Category Archives: General

2009 Chevrolet Traverse unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show

The sea of crossover SUVs currently taking over the world is about to be joined by a new entry from Chevrolet. This one’s called the Traverse, and GM says that’s it’s an expressively styled and well equipped machine that packs large SUV space and capability into a smaller package.

Styled in line with the new Chevrolet Malibu, the American automaker promises to deliver bold styling and refined details for a premium look and feel. The Traverse is the fourth offering of the Lambda family of crossovers from GM (Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook).

The 2009 Traverse will be offered in LS, LT and LTZ trim levels. Shoppers can expect to be presented with options like parking assist, reverse camera, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, dvd-based navigation and entertainment systems, and a motorized liftgate. In the visual department, Traverse offers chrome accenting, roof rails, dual exhaust outlets, an integrated spoiler, and wheels available up to 20-inches in diameter.

“We think the Traverse is the right vehicle at the right time,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “It has great looks, utility and safety, with a driving experience typically found in smaller vehicles. But it delivers this with three rows of seating – including a third row that fits adults – and class-leading cargo space. The Traverse is following the formula that is bringing Chevy back to a new generation of consumers – great styling, loads of class-leading features and tremendous value.”

Production starts this summer in Tennesee.

Volt for 2010

2010 Chevy Volt2010 Chevy Volt Chassis

General Motors’ all-electric Volt to reach consumers in late 2010

General Motors is quite confident these days. The company recently priced its highly-anticipated full-siz hybrids and showed off a concept version of its full-size hybrid Chevrolet Silverado. GM CEO Rick Wagoner also noted that his company will release one hybrid per quarter for the next four years — lofty goals indeed.Likewise, the company’s brand new Chevrolet Malibu mid-sized sedan has been generating an overabundance of praise and its new $32,000 second-generation Cadillac CTS just walked away with Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award. GM is hoping to use this momentum and high level of interest in its vehicles to push the electric motor-powered Chevrolet Volt to customers by the end of 2010. GM vice chairman Bob Lutz has heard all of the critics who question GM’s aggressive ramp for the Volt, but is still committed to moving forward.“There is a lot of skepticism within the company about the timeline,” said Lutz. “People are biting their nails, but those of us in a leadership position have said it has to be done.”GM is hoping to use the Volt as a halo car to further strengthen its brand and its commitment to fuel economy. Dodge used the Viper to enhance its image for performance and styling in the 1990s. Toyota used its Prius at the turn of the century to shroud the entire company with a green image despite the fact that gas guzzlers like the Tundra and Sequoia share the same showroom space.”When they think of GM, the iconic brand is, unfortunately, the Hummer,” continued Lutz. “That perception needs to change.The GM Volt features a 1.0 liter, 3-cylinder gasoline engine which is solely used to recharge the onboard lithium-ion battery pack. The battery pack, which will be manufactured by Compact Power and Continental Automotive Systems, powers the Volt’s electric motors for forward propulsion.GM says that the Volt can travel for up to 40 miles on battery power alone. After the 40 mile threshold has been reached, the gasoline engine kicks back in again to recharge the battery pack.The entire industry has its eyes on GM and its Volt. Toyota took a big risk with its Prius and it has paid off dearly for the company.”We have since realized that letting Toyota gain that mantle of green respectability and technology leadership has really cost us dearly in the marketplace,” Lutz added. “We have to reestablish GM’s leadership and the Volt is, frankly, an effort to leapfrog anything that is done by any other competitor.”

Future Chevy compact truck

General Motors is channeling through Jim Mateja that all rear wheel drive vehicles beyond the 2009 Camaro are on hold. GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz says a timeout is needed to assess the impact of the recent Supreme Court ruling that the federal government must set and enforce limits on the amount of carbon dioxide produced by motor vehicles, and increasingly tougher Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for cars and light trucks.

So, while this news dampens enthusiasm for a RWD car-based pickup returning, as Yoda said to Obi Wan Kenobi when Old Ben said, “That boy is our last hope.” – No, there is another.

That other hope may be a new compact pickup that would slot into the Chevrolet truck family below the Colorado by 2012. We expect it would be powered by a 4-cylinder gasoline or diesel engine with front wheel drive.

Inspiration for this small truck comes from GM do Brasil’s Sabia Concept that showed off its bow-tie badges at the 2001 North American International Auto Show. The Sabia was both FWD and propelled by a four banger mill. And check out the lack of side mirrors in this article’s photos. The Sabia used rear facing video cameras to reduce aerodynamic drag to further improve fuel economy. Talk about being ahead of its time!

Skeptical? Then, consider the following.

The weight savings from front wheel drive versus a heavier rear wheel drive platform would help GM meet higher CAFE numbers. Since 2004, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) target for light trucks (SUVs, minivans, and pickups) has increased from 20.7 mpg to 22.2 mpg, this year. The average will rise to 24 mpg in 2011. And one bill before Congress (S. 357) calls for a combined car and light truck CAFE target of 35 mpg by 2019. That’s a non-trivial figure to hit when sales of light trucks are a bit less than half of all vehicles sold.

Sales of midsize pickups have been decreasing for years because the overuse of incentives and easy financing for full size pickups resulted in overlapping price points between the two segments. Why buy a Colorado when you could own a Silverado for a few thousand more dollars? With a 60-month loan, it becomes a marginal point in the monthly payment. Furthermore, if you go to the Home Page of loanago, you’ll learn about their unsecured loan which is most likely the best help you can get regarding financial. A new, small pickup would allow Chevrolet, and other manufacturers, to reset the pricing gap between models.

