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I’ll Be Back, Maybe: GM Open To Returning To Europe 13
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Chevrolet Europe, Electric Vehicles, GM, Reports on 12 13th, 2017


General Motors has a long and tumultuous history in Europe as the company announced plans to phase out the Chevrolet brand in 2013. The company then focused on Opel and Vauxhall but those brands were sold to Groupe PSA earlier this year.

Given its track record of huge and consistent losses, many felt the sale of Opel and Vauxhall sealed the fate of General Motors in Europe. However, GM CEO Mary Barra has revealed that isn’t the case.

Speaking to Detroit Automotive Press Association, Barra said GM would “absolutely” consider returning to Europe and noted “Nothing keeps us from going back.” A return isn’t likely to happen anytime soon as Barra suggested the company would need “transformative products” such as autonomous and electrified vehicles to seize any opportunity that presents itself.

The Detroit Bureau also noted Barra wasn’t shy about suggesting the automaker could leave additional markets besides India and South Africa. As she explained, “We need to generate an appropriate return. If we don’t see a path to generate appropriate returns we’re going to invest where we see better opportunities.”

Besides talking about international markets, Barra said hopes the United States government keeps its $7,500 rebate for electric vehicles. Even if the tax credits are phased out, Barra confirmed the company is committed to launching at least 20 new electric vehicles by 2023.

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Chevrolet Had An Hilarious Codename For The Corvette ZR1’s Engine 8
Dec
Posted by Brad Anderson in Chevrolet, Corvette, GM, Reports on 12 8th, 2017


The LT5, 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine of the 2019 Corvette ZR1 may not be the twin-turbo mill many were expecting but it is still a very special engine and Chevrolet knows it.

During development of the new powertrain, Chevrolet engineers tried to keep the project a closely-guarded secret and thus thought up a particularly ‘colorful’ codename for the new LT5.

Speaking to Automotive News, Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juecther revealed that the company stamped ‘BAS’ on the supercharger, rather than ‘Corvette ZR1’. In doing so, the engineers thought they could trick their fellow workers into thinking it was a development of the Belt Alternator System, currently used by a diesel engine from GM.

However, to those who knew the truth, ‘BAS’ did not stand for ‘Belt Alternator System’ and was instead an acronym for ‘Big A** Supercharger’. Fitting.

Compared to the supercharger of the LT4, the LT5’s is 52 per cent larger and works alongside an all-new 95 mm throttle body, dual fuel system, two engine controllers, and a custom crankshaft made from high-strength alloy. These components work alongside the same block, head, pistons, and connecting rods as the LT4.

The figures are something to behold. Chevrolet quotes 755 hp and 715 lb-ft of torque, enough to accelerate the ZR1 to 100 km/h in under 3 seconds and to a top speed beyond 337 km/h.

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Chevrolet Had An Hilarious Codename For The Corvette ZR1’s Engine 8
Dec
Posted by Brad Anderson in Chevrolet, Corvette, GM, Reports on 12 8th, 2017


The LT5, 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine of the 2019 Corvette ZR1 may not be the twin-turbo mill many were expecting but it is still a very special engine and Chevrolet knows it.

During development of the new powertrain, Chevrolet engineers tried to keep the project a closely-guarded secret and thus thought up a particularly ‘colorful’ codename for the new LT5.

Speaking to Automotive News, Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juecther revealed that the company stamped ‘BAS’ on the supercharger, rather than ‘Corvette ZR1’. In doing so, the engineers thought they could trick their fellow workers into thinking it was a development of the Belt Alternator System, currently used by a diesel engine from GM.

However, to those who knew the truth, ‘BAS’ did not stand for ‘Belt Alternator System’ and was instead an acronym for ‘Big A** Supercharger’. Fitting.

Compared to the supercharger of the LT4, the LT5’s is 52 per cent larger and works alongside an all-new 95 mm throttle body, dual fuel system, two engine controllers, and a custom crankshaft made from high-strength alloy. These components work alongside the same block, head, pistons, and connecting rods as the LT4.

The figures are something to behold. Chevrolet quotes 755 hp and 715 lb-ft of torque, enough to accelerate the ZR1 to 100 km/h in under 3 seconds and to a top speed beyond 337 km/h.

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Safety Group Expresses Concerns About GM’s Marketplace App 8
Dec
Posted by Brad Anderson in GM, Reports, Tech on 12 8th, 2017


A prominent safety group has expressed concerns about GM’s recently-announced Marketplace app.

