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GM News, New Models and Market Share

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Comments

  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    New Chevy Cobalt XFE Delivers 36 MPG on Highway
    Are you looking to squeeze the most mileage from every gallon of gas? Then you will find much to appreciate with the new Chevy Cobalt XFE. It delivers a segment-best 36 mpg in highway driving, outdistancing competitors like the Honda Civic, Ford Focus and Toyota Corolla. The Cobalt XFE (for Xtra Fuel Economy) is on sale now and includes LS and 1LT coupe and sedan models with manual transmission. The Cobalt XFE gets 25 mpg in the city.
    .
  • torque_rtorque_r Posts: 500
    Man I got excited for a minute. Mileage of 25/36 is exactly what the Honda Civic delivers with AUTO. As for the Corolla, most models sold are equipped with auto and they deliver 27/35 mpg. that's better combined fuel economy than both. Comparing slow selling manuals will not help GM. GM needs a smaller more efficient engine for the Cobalt.
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    Well, it says the Civic gets 26/34 w/ the manual. I don't see why anybody would get excited over 2 or 3 MPG difference.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    GM North American sales chief Mark LaNeve is seeing the same trend, and he said features once mostly built into six- and eight-cylinder sedans are going into four-cylinder versions.

    Shoppers are choosing the Pontiac G6 four-cylinder engine about half the time now, compared with 27% of the time in 2006, Mr. LaNeve said in an interview. The transaction price, however, has increased to $18,960 from $17,580 in 2006 as consumers add features.

    He said the take rate on remote-controlled starters on the four-cylinder version of the G6 has doubled, heated seats has gone from 1% to 5% and leather steering wheels from 5% to 24%.

    On the newly redesigned Chevrolet Malibu, the take rate on remote starters has gone from 10% to 50% and sunroofs from 1% to 18% on the four-cylinder version.

    "It shows you that directionally, customers are opting for a four-cylinder but they're not opting to come down in specification," Mr. LaNeve said.

    The trend doesn't come without challenges. Auto makers accustomed to building eight-cylinder cars loaded with options while sparsely equipping four-cylinder vehicles have to adjust their production. GM President Fritz Henderson said Wednesday that the company is trying to find more plant capacity to build more cars.

    Mr. LaNeve said it is a trend GM saw coming and the auto maker worked with suppliers to add the features to more four-cylinder versions of the Malibu out of the gate.

    "You used to pay for more cylinders and more horsepower," Mr. LaNeve said. "Now, environmental awareness has kind of negated that."
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...on the Chevrolet Malibu hybrid. The car is decribed as a "mild hybrid" an only delivers about 2 MPG City/Hwy better than the conventional Malibu. However, as far as hybrids go, it is only moderately more expensive than the conventional car.

    Shoot! I thought I found an acceptable hybrid as it is not a foreign nameplate nor some stupid cross-over. I'll wait until Chevrolet offers a true dual-mode hybrid like the Camry Hybrid before I jump in. Until then, I'll just keep puttering about in my '88 Park Ave.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Yeah, right now it's just start-stop and regen, with a big alternator and a 42-volt kicker battery in the trunk. If you want a full-time GM hybrid, you have to buy an SUV. IMO, they ought to just go ahead and make that the standard powertrain and get the CAFE boost.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Yeah, right now it's just start-stop and regen, with a big alternator and a 42-volt kicker battery in the trunk. If you want a full-time GM hybrid, you have to buy an SUV. IMO, they ought to just go ahead and make that the standard powertrain and get the CAFE boost.

    The cost is just too high and would make them uncompetitive with the competition. Until cost is brought down by both system improvements and volume increases it will be too expensive to sell as standard. However in 5 years when everyone has to increase truck mpg at least 50% it will have to be standard.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    How much extra does a second battery and a big alternator cost?

    Oh, wait, you mean the 2MH. Yeah, that one will have to be standard in the trucks and SUVs before long. The mild hybrid should be in everything going forward, though.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    ...on the Chevrolet Malibu hybrid. The car is decribed as a "mild hybrid" an only delivers about 2 MPG City/Hwy better than the conventional Malibu. However, as far as hybrids go, it is only moderately more expensive than the conventional car.

    In the next 5 years this mild hybrid will have to become standard on every vehicle to meet CAFE. Hopefully the cost will come down.

    Shoot! I thought I found an acceptable hybrid as it is not a foreign nameplate nor some stupid cross-over. I'll wait until Chevrolet offers a true dual-mode hybrid like the Camry Hybrid before I jump in. Until then, I'll just keep puttering about in my '88 Park Ave.

