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C&G Spy Shots: The Next ION!

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Guest Josh

The much-maligned ION is being redesigned for the 2008 model year. Still built on the Delta platform, it will share many components with the Opel Astra and Chevrolet Cobalt to save costs. It will be offered with the ION's current powertrains: the Ecotec 2.2L and 2.4L, with manual and automatic transmissions available with both engines. GM has run into a problem regarding the Lordstown plant that will build GMX002. The Cobalt alone is currently almost at the plant's capacity, so either Cobalt buyers will instead buy an ION, or ION production will be lower than the 113,000 units forecasted. It was scheduled to be built at the Lake Orion assembly plant alongside the Pontiac G6, but was changed because of cost issues. Production starts in August 2007, with the program scheduled to run for 4 years (MY 2008-2011). [attachment=6867:ION-Exterior-2008.jpg]

 

[attachment=6868:ION-Interior-2008.jpg]

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The exterior looks sweet. Looks like a combination of the Aura and Insignia. I'm not in love with the interior, but it's still pretty good and hopefully it looks better in different colors.

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Wow... What a sucky rear. Ugh. Front looks excellent. The interior looks even more excellent. Although... those side HVAC vents are huge! :blink: Oh how I hate the GM that tries to steal my love.

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I really like the look of the new ION. I'm a bit concerned about rear seat headroom and the very small trunklid, but it probably won't be a big deal.

The interior looks to be very high quality and well thought-out. I really like how the shifter flows into the center stack, and that the dashboard wraps around, sort of like the Sky. I think the HVAC vents are huge because they also have the side window defroster in the top part. Having one big faceplate probably saves money.

It's also funny that it goes into production 2 years from now. It will probably be at NAIAS 2007! :lol: :CG_all:

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Will it still look good in 18 months when it is actually revealed? Or in 24 months when it finally hits lots? Or in 92 months when it is ready to be replaced? Thats a long time, a lot can happen. The benchmark cars of today will be vastly improved by the time this finally hits lots, lets hope GM knows what they are doing.

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HUGE improvement. Makes the current Ion look even more retarded than it already does... I hope the rear view does not disapoint.

Posted Image

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I absolutely love it. The only side I need to see is the rear to reserve giving it a slam dunk, but something tells me the whole car will be great. I hope the don't change a thing, especially the interior. They should keep it like that the way the Aura's interior should be left alone.

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Beautiful. Home run. Can't wait to see the rear. Just showed it to a friend who doesn't really know cars, but likes em, and he thinks it's awesome. I love the interior. The way the dash meets the console is perfect.

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Interior looks like it came from a 3 year-old Nissan. Maybe it's just the color, though. The shapes look fine, if a bit Asian. Love the exterior though!

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Wow now that looks good, way better than the current ION. The interior looks nice too, now all they need to do is make a redline version with a 6spd manual and about 250hp :)

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Guest Josh
You bet your ass its GORGEOUS! Just check out that interior

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the interior is something I'd expect from Scion or Nissan, but Saturn? .... Nice Work GM, I applaud good work, and frown down on half-ass look's.


But wow, that exterior... that’s what I really like.


What happened to the Aura? I haven't been in the forums that much right before C&G went down, and right after it... incase one of you posted info on that car and I missed it... eh, I'll go and check the Saturn forums.

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I love it!! Saturn is quickly turning into one of my favorite divisions...and 9 months ago I would have placed it almost last on my list!

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Very nice exterior. I like the the sheetmetal crease in the rear - adds some definition. This is not a knock-you-out-of-your socks design but it is very well done. I am a little disappointed with the interior. The gaps in this drawing seem quite large. Additionally, all the materials used seem to be hard plastic, unless they incorporate a cushy "rubberized" material on either side of the controls. Furthermore, I do not like the black plastic that dominates the center controls and switches...why not cover it with piano black, real aluminum, corian? Lastly, this interior design is too similar to that of the 2002 Nissan Altima (look at the wraparound upper dash, waterfall center controls, tall vents). But with this criticism, I applaud GM for doing a commendable improvement on the current ION's worst-in-class interior! All in all, great exterior, ho-hum interior. Hopefully some additional rear seat legroom, more power, better handling & you've got a winner. GM should see a sustantial sales increase with this new model...but man is it far off!

