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Intrepidation

Answer me this

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Since no one has given me a straight answer in other threads I'll make a thread just for the question. Someone please tell me how a FWD Impala is anymore efficient than a RWD? Is is it cost effective if a new FWD platform must be engineered for it, unless they place to use the G-Bodies or bring the W-Bodies back for yet another round?

All I know is the cancellation the Impala really irritates me, far more so than any other things I've heard recently, including Chinese Dodge subcompacts.

Unless someone can come with a good explanation, the only reason I think that it was canceled, and I'm sure others feel the same way, is because of the pricks inside GM that are deadset on killing Holden and killing Zeta just because it came from Holden. These people seem to think that enthusiasts will settle for yet more FWD cars when we've already got enough.

It's a stupid and childish move. GM shouldn't even bother with a new Impala or Impala replacement. Just kill it off. What's the point of it besides being slightly bigger than the Malibu? Nothing, because it offers nothing unique.

That's my rant. I expect an answer to my original question.

<_<

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It's not. It's a red herring used to cover up that GM-Europe is trying to take over the company with their own ideals.

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On of the big "issues" I always heard from the 70's was that because there is no driveshaft tunnel, and the engine can be turned transversely, you can package more space into the interior of a FWD car, while having a smaller, lighter vehicle. Smaller vehicle outside, lighter overall vehicle, better MPH. Don't know how that holds up now, but that was one of the excuses back then.

I still think GM is gun-shy over moving a bread-and-butter vehicle over to RWD, when they will lose some of the snow-belt states that still want FWD. If you make it RWD and offer AWD, then the weight is up, hence lowering MPG (What's the take rate on 300/Charger AWD systems? Low I bet).

I'm just playing devil's advocate here. I want a RWD Impala and more Zetas here in the states. But if we have to sacrifice a RWD Impala to get the Alpha cars quicker, then I'm for it. The Alphas may be more my price range anyway. If we are losing RWD totally, then I'm just annoyed.

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It's a waste of an excellent platform that in all of the reviews thus far it has been praised for it's poise, tautness, suspension, brakes, and everything.

Edited by Dodgefan
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An absolute waste.

Not to mention angering all of us who have been waiting for the zetas for years.

This "new GM" will continue to anger and alienate its core buyers until GMNA is a bit player in its own home market. If this isn't stopped, it really is the end.

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Since no one has given me a straight answer in other threads I'll make a thread just for the question. Someone please tell me how a FWD Impala is anymore efficient than a RWD? Is is it cost effective if a new FWD platform must be engineered for it, unless they place to use the G-Bodies or bring the W-Bodies back for yet another round?

Here's my speculation -

The Epsilon II platform (and Epsilon in general) is less expensive to manufacture than Zeta. Malibu & Impala eventually sharing development/production costs (including the volume generated by using the same platform) also helps play a part.

The Epsilon II platform has been engineered to support most of GM's alternative fuel options. Zeta wasn't (regardless of reason or who's at fault.)

Zeta is expensive. Even with the changes made. It's still a "premium platform" replacement to the G-Platform on most accounts. The reason Camaro can survive and get away with it (for a few years) is because it'll cover a far larger price range between trim levels (over $20k depending.) This helps offset the costs involved, but not entirely. I doubt the new Camaro will ever become profitable.

Understand, a Zeta Impala will be expensive because it's on Zeta, not because it's necessarily worth it. By this I mean content would suffer on a Zeta-based Impala to help keep costs down. An Epsilon II Impala would be more apt to compete with feature-laden flagships of other current mainstream sedans - Avalon, Maxima, Azera, and Taurus/Sable without crossing into territory (price and class) occupied by other GM brands. How many $30-$40k RWD sedans does GM need? CTS, G8, Impala, Lucerne? Ugh…

I won't even get into volume appeal... ugh...

Another perspective… People want to say it is Chevrolet’s heritage to have RWD… well, back when everything and everyone else had RWD. Today, RWD is a specialty platform while practically all of Chevrolet’s cars and Chevrolet’s car competition are FWD. Chevrolet’s mainstream and value-driven role is what kept Chevrolet from getting GM’s FWD G-Platform. See… It’s not only premium RWD platforms that GM holds back from Chevrolet. The same problems that existed for the G-Platform are still in place for Zeta.

I'm probably off, but that's my rationale behind the decision.

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On of the big "issues" I always heard from the 70's was that because there is no driveshaft tunnel, and the engine can be turned transversely, you can package more space into the interior of a FWD car, while having a smaller, lighter vehicle. Smaller vehicle outside, lighter overall vehicle, better MPH. Don't know how that holds up now, but that was one of the excuses back then.

I still think GM is gun-shy over moving a bread-and-butter vehicle over to RWD, when they will lose some of the snow-belt states that still want FWD. If you make it RWD and offer AWD, then the weight is up, hence lowering MPG (What's the take rate on 300/Charger AWD systems? Low I bet).