The application allows GM owners to use the vehicle’s onboard WiFi to browse through various outlets, including Starbucks, Priceline, and Dunkin Donuts, and place orders.

However, the National Safety Council claims the application will only contribute to distracted driving and potentially increase fatalities.

“There’s nothing about this that’s safe. If this is why they want Wi-Fi in the car, we’re going to see fatality numbers go up even higher than they are now,” National Safety Council president Deborah Hersman told Bloomberg.

Upon unveiling the app, GM was proud to boast about it being the “industry’s first commerce platform for on-demand reservations and purchases” and intends on rolling it out to roughly four million drivers in the United States within the next 12 to 18 months.

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GM And HSV Announce Camaro SS And Silverado HD Heading To Australia Next Year 7
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Australia, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Silverado, GM, HSV on 12 7th, 2017


General Motors and Holden Special Vehicles have reached an agreement which will ensure the latter company remains active following the death of the rear-wheel drive Holden Commodore.

Described as a “pivotal moment” in HSV’s history, the agreement paves the way for an assortment of new vehicles to come to Australia. There will be two “product streams” and the first will consist of the familiar vehicle enhancement program that is offered on existing Holden vehicles.

An example of this is the new HSV SportsCat which is based on the Holden Colorado. The model features an all-new front fascia with a revised grille, tow hooks, and LED fog lights. Other notable features include new fender flares, a retuned suspension, and an increased ride height.

Power is provided by a 2.8-liter Duramax Turbo Diesel engine that produces up to 197 hp (147 kW) and 368 lb-ft (500Nm) of torque. It can be connected to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.

The second product stream is more exciting as it will see HSV launch all-new vehicles in Australia. These include the Chevrolet Camaro and Silverado HD which will retain their bow-tie badging.

On the Silverado side, HSV will offer 4×4 Crew Cab variants of the 2500HD WT, 2500HD LTZ, 2500HD LTZ Midnight Edition, 2500HD LTZ Custom Sport Edition, and 3500HD LTZ. All of the models will come equipped with a 6.6-liter Duramax Turbo Diesel V8 engine that produces approximately 445 hp (332 kW) and 910 lb-ft (1,234 Nm) of torque. The engine will be paired a standard six-speed automatic transmission.

The Camaro, on the other hand, will arrive in 2018 in 2SS guise. The model will have a 6.2-liter V8 engine which produces up to 455 hp (340 kW) and 453 lb-ft (615 Nm) of torque. Unfortunately for performance fans, it will only be offered with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The model will come nicely equipped with HID headlights, a rear spoiler, and 20-inch alloy wheels with Goodyear Eagle tires. The Camaro also has heated / ventilated leather sport seats, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, and a 9-speaker Bose audio system.

According to HSV Managing Director Tim Jackson, “This marks a whole new era for HSV and Holden and I hope our customers are as excited as we are. HSV is moving beyond simply ‘hotting up’ existing models, and customers will see two product streams from HSV over the next few years.”

His sentiments were echoed by Holden Managing Director Mark Bernhard who remarked, “Today is a great day for Holden and HSV, but even more importantly, for our customers”.

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GM Rolls Out Its New Marketplace App, Will Allow Drivers To Order Coffee From Their Car 5
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Videos, GM, GMC, Tech, USA, video on 12 5th, 2017


Getting your morning cup of Starbucks is about to get a lot easier if you drive a General Motors vehicle as the company has just announced it is rolling out its all-new Marketplace.

Billed as the “industry’s first commerce platform for on-demand reservations and purchases,” the Marketplace is essentially an app that resides on the infotainment system of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC vehicles. The app will be rolled out to millions of existing 2017 and 2018 vehicles and doesn’t require a separate data plan.

A handful of companies have created their own Marketplace sections and these include restaurants such as Applebee’s, IHOP, TGI Fridays, and Wingstop. Other notable partners include Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Shell, and ExxonMobil.

The services vary by company but Starbucks fans can place their order through the app, while drivers looking to hit up TGI Fridays can make reservations at a restaurant and time of their choosing. While no one really needs to order coffee from their infotainment system, the Parkopedia option is interesting as it will allow drivers to “find, reserve, and pay for parking, all at the click of a button.”

The service will be available to approximately four million drivers in the United States within the next 12 to 18 months and GM’s Vice President for Global Connected Customer Experience, Santiago Chamorro, said “The average American spends 46 minutes per day on the road driving. Leveraging connectivity and our unique data capabilities, we have an opportunity to make every trip more productive and give our customers time back.”