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Nothing new except the rear, looks similar to Astra. The interior is quite different, but the gauges are exactly the same. Opel still remains my second favorite GM brand (after Corvette of course :) )

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An improvement, no doubt. But, as someone already said, will it be enough three years from now? Also, GM should change the name. Calling this ION would be like put the Cavalier badge on the Cobalt. Edited by Supremus

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Looking sharp! Just as long as they don't cut corners, and put some REAL CLOTH UPHOLSTERY IN THIS TIME!!!! NO MORE SYNTHETIC FAKE JUNK!!!! (Are you listening Chevrolet Cobalt, Malibu, Malibu Maxx, and Pontiac G6?)

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YES!!!!!! Finally, a center stack that flows gracefully into the console. Very nice car, all around. This'll be timed well with the supposed Cobalt refresh in '08. My only gripe (if it's legitimate) is that the 2.2 and 2.4 should probably see some sort of hp/torque upgrades by then, just to keep them ahead of the pack.

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Wow. Huge improvement. GM can totally own the market with this if they do everything right. It better have a super or turbo powered engine standard. If not, people will just see this as a fancy Cobalt. I also hope that the next Cobalt will get the rumored AWD option because that means this will too. Edited by Cadillacfan85

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That's BEAUTIFUL!! That could take me away from my Cobalt, especially if they offer a diesel engine.

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I do wish they would have done a little more with the interior. Maybe something more show car like.

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we dont actually expect it to still look this good by production tho? right? that never ever happens

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Looking sharp! Just as long as they don't cut corners, and put some REAL CLOTH UPHOLSTERY IN THIS TIME!!!! NO MORE SYNTHETIC FAKE JUNK!!!! (Are you listening Chevrolet Cobalt, Malibu, Malibu Maxx, and Pontiac G6?)

[post="18377"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I like the feel of the "fake" junk over the sticky velour.

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A step closer to the Cobalt/Pursuit twins. I'm pretty sure the greenhouse will be the one on the Cobalt. Rims look like the one from the Pursuit GT media shot earlier. For some reason, I'm starting to see Mazda3 in the front. Import biased people will call this copying, and it might look dated by the time it makes to the showroom. I like this interior compared to the Cobalt one, although the HUGE vents on the sides look wierd.

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It just dawned on me while reading the front page again. The Cobalt plant is at full capacity. My local dealer has very few if any 06s. The magazines seem to be ignoring the fact that the Cobalt is a hit. With only a $500 rebate to boot. Edited by Dsuupr

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i can't say this wows me. I don't like the Maxima/Altima sort of sweep of the doors into the dash (in fact, i fricking hate it), and the interior itself isn't wow, except that I like the gauges. The gaps and QC look rather atrocious. As an example, I think the current Astra interior is much more fetching. Still, its a new look for Saturn and an improvement over the current car. I know the exterior is a rednering, but it does nothing for me. This car better have some rear leg room. If they don't fix that issue, its pathetic. the seats and steering wheel are carry over. I wonder if the new dash isn't just partially a new skin to cover over the existing guts underneath what's there now, so they maybe didn't have tons of design freedom to redo everything. Edited by regfootball

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Looks great, but two years is a lonngggg way off. Really it should be out in the fall of 06.

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So is this going to be an Astra clone or isn't it? If it is then that means the current Astra has had a short production run - it was released only last year yet would be replaced in 2008 by a delta based product. I agree that the name Astra sounds better than Ion. Wouyld be better for global production figure bragging rights as well - Astra + Saturn Ion + Zafira may well top Corolla. If it's not then GM still has a way to go to align Saturn and Opel.

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Much better overall, and even nicer than the Cobalt in many aspects, but that rear end is worrying me. Looks like the roofline is cut too quickly and low, which looks good, but really cramps the back seat even more. That, and the trunk/rear fender profile looks like it might resemble the Cobalt sedan's worst feature a little too much. Also hope it doesn't end up with the same jacked-up, off-roader height of the Cobalt sedan. Otherwise, cool car, and GREAT for Saturn.

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Absolutely gorgeous. I just wish it was coming sooner. My ’92 Saturn SC isn’t likely to last until 2008. Any chance of a coupe or fastback sport hatch version. A MSRP of $16,000 to $22,500 with a Red Line version at $23,500 sounds appropriate.

