre unit. The 2.5 litre mill produces 110kW and 350Nm of torque, the 2.8 litre turbodiesel pumps out 132kW and 470Nm of torque when mated to the six-speed auto box. In five-speed manual form the engine is tuned to output 440Nm of torque. For now there is no word on any petrol-powered variants. Continue reading “New 2012 Holden Colorado revealed in production Chevrolet form” »
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)” »
August 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Cadillac’s smooth styled ELR Coupe has been given the green light for production. With its sharp looks and range-extending hybrid drivetrain, General Motors has high hopes for the luxury two-door.
The model was originally shown as the Cadillac Converj concept at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show, rumours have been around ever since that it would enter production. Now, development has been officially confirmed with the new model, named the ELR Coupe, heavily borrowing technology from the Chevrolet Volt.
“The concept generated instant enthusiasm,” said Don Butler, vice president-Cadillac Marketing. “Like other milestone Cadillac models of the past, the ELR will offer something not otherwise present – the combination of electric propulsion with striking design and the fun of luxury coupe driving.”
No official specs have been released but Cadillac has confirmed its ELR will use a version of the same Voltec drivetrain as the Volt, but possibly a more advanced set up. This will feature a T-shaped lithium ion battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator. Continue reading “Cadillac confirms production for electric ELR Coupe (+video)” »
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” »
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.
May 20th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
German coachbuilder Endora Cars has decided to dip its toe into supercar waters with a striking retro-inspired machine which it has named the SC-1.
Rendered images have just been released and it’s already clear that the SC-1 borrows heavily from American and European sports cars of the 60’s and 70’s. It’s a mix tape of styles and eras but the most telling design features are lifted straight from the Corvette like the Coke-bottle profile and distinctive rear end. That comes as little shock because the Corvette makes up the SC-1’s platform.
Under the bespoke body lies the chassis and mechanical hardware of the sixth generation Corvette. Endora Cars will offer tempted buyers the choice of three configurations. A base model which comes packing GM’s 6.2-litre V8 with a 325kW output, while a second option is a larger 7.0-liter V8 with 381kW and 636Nm of torque. Topping the range is a supercharged version of the 6.2-litre V8 engine that will put a frightening 482kW of grunt and 817Nm of torque to the rear axle. Continue reading “The Endora SC-1 – another Corvette based Supercar” »
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” »