    Camry hybrid is doing well as it should with $4 gas. Sales up 34% in March and they sold more hybrid Camrys than V6's but still only about 14% of total Camry sales. Even with $4 gas consumers are hesitant about spending the extra cash on hybrid equipment in a Camry.

    I just wonder what the vehicles 5 years from now will have to have in them. Government says less than $1000 increase but the Camry Hybrid is at least a $4000 upcharge looking at comparable equipment. Does anyone have a more accurate number?
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I think what you really want is a rechargable system like the Volt concept. Consider that the Prius gets about 45 MPG for most drivers (at least the three that I know). With the Volt you may be able to get 40 miles on a charge before the motor generator kicks in (when your MPG will be about 45 based on the Prius). So if you drive about 60 miles and normal daily driving, then you would get the first 40 miles from the batteries which were charged up using the electric grid at some nominal cost. The last 20 miles would cost you less than 1/2 gallon, making your mileage something more than 120 MPG on the fuel. This would be about 100 gallons per 12000 miles. The Prius uses about 260 to 270 gallons per 12000 miles.
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    That is an interesting concept. I just wonder how the EPA would rate the fuel economy on the Volt.
  • torque_rtorque_r Posts: 500
    I wouldn't look for hybrids only as the way to boost fuel economy. They are too expensive, and they will be so for years to come. American cars will be similar to europeans cars. Small, light, and a lot of hatchbacks. A lot of cars will be powered by diesel. Interesting enough, there is a plus side to it. Ford and GM will, for the first time, be able to design small cars for both Europe and US and be profitable with it. Automakers will charge premium for these small hatchbacks as they will be in more demand in the USA . Also watch for Corolla, Civic, Focus to become the best sellling cars in America, and watch for pickup trucks to loose this title for for the first time. We won't see many V-8's and large V-6's. But we will see many turbocharged 4-cyls and small turbocharged V6's as well as diesel. Hybrids will never be the focal selling point. At least not now.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    I wonder if that will be true, Americans settling for tiny cars? I just cannot see it happening that easily. Even now with gas at $4 trucks sell at 46% penetration vs. cars.

    The last time the government tried to force economy standards on us, the public stopped buying the small downsized cars and found a new vehicle that met their needs. The SUV. If it was not for the CAFE of 30 years ago we would probably all be driving cars just like the Impala but a little bigger. Station wagons would be prevalant.

    With the new CAFE rules I doubt that the public will stand for it. Once the vehicles we want to drive are priced out of our range and even the small cars get hugely expensive due to CAFE and gas prices stabalize I forsee the public demanding change. Look at E85! The governement tried to decrease our reliance on oil countries and lower global warming and at the first sign of trouble (food prices rising) all kinds of talk about dropping the requirement. Money makes people change their minds.

    Due to the way we process oil, diesel here will always be more expensive than gas. Diesel has a good chance of increasing penetration but this demand would force up the price of diesel even higher. So I do not see it becoming a huge factor in this country in the next 15 years.

    The near term future (5 years) will be cell. E85.

    But the above is only my opinion based on past history.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    I wouldn't look for hybrids only as the way to boost fuel economy. They are too expensive, and they will be so for years to come. American cars will be similar to europeans cars. Small, light, and a lot of hatchbacks.

    The Camry Hybrid only gets 33/34 mpg even at a price increase of about $4000 (anybody got a better number?). With our 2015 average car CAFE requirement at 36 mpg a Camry sized vehicle will probably need to get about 34 mpg since it is based on footprint. I do not see any technology allowing this in 6 years w/o hybrid technology and massive weight reductions.

    And again I do not see Americans trading in their SUV's for vehicles smaller than Camry's in 6 years. Heads will roll.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    We pretty much drive Camry sized cars now - my 1988 Buick Park Avenue and girlfriend's 2005 Buick LaCrosse are approximately the size of a modern Camry. Now, if we were forced to drive Corolla sized cars, we'd complain loudly!!! :mad:
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Well, California is getting a bit insecure on it's decision to up the CAFE in their own state. California dealers are telling them that customers will go out of state to get the vehicles they want since they will be unable to sell them and those they can will be more expensive. DUHHH! :P

    So now California is trying to get neighboring states to join them so Californians will keep their money in California. What will the states do that are on the regional CAFE border? They will lose out.

    The head of California's Air Resources Board said she was willing to talk with automakers about modifying one aspect of the state's landmark tailpipe emissions regulations.

    Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols, speaking to reporters at the SAE Government/Industry meetings on Monday, said she was open to discussing setting "regional" rather than state-by-state standards for tailpipe emissions.

    The consideration comes after California auto dealers expressed concerns that automakers could be forced to stop selling larger less-efficient vehicles there because of the state's proposed strict regulations, which could encourage customers to buy larger vehicles in another state.