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GM Was Reportedly Losing $12,000 On Every Opel Ampera-E 4
Dec
Posted by Brad Anderson in Electric Vehicles, GM, opel, Opel Ampera-e, PSA, Reports on 12 4th, 2017


In the short time that the Opel Ampera-e was sold in Europe under GM ownership, the carmaker was reportedly losing 10,000 euros ($11,900) on every vehicle it sold.

On the back of reports that PSA wants a refund of almost $1 billion from GM following its purchase of the Opel brand, Reuters has uncovered the costs which GM was sustaining when selling the European variant of the Chevrolet Bolt.

As Inside EVs reports, this isn’t good for PSA. When negotiating a deal with General Motors, the French multinational manufacturer would have thought the Opel Ampera-e could play an important role in it reducing emissions across Europe to meet stringent standards. However, the company is now left in a position of losing extraordinary amounts of money in continuing to sell the Ampera-e or killing off the vehicle and risk failing to meet EU emissions regulations.

On paper, the Opel Ampera-e has all the right figures to be an exceptionally popular EV available to the masses. In September, a pair of journalists in Germany were able to travel 754.9 km (469 miles) on a single charge with the Ampera-e, despite the hatchback ‘only’ having a NEDC estimated range of 520 km (323 miles).

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GM To Introduce Fully-Autonomous Ride-Sharing Fleet By 2019 1
Dec
Posted by Brad Anderson in Autonomous, GM, Reports, Tech on 12 1st, 2017


General Motors has detailed some of its ambitious self-driving plans, revealing its intent on launching a fully-autonomous ride-sharing service by 2019.

The American carmaker has yet to provide specifics about its plan but says the self-driving fleets will be introduced in “multiple cities.” If the targeted launch year is achieved, GM will have a significant head start on its rivals, including Uber.

GM currently operates a pilot programme in San Francisco through its Cruise Automation unit that allows employees to take test rides in the fleet of self-driving prototypes. However, these prototypes require a GM engineer behind the wheel at all times but by the time 2019 comes around, GM hopes to eliminate the need for a human driver as backup.

Beyond announcing its plans for an autonomous ride-sharing fleet, the brand’s president, Dan Ammann, said the cost of proprietary sensors that will make a car self-driving could eventually fall to as little as $300, thanks in part to GM’s recent purchase of LiDAR specialist Strobe.

According to Ammann, autonomous cars are the biggest business opportunity since the invention of the internet.

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Want The First Production 2019 Corvette ZR1? Head To Arizona In January 30
Nov
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in auction, Chevrolet, Corvette, GM, new cars on 11 30th, 2017


If you can’t wait for Chevy to officially launch the 2019 Corvette ZR1 next year, then you may want to check out the Barrett-Jackson auction, on January 20.

Held in Scottsdale, Arizona, the event will host the first production unit of the supercar, with proceeds benefiting the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, whose work supports wounded veterans through the ‘Building America’s Bravest’ program.

“GM and Chevrolet are proud to honor and support the brave men and women of our armed forces. With the proceeds from the auction of the Corvette ZR1, we will be able to offer additional support to some of our most severely wounded veterans, through the Building for America’s Bravest effort”, said GM’s VP of US sales and Service, Steve Hill.

The estimated selling price of the first production Corvette ZR1 is unknown, but with 755hp and 715lb-ft (969Nm) of torque available on tap, in addition to other modifications, it should fetch a pretty penny.

If you’re in LA, you can also catch a glimpse of the ZR1’s convertible sibling that will also launch next year at an, as of yet, undisclosed price.

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PSA Reportedly Seeking Huge Refund From GM Over Opel’s CO2 Target Emissions 30
Nov
Posted by Michael Karkafiris in GM, opel, PSA, Reports, vauxhall on 11 30th, 2017


PSA Group wants around half of the money it paid GM for Opel back, after reportedly discovering the full extent of the German company’s CO2 challenges and exposure to future European fines.

Citing inside sources, Reuters reports that PSA has already informed GM that it believes it’s owed 600 to 800 million euros and intends to pursue a legal claim, claiming it was misled about Opel’s emissions strategy. PSA paid GM 1.3 billion euros for the acquisition of Opel/Vauxhall.

