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  1. Bizz

    Cobalt SS ( Cancelled )

    300hp is not too much if done correctly. i haven't driven an SS with the quaife, but i had a quaife in my GP. very little torque steer despite mid-12 second power, less even, than my stock aura and far superior exiting of corners. higher durometer bushings will help with wheelhop and control arm deflection. since the weight difference between the two engines is marginal, handling will not be drastically affected.
  2. Bizz

    GM pushes job changes

    education is important and should be rewarded in the workplace. but, education level is not the sole reason for employee compensation. education level isn't even an indication of actual intelligence. why do you think that those who were unable, for whatever reason, to get higher education deserve to be limited to the low or lower-middle class? why do those only with degrees deserve to live comfortably? perhaps you put too little value in their labor because you don't have an accurate idea of what that labor is actually. after all, an accountant basically knows some rules, sits down and uses a calculator, right? a teacher simply stands in front of childeren and dictates a pre-determined curriculum. you can belittle nearly any profession or job if you aren't willing to understand what is truly involved. i'm not smart enough to know what everyone is worth or what they should be paid. i'm just suggesting that maybe you aren't either.
  3. Bizz

    GM pushes job changes

    unionizing toyota tomorrow won't magically burden them with two to three 55+ year old retirees per active worker that more often require high-cost medical procedures and medication. therefore, unionizing toyota won't make a huge dent in their profit margin nor level the playing field.
  4. Bizz

    Get the Creative Juices Flowing

    this will be a little off-topic but, one thing i'd do (that i'm sure won't get much respect here ) would be to produce a series of infomercials. some cars and trucks are just too good for 30 seconds of air time. and, if ronco can afford airtime, GM certainly can. now, stop groaning. i'm not talking about about Billy Mays shilling product ("it's TURBO-charged!"). these would be of high visual and aural production quality. perhaps "infomercials" is the wrong term. "informational featurette" might be more suitable. some key points of the featurettes: use HD cameras. anyone who has seen movies like Collateral knows that the depth of detail is greater and more visually appealing. optimizing the featurettes for HD home A/V equipment will make the ads, and thus the products, more impressive to owners of such equipment. aim for high-end sound for owners of high-end equipment. accurately reproduce interior sound levels, sound system and exhaust notes in the home. use a variety of well-known, applicable people as the host for each car's show. if the ad is for a performance car, use a Danica Patrick. if it is a family sedan/CUV and you are targeting women, use a Melissa Gilbert. hosts should not only be recognizable, but well-spoken with voices suitable for voice-overs of scenes and be percieved as reflecting the character of the targeted buyer. Paris Hilton need not apply for the malibu spot. use slick, Top Gear-style editing. make the ad appear to be more of a film than a commercial. ads should obviously differ from the style of normal TV spots. each ad or episode should share common begining and ending sequences like any real TV show. the begining should feature clips of each vehicle that are featured in the series with the final few seconds focused on the vehicle highlighted in that particular ad. or, the intro could be a montage about GM (history of technological advancements, racing, achievements etc.). the ending sequence could include film credits, a GM or vehicle montage and a list of dealers customized to the market. when possible, film real-life owners espousing the virtues of the vehicle. most importantly, ads should highlight every advantage of the car over its competitors. features (On-Star, sound system, needle-sweeps at start-up, etc.)should be shown in operation as should trunks being packed and front/rear passengers riding in comfort. recreate situations owners will experience. take the kids to soccer or visit Home Depot in an Acadia. work a farm or go four-wheeling in a Silverado. carpool to work or visit grandma's in a Malibu. Value should figure prominently. MSRP should be mentioned rarely or only at the end of the ad along with prompts to visit the dealer for a proper test drive. the films could be used many ways. a standard late-night/weekend infomercial. posted to blogs and video sites like youtube. made available for viewing at brand and local dealer websites. included as a special feature on DVDs et.al. that feature GM products. available on disc with brochures at dealers run as a complete series on cable TV stations such as Spike, Speed Channel, Lifetime, etc. i realize that, in part, some of this has been done before. but, i've never seen it as a whole. and, that last bit above is what i'd really like to see. a televised, episodic GM Autoshow In Motion. GM has just about enough excellent vehicles to support a 26 episode series. spring and summer episodes could feature vehicles debuting in the fall.anyway, i'll shut up about that before it gets really long. to answer your question, i'd run regular TV ads in pairs. i'd buy two spots in a 30 minute or hour long TV show. the first spot would focus on the style and image of the car. i'll use the aura as an example. imagine a clean, black aura slowly creeping up the aisles of a crowded mall parking lot populated by a sea of blandly colored (beige) and road-dirty import sedans. shots intercut from unhappy and bored looking people entering and exiting their cars, stopping what they are doing and looking at the aura, viewed from inside and outside of the aura to shots of the sunlight gleaming off different bits of the aura as it rolls by them. there would be a noticable change in expression of the import owners. now, they shouldn't go from morose to OMGWTFLOL!!!11, but there should be a subtle look of recognition and possible envy. you get the sense that the aura has caused them to pause their life for a few seconds that another car would not provoke. at the end, the camera maintains an external view of the car but halts its follwing motion and instead pans to follow the car as it continues traveling down the aisle assuming the viewpoint of the import owner. then you state the name of the car and your tagline for the car and its brand, "Stand Out... Rethink American." or whatever. that idea probably sucks, but it gives you an idea of what i mean. first you sell the image and style, the feeling. this hopefully grabs the viewers attention so that later in the show when the second part of the ad pair comes up, you've evoked an interest in the car. in the second spot, you list the car features and attributes and MSRP. to continue the same aura example, you might show the car parked with the owner talking to people that have come up to him to inquire about it. this happens. a lot. trust me. either the owner's voice explains the selling points as he talks to the curious or you can use a voiceover. intercut scenes of the people looking at the car with more shots of the interior/exterior when applicable. for example, if the owners is talking about interior comfort/ergonomics/features, the interior is shown. repeat the name, MSRP and tagline. using a pair of commercials linked together by a single show in this way and running each one once is better, i think, than trying to cram all the info into one 30-second spot and showing it twice. the first spot doesn't necessarily need to be a full 30-seconds, either. i'd use a pairing like that anytime there is a new or significantly revamped model.
  5. Bizz

