General Motors is entering the next-generation small van competition with a new version of a commercial vehicle made by Nissan, both companies announced Tuesday.
The Chevrolet City Express, as it will be called, will be a revised Nissan NV200 and will come to market in fall, 2014. Nissan has been trying to aggressively find new uses for its small NV200 van, including adapting it as the “taxi of tomorrow,” the mainstay of New York’s cab fleet.
In creating a Chevrolet version, Nissan solves a problem for GM. With the success of Ford’s small Transit Connect, the pressure has been on GM to find a match. By partnering with Nissan, GM cuts years of development time and expense.
GM officials know exactly what they want the van to accomplish.
“It’s designed to go head-to-head against Transit Connect — and win,” Ed Peper, GM’s fleet sales chief tells USA TODAY. “Speed (to market) was a very important asset we had to have here.”
The van will be for sale to individual customers as well as fleet buyers, the businesses that buy their vans in bunches for flower deliverers, plumbers and myriad other enterprises.
The small van segment is new to GM. Ford basically created the segment in the U.S. with its Transit Connect, which sort of a combination car and truck. Now, Peper says GM’s vehicle will stand out from the Nissan with an entirely new front-end design that looks distinctively like a Chevrolet and a five-year, 100,000-miles powertrain warranty.
The van, to be built at a Nissan plant in Mexico, is yet another example of how Nissan partners with other automakers to try to get enough production volume at its plants to make vehicles successful.
“Working with partners to expand markets for our innovative products enhances Nissan’s growth and manufacturing efficiency by leveraging our capacity to meet growing demand in this space,” says Joe Castelli, a Nissan vice president, in a statement.
Now it yet to be seen whether GM will try to enter the large, new-generation van market. It is dominated by Mercedes-Benz’ large Sprinter, and both Ford and Chrysler have their own large vans planned based on European designs.
A properly tuned engine can improve fuel economy about 4 percent, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Properly inflated tires improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer. Under-inflated tires can lower fuel economy by 0.3 percent for every one pound-per-square-inch drop in the pressure of all four tires.
Put it in Overdrive:
Roll ‘Em Down Around Town:
Use the Right Oil
Plan your Trips:
ZL1 Camaro Coming Soon – Chevrolet Enters The Realm of Advanced Performance Technology at Bob Maguire Chevrolet
The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 debuted today at the Chicago Auto Show. It is the highest-performing Camaro and the most technically advanced car ever developed in its class. The new ZL1 continues the momentum of Camaro, propelling it into an entirely new realm of leading-edge performance technology. It is planned to arrive at Bob Maguire Chevy in the beginning of 2012.
The all-new, 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is powered by the LSA 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine that produces an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW) and 550 lb.-ft. of torque (745 Nm). This high powered machine is officially in the Chevrolet Production Pipeline, which means that it will be here at Bob Maguire Chevrolet in Bordentown, NJ in just a few months!
Motivated by a supercharged V-8 engine producing an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW), the Camaro ZL1 will be the fastest Camaro ever offered by Chevrolet. And more than just power, the ZL1 features technologically advanced and highly developed
chassis and suspension systems that help it deliver balanced, track-ready handling and braking power to complement its high engine output. Rigorous development of the ZL1 is ongoing, and official estimates of the car’s capabilities will be released later in
2011, as testing nears completion.
The LSA is the most powerful engine ever offered in a Camaro, eclipsing even the original ZL1 engine from 1969 that inspired the name of the new, maximum-performance model. Built on GM’s legendary small-block V-8 architecture, it features an intercooled supercharger system, premium heat-resistant aluminum cylinder heads and other details designed to ensure its exceptional performance is delivered with smoothness and refinement.
“The LSA is the ultimate engine for the ultimate Camaro,” said John Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer for small-block engines. “It has a broad power band that matches the Camaro ZL1’s performance capabilities at every notch on the tachometer.”
Components and design elements that contribute to the LSA’s performance include:
- Balanced, lightweight reciprocating assembly
- High-strength hypereutectic pistons Sixth-generation Eaton supercharger with four-lobe rotors
- Center-feed fuel system
- Piston oil squirters.
A Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission is matched with the LSA. It uses a 240-mm dual-mass flywheel matched with a 240-mm twin-disc clutch system to provide excellent shift smoothness.
