Monday, September 18, 2006

Sky Red Line Dyno run

Automobile Magazine got a chance to not only drive the new Saturn Sky Red Line, they decided to dyno the new roadster to see how closely the car comes to the claimed 260hp / 260lb*ft rating.

Their findings? 228hp and 248lb*ft at the rear wheels.

Assuming a 15% power loss between the crank and the rear wheels gives us: 268hp and 291 lb*ft at the crank...sweet!

Why the discrepancy? It is likely that the power ratings assume worst possible conditions for the intercooler (such as desert heat).

So, all you Solstice GXP and Sky Red Line owners - enjoy your extra speedy machines knowing that you are packing some serious punch.

Read all about it here:

Automobile Magazine: Dynamometer Test - 2007 Saturn Sky Red Line

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Restyled Equinox - more info

Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell VehicleIt appears that the fuzzy image of a restyled Equinox from GM's fuel-cell fest last week is less of a mystery today.

Official photos as well as details about the Fuel Cell Equinox have been released. GM plans to build 100 of these and place them with families in California (of course), New York City, and Washington D.C. This will result in the worlds largest FCV fleet.

I would still expect this highly modified front-end (which seems to combine a new style Chevy grill with the headlights already used on the Pontiac Torrent) to become the new face of the Equinox in the 2008 model year.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Freshening of the Chevrolet Equinox?

2008 Equinox
At a recent press event held by GM to hype their prototype fuel cell Chevy Sequel, it seems that GM may have given a quick hint to the updated styling of the Chevrolet Equinox.

Here is a cropped version of that photo to just show the picture of a fuel cell Equinox with decidedly not current Equinox styling.

Our guess is that, with the exception of the large air intakes on either side of the front fascia for the fuel cell, that this is a good indicator of the 2008 Equinox freshening.

Here is a picture, for reference, of the current Equinox:

Thursday, September 07, 2006

GM planning Firebird, Fiero, and 8-speed transmission

LLN has scooped us all with coverage of recent trademark filings by GM that suggest that GM is considering a return of the Fiero and Firebird names. We can only guess as to what products they might be attached to, but I'd have to agree with them that Fiero might make a great name to resurrect for a coupe based on the Kappa.

There were rumors before Solstice was officially announced for production that GM had been considering Firebird as one name for the new roadster. It is also likely that they could be reconsidering if their Zeta based coupe should carry the GTO name after the recent bad press from the current GTO's bland styling...or, they could be considering a retro GTO and a more modern styled Firebird.

Also, GM registered a trademark for '8 Speed' for use on a transmission. Expect that wonderful piece of unexpected technology to debut with Cadillac.

Read all about both stories at Left Lane News:

LLN: 8-Speed

LLN: Firebird and Fiero

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Warranty wars - GM to offer 5 year / 100000 mile powertrain warranty

GM 100000 mile warrantyIn what can only be termed an 'about time' move from GM, and no doubt pushed over the edge by recent increases of Ford warranties...GM is expected to announce later today a move from their current 3 year/ 36000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty on most vehicles in the US and Canada (Cadillac and Buick currently already have longer bumper-to-bumper warranties) to a 3 year / 36000 mile bumper-to-bumper and a 5 year / 100000 mile powertrain. The longer warranty is expected to be effective on 2007 and newer vehicles. It is unknown, but expected, that Cadillac and Buick will join the rest of the brands with longer powertrain warranties as well.

Recently, Ford announced 5 year / 60000 mile powertrain warranties on Ford and Mercury products and 6 year / 70000 mile powertrain warranty on Lincoln.

Update - GM has officially announced that all 8 brands will get 5 year / 100000 mile powertrain warranties to go with their existing bumper-to-bumper coverage. In addition, for the same terms as the powertrain warranty, all cars in all 8 brands will have included roadside assistance.

GM is promoting this with a new ad slogan "A New Level of Confidence" that includes fleets of new GM vehicles driving many feet above all other cars on the road - a nice visual (especially the Pontiac Solstice being transported with giant chains holding it a few feet above the trailer).

A bit more time than 5 years would have been nice - since I know few people who would reach the 100k mark at or before the end of 5 years. 6 or 7 years would have been more in keeping with an average of 15k miles per year. 10 would have at least put GM on par with Hyundai, Kia, and former partner Suzuki as 'standing behind their product' in the mind of many consumers.

It will be interesting to see how well they do with this initiative.