    A regional approach would largely protect California from this issue.


    Again not only large vehicles but also cheaper vehicles. There could easily be a $1000 difference from on state to the next due to the higher mpg level. I mean to go from 37 mpg for cars in 2016 (federal requirement) to 44 in California is quite a difference.

    GM has said the California rules could force it to stop selling 80 percent of its vehicles in California and add thousands of dollars to the cost of every vehicle.

    All three major presidential candidates have agreed to support California's request.
    Underscoring the industry's willingness to compromise, McCurdy noted automakers met with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last week "to open a dialogue and find common ground."
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    "Today is a big day," GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz told Edmunds'
    AutoObserver in an exclusive interview Tuesday. "Today is the first day
    it is running on the street on battery power."

    Lutz said the Volt's powertrain, comprised of an advanced lithium-ion
    battery and a small gasoline engine, was installed into a mule vehicle
    and is being driven on public roads around the automaker's proving
    grounds in Milford, Mich. More important, Lutz said, the battery is
    hitting GM's goal of 40 miles on pure electric power.
    An assumed risk of lithium-ion batteries is its thermal properties.
    Frank Weber (FAY-ber), imported from GM's European operations to be
    global vehicle line executive and chief engineer for of E-Flex Systems
    Development Team (E-Flex is the GM word for the Volt's gas-electric
    powertrain), told AutoObserver last august that the biggest challenge is
    to manage the thermal dynamics of the batteries so that the batteries
    are the same temperature.

    And Lutz insists the lithium-ion battery on the road has passed that
    test."Now if you ask him the same question, he's calm and relaxed and says
    unless we encounter some completely unforeseen obstacle - November 2010
    looks good."

    http://www.autoobserver.com/2008/05/chevy_volt_traveling_public_ro.html#more
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Due to the high price of diesel in this country it is going to be tough to convince customers to spend the high initial outlay for a diesel vehicle in the non commercial market.

    Even as fuel prices soar, General Motors Corp. continues to see high demand for diesel-powered trucks, says Charles Freese, GM Powertrain executive director-diesel engineering.

    "We're still selling a high percentage of diesels in heavy-duty pickups," he says. "It's in the 60% range in the heavy-duty segment."

    Freese speaks to reporters during a recent press conference here to unveil the new 4.5L V-8 Duramax turbodiesel that will power ‘10 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty pickups.

    Diesel fuel is selling for more than $5 per gallon in some parts of the country, but GM is hoping to persuade consumers that oil burners are more fuel-efficient than comparable gasoline mills.

    Freese says diesel-powered vehicles are at least 25% more fuel efficient, and that figure climbs to 40%-70% when hauling heavy loads or at high altitudes.

    "That's why we see strong demand for (diesel) engines," he says, adding the same advantages apply to smaller diesels in smaller vehicles.

    The larger 6.6L Duramax diesel currently available in GM’s heavy-duty pickups is an $8,000 option, but Freese says the premium for the smaller diesel could be less.

    "There was an obvious gap in this (smaller) displacement (segment)," he adds. “It's compact because it was designed to occupy the same space as the GM small-block V-8 gasoline engine.”

    The smaller size makes it adaptable to a wide range of other GM vehicles, including cross/utility vehicles, SUVs and even some cars, he says.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    I am amazed how much they are reducing fleet sales this year. Of course much of it might be the fact that the rental companies are not buying.

    McVeigh told Automotive News that GM expects to sell 575,000 cars and trucks to rental companies in the 2008 model year, down from 700,000 in 2007. In the 2009 model year, GM plans to cut its rental sales to between 500,000 and 550,000 units, McVeigh said. Those projections aim at "equilibrium," he said.

    GM has no plans to roll back the price increases it instituted last year on sales to rental companies, McVeigh said. But he added: "If I can sell an extra 5,000 (Chevrolet) Cobalts at my price, I will."
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    it's something that they have to do if they want to make their car division profitable. Too many rental sales floods the market 1-2 years down the road with high mileage, late model cars. It drives down resale value. That resale value has a direct correlation on the price of a new car (leasing or buying)..
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    Well, I must say I was looking at the local car ads, and I find it quite interesting that there are ads for base Malibu LS' for just under $19K, including any rebates, whereas ads for a similarly priced Camry was about $1500 cheaper, so I think that at least GM is getting a better price for the Malibu. BTW, the Impala was in the same ad w/ an MSRP of $2000 MORE than the Malibu, but sale price was only $500 more than the Malibu
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    In another union matter, GM sent the workers in its controversial jobs bank home this week and reduced their pay, just days before most GM workers must choose whether to accept a buyout or retirement offer.