Compared to the Cadillac application, the LSA used in the Camaro features the following unique components and details:
- Black intercooler housing with unique heat exchanger and plumbing to accommodate the Camaro engine compartment
- Cast stainless steel exhaust manifolds for enhanced thermal management
- Camaro-specific oil pan
- Revised accessory drive with unique alternator and air conditioning compressor
- Idler pulley in place of the conventional power steering pump pulley, because of the use of electric power steering
- Special engine cover in red.
Supercharged power delivery
The LSA engine’s sixth-generation Eaton supercharger, with high-helix, four-lobe rotors, enables a broad range of power through the rpm band, giving the engine great low-end torque and excellent horsepower at higher rpm.
“The design of the supercharger’s rotating internal components extends its effective range, giving the engine a wide, flat power band that is usable at all rpm levels,” said Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer. “Whether at low speeds or on the highway, the feeling of power is instant, strong and sustained.”
Heavy-duty and lightweight reciprocating components support the engine’s high-rpm, supercharged performance. The parts are housed in an aluminum cylinder block that features nodular iron, six-bolt main caps. Cast iron cylinder liners – measuring 4.06 inches (103.25 mm) in bore diameter – are inserted in the aluminum block and they are finish-bored and honed with a deck plate installed. The deck plate simulates the pressure and minute dimensional variances applied to the block when the cylinder heads are installed, ensuring a higher degree of accuracy that promotes maximum cylinder head sealing, piston ring fit and overall engine performance.
Nestled inside the LSA’s deep-skirted cylinder block is a forged steel crankshaft that delivers a 3.62-inch (92 mm) stroke. It features an eight-bolt flange – the outer face of the crankshaft on which the flywheel is mounted – that provides enhanced clamping strength. Other non-supercharged GM 6.2L engines have a six-bolt flange. A torsional damper mounted to the front of the crankshaft features a keyway and friction washer, which is designed to support the engine’s high loads.
Connected to the crankshaft is a set of lightweight powder-metal connecting rods and hypereutectic pistons, which, when combined with the cylinder heads, delivers a 9.1:1 compression ratio. The alloy of the pistons was selected for its strength and heat resistance properties, while the cast design provides inherent quieting advantages over other piston materials, such as forged aluminum.
“Camaro ZL1 is about high-tech performance and design, and is a type of car no one has ever brought to this segment previously,” said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “It’s the most technically advanced Camaro ever, so we’ve chosen a
name from the most elite and exclusive Camaro in history.”
The ZL1 name is derived from the all-aluminum racing engine of the same name, which was developed in the late 1960s and installed into a handful of regular-production 1969 Camaros. Only 69 were built with the engine, but they’ve achieved mythical status
among enthusiasts, as they represented the pinnacle in Camaro performance – until now. The 2012 ZL1 model is designed to be a major leap forward for the Camaro, bringing a new level of performance capability to the segment.
The central goal of the car’s development was creating something new – a Camaro intended to reach optimal lap times on top road-racing circuits and excellent driving dynamics on the street. To achieve that goal, engineers evolved many of the existing
Camaro’s systems, as well as incorporated new technologies such as electric power steering and Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension system.
Camaro ZL1’s design communicates and supports its performance mission. Rather than using decorative elements, ZL1 is visually differentiated from other current Camaro models with elements vital to the car’s elevated capabilities.
“Everything about the ZL1’s design is directly related to its technology and serious performance, especially aerodynamics,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, Global Design. “Our designers’ goal was to execute that function-oriented design with beautifully
sculpted forms, creating an imposing, powerful persona. Function becomes the aesthetic. The intent is a car that delivers on the attitude it projects.”
Major elements of the ZL1’s design are a new front fascia and hood with air extractors, designed in tandem to create aerodynamic downforce to aid handling. The car’s hood includes a signature center section constructed of carbon fiber and rendered in satin
black finish. New rocker panels, wide tires, 20-inch wheels and exhaust tips portray the car’s handling and power.
The ZL1 badge appears on the grille, hood and the brake calipers, all key areas portraying the technology within.
Because the Camaro ZL1 uses electric power steering, the engine does not incorporate a conventional hydraulic power steering pump on its accessory drive system. This enhances performance, because no engine power is used to turn a steering pump pulley
Transmission – The high-performance Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual is matched with the LSA engine. It is the “MG9” version of the transmission, with a higher torque capacity. It is used with a dual-mass flywheel and twin-disc clutch for easy operation
and shift smoothness. A new, shorter-throw shifter actuates the gear changes.