I'm just playing devil's advocate here. I want a RWD Impala and more Zetas here in the states. But if we have to sacrifice a RWD Impala to get the Alpha cars quicker, then I'm for it. The Alphas may be more my price range anyway. If we are losing RWD totally, then I'm just annoyed.

that's part of it. (in bold). I still think CAFE is the biggest reason. An unfair blanket generalization, but still.

RWD longitudinal chassis lose efficiency in the power robbing 90 degree transfer from longitudinal to transverse. Then, some more added weight and frictiony extra driveline components FWD does not have.

But in the end, I don't think it's maybe a 1 mpg diff in the real world when considered with most engines.

The part you don't hear is how FWD is cheaper to build. Build the unibody, set the engine on a cradle and drop it up / in from below. I think RWD adds a bit of $$ and fussiness on the assembly line, which is probably a big reason GM won't do it. Beancounters.

The take rate on the Ford Chicago products for AWD is good. GM apparently is not wanting to deal with that, much. No AWD Zeta and only Saabs and Caddies otherwise with AWD for sedans. I was amazed Chevy allowed AWD on the Equinox, usually they fight things like that. When GM does offer AWD, they stick it to you.

I think Chevy needs a RWD biased Caprice or Impala and its there for the taking, however, GM is spooked right now and my guess is they are planning to move Impala to a large stretched out Epsilon 2 chassis.

What Chevy needs to do with Impala in the interim is simple......ditch the 3.9. Keep the 3.5 for the base models, put the 3.6/6 speed in the mid levels, and do some fixing on the SS. Put the GP GXP suspension specs in the Impala SS, give it some decent sport seats and put a 6 speed automatic with paddle shifters in it and spruce up the interior. At least make the Impala SS that is there now, an engaging car. That's the biggest trasngression right now, is they are not putting a fair effort into the SS they have right now until the next model is available.

Edited by regfootball
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Returning the Impala to its RWD roots was one of the best ideas after a new Camaro. Doing it has been another story.

This program really had me dreaming, and hoping. After the Camaro concept debuted, it looked like the next sure thing.

A heritage-inspired, modern, RWD V6 and V8 Impala. A big, proud car. Finally something for the Police and taxi other than the tired Panthers and W-bodys. Finally, the possibility of a true SS (of the B-body ilk).

Im really dissapointed. :angry:

Lets review recent Impala (behind the scenes) History:

GMX210 2000-2005 W-body. Tried to evoke classic Chevrolet cues, but mated to an old FWD architecture.

GMX393 2005? Proposed Epsilon-wide replacement. Would have been a bigger Malibu. Cancelled....

GMX211 2005-now W-body rehash/update. Finally, an SS with a V8, but same old guts.

GMX551 2009 Zeta platform. A true, world class RWD platform, currently underpinning a Buick in China, Chevys in the Middle East, and Holdens in Australia. Was in development for NA.

Now what?

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Any new FWD Impala will fail - utterly.

A LWB version of Malibu under the Malibu name would be a far more sensible idea if we must have a FWD sedan bigger than Malibu.

To have developed Zeta and wasted it really is a crime. As much as I still think most of the zetas should still be produced, I will say that once again, GM is late to the party. If these RWD products were here 2 years ago, we wouldn't be discussing any of this. GM delayed itself into a corner and missed the timing sweet spot because they screwed around with the idea of RWD and then flip-flopped about their intentions again and again.

Now, they are in full panic mode and are over-reacting to CAFE and temporary financial conditions. An approach such as the one backed by PCS is a one-way ticket to oblivion. Any cancellation of products or brands will immediately be seen by the public as a certain sign that GM is headed for bankruptcy and all of the amazing work done by Lutz and company will be for nothing. The obvious and substantial work done to effect the so far amazing turnaround will be forgotten and the "GM deathwatch" folks will once again dominate all of the press relating to GM. To throw all of this away in favor of such an ill-conceived agenda as GME is promoting is nothing short of suicidal. The bad PR alone will do all the damage required.

If this is allowed to come to pass in its entirety, Roger Smith will look like a saviour by comparison.

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the 2-mode hybrid fits in the same space as a 6-speed auto... so I dunno why Zeta couldn't have one.

It could.

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If what PCS wants comes to fruition, I hope that Buick, Pontiac, and Holden get sold off to someone else. Better to be alive and well under someone else's roof than crippled and on life support or 6 feet under.

It will be interesting to see what Tata does with Jaguar and LR. If they keep those brands true to their roots and do it well, I could see Pontiac and Buick also being purchased to give Tata a crack at the lower end of the market.

I know most of you don't like the idea of foreign ownership <me either>, but I'd rather jump ship than stay on board while Commander PCS* steers the ship directly into the iceburg.

*Or was that Captain Ahab... chasing after his white Holden?

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From this thread:

Meanwhile, Reuss has said he is keen to see a hybrid version of the Commodore. In his former engineering role he played a part in the early development of the hybrid system that would fit the Holden.