    UAW members assigned to the remaining jobs bank will no longer need to clock in -- nor will they continue to receive 100% of their pay for jobs that GM has eliminated.

    Workers who spoke to the Free Press on Tuesday said they were shocked by the move that cuts their pay by 15%.

    "This was a surprise to all of us," said Larry Rector, 60, a skilled-trades electrician who has been in the jobs bank for the shuttered plant in Muncie, Ind., for two years. "Our chairman came in and said to go home."

    The change spurred him to take an early-retirement offer, he said.

    As of Monday, GM's jobs bank ceases to have physical locations, and the prospects of reassignment have been reduced.


    I think they are now only going to get 75% of their pay?

    http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0510/17/A01-351179.htm
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    General Motors was in talks Tuesday to add a third shift at an Orion Township plant that makes the Chevrolet Malibu as a strike in Kansas reduced production of the cars, a UAW local official said.

    A tentative agreement in the strike at GM's Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kan., was announced Tuesday night.

    The automaker and UAW Local 5960 at the Orion Township plant were in talks about the Malibu, which accounts for about 220 of the 1,000 vehicles it produces daily, said Mike Dunn, the local's shop chairman. The factory predominantly makes Pontiac G6 cars.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Anyone know anything about the next G6?
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    * Sales of the Malibu in California have increased 186%, and 51% of those buyers were conquests over other brands.
    * Sales of the Malibu have increased 125% in other key markets
    * The average transaction price has increased by $4000! That's up from $16,800 for the previous model to $20,800 to the current model, which means that Chevrolet is making more sales at higher prices, to a higher-level buyer.


    According to Peper, "the new Malibus are selling faster than we can put them on dealers' lots." Chevrolet estimated it would need to ship approximately 85,000 units, but dealers have requested nearly 200,000 units.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    The other part of the equation is historically GM cars are not what makes them money. It has been the pickup and truck-based SUVs. While Toyota and Honda business models in NOrth America was built around fuel efficient cars. Toyota and Honda make money off sales of the Corolla, Yaris, Fit and Civic. The Cobalt, Aveo, Ion,etc are close to break even. Of course, having successful cars like the Malibu improves the companies image and help long term. But this GM ship (and Ford) will take a while to turn around and people need to be patient. I don't expect sales or either companies profitability to improve anytime this year. Tough market.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    General Motors has killed plans to develop large rear-drive sedans for Chevrolet and Buick. The result: The next-generation Chevrolet Impala will remain front drive.

    "Serious fuel economy issues" killed the rwd vehicles, which were expected to debut around 2011, says a GM source.

    No other large-car programs are expected to be scrapped, says another GM source familiar with the programs.

    The rwd Impala was about 3 inches longer than the fwd 2008 Impala and was styled with a long nose and short rear deck, according to industry sources.

    The Impala SS was expected to offer a 350-plus hp V-8 engine and be positioned head-to-head against the Hemi-powered Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger.

    But the federal fuel economy rules, unveiled last month by the Bush administration, persuaded GM to cancel the Chevrolet and Buick programs.

    The law mandates a 40 percent increase in vehicle fuel economy by 2020, to an industry average of 35 mpg. Administration regulations anticipate a fast start, calling for 25 percent improvement in the 2011-2015 model years.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    Aaaaaghhhh!!! Dummies! Eco-weenies! If Chevrolet built an Impala like THAT, I wouldn't need a Cadillac! For this alone, Dubya should go down as the worst president in history!

    Does anybody have a picture of what this awesome RWD Impala was to look like? Good God, I can only imagine how awesome the Buick would've been!
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    I STILL don't see why this would kill the program. I'm sure both sedans would base out w/ a V-6, as that would be the bread and butter for those cars. I'm sure that using DI and diesel engines could go a long way to resolving that issue, and anybody wanting an "SS" or "Super" version could just pay the gas guzzler tax.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    I STILL don't see why this would kill the program.

    Do you really think GM wants a volume vehicle like Impala that gets 22 MPG combined(V6) at best? It needs to get over 32 combined mpg to meet the new CAFE standards in 2015 (36mpg for cars).

    Now perhaps they could get away with selling it for 4 years and take the profit and volume but it would be taking away MPG credits that GM needs. AND they would be developing both the product and branding for only one iteration. No way could they have the Impala as RWD for the next generation when the mpg would need to be around 38 combined.

    I am really concerned the Camaro may never make the light of day. However perhaps it can be saved by making it a low volume vehicle and charging lots for it. I forsee the G8 being gone by 2013.