Exhaust – ZL1 is equipped with a dual-mode exhaust system, which alters the sound level and character in response to engine rpm. First used on the legendary Corvette, and specifically tuned for Camaro ZL1, the dual-mode exhaust will give the car a
Drivetrain – It is revised with a stronger driveshaft and rear axle system, featuring a larger and stronger cast iron differential housing, stronger axles and heavy-duty limited-slip differential. This patent-pending system is designed to ensure that ZL1’s
tremendous power is delivered smoothly to the ground.
Suspension – The suspension features completely revised tuning and the inclusion of segment-exclusive Magnetic Ride Control. ZL1’s Magnetic Ride system will include driver selectable modes (Tour and Sport) tailored for the preferred style of driving. It
uses advanced magneto-rheological science to produce shock damping with the highest level of precision, enabling body control optimized for excellent performance in everyday driving as well as track situations. This technology appears on only a small
roster of some of the world’s finest performance cars. Other chassis elements are redesigned to support the car’s high-performance limits. Rear stabilizer bars have drop links repositioned outboard of the control arms. This makes the bars more effective in
controlling body roll in turns, with crisp response to driver commands.
Brakes and Steering – Camaro ZL1 features an advanced track-capable braking system, developed in conjunction with experts from Brembo. The large 14.6-inch (370 mm) two-piece front rotors have six-piston calipers; the 14.4-inch (365 mm) rear rotors
have four-piston calipers. ZL1 marks the entry of a new electric power steering system to Camaro. It is being developed to ensure precise control and feedback to the driver, with greater variability of effort for high-performance driving.
Exterior – ZL1’s signature from the front is the redesigned fascia and aluminum hood with a raised, carbon fiber insert. The fascia includes a front splitter and new vertical fog lamps. The fog lamp area includes air intakes designed for brake cooling. The
hood features front-mounted air extractors that direct air precisely over the car. Visually, this center section, in satin black carbon fiber, communicates the car’s high-performance intent as a visual contrast to the car’s exterior color. Functionally, the air
extractor is a key in connecting airflow closely to the bodywork, creating aerodynamic downforce. The carbon fiber center section reduces the mass of the hood. High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and fog lamps are standard. The rear of the car
includes a diffuser and spoiler, also functional elements that enhance the car’s aerodynamics.
Wheels and Tires – New-design, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, which are lighter than the 20-inch wheels used on the Camaro SS, are used with new Goodyear Supercar F2 ties developed specifically for the ZL1.
Interior – ZL1 is tailored for high-performance driving. The front seats feature microfiber suede inserts. Other enhancements include a redesigned steering wheel, alloy pedals, Head-Up Display with unique performance readouts and the “four-pack” auxiliary
gauge system featuring a boost readout.
All of the Camaro exterior colors will be offered with the ZL1, but black is the only interior color. The unique exterior features are complemented with a black center section on the hood. Inside, the Camaro ZL1 has heated leather seats with microfiber inserts
and ZL1 logos embroidered on the front headrests. Microfiber suede is repeated as an accent on the instrument panel, adding a richer look to the interior. The ZL1 will include the same content as the current 2SS package and include the following new or
- Six-way power driver and passenger seats
- Unique instrument panel and door panel inserts; and ZL1-logo sill plates
- Steering wheel audio controls with Bluetooth capability
- Wireless PDIM and USB-port
- Boston Acoustics premium audio system
- Rear parking assist
- Rear camera system (displayed in the inside rearview mirror).
- Engineers have already driven Camaro ZL1 prototypes extensively at demanding road courses in the U.S. and Germany, with final testing being completed through the balance of 2011.
We are less then a year away from truly experiencing the greatness of this vehicle so reserve your Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 today at Bob Maguire Chevrolet – Located at 237 US Highway 130 in Bordentown, NJ 08505.
Bob Maguire Chevrolet, NJ reviews breaking news on the status of Goodwrench with GM: GM will be dropping the GM Goodwrench car mechanic brand in the US. In order to keep emphasis on the its four vehicle brand (Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, Buick), it wants to drop GM Goodwrench and replace its services with individual brand services.
The GM Goodwrench service was first introduced in the 1970’s and became a huge success for many years. But, as Bob Maguire Chevrolet, NJ reviews breaking news on the status of Goodwrench with GM it is noted that not so many dealerships were using the Goodwrench name. Thusly, GM thought it would be a better idea to stop using the Goodwrench name and start using individual brand names, instead.
So as Bob Maguire Chevrolet, NJ reviews breaking news on the status of Goodwrench with GM, you will be kept updated!