    DEBUT: 2008 SAAB 9-3 Lineup

    just looked at the 6T70 pic a little closer and it appears to be a two-piece case with the bell housing and differential area being one piece. i suppose an XWD specific casting could be used. but the pic of the XWD system appears to have the differential pretty much centerline which doesn't mesh with where i remember the stock differential being.
  6. Bizz

    DEBUT: 2008 SAAB 9-3 Lineup

    i got to stand under my aura for a while last week. there is room for a drive shaft and single exhaust pipe if the current resonator is removed or redesigned to be narrower. there is a not-very-good cutaway view of the AWD system here. the rear diff/suspension appears to simply be a bolt-in subassembly, not that it would be anything else. assuming that all epsilons share common a rear frame rail, this will bolt up to any current epsilon car. if you look at a pic of the 6T70, you'll see that it differs from previous GM transaxles in that it has an exposed output shaft going to the passenger hub instead of being encased with the differential at the passenger side. and, it has at least 7 cast-in mounting holes, unused to mate the engine/tranny which i assume you would bolt the front XWD differential to. i cant quite figure out it would all work, tho. maybe someone could enlighten me. my problem is that there is a direct mechanical link between the input and output shafts of the tranny and any bolt-on differential mounted to the unused holes on the tranny case would be after this link. this would enable the system to bias torque to the rear axles, but not the front since the differential cannot affect the driver's side axle exiting the other side of the tranny. the flash movie linked above states that the system can deliver grip even if three wheels are on slippery surfaces. so, either XWD equipped cars will have a different differential in the tranny to bias between the front axles or the 6T70's differential can already do this?
  7. Bizz