    It is a new wold out there and GM is seeing the light as it is flooded into their eyes by both $4 gas and unbelieveable CAFE requirements.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    GM has been really wishy-washy about the large RWD car program all along, and it seems that CAFE is just the latest excuse to delay and/or kill it. To be honest, making the Impala RWD never struck me as a good idea. The W-body does need to die so it doesn't hold down Malibu sales, though, so a G-body Impy might not be a bad idea.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The G-body is also terminating. The next gen Impala will probably be on the Epsilon II platform along with the LaCrosse (Invictia?), and others.

    What GM will really need is an electric drive train that is rechargable (Volt technology). Once GM has the technology, then we will see some serious new cars. All of you will need to rethink what makes sense for the next generation of cars. (the current generation dates back to the 50's?)
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    The largest FWD platform will be the Eps ll. Right now I am sure there are a team of engineers trying to figure out how to make it wider and a longer wheelbase so there is more legroom front and rear. I really doubt they will come up with a new larger FWD platform considering the volume and CAFE requirements.

    Why go larger? Well EPS ll may be close to full size(look at new Accord) but GM needs a full size low cost vehicle especially with the new CAFRE/fuel prices that are knocking out SUV sails. Who knows, we may get a full size station wagon again.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,571
    Do you really think GM wants a volume vehicle like Impala that gets 22 MPG combined(V6) at best? It needs to get over 32 combined mpg to meet the new CAFE standards in 2015 (36mpg for cars).

    don't forget though, that for CAFE they use different, more optimistic numbers than what's on the window sticker. A V-6 RWD Impala would definitely get a better combined rating than 22. For instance, a 1996 Caprice/Roadmaster/Impala SS with the LT-1, has a combined rating of 23. Its raw city/highway numbers were 19/33, although the downrated published figures were 17/26, with a combined figure of 20.

    The 1996 Buick Century, with the 4-cyl/3-speed automatic, actually achieved a combined rating of 32! Its raw city/highway numbers were 27/40. The published figures were 24/31, with a combined of 27.

    If I were to venture a guess, I'd think that a RWD V-6 Impala would be able to pull down a combined raw rating of 25-27. The V-6 Lumina/Monte Carlo, and just about everything else that was using the 3.1 in 1996, had a combined rating of 27. Now 25-27 is still well south of 32, but if they sold enough smaller cars to offset that, they'd be okay.

    Now, I can only find the raw data up through 1996, so I don't know the numbers for newer cars. However, I'd imagine a 4-cyl Malibu has a raw combined figure above 32 already. And the 3.5 Malibu, Aura, Impala, etc is probably not very far under that.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,571
    The largest FWD platform will be the Eps ll. Right now I am sure there are a team of engineers trying to figure out how to make it wider and a longer wheelbase so there is more legroom front and rear.

    I think if GM does that, they might run into the same problem that Chrysler did with all of its K-car permutations. It's not hard to make a car longer to give it more legroom, or tack on a few inches in back to add trunk space, or even stretch it out up front to make it look more important. Where they run into problems is when they try to make it wider. IIRC, with Chrysler, just about everything they did that was based on the K-car was limited to about 56" of shoulder room, which is kind of on the cusp between compact and midsized.

    Still, with some reworking, it can be done. After all, the first Mopar minivans were based on K-architecture, and they were about 60" wide inside. And even using a GM example, I think the Impala is an inch or two wider inside than the LaCrosse, or the older Century/Regal, Intrigue, Lumina, or Grand Prix.

    I think the narrow width is a bit of an Achilles heel with the current Malibu and Aura. It's not so bad up front, because the cars have bucket seats and, well, nobody really does a bench in front these days, so it's not like anyone's trying to get 3 across seating up front. However, because of the way the car's body tapers, you have about two inches less shoulder room in back than in front. It basically cuts the car down to a 4-seater, where the Altima, Camry, and Accord could squeeze three in the back if you really had to.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    I think the narrow width is a bit of an Achilles heel with the current Malibu and Aura. It's not so bad up front, because the cars have bucket seats and, well, nobody really does a bench in front these days, so it's not like anyone's trying to get 3 across seating up front. However, because of the way the car's body tapers, you have about two inches less shoulder room in back than in front. It basically cuts the car down to a 4-seater, where the Altima, Camry, and Accord could squeeze three in the back if you really had to.

    EPSll is wider than the current EPS Malibu to compete with the wider Accord/Camry but not wide enough to be a true large car. Bench seating sells very well yet. Not huge numbers but enough to make it worth while offering in a couple models (currently Impala/LaCrosse).

    If GM thinks the market is there it can just tool up new wider underbodies/cowls and use all the existing EPS ll components (front cradle/powertrain/suspension/etc.). With SUV's going down a large car market may very well develop.