On September 1, 2010 Ed Whitacre, Jr. will no longer be the CEO of General Motors; Dan Akerson will be taking over the reigns and will continue to direct GM on its path toward success.
We all know the devastating losses that GM incurred throughout these past few years – but Whitacre was able to push GM forward and turn the company’s outlook around, and Akerson will continue to do the same.
Dan Akerson, 61, joined the GM board in July of 2009. “Dan Akerson has been actively engaged in and supportive of the key decisions and changes made at the new GM. He brings broad business experience, decisive leadership, and continuity to this role,” said Pat Russo, lead director on the GM board. “The board of directors deeply appreciates the leadership Ed has provided and is pleased with the serious commitment Dan is making to the company. We look forward to his leadership.”
“There are remarkable opportunities ahead for the new GM, and I am honored to lead the company through this next chapter,” said Akerson. “Ed Whitacre established a foundation upon which we will continue building a great automobile company.”
The pickup vehicle is definitely a mainstay of American byways and highways from long time, and Chevrolet has been there from the first day. Chevy pick up trucks have been used by farmers and respected by, construction workers and small-business owners, It was well known for its reliablity, longevity and as a basic hauler. Current times have seen Chevy’s full-size truck adopt the name Silverado, which was previously an upscale trim level.
Much like its rivals,the current-day Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is available with an amazing array of body styles, powertrains and trim levels. As a result of this flexibility, the half-ton Silverado pickup is just as good at serving as the weekday family car as it is at transporting home-improvement supplies or towing a spead boat on the weekends. And if one wants something sporty, you will find always the SS versions that come that comes with a rumbling V8, bucket seats and flashy wheels.
The traditional Silverado1500 versions were well known for their strong work ethic but soundly criticized with regards to bland, often overly plastic-endowed cabins. The latest version, however, exhibits greatly improved fit and finish. Where there was once an abundance of lackluster design, hard plastic and uneven panel gaps now there are richly grained upholstery, softer materials and precise fitments. Of course, there are other choices in the full-size pickup truck market, but the half-ton Chevrolet Silverado remains a solid pick regardless of what its intended use.
Current Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Chevy pickup truck is available in three featured styles (regular-, extended- and crew cab) and trim levels ranging from no-frills “Work Truck” to plush LTZ. The most popular trim is the midlevel LT, which provides most features people want as standard, including air-conditioning, full power accessories and a CD player. Notable options include a variety of towing packages, the Z71 Off-Road Package and a navigation system.
Powertrain choices encompass everything from a frugal 4.3-liter 195-horsepower V6 to a muscular 6.2-liter V8 with 403 hp. Most Chevrolet Silverados, however, will be fitted with either a 295-hp 4.8-liter V8 or a 315-hp 5.3-liter V8. A four-speed automatic transmission with a tow and haul mode is standard on Silverado pickups with the base V6 and 4.8-liter V8. Silverados with the 5.3-liter or 6.2-liter V8 have a six-speed automatic. All V8s are powered by E85 as well as gasoline. Needlessly to say, one may choose either rear- or four-wheel drive.
Calling cards of the Silverado include strong performance, a refined and quiet ride (even with the heavy-duty towing package) and a comfortable, well-finished cabin. The few downsides we’ve noted in reviews include minor interior ergonomic issues and the hesitant response of the four-speed automatic transmission in downshift situations. GM’s excellent six-speed automatic, however, is difficult to fault featuring a smooth, on-point performance.
GM has really made its mark this year, in terms of awards, and it continues to do so as the days go by. One of the most impressive milestones for GM is that J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (IQS) recognized 10 GM models as top three vehicles in their segments for quality performance within the first 90 days of ownership. Some of those models are: Malibu, CTS, Suburban, Lucerne, and Yukon XL.
I am happy to announce that the Tahoe, Avalanche, Escalade and Sierra 1500 have each received quality awards as top vehicles in their class! Also, along with all of the awards going to GM vehicles, the Lansing Grand River assembly plant in Michigan won the Bronze Plant Award in North/South America region, as well as being recognized as the top-ranking plant in the US!
Kudos to GM for this amazing award year!
The price for the new 2011 Chevy Cruze would start from $16,995, including shipping, several hundred dollars greater than its targeted import competitors.
In the month of september, Chevy Cruze would start appearing in the showrooms, and General Motors Co. wants it to fight the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. The 2010 Civic starts at $16,405, and the Corolla starts at $16,200. Both prices include shipping.