Earlier this month PSA said that it’ll need to move Opel models onto its own, more fuel-efficient technology faster than originally planned in order to cut the German company’s CO2 emissions before the new EU limits are imposed from 2020-21, which happen to be backed by some rather large penalties.

EU has set a 2021 deadline for carmakers to reduce their average CO2 emissions from 130g/km today to 95g/km. The task has been described as enormous for carmakers, especially with diesel sales steadily declining as customers switch to petrol cars.

This has sparked big investments in smaller engines and new technologies, including plug-in hybrids and all-electric powertrains. According to the new emissions rules, companies that will miss their targets will have to face fines of 95 euros per vehicle, per excess gram of CO2, which could add up to hundreds of millions of euros on a yearly basis.

PSA believes that GM has misrepresented Opel’s CO2 challenges and emissions trajectory during negotiations and due diligence prior to the acquisition deal as hinted by PSA Group’s CEO Carlos Tavares.

“We became aware a few weeks after we finalised the closing that the company was going to the wall on CO2 emissions,” he said on November 9 after presenting their significantly revised turnaround plan for Opel. “We put our teams to work to completely rebuild the product and technology strategies. If you fail to comply (with EU rules) the weight of fines you are hit with can threaten the company’s existence.”

According to sources, one of the most unpleasant surprises was a CO2 compliance plan presented by GM that relied on significant sales of the Opel Ampera-e, the rebadged version of the electric Chevrolet Bolt, which was priced at a loss close to 10,000 euros ($11,860) per car.

“Their technical solution was economically unviable and would have led to enormous losses,” said one source. “So the first thing you do is drop that (product) line, but then the fleet emissions explode.”

PSA has already suspended Norwegian sales of the Opel Ampera-e -where it sold most of its 1,500 deliveries to date- and has increased its European pricing by 5,700 euros ($6,760).

In the end, Opel’s real situation appears to be even worse than described prior of the sale, according to PSA sources who said that the company is on course to miss its CO2 targets by more than 10gr/km. Such a big difference from the EU’s targets could incur fines approaching 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion).

That’s why PSA is now rushing out plug-in hybrid or electric versions of the Grandland X, Crossland X and the next Corsa supermini that were not part of the French company’s original plan.

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Mid-Engine Corvette C8 To Offer 850HP From Twin-Turbo V8, Leaked Document Claims 29
Nov
Posted by Michael Karkafiris in Chevrolet, Corvette, GM, Reports on 11 29th, 2017


More information on the upcoming Corvette C8 has been leaked, including the engine range which apparently will feature three options to choose from.

According to a market analyst document from IHS Markit which was leaked by a Corvette Forum user, the new Corvette C8 will come with two new DOHC V8 options, as well as the existing 6.2-liter V8. Of the two new engines, the smaller will be a 4.2-liter and the other will be a 5.5-liter unit.

The new engines will be built at the Tonawanda plant and according to IHS Markit, the existing 6.2-liter V8 will be the main choice for the C8 with an average of 14,000 engines per year, from 2019 to 2021. The smaller 4.2-liter follows on their list with a projected production run of more than 7,000 engines per year, with the 5.5-liter having the smallest production numbers, at around 5,000 units per year.

Both the 4.2-liter and the 5.5-liter V8s are expected to be twin-turbocharged, with the leaked document also mentioning a “Cadillac Sports Car” which is going to use the smaller of the two engines. As for the actual power figures, the 5.5-liter V8 is expected to produce as much as 850hp and 720lb-ft of torque, which sounds exciting to say the least.

The same document says that the current C7 Corvette will soldier on for at least three more years to 2021, which means the two cars will be available at the same time.

Renderings via Corvette Forum

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Mid-Engine Corvette C8 To Offer 850HP From Twin-Turbo V8, Leaked Document Claims 29
Nov
Posted by Michael Karkafiris in Chevrolet, Corvette, GM, Reports on 11 29th, 2017


More information on the upcoming Corvette C8 has been leaked, including the engine range which apparently will feature three options to choose from.

According to a market analyst document from IHS Markit which was leaked by a Corvette Forum user, the new Corvette C8 will come with two new DOHC V8 options, as well as the existing 6.2-liter V8. Of the two new engines, the smaller will be a 4.2-liter and the other will be a 5.5-liter unit.

The new engines will be built at the Tonawanda plant and according to IHS Markit, the existing 6.2-liter V8 will be the main choice for the C8 with an average of 14,000 engines per year, from 2019 to 2021. The smaller 4.2-liter follows on their list with a projected production run of more than 7,000 engines per year, with the 5.5-liter having the smallest production numbers, at around 5,000 units per year.