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I'll agree with others that are saying it's a vast, vast improvement over the current ION but not ground breaking from what we're seeing here. About on par with the current Mazda 3, which is a great car, but it's been on sale for two years and this one is two years away. Is it a forgone conclusion that there will be no 5-door hatchback version of this car? I don't want to hear any excuses about how Americans don't buy wagons hatchbacks, because it's a bunch of crap. People over 45 might have that bias, it's an emerging trend for the rest of us. If they miss on that, it's a major oversight, particularly for this segment. Not everyone wants to buy a cute-ute to get the added utility (and IMO better looks) of 5 doors. It usually means sacrificing another 5-10 mpg also. Edited by PeterJ

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Talk about a HUGE improvement. It's like the current Ion (or current GM brass) overdosed on Viagra or something. I love the exterior. It's eyecatching and stylish. I'm not worried about the fastback-look or supposed lack of rearseat headroom. It looks good, period. A hatch/wagon needs to be offered, the car is calling for it. The interior looks alright though I'm not crazy about the side HVAC vents or Nissan-inspired design. The difference in colors is weird, too. I'm not really liking the puke-gray. I admit it's better than all gray or all black, though. The materials look slightly cheap, the plastic hard. We are talking about an economy car, however, so no one should be expecting to see Bentley materials. Overall, a much-needed improvement.

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HUGE improvement. Makes the current Ion look even more retarded than it already does...


Amen! Definitely a huge improvement. But it really sucks that GM is getting rid of the dent resistant plastic body panels. Thanks to those panels, my 1997 Saturn SL2 with 220,000 miles is free of door or fender dings. Edited by vt_hokie

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Get a pic of the Holden concept car, it's the same car. THey just changed it around to be a saturn, all the lines match up.

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i can't say this wows me.  I don't like the Maxima/Altima sort of sweep of the doors into the dash (in fact, i fricking hate it), and the interior itself isn't wow, except that I like the gauges.  The gaps and QC look rather atrocious.

[post="18452"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


What are you talking about? The gaps looks fine, and considering they still have two years until production, they'll be even tighter on the production version.

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Get a pic of the Holden concept car, it's the same car. THey just changed it around to be a saturn, all the lines match up.

[post="18635"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


What Holden concept are you talking about? Quite obviously it's not just a chop of it.

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Get a pic of the Holden concept car, it's the same car. THey just changed it around to be a saturn, all the lines match up.

[post="18635"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Torana? I don't see it.

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Beautiful. The kind of car Saturn and Chevy and Pontiac should have on their showroom floors NOW, but as usual just too dam slow. I can't understand why pictures of a car that is still 2 years away are even out.This car should be debuting in January in Detroit and going on sale in February. I don't see how they can build this in Lordstown since they should be able to max out production capacity next year with the Cobalt and Pursuit, how can they find another 100k - 150k for this new Saturn? I mean if the Ion can sell 100k-115k a year this car will have no problem doing 125k-150k. Edited by I hope GMRULES again

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VERY attractive, inside and out. A total about-face from the current, crappy looking car. I'll guess the coupe will be replaced by a 3 door hatch.

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I assume this Ion will get the 2.2 and 2.4 Ecotecs? It's a shame people complained about the 5-speed autos, because now that the new 06 Civic has one, everyone will claim it's a "segment-leading" feature that other people could learn from :rolleyes:

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I like how they skipped taking that using goofy scallop out of the doors.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Does this new one have any trunk? It doesn't look like it.

[post="18581"][/post]



Thank God, those things were hideous.

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Let's hope this generation is the last of the 4-spoked wheels. :puke:

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Very cool find.  What is that.  Is it just a design study?

[post="18626"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



It's the 06 Chevrolet Vectra which is a South America only vehicle. Though, it's just a rebadged Opel Vectra.

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Very cool find.  What is that.  Is it just a design study?

[post="18626"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Pre-production Chevrolet Vectra, and it's a version of the new A-body Astra (right down to interior details), not the Vectra. Later photos are slightly different. Edited by thegriffon

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Hopefully the production model will have more interesting headlamps to distinguish it from the Cobalt. This is just a Cobalt with a different set of front and rears. The interior is nice but, ditto on the wierd lookin' vents either side of the car. What is weird is that if this is actually an Opel, it doesn't match their interior design language and will feel out of place in their line-up. The recently released Vectra looks nothing like this inside or out.

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The interior looks great. I'd like to see a picture of the couple...or even better yet, the 2/3 door hatchback. Especially with Gas prices going so high and SUV sales dropping, those looking for some added utility and storage room in the back (for small projects), a hatchback would be great.

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Pre-production Chevrolet Vectra, and it's a version of the new A-body Astra (right down to interior details), not the Vectra. Later photos are slightly different.