    The AH-HA Challenge

    i dont think i would be qualified for the position, but i am intrigued by your questions. 1) You have $30,000, no more, to buy a new vehicle. What do you get and why? difficult question since, in light of a recent experience, my next car will bust the money limit. so, i will answer the question as if it were posed before i bought an aura and assuming i'm limited to what is on the market now, if that is OK. i would buy an aura. its the first credible competitor, in all areas, in its segment from GM since the japanese pulled ahead, imo. i purchased it to reward GM for the effort and encourage GM to continue. but mostly, i bought it beacuse its a damn good car at a good price, meets my needs and i like it. 2) What do you consider the most significant debut in the US market over the next 12 months? the accord. simply because it is considered by most as the car that sets the bar. it also occupies the largest selling segment on the car side. the malibu cant be accurately evaluated against its competitors until this car arrives. imo, if the NuBu is as good as expected, only the accord has a chance at besting it. 3) You see the Saturn Aura is not taking off and doing as well as expected. Inventory levels and incentives are rising, what course of action would you envision GM take? first of all, i wouldnt panic. it could be argued that nearly every aura sold is a sale saturn wouldnt recieve otherwise. since its been reported that most of these sales are conquests, it could also be argued that nearly all those sales are sales GM wouldnt recieve otherwise. a gain is a gain. i would research who bought the car and why. then, focus my traditional advertising spending on that type of buyer in the markets where it was doing well. but i now realize im not answering your question, WWGMD? well, there was a time when my answer would be short and sweet: they'd screw it up. i think they will do a few things. first, keep production closer to demand. the impact should be negligible. i dont think they will invest heavily in reworking the current car on the eve of epsilon 2's debut. i think they will fix its few deficiencies with its replacement on EP2. i expect a 3 year cycle and view the current car simply as a foot in the door. a placeholder of sorts. instead, i think money will be spent on both traditional and non-traditional advertising focused on establishing the nameplate in the marketplace. 4) What do you see as a the next big trend? this is the hardest question, isnt it? excluding technological innovations, i'd say more extensive ways for customers to customize/accessorize their cars either at the point of purchase or as a function of the cars content. i would say hybrids/fuel economy/alternative fuels is a current trend.
  8. Bizz


    damn. DAMN! saturday, i had the opportunity to put about 20 miles on a new 06 exige with the track-pack. i cant describe how incredible this car is and ive been trying for two days. the gearbox wasnt perfect for me and the toyota engine is too weak under 6k rpms, but my biggest complaint was that the car was yellow. communication through the steering wheel, which seemed no bigger than a dinner plate, was unreal and unlike anything i've ever driven short of a go-kart, but without the trauma. i think, think, i could feel the front tires shift on their wheels in the few banked sweepers i had the chance to drive through at speed. i have a sneaking suspicion that i was no where near the car's limit. which, since the car didnt belong to me, was probably a good thing. the clutch was light and linear with only a portion of its travel needed for a quick shift. the shift lever's action and feel, if put into a mainstream production car, would be chastised as having a somewhat clunky, metallic feel and possibly too-long of a throw. in this type of car, however, its nearly perfect. the characteristics that would be criticized in a sport sedan or coupe are what enabled me to make very quick 2-3 and 4-5 upshifts with confidence and little acclimation. sturdy, well-defined gates and the metal-to metal feel was a positive for hard and fast shifts. the only issue i had with the gearbox was an intermittant unwillingness to engage first, second and fifth at low engine speeds. a quick blip of the throttle was necessary to enage at those times. i seem to recall reading about toyota manuals having issues with the syncros for a couple of gears. i am unsure if my experience would be related, it may just be the nature of the transmission in this car, but it was the one thing about the car that caused a degree of worry in me. other than the engine, that is. briefly looking at the exige aftermarket, the engine may have some oiling issues under track conditions. that is something i'll have to research further. another thing i noticed was, that even though the car weighs less than 2100 pounds, the engine felt anemic except at full boil. that is, the chassis could use and deserves more grunt midrange and down low. i know exactly which engine i would install. don't get me wrong, the engine is well-suited to the car and makes a terrific sound when wound up. 0-60 in under 5 seconds and the 1/4 mile in under 13 seconds in stock form is nothing to cry about. but, it feels like the cars full potential hasnt been realized. i can't help but imagine how a decent amount of torque, lower in the rpm range, would improve acceleration both in a straight line and exiting corners. i didn't test the brakes, since they are such a wearable component, choosing instead to gear down for corners. i can say, however, that the pedal feel was exactly what you would expect in a car like this. firm, linear and i would guess easy to modulate. the cockpit, it qualifies to be called that, excells in reminding you what type of car you are driving. a pair of gauges, a speedometer and a tach with an integrated LCD display at its bottom, stare back at you from behind the wheel. the LCD displays fuel level as a row of vertical bars, coolant temperature and the odometer. a small shift light resides at the top between the dials. it's not hard to imagine that the cloverleaf on-ramp you are tearing down is instead a corner at watkins glen or nurburgring. luckily, noise intrusion into the cockpit serves as an audible reminder that you are likely exceeding posted speed limits. "honestly sir, i didn't realize i was going that fast." is not a valid excuse in this car. that too, like the shifter feel, is a good thing. the purpose of this car is to lap a track, be capable of getting you to and from that track legally and to make you feel like you are on a track when carving up backroads. too much coddling of the occupants detracts from the intended experience. oh yeah, the car also had a stereo, A/C and stuff. anyway, i've decided to get one of these someday and i was wondering if anyone here has one or has had experience with one.
  9. Bizz