Both the 4.2-liter and the 5.5-liter V8s are expected to be twin-turbocharged, with the leaked document also mentioning a “Cadillac Sports Car” which is going to use the smaller of the two engines. As for the actual power figures, the 5.5-liter V8 is expected to produce as much as 850hp and 720lb-ft of torque, which sounds exciting to say the least.

The same document says that the current C7 Corvette will soldier on for at least three more years to 2021, which means the two cars will be available at the same time.

Renderings via Corvette Forum

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GM Preparing To Unveil Its Autonomous Vehicle Plans 28
Nov
Posted by Brad Anderson in Autonomous, GM, Reports, Tech on 11 28th, 2017


Fresh off unveiling its ambitious electric vehicle plans, General Motors is preparing to detail its vision for an autonomous future, Automotive News reports.

On November 30, GM will hold an event with investors and is set to detail its mobility and self-driving vehicle business and how it intends on making the most out of the emerging market.

In a November 15 event, GM chief executive Mary Barra provided a taste of how seriously GM is taking automation.

“We recognize that our industry is changing very quickly, and we plan to participate in the biggest business opportunity since the creation of the Internet,” she said.

Eager to develop self-driving systems as quickly as possible, General Motors purchased autonomous vehicle startup Cruise Automation in 2016. Since then, the company has become GM’s official self-driving unit, now employs 350 people, and has a fleet of autonomous Chevrolet Bolts testing throughout the United States, including in San Francisco.

At the start of October, GM said it will unveil two new electric vehicles within the next 18 months and offer at least 20 new EVs by the year 2023. Given GM’s simultaneous development of autonomous systems, it seems inevitable that many of these EVs will feature semi- or fully-autonomous driving functions.

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Baojun Upgrades The 730 7-Seat MPV With 1.5-Liter Turbo Engine 23
Nov
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in Baojun, china, GM, new cars, prices, SAIC on 11 23rd, 2017


Spending $15,000 on a new car in the US would land you a new Ford Fiesta with a few extras, but the same amount will get you a new Baojun 730 in China.

Upgraded for the new MY, the MPV is still based on a Lotus-tuned chassis, though it gets a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine rated at 147 HP (149 PS) and 170lb-ft (230Nm) of torque that’s mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

Despite carrying a starting price of RMB 99,800 ($15,045), the MPV made by SAIC-GM-Wuling exclusively for the Chinese market comes with a few high-tech features, such as the active air intake grille, which controls the air entry into the engine compartment, allowing it to reach the optimal temperature faster, and reducing wind drag.

The 730 has a 2+2+3 seating layout, and is available with a new black and grey interior trim, dark wood-like accents, ice blue ambient lighting, dual-color seats and a 9-speaker Infinity sound system by Harman, which was custom made for this vehicle. Moreover, the automaker claims that the cabin is “segment-leading quiet”, thanks to sound-absorbing and soundproofing materials.

GM’s local joint venture expects the upgraded MPV to continue the success of the model introduced in 2015, which managed to achieve a 5-star safety rating from C-NCAP.

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Want To Save $4k On A New Corvette? Go To Work At Taco Bell 20
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Corvette, GM, Reports on 11 20th, 2017


Working at a fast-food restaurant isn’t exactly the most lucrative jobs out there, but it can have its perks: convenient location, job training, all the fries you can eat… and a discount on a new Corvette.

Wait, what? Yeah, that’s right – but only if you work at Taco Bell. According to CarsDirect, the pseudo-Mexican fast food chain is considered a supplier to General Motors, so its employees – all its employees – are eligible for discounts under the GM Supplier Pricing scheme.

The program includes dozens of Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac models, from the humble Sonic to a top-of-the-line Escalade.

Discounts vary by model, so a base Spark (for example) is offered to eligible supplier employees for $13,668.25, representing savings of $256.75 under MSRP. But a Corvette Grand Sport (like the one pictured) is offered at $62,063, or $4,382 less than the sticker price.

Burrito slingers (or other supplier employees) needn’t spend that much to save that much, though. Discounts offered on the Silverado and Tahoe hover around $4,600, while a Cadillac CT6 comes with a discount of “only” $2,743. Of course, Taco Bell isn’t the only company eligible, although regardless of which supplier we’re talking about, it’s likely that management is taking advantage of these deals, more so than cashiers and cooks.

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