[post="18917"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Almost correct. It is indeed based off the Astra, not the GM2900 Vectra nor Epsilon Vectra. However, it is not based off the new (GM3300) Astra. Instead, it's off the GM3000 (previous generation Opel-Vauxhall Astra which is still produced in Sao Caetano do Sul in Sao Paulo state). There still seems to be some confusion surrounding that point in the marketplace.

When I lived in Brasil, I drove a beautiful blue 2900 Vectra equipped with a V6 engine (one of only a handful in Brasil). It was available to the public only with an I4. This was 1996-1998. The "Novo Vectra" as it was called then was something hot. It had been unveiled in Europe only months before and Hogan brought it fresh to Brasil. It sold like mad - nearly 90,000 in 1997 alone. The market has sinced changed and the Vectra has aged. Unfortunately, Brasil did not receive the updated Epsilon version due to financial difficulties, so the 2900 was allowed to whither a bit on the vine down there. It was a shame to see 86,800 units in 1997 deteriorate to only 3,759 last year. It was all the more sad to see given the newer product many of the French automakers were fielding in the Vectra's arena.

So GM do Brasil was forced to do something about this. They looked at bringing the Epsilon Vectra which would make sense at 80,000 units, but it was determined to be doubtful the Vectra could regain that amount of sales in a shrinking product segment. Studies also showed the Vectra name to have a significant amount of cache with Brasilians due to its having been incredibly modern upon its 1996 debut (when the car was launched with great fanfare on an island just off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in '96, it was seen as heralding a new era in the Brasilian automotive industry in which automakers would bring their latest and greatest product immediately ashore).

The decision, then, was a compromise - to field a "Vectra" sedan as much larger than the CURRENT FOR BRASIL Astra as feasible while utilizing its platform. It was a good effort. Wagoner & Lutz praised the innovative engineering-on-the-cheap earlier this year in SP. GM do Brasil is looking in many ways like Holden in their ability to field different models off existing platforms and this comes on the heels of its successful involvement in Meriva engineering & design. Alas, though, the 2900 will finally be retired. In fact, it already has been. It was a good run.

H.H.

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Almost correct.  It is indeed based off the Astra, not the GM2900 Vectra nor Epsilon (GM3200) Vectra. However, it is not based off the new (GM3300) Astra.  Instead, it's off the GM3000 (previous generation Opel-Vauxhall Astra which is still produced in Sao Caetano do Sul in Sao Paulo state). There still seems to be some confusion surrounding that point in the marketplace.

[post="18964"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


The A3300 Opel Astra is based on a stretched version of the T3000 Astra platform, as was already used in GM do Brasil's T3000 Chevrolet Astra (and thus the RHD South African Opel Astra), so of course the A3310 Chevrolet Vectra also uses an updated T3000 Astra platform even though it is a sedan version of the A3300 Opel Astra. The A3310 Vectra shares the majority of the A3300 Astra structure and design inside and out, but the platform is not really that much different than the T3000. Although the new Astra and Vectra are nominally A-bodies, just like the Delta-platform Cobalt and Ion, neither Opel nor GM do Brasil wound up adopting the new platform as originally intended.

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The should call it the S-Series, going retro and alphanumerics at the same time.

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Let's hope this generation is the last of the 4-spoked wheels. :puke:

[post="18753"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



Actually, the 4-spoke design currently being used in the Cobalt, Pursuit and Ion is one of my favorites. :)

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I dislike how GM constantly changes names when it updates a model, while Toyota and Honda keep using the same names, even if the old model was flawed.

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Evoke seems a little Esoteric(?) to Me. It may draw a few " whats it called?" remarks. Is Astra wholely out of the Question?

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Posted Image

I like what I'm seeing.... :rolleyes:
Posted Image

Headlights kinda remind me more of the Astra GTC concept rather than the production Astra. A little bit of Audi A4 too...But then I love both cars...
Posted Image

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Wow. :blink: Looks good..much better than the current one.. Real curious to see the rear..and some hatch...I mean, coupe pictures...

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Actually, the 4-spoke design currently being used in the Cobalt, Pursuit and Ion is one of my favorites.  :)

[post="19072"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


That's the 4 lug, not 4 spoke. Cobalts and Pursuits all have 5 spoke wheels.

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That's the 4 lug, not 4 spoke. Cobalts and Pursuits all have 5 spoke wheels.

[post="19218"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


And so do 2006 IONs. They finally came up with an attractive alloy wheel from Saturn! The last great one was the sawtooth back in early 90s.