A smaller, cheaper pickup would also encourage new buyers (i.e. Gen Y) to enter the truck market in the hopes they would eventually upgrade to an industrial strength half-ton or heavy duty pickup later. The price point for a four cylinder pickup could start as low as $12,000, up to $16,000.

And how could you build and sell a small truck for only $12K? GM could direct GM do Brasil or GM Daewoo in South Korea to take the lead in designing and engineering this pickup but build it ‘domestically’ in Mexico. A win for GM. A win for buyers. A win for small truck fans. For the UAW, not so much.

Finally, GM is hot on the compact space. At the 2007 New York International Auto Show the General was very proud of its three stylish minicar concepts, the Chevrolet Beat, Groove, and Trax. Even though the Beat seemed to get the most attention and praise from journalists, our bet would be on the more truck-like lines of the Groove crossover inspiring a new pickup.

One way or another, it’s looking a lot like a new, smaller pickup is in the cards for General Motors and other manufacturers.

2009 Chevrolet Sequel

By Erik B. Johnson
If you arrived at this page and thought to yourself that this all sounds very familiar, you’re not going crazy. The vehicle you see here is the sequel–groan–to the GM Sequel, a hydrogen-powered crossover first shown at the 2005 Detroit auto show. Now badged a Chevrolet, the formula remains the same: hydrogen fuel cells, lithium ion batteries charged via regenerative braking, drive-by-wire controls, and three electric motors to drive the wheels.

The Sequel will accomplish the 0-to-60-mph sprint in about ten seconds and travel up to 300 miles  between fuel stops. Hydrogen in the fuel cell is converted directly to electric energy by inverters for the electric motors (one front, two rear), which produce a combined 115 kW (154 hp) of oomph. Under acceleration, the motors are augmented by power from the batteries. The only emission from all of the chemical hoodoo? Water vapor. We’d call this Sequel a follow-up worth watching.

Chevrolet Trax, Groove and Beat

The Beat was built in India, while the other two were fabricated at GM’s Warren, Michigan, Tech center.

The three are called the Beat, Groove and Trax and all were designed at a GM studio in Inchon, South Korea, although the Beat was built in India, while the other two were fabricated at GM’s Warren, Michigan, Tech center.

The Beat is front-drive 3-door hatchback powered by a turbocharged 1.2-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to an automatic transmission. Designer Injo Kim characterizes his design as a micro import tuner that’s “simple, free and casual, with a strong heart.” And a hard-to-miss exterior, which is painted in a bright Vertigo green exterior. Even though the car is small, it rides on 17-in. wheels and has a larger rear wing, elongated LED headlamps, flush B-pillar-mounted door handles, an aggressive front fascia and large rocker panels to give it a street racer look.

The interior is finished in black and titanium, while the dash and seat stitching carries the Vertigo green from the exterior into the cabin. One of the dash’s slickest features is a door on a center-stack storage bin that when popped up, the inside cover serves as the screen for the onboard navigation system.

Rather than taking its inspiration from street racers, the Groove is characterized as a “half-soldier, half-modern military helmet” by designer Jawook Koo. “I wanted to get out of the mini-vehicle stereotype that is characterized by a weak, insecure and ‘cute’ appearance.” Koo wants the owner to feel safe just looking at the vehicle.

As a result, the Groove has an upright windshield and prominent fender flares that wouldn’t look out of place on a Hummer or a hot rod. Painted in a Lunar Quarts matte finish, the Groove is given an upscale appearance by the strategic use of brushed satin chrome accents. Like the Beat, it has large 17-in. wheels pushed out to the corners of the vehicle. The boxy shape also maximizes interior roominess in a compact package. The front-drive Groove is powered by a highly efficient 1.0-liter diesel engine.

The Chevy Trax is designed as an urban crossover that can tackle city streets or off-road trails. Painted Blaze orange with Burnt orange accents, the Trax “is a vehicle that you can show off anywhere, be it off-road or on the road,” said designer Sangyeon Cho. “It brings a rational combination of SUV design, function, performance and value to the customer.”

The Trax is an all-wheel-drive vehicle with a 1.0-liter gasoline engine driving the front axle, while at the rear an electric differential powered by a small power pack turns the rear wheels. Riding on 16-in. wheels, the Trax shows off its brake calipers, which are painted Flame yellow. The simple construction, single-piece bumpers, large wheel flares, a rear-mounted spare and roof rack are all SUV styling cues that give the Trax an off-road attitude. Adding to the vehicle’s utility is a flat folding rear seat. When looking for the highest quality collision repairs with the best customer care experience available in the collision repair industry, check out auto body repair tumwater wa online services and learn more.

Chevrolet is inviting the public to choose their favorite by visiting www.vote4.chevrolet.com, where enough interest may provide the impetus to take one of these vehicles to production.

New Equinox!

Chevy’s new amped-up Equinox Sport—we’re not sure why it’s not an SS either—is due in showrooms next fall as a 2008 model. It gets GM’s 263-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 coupled to a six-speed automatic, a stiffer suspension, forged 18-inch wheels, a new look inside and out, and will be offered with either front- or all-wheel drive. (excerpt from the club magazine, the World)

Chevy Club of North America

North America’s oldest and largest club for all Chevys especially the Tracker, Tahoe, Suburban, Storm, Metro, Prizm, Traiblazer, Avalanche, Silverado, HHR, Aveo, Impala, Cobalt, SSR, Trailblazer, C/K pickup and Blazer.  Established in 1992 and offers magazines (WORLD), emagazine, technical advice, member recommendations on service, body and parts sources, registration of your Chevy, a tradition of service and FREE member classified ads that appear in the Chevy Club magazine AND on the Chevy Club website at www.chevyclub.com