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About thegriffon

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  1. If it's not a Mustang competitor (i.e. Camaro), then it can only be the Corvette. They'll probably price a base model at around $100,000.
  2. Generally Skodas are unique, and bigger than a VW on the same platform. E.g. the Jetta rides on a 2648-2651 mm wb, the Octavia on a 2686-2688 mm wheelbase, the Jetta 70" wide, the Octavia 71.4" . Also the Jetta is a 4-door sedan, the Octavia "sedan" a 5-door semi-fastback, While the new European Passat is a 109.9" wb, 187.7x72.1x57.3" sedan, the new Skoda Superb is a 111.9" wb, 191.4x73.4x57.8" semi-fastback sedan, so it has much more headroom, legroom, and shoulder room than even the US-Chinese Passat, and a much bigger trunk (625 v. 490 L). Plus neat details like hidden umbrella storage like the Phantom, and a built-in iPad stand in the rear-seat armrest.The former Roomster compact van and the Yeti crossover are like nothing any other VW Group brand has ever produced.
  3. I have a Cruze wagon. It's great, but could really use a "Country" version with black plastic bumpers, wheel arch moldings and rocker panel moldings. May have to buy a Skoda Octavia Scout next time, but VW doesn't deserve the custom..
  4. The Astra/Verano hatch is now divorced from the sedan. The former Excelle GT built and sold as the Verano in the US has been split into a smaller Excelle GT, and a new, larger Verano sedan sharing the longer platform of the new Cruze (the new Chinese Cruze is smaller). While the Chinese market Astra-based Excelle hatch has been replaced by a new Verano hatch, that is still a Chinese-built version of the (new) Astra, not as big as the Cruze hatch or Verano sedan. The new platforms are: 2640 mm wb Baojun 630, Excelle GT 2662 mm wb Astra, Astra Tourer, Cruze (China), Verano hatch 2700 mm wb Volt (ok, 2694, but that's a suspension adjustment), Cruze, Verano (sedan) 2750 mm wb Baojun 560 crossover, Buick Envision, Baojun 730 MPV (2740 mm in awd)
  5. Yeah, but the Cruze is now as big as an early fwd Malibu or the 2nd last Grand Am.
  6. That would only apply to the profits GM makes selling in export markets. GM must still pay the JV a fair contractual price for the export vehicles it produces, from which they can be expected to make a profit. Most of the profit will go back into the JV in future capital investment, but the rest will be split between SAIC and GM. Build a vehicle at a GM plant in Europe, America, Thailand etc., and GM keeps all the profit (GM Korea may still have some minority institutional shareholders from when it was still GM Daewoo). That's one reason GM makes more money in the US than China. Likewise Shanghai GM makes money selling imported vehicles such as the Enclave, which is then shared by SAIC and GM in the agreed disbursement of dividends, but GM makes additional profits in selling those vehicles to Shanghai GM.
  7. FCA has this one, 4.5 m long (compared to 4.9 for the Doblo and Toro), and 1/2 tonne capacity rating (685 kg). But I doubt it would get better than 2-stars NCAP, as it's based on the now 20 year-old Fiat project 178 platform (Fiat Palio/Siena). There are Dodge versions of this platform for Mexico and Venezuela, but they just change the badges.
  8. You mean this one? With the flatbed it's as wide as a fullsize truck (interior bed width is 2034 mm) and is a 2500 kg GVW rated truck (5500 lb) with a 1 ton capacity. Then there's the true cutaway (you're supposed to keep it less than the standard 1872mm body width, but clearly Fiat exceeded that with the reefer illustrated). Body platform length can be 2115 mm (compared to the 1818 interior length of the factory tray above). Combined axle load is 2570 kg, but the GVW is only up to 2400 kg.
  9. Somebody tell him FCA is already debuting not one, but two midsize pickups this year, in addition to the pickup versions of the Promaster and Promaster City Fiat already sells in other markets. For the Americas their solution was to build a fwd/awd pickup based on the Cherokee (the Fiat Toro), in half-ton flex-fuel, and 1-ton diesel crewcab versions. For Europe they're rebadging the Mitsubishi L200 Triton, which is cheap but far from class-leading (because it's really only a minor update of the old Triton with a new engine [well, some markets get the new engine, most still get the old diesel], and the old Triton was only a cosmetic update of the Triton before that).