“While some of our competitors may have a lower starting price, Cruze wins on value once these competitors are optioned up,” Chevrolet marketing chief Jim Campbell said today in a statement.
By way of example, a manual-transmission base model Civic is included with six air bags and lacks standard air conditioning, power locks and keyless entry. The base Cruze LS with a six-speed manual transmission comes with those features, in conjunction with 10 air bags.
The Cruze LS has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder Ecotec engine. For $18,895, buyers can upgrade to the LT version, with its standard 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec and a six-speed automatic transmission.
The same amount will buy the Eco model, which comes with the 1.4-liter Ecotec turbo, a manual transmission and lower front grille air shutters that close to improve aerodynamics.
Lightweight forged aluminum wheels from Alcoa and Goodyear’s Fuel Max tires will help the Eco model achieve an expected 40 mpg, GM says. GM aims to market the Cruze Eco as a gasoline-powered car that delivers hybrid-like fuel economy without a hybrid’s hefty price tag.
The Cruze LTZ starts at $22,695 and includes leather seats, Bluetooth, cruise control, a USB port for the audio system, rear-parking assist and remote vehicle start. It has the 1.4-liter Ecotec and an automatic transmission.
The 2010 Cobalt, which the Cruze is replacing, starts at $15,710 with shipping. GM has already said it will add a third shift in Lordstown, Ohio, when it changes over belonging to the Cobalt to the Cruze.
General Motors Co. has shuffled a multitude of product development executives and appointed new heads of global product planning, powertrain engineering and quality in its latest departmental shakeup.
CEO Ed Whitacre was given responsibility for global product planning which was initially held by Tom Stephens, Vice Chairman. . Stephens retains power over product development, including design, engineering and purchasing.
GM announced the changes Friday in a memo to employees obtained by Automotive News. Spokeswomen Sharon Basel and Katie McBride verified the memo’s authenticity and said the moves didn’t involve any employees leaving the organization. This comes after major overhaul in sales and marketing department in recent months.
As part of the changes, Steve Carlisle has become vice president of global product planning, reporting to Whitacre. Carlisle, who has previous experience in GM product planning outside the United States and in GM’s truck group, had been vice president of U.S. sales operations since March.
He replaces Jon Lauckner, who had led product planning since August. GM said earlier Friday that Lauckner would head its new venture capital unit, reporting to Vice Chairman Steve Girsky.
Carlisle’s role in sales has gone to Don Johnson, who will report to Mark Reuss, president of GM North America.
Dan Hancock, GM’s vice president of global powertrain engineering since 2005, has moved into the newly created position of vice president of global strategic product alliances. He will focus on joint ventures and report to Stephens, who heads global product operations.
Jamie Hresko has replaced Hancock and make regular reports to Stephens. Hresko, an electrical engineer by training, had been vice president of global quality since September 2008 and held a variety of manufacturing positions before that.
Dan Nicholson, formerly executive director of electronic integration and software, has replaced Hresko. He will report to Stephens.
Kent Helfrich has taken over Nicholson’s job.
The shakeup follows a restructuring in March involving more than a dozen GM sales and marketing executives. Last month, GM continued those changes by snagging Hyundai’s Joel Ewanick from his weeks-long stint at Nissan North America and putting him responsible for U.S. marketing.
His predecessor, Susan Docherty, is transferring to GM’s Shanghai office to head sales and marketing for GM’s operations outside the United States and Europe.
In the memo describing this week’s personnel changes, Stephens said GM is also seeking to simplify its product-development process. So GM is reducing the number of reviews each vehicle gets by GM’s Global Product Development Council, including Stephens, his direct reports and top executives from the global region that will get the vehicle.
That committee will only review each product four times during its development. That’s “about a third” fewer times than before, spokeswoman McBride said. The iidea is to hold lower-tier executives accountable for decision-making, she said.
General Motors has opened a new design studio in Seoul, South Korea, this past Wednesday, April 20, 2010. This will be GM’s tenth global design studio, to date, and will be responsible for creating mini and small vehicles to be sold around the world. There will be over thirty designers at the Seoul Advanced Design studio working diligently to create new concept vehicles for GM world-wide.
As time goes by, I believe that this design studio will become a crucial part of GM as the United States, and the World, enforces more strict fuel-efficiency and emissions standards. Soon, more and more people will be driving mini or small vehicles in order to comply with fuel-efficiency and emissions standards, and this GM design studio will be one of the major players contributing to the designs of those vehicles.