    This discussion sounds familiar. Seems like we discussed the same thing 2 years ago.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The G8 V6 is rated 25.8 combined (if the data file is right) and the V8 is 23.3.

    The 4 cyl Malibu is 33 while the 3.6 V6 is 26.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,571
    Oh, cool...I didn't even know what was in those data files. I just never bothered with them because it wanted to download a zip file to my desktop. The online text files were just easier to read.

    I finally went ahead and downloaded one, and yeah, it looks like those numbers you posted are correct. In raw numbers, my 2000 Intrepid 2.7 scored a combined rating of 27.3. The Impala 3.4 scored 27.5, which actually surprises me. I thought it would have done better. The EPA numbers on the window sticker for my Intrepid were 20/29, whereas the Impala 3.4 was 20/32. But in looking at their raw numbers, the Intrepid actually did slightly better in the city cycle (22.4 versus 21.7), although the Impala was considerably better on the highway simulation (40.7 versus 37.1). However, the EPA puts more weight on the city number, so maybe that's what got the averages so close?

    Anyway, I don't think it'll be TOO hard for the auto makers to find a way to reach that 32 mpg combined figure. The Aveo, which isn't all that efficient for that class of car, already scores around 34 with the automatic, 36 with the stick. All of the Cobalts are already above 32, with an XFE version that pulls an impressive 38.6 combined! The Malibu 4-cyl gets 32.5-33.3 depending on transmission, while the 3.5 gets about 28 and the 3.6 gets 26.1. And the hybrid gets 35.7. The Impala ranges from 28.3 with the 3.5, down to 24.7 with the 5.3 V-8.

    At the low end of the range, the Corvette with the monstrous 7.0 scores a 23.1.

    Trucks are going to be where it hurts, though. The Silverado ranges from 21.9 with the 4.3 V-6, down to 18.7 with the 6.0 V-8. But then, there are HHR models that break the 32 mpg barrier.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    The 4 cyl Malibu is 33 while the 3.6 V6 is 26.

    The 4 cyl 4 speed auto 2007 Malibu gets 24/28/34 (using pre 2008 mpg methodology). Are you using the low volume stick version? That MPG is not going to help much in the overall picture. In 2008 numbers the same combo gets 22/25/30.

    http://fueleconomy.weblite-dns.com/index.php?-action=list&year=2007&-sort=combin- ed_mpg+desc&-limit=10&-table=vehicles_summary&-cursor=0&-skip=0&-mode=list&make=- %3DCHEVROLET&model==MALIBU

    The 3.6 w/ 6 speed gets 17/20/26 (2008 numbers) which should translate to about 19/23/30 in pre 2008 numbers. Now put that engine in a RWD Impala and the numbers will get worse. Now we can see why the RWD Impala was killed. 23 mpg is way below even the average of required 36.

    http://fueleconomy.weblite-dns.com/index.php?-action=list&year=2008&-sort=combin- ed_mpg+desc&-limit=10&-table=vehicles_summary&-cursor=0&-skip=0&-mode=list&make=- %3DCHEVROLET&model==MALIBU
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,571
    The 4 cyl 4 speed auto 2007 Malibu gets 24/28/34 (using pre 2008 mpg methodology). Are you using the low volume stick version? That MPG is not going to help much in the overall picture. In 2008 numbers the same combo gets 22/25/30.

    This is using the even older raw methodology, which is what they published for 1978-84 cars. Using those numbers, the 2008 Malibu, 4cyl/4pspeed auto gets 27.3 city/42.3 highway, with a combined rating of 32.48 mpg. That's the number they use for CAFE ratings and such, not the dumbed-down numbers. Or in the case of 2008, double-dumbed down numbers!

    In the case of the G8, it scores 21.4/34.6 (25.83 combined) using raw numbers for the V-6, and 18.8/32.8 (23.29 combined), for the V-8.

    Is it 32 they're required to get the average up to, or 36?
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    I do not understand which numbers they are going to use for the future requirements. From what I read it would use the pre 2008 numbers. No idea how the pre 84 numbers got into this.

    By 2015 the US average for cars is proposed to be 36 mpg. For trucks 29. I guess the total average would be around 33 mpg.

    By 2020 the US average for all vehicles will be 36 mpg.

    For the 2007 model year, cars sold in the U.S. averaged 31.3 mpg and light trucks averaged 23.1 mpg.Keep in mind that these numbers reflect a complex equation that takes a car or truck's "footprint" into account. Based on this equation, DOT says, Porsche will have to average 41.3 mpg by 2015 This is to prevent an automaker from simply switching to small cars.

    http://blogs.trucktrend.com/6243458/ford/ambitious-achievable-interim-cafe-32-mp- g-by-2015/index.html
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,571
    I do not understand which numbers they are going to use for the future requirements. From what I read it would use the pre 2008 numbers. No idea how the pre 84 numbers got into this.