    Saturn Aura gets the nod for cleaning up nicely

    i would agree with that. i have to wash, or at least rinse, mine often due to the dove that loiters on my balcony. i think he's the culprit, anyway. i've named him "O.C.".
  10. Bizz

    GENEVA: Opel GTC Concept

    you sure? i think griff is talking about the inlet duct on the fascia and you are talking about the vette-like character line on the door extending into the quarter panel. there is no fake duct/extractor on the door. or, maybe im confoosed. either way, i like both treatments. the door line gives the car a sense of forward motion while still and the faux duct, or something else, is necessary to fill that part of the fascia left open by the vertical design aspects. for reasons i cannot determine, the design as a whole says bugatti to me. i know it sounds absurd and there are no styling cues to back up my dementia, but that car, with the trademark grille, would be suitable as an "entry level" bugatti to me. bottom line, bring that car here largely intact with the 6 speed, AWD and the turbo on the 3.6 and saturn can have my aura back in trade.
  11. Bizz

    2007 Z06

    i thought about getting a spare PCM so i could steal the car whenever i wanted. i have the spare key fob.
  12. Bizz

    2007 Z06

    yeah, those wheels on a black car would be great. but getting this one was probably his only chance at one. it was used, ~170 miles, traded in on a yeller one. it was bid up to nearly 90K on an auction site but they let dad have it for under sticker. he traded in his black 06 vert and an envoy. dad is happy. get this, the original owner owns two others. one in michigan and the other in arizona. he didnt like red, but bought this one because it was the only one available at the time. btw, the Z06 clutch is vicious.
  13. Bizz

    Where are the GM high mileage cars?

    when my 3800 was making enough power to push, well pull, my GP into the 12's, my mileage dropped to 28-30 on the highway. but, it was running a bit rich so i didnt mind. my aura has achieved its 29mpg rating but once in its 7k miles (29.1). that was at 85mph in 65 and 70mph zones rushing home to STL from nashville, an event unlikely to be repeated. i like my 3.6. its fine, does its job. nice and smooth in the upper RPMS where it will spend 1% of its life operating. it replacing the 3.8 shows GM cares about image, not necessarily performance. vital today, i know, but the 3.6 isnt the clear winner over the 3800 to me. i just dont understand why the L32 couldnt be used as a base engine for full size trucks or as an option for NG small pickups. the output of the 3800 was only limited by the transaxle behind, well next to and under, it. reliably producing 280-300hp and 300+tq is nothing for the 3800. sure the SC adds some cost to the engine, but i bet the extra production for use in trucks and the higher profit margin of the truck side of the business would offset much of that. more power, more torque, more mileage. in todays world, i guess, pushrods have no place in family cars. but, i see no reason to kill the 3800 when its virtues exceed the 4300 and 4800.
  14. Bizz

    2007 Z06

    not mine. i never got the "make you turn your head to see the car" pics. maybe it cuts off oxygen to the brain and makes the car look better. the money shot to give scale to the brakes, thats an 18 inch wheel

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