The 2 mode hybrid WILL fit Zeta. Also, I've posted this before, but it's worth a look again:

fwdrwdze7.jpg

Here, we see two cars very similar in size and weight powered by the same basic engine and achieving very similar fuel economy despite one being FWD and one being RWD. One could argue that the STS's transmission has two more gears than the DTS's, or that the STS has slightly smaller interior dimensions, but the perceived discrepancy in fuel economy between FWD and RWD is very much overblown. Whatever your reasons for choosing one drivetrain configuration over the other, fuel economy should not be an issue.

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QFT.

I disagree. VOLT alone will overshadow any image a RWD Impala would bring. If GM's profitability, quality, and turn-around efforts all pick up pace without signs of legitimate concern (non-CAFE related prudent planning)... I doubt the public perception will be even half as bad as what's being implied. In general, Chevrolet & GM need the VOLT as an Image vehicle in today's market, not a limited RWD Performance Impala.

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I disagree. VOLT alone will overshadow any image a RWD Impala would bring. If GM's profitability, quality, and turn-around efforts all pick up pace without signs of legitimate concern (non-CAFE related prudent planning)... I doubt the public perception will be even half as bad as what's being implied. In general, Chevrolet & GM need the VOLT as an Image vehicle in today's market, not a limited RWD Performance Impala.

You miss the point there,Ven.

The lack of a RWD Impala by itself is a minor issue. But if the rest of PCS' foolishness is implemented, it will be the begining of the end.

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I think the fuel economy issue is not RWD vs FWD in general as some of you are reading it. I think it's Zeta vs EpII (or whatever other FWD options GM has with regard to the NG Impala).

Edited by ZL-1
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I disagree. VOLT alone will overshadow any image a RWD Impala would bring. If GM's profitability, quality, and turn-around efforts all pick up pace without signs of legitimate concern (non-CAFE related prudent planning)... I doubt the public perception will be even half as bad as what's being implied. In general, Chevrolet & GM need the VOLT as an Image vehicle in today's market, not a limited RWD Performance Impala.

A RWD Impala contributes to the volume needed for NA produced Camaro, G8s, GTOs, Park Aves, and DTSes.

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A RWD Impala contributes to the volume needed for NA produced Camaro, G8s, GTOs, Park Aves, and DTSes.

How much volume is actually needed? Is there really a lack of volume? If so, why not build the G8 here instead of indefinitely importing it? GTO is dead. Camaro will be exported.

The Park Avenue/Lucerne and the STS/DTS replacment will be made in LGR. PCS has hinted that those vehicles will be exported as well.

Oshawa is not switching to RWD only. It will produce both FWD and RWD. The FWD Impala (if there is one) will be made in Oshawa.

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I'd hate to say it, but if there isn't a business case to export Zeta to the US, I can see why they are backing off. If they are really going to have trouble keeping the product profitable, it only makes sense.

That said, a RWD Impala would be SWEET!

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How much volume is actually needed? Is there really a lack of volume? If so, why not build the G8 here instead of indefinitely importing it? GTO is dead. Camaro will be exported.

The Park Avenue/Lucerne and the STS/DTS replacment will be made in LGR. PCS has hinted that those vehicles will be exported as well.

Oshawa is not switching to RWD only. It will produce both FWD and RWD. The FWD Impala (if there is one) will be made in Oshawa.

Don't just think of volume by plant, think of volume also by architecture - both are requirements.

Zeta in GMNA was to produce a volume of 3-400,000, Camaro will only be able to muster about 100,000 - see the problem?

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Don't just think of volume by plant, think of volume also by architecture - both are requirements.

Zeta in GMNA was to produce a volume of 3-400,000, Camaro will only be able to muster about 100,000 - see the problem?

That was back when Oshawa was going 100% RWD. That's no longer the case.

In addition, PCS has indicated the Zetas produced at LGR are to be exported... we recently learned Camaro will be exported as well.

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That was back when Oshawa was going 100% RWD. That's no longer the case.

In addition, PCS has indicated the Zetas produced at LGR are to be exported... we recently learned Camaro will be exported as well.

The architecture still needs the volume

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Here's another issue...

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-gara...track=1&cse

GM is heavily pushing for CHEVROLET IS GREEN. A RWD Performance Impala sends a contradictory message. A Green/Hybrid luxury-geared FWD Impala wouldn't. It would also continue to appeal to the demographic/market that the Impala currently competes in.

You can't have PONTIAC IS PERFORMANCE and CHEVROLET IS PERFORMANCE

If you want focused and defined brands... here you go:

PONTIAC IS PERFORMANCE

CHEVROLET IS GREEN

Due to CAFE and other issues, PERFORMANCE IS DEAD has an unfortunate ring to it.

(The caps are not yelling in my post above but a play on Pontiac's new slogan. Please do not take it out of context or misinterpret.)

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The architecture still needs the volume

Why? SIGMA has less volume and is more expensive to build than Zeta.

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