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In all this excitement, I've just got to say, I wish I knew what searches to run to find out all this information as you continue to do time and time again. I've just got to say kudos to Josh and whoever else (if anyone) was involved for finding this and sharing with the rest of us.

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And so do 2006 IONs.  They finally came up with an attractive alloy wheel from Saturn!  The last great one was the sawtooth back in early 90s.

[post="19233"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


The 14" "deluxe wheel cover" and the 16" alloy are still 4 spoke.

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I see Cobalt parts bin...

[post="19168"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

Yes its an exact clone, they both have 4 wheels, they both have headlights, and they both have doors.

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That's the 4 lug, not 4 spoke. Cobalts and Pursuits all have 5 spoke wheels.

[post="19218"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



I thought Paolino was talking about steering wheels, but I could be wrong :unsure: Edited by s113

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Na . . . I would fight them on a trademark violations.

[post="19077"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


LOL, that's right. Don't let them push you around. B)

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Guest Josh
CSpec is the man behind this. It's unfortunate that I forgot to mention that, but the man that found the GMT900 information found this information (and more that we CAN'T talk about!) from General Motors. He's the man!

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The A3300 Opel Astra is based on a stretched version of the T3000 Astra platform, as was already used in GM do Brasil's T3000 Chevrolet Astra (and thus the RHD South African Opel Astra), so of course the A3310 Chevrolet Vectra also uses an updated T3000 Astra platform even though it is a sedan version of the A3300 Opel Astra. The A3310 Vectra shares the majority of the A3300 Astra structure and design inside and out, but the platform is not really that much different than the T3000. Although the new Astra and Vectra are nominally A-bodies, just like the Delta-platform Cobalt and Ion, neither Opel nor GM do Brasil wound up adopting the new platform as originally intended.

[post="19043"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Right. My understanding is that, despite the code, cost consideration precluded GM do Brasil from adopting a wholesale iteration of the lastest Opel / Vauxhall Astra and instead a significant amount of the engineering originated from GM do Brasil and is unique to this particular product. Much development took place at the Cruz Alta GM Proving Grounds without the expected level of assistance from Adam Opel.

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hhhhhhmmmmmm......... sure could use a new name.  What'd you think Evoke? http://www.cheersandgears.com/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/AH-HA_wink.gif

[post="19054"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

That's what I was thinking! Especially since I saw it trademarked a while ago. Now what body styles would Evoke come as in addition to a 4-door notchback sedan? I'm safe to assume they're dropping the 4-door Quad Coupe, right?

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This is a very impressive turnaround for the division. their intent i believe is to "reinvent" the Olds name plate as Saturn and now A division wide upgrade (and a fantastic upgrade it most definatly is) to me makes that fact even more apperent,IMO.A record turn around at that, a clean sweep across the whole line up.Quality leaps and bounds above former nameplates is a must to keep in line with their intent and that too seems to be as well. Bravo General B)

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Neat. Kinda looks like a miniature Aura. It also has a little Cobalt DNA, but in the same way the Aura has Malibu DNA (i.e: the stuff you wouldn't notice unless you were really paying attention).

It is a huge improvement over the current ION, but, really guys, pretty much anything would've been a huge improvement over the current ION. The problem with the ION was twofold: It was an ugly, dorky looking car inside & out, and it had ugly, dorky, econobox performance to match. This new car (whatever it may be called) certainly rectifies the first issue, but I don't know about the second part. In terms of handling and performance, the Delta platform really hasn't impressed me. It would take some signifigant re-tuning to make this car one that would be enjoyable drive, and, somehow, I suspect that GM has only budgeted for a total re-styling.

Would I be ashamed to be seen in this car? No. Would I be ashamed to drive it? Well...

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In terms of handling and performance, the Delta platform really hasn't impressed me. It would take some signifigant re-tuning to make this car one that would be enjoyable drive, and, somehow, I suspect that GM has only budgeted for a total re-styling.

Would I be ashamed to be seen in this car? No. Would I be ashamed to drive it? Well...

[post="20214"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

Have you driven a Cobalt SS yet? They do corner work better than most other sport compacts including the Acura RSX.

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Have you driven a Cobalt SS yet?  They do corner work better than most other sport compacts including the Acura RSX.

[post="20293"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I haven't. And most people won't. That's why the regular models need to handle better. There's no reason why GM should make this car "just good enough", because, by the time the next generation of competitors arrives, the point at whic