    Well in the past, CAFE requirements didn't use the 1985-2007 numbers. That 27.5 average they've been making cars adhere to for eons now was the raw combined number. In essence, the number they used to publish back in 1978-84. The problem is that people whined about those numbers being unrealistic, so the EPA started using dumbed down numbers for the window stickers starting in 1985. And then they started dumbing them down again for 2007/2008. As far as I know, the CAFE requirements are based on the raw laboratory test numbers, and have not been dumbed down.

    Back in 1985, for example, to get to 27.5 combined using the EPA published figures, in the GM ranks you'd have to move down to something like a Cavalier. The 2.0/automatic had a combined of 27 and the 2.0/4-speed had a combined of 30. But think about it...back then, there wasn't really that much in GM's ranks smaller or more fuel-efficient than a Cavalier. There was the Chevette, but they weren't selling a whole lot of those by 1985. The Spectrum/Sprint were considered imports, and counted separately. I'm not sure how the Nova was considered. It was built in California, but might not have had enough domestic content to be counted. FWIW the Nova had an EPA combined score of 28 with the automatic, 33 with the stick.

    The Citation and Celebrity had a combined figure of 27 with the 2.5/automatic, which was the most popular choice. The only way to top 27.5 with either of those cars was to go with a 2.5/4-speed on the Citation (28 combined) or a Diesel 4.3 V-6 with the Celebrity (29 combined).

    The Monte Carlo could only muster up 21 combined with the 4.3 or 19 with the 5.0 V-8. And the Impala/Caprice, which was still one of the top ten selling cars in 1985, would get 24 with the Diesel and overdrive automatic. The 4.3 V-6 scored 20 with overdrive, 19 with a 3-speed automatic, and the popular 5.0 V-8, offered only with the overdrive, scored 19 as well.

    That year, the Olds Delta 88 and Cutlass Supreme, both of which would have similar economy to a Caprice and Monte, respectively, were also hot sellers. So were the Cutlass Ciera and Buick Century, which would be equivalent to the Celebrity. GM was definitely weighted towards larger, less efficient cars back then, and there's no way their combined EPA average broke 27.5 mpg. So that could not have been the number they were using. However, using the raw, unadjusted CAFE numbers, they probably broke 27.5 mpg easily, as suddenly even the Celebrity V-6 would come in at 25-26, with the 4-cyl coming in at 31. And even the V-6 Caprice, with the overdrive, would come in at 25. The V-8 came in at 23. Cavalier 4-cyl models were suddenly 32-35, although the V-6es were 25 for the auto, 23 for the stick.
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    Now put that engine in a RWD Impala and the numbers will get worse.

    I still don't understand, if (IF) the "RWD Impala" were of similar size and weight as the new "FWD Impala" how fuel economy would go down.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,571
    I still don't understand, if (IF) the "RWD Impala" were of similar size and weight as the new "FWD Impala" how fuel economy would go down.

    It would probably depend on the gearing, transmission, and even aspects such as the intake, how the car is cammed, etc. To use a Mopar example, the last year the Intrepid was offered 2004, the 2.7 V-6 was rated at 21/29 (my 2000 was rated at 20/29, so I dunno how they picked up another mpg on the city cycle?). There were two 3.5 V-6es offered. One was a 234 hp unit rated at 19/27, and the other was a 250 hp unit rated at 18/27.

    In the RWD Charger, which is heavier, and has more powertrain loss due to the extra weight of the driveshaft and other components that RWD adds back in, the 2.7 is rated at 21/28. So it didn't give up much economy. However, they had to re-cam the thing to change its torque curve, and that made it lose a bit of horsepower. And in that heavier configuration, 0-60 comes up in around 11 seconds, versus around 9.5 for the Intrepid.

    The 250 hp 3.5 in the Charger was rated at 19/27 for 2007, identical to what it put out in the Intrepid. However, in this case it was also mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission, which may have helped. I think the 0-60 time remained about the same, around 7.5-8 seconds for the Intrepid and the Charger. The 234 hp version was dropped.

    So, a RWD Impala might be a bit thirstier than the FWD version. But they might also do a few tricks to it so that they're comparable.