  10. After President Trump adds his tariff on Chinese made goods, the Envision will have the same price as an Escalade. You can't do a direct Forex cost on cars sold in China. The Enclave sells for $77k base, Verano is $20k base, and Encore is $20.8k base. They're all over the map. The initial shipments of Envisions will be only premium AWD models and base in the very high $30s to low $40s. Not if you're trying to assess cost of production, or (given that there are probably high tariffs on the Enclave — which has an MSRP of over $99,000 for the awd version) gross margins. But that's not my point. All I'm saying is you pay a lot for an Envision in China. When it comes down to it, GM has a choice between selling an Envision for $53,400 in China, where the market for crossovers is finally taking off in a big way, or spending thousands per vehicle on shipping and selling them for $15-20K less in the US. Bear in mind also that GM's venture partner gets a 50% cut of every dollar of distributed profit from the export price of the Chinese-built Envisions. GM is never going to put much effort into selling Chinese-built Buicks, in the US. It's a nice supplement, both to the US lineup and the capacity utilization in China, but unless (like Honda) you build a wholly-owned plant just for exports, you're not going to import a popular model from China long-term (given exchange rate risks, shipping losses, supply problems etc. there's a reason only Honda has bothered even with that). If you have to add capacity to supply demand, you add it in the market that demand is in. As soon as GM tools up to build a Chevy or GMC in the US on the same platform, they'll make sure they include extra capacity for the Envision.
  11. At today's exchange rate the export version of the Buick Envision (2.0T Sport AWD) retails in China for $53,400. A base 1.5 T fwd is $33,560.
  12. They had, yes. But two days after this announcment, they unveiled the M760Li xDrive with an M Performance version of the RR Ghost 6.6 L biturbo TwinPower V12. Same torque rating as the Alpina V8, but I'm guessing the "preliminary" 600 hp will turn into 591.8 hp once they convert German to US hp. 0-62 mph is 3.9 s, v. a 0-60 time of 3.6 s for the Alpina (which has 608 German hp, or 599.7 US hp). Expect a weight difference to be partially responsible as well.
  13. The Envision is already on GM Powertrain's 2016 NA product list. It gets the same 2.0 L Turbo as the Regal and new Malibu. The Chinese version is rated at 256 hp, but GM powertrain is predicting 252 hp in SAE testing with lower octane US fuel. Both fwd and awd versions get the 6T50 shared with the old Verano (there's a bigger new one coming on the American Cruze platform), but the Chinese Envision has Start Stop integrated (the 2.0 L is awd only in China). Chinese models also get the new 1.5 Turbo shared with the new Malibu paired with a Shanghai-GM 7-speed DCT in both fwd and awd. It's not as small as the Escape, Rav4 and CRV — about 4 inches longer than the biggest of those three — so not in the sweet spot for compact crossovers. It's more lower-midsize like the old Rogue, CX-7 and Mitsubishi Outlander. It's even a bit bigger than the Cherokee, but it is smaller than the Terrain.
  14. It's Paul Willis, not Wills. As a case in fact, EU6 regulations do mention the possibility of on-road testing, so VW's assertions that the law only requires meeting emissision limits in the lab test is incorrect ("The Commission shall adopt measures for the implementation of this Article including measures in relation to the following: (a) tailpipe emissions, including test cycles, the use of portable emissions measurement systems for verifying the actual inuse emissions, verifying and limiting off-cycle emissions …"). EU member states can conduct on-road testing for testing emissions, right now. It's already in the regulation. Further, defeat strategies ("‘defeat strategy’ means an emission control strategy that reduces the effectiveness of the emission controls under ambient or engine operating conditions encountered either during normal vehicle operation or outside the type-approval test procedures;") such as that fitted to the EA189 are expliciity prohibited in the EU regulation ("The use of defeat strategies that reduce the effectiveness of emission control equipment shall be prohibited."). No "performance" loopholes. As for taping up gaps or removing seats, what would be the point? It's a stationary test, the car is not moving, it is not accelerating, so dynometer mass and resistance affects "acceleration", not vehicle mass. Further, type approval certification requires that vehicles be made and sold, as per the type approval. Change the tires or wheels, new test and type approval required. Change the mass, new type approval required. EU manufactures don't just certify a model with every engine and transmision combo — every tire and wheel combo offered with that engine and transmission requires separate CO2/fuel economy and emissions testing for type approval. Get into the tech specs in the more detailed product literature, and the details emerge — this is the fuel economy with 16" wheels, this is the different fuel economy for 17" whees etc. Now, of course these are pre-production models. They don't have type approval yet, so what else could they be? Once they have type approval, automakers have to build to that specification. Any variation requires a new type approval. This is why the 800,000 with CO2 irregularities had less visible "tweaks" to things such as lubricating oil the approved Technical Services would not notice (the kind of tricks dodgy second-hand car dealers are notorious for). P.S. A new international emission and fuel economy test has already been developed, based on global driving data. It comes into effect in Europe in 2017. The only thing still being worked out is a correlation factor between the old and new tests for assessing EU-mandated manufacturer fleet-CO2 reductions (the EU equivalent of progressively increasing CAFE requirements — the US just keeps using the old test for calculating CAFE, not the new test on your window sticker, but EU authorities don't want to double their test burden).

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