    I don't think it would be easy to have a RWD Impala be the same weight as an FWD version, simply because the drivetrain is more spread out. There's going to be more weight because of beefed up axles in the back, a separation of transmission and differential, and a driveshaft. I imagine they'd also have to beef up the rear structure of the car, now that you have power going back there. I guess some of that might be offset because they could lighten some of the components in the front suspension, which no longer has to transmit power to the ground.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    I still don't understand, if (IF) the "RWD Impala" were of similar size and weight as the new "FWD Impala" how fuel economy would go down.

    Its about interior space efficiency to overall size. FWD uses transverse engines which allow shorter front of cowl distance. So a FWD car will have less mass up front. RWD cars need a larger tunnel for clearance than FWD (tunnel is for structure and exhaust) and therefore there is no large hump in the rear seat area. That long driveshaft and rear drivetrain also is heavier than the simple tranny up front with short shafts and built in diffy.
  • torque_rtorque_r Posts: 500
    But the Hyundai Genesis 3.8 is rated at 18/28 I've read, despite having 290hp and RWD. That's better than the FWD Malibu 3.6.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    Your Intrepid has the 2.7 litre V-6, but the engine is mounted longitudinally rather than transversely, right? Is it easier to service as I'd imagine?
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Based on the combined unadjusted MPG numbers for the Pontiac G8 V6 (25.8 MPG) and Malibu V6 (26 MPG), I do not see that there is a lot of difference in fuel consumption. Now, AWD will increase consumption some, and all things being equal, one would think that FWD would use less than the same RWD design.

    A few comments on the EPA fuel consumption numbers to remind everyone what they really are. The EPA started to include fuel consumption after the first oil crisis in the early 70's. The numbers were based on their emissions tests. The city number is a cold start, stop and go cycle and the "highway" number is a warm start with less stops and higher speeds. Both numbers are for local driving cycles. At some point, the EPA "adjusted" the numbers to make the city number closer to the average that consumers might expect. The basic problem is that each driver will get a different result depending on how they drive a particular car. The EPA can't predict this for anyone, except for someone who drives exactly like the test cycle.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I owned a RWD 78 Olds 98 diesel which weighed about 4000 lbs. This car was downsized from the previous generation, but was still good sized. I also owned an 86 Buick Electra T-type which weighed about 3200 lbs. The Electra was smaller than the 76 Electra (which I did not own, but I did own a Riviera), but still had decent space compared to the Olds. But newer FWD's are now as heavy as the old RWD's due to improved body stucture. I doubt that larger RWD sedans are that much smaller than the FWD sedans for space. Compare the G8 and Lucerne - they are nearly the same interior space - 125 cubic feet.
  • torque_rtorque_r Posts: 500
    General Motors will unveil a Chevrolet compact car at an auto show this fall, with production slated to begin early next year, say sources familiar with GM’s product program.

    The vehicle will be built on the Delta compact car architecture at GM’s plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

    The car will use a new 1.4-liter global engine that GM developed and recently announced in Europe. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine will be used in several GM vehicles worldwide.

    The Chevrolet compact will not be called the Cobalt, says one source familiar with the plans. GM will produce the current-generation Cobalt through June 2010 as a 2009 model. It was unclear from sources whether GM will continue to build the Cobalt after that.

    Shared among five nameplates

    The car’s engine will be capable of developing between 120 and 140 hp. Sources say mileage could easily exceed 40 mpg.

    “It’s a pretty incredible engine; it’s direct-injected with great power,” the source says. “The small-displacement turbos make it possible to get great power so that GM might put it in the mid-sized products, too. It’s an extremely important engine and a very capable powertrain.”

    The new engine will be shared among five nameplates: Chevrolet, Pontiac, Saturn, Opel and Daewoo, sources say. That means the Lordstown plant could build cars for export.

    The engine continues the trend that GM started with such cars as the Pontiac Solstice GXP and Saturn Sky Red Line. Those cars use smaller engines and high-technology devices such as direct fuel injection and turbochargers to boost fuel economy and performance.

    Lordstown plant retooling

    GM is retooling its plant in Lordstown for a new vehicle, sources say. Lordstown union officials have heard that GM plans to add a shift.

    GM now is building between 1,400 and 1,500 cars a day at Lordstown; adding a shift would increase that output to 2,100 cars a day. GM builds the Chevrolet Cobalt as well as the Pontiac G5 and its Canadian counterpart, the Pontiac Pursuit, at the Lordstown plant.

    Meanwhile, GM is reconsidering bringing the Chevrolet minicar, the Beat, to the United States.

    “The Beat for the U.S. is getting a pretty thorough examination now that you see what’s going on with fuel prices,” says a source close to GM’s product development. “It isn’t definitively on there as a go product, but there is a lot of inside chatter and it’s on the consideration list.”
    http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080602/FREE/516060181/1530/- FREE
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