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  1. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 21, 2012 Chevrolet has revealed pricing for the 2013 Malibu lineup (excluding the Eco model). A base Malibu LS starts at $23,150 (includes $760 destination charge) and nets you a 2.5L Ecotec inline-four producing 197 HP. Standard features include a six-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel disc brakes, stability control, air conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry, power windows and locks, and a tilt and telescoping steering wheel. Next is the 1LT which starts at $24,765 and includes a seven-inch color touch screen, Chevrolet MyLink with Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary input, and blue ambient lighting. If you have an extra $1,235, you can get into a 2LT which adds dual-zone climate control and color driver information center. The top of line Malibu LTZ starts at $28,590 and includes 18-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust tips, a silver grille insert; fog lamps, LED taillights, eight-way power and heated front seats; leather seats, and remote start. Want a bit more oomph in your Malibu? You can get a 2.0L turbocharged Ecotec four delivering 259 HP and 260 lb-ft of torque for the 3LT Malibu ($27,710) or the LTZ ($30,925). William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 More Content, Value for Base Malibu; Lower Price for LTZ 2013 Chevrolet Malibu priced from $23,150, including destination charge DETROIT – When the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan goes on sale this summer with an all-new 2.5L Ecotec engine and 10 standard air bags, it will carry a suggested retail price of $23,150, including a $760 destination charge. The midsize segment’s longest-running nameplate, the 2013 Malibu is available in LS, Eco, LT and LTZ models. Malibu Eco went on sale earlier this year, to be followed by the LS, LT and LTZ models. An all-new turbocharged Malibu LTZ will be available this fall – the first-ever turbocharged Malibu. The base prices for all Malibu models – with a $760 destination charge – are: LS (1LS trim): $23,150 LT (1LT trim): $24,765 LT (2LT trim): $26,000 Eco (1SA trim): $26,095 Eco (2SA trim): $27,705 LT (3LT trim with turbo): $27,710 LTZ (1LZ trim): $28,590 LTZ (2LZ trim with turbo): $30,925 The starting price represents a modest increase over the 2012 Malibu, at $22,870, but includes more content, features, safety equipment and technology. The base prices are lower for the uplevel LTZ models, which include all-new features such as Chevrolet MyLink with a seven-inch color-touch LCD screen, color LCD driver information center and dual-zone automatic climate controls. The 2012 Malibu was the highest-performing midsize car in the 2012 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality StudySM announced Wednesday. All 2013 Malibu models deliver more cabin space, a quieter driving experience and greater performance from the new Ecotec 2.5L engine. It is standard in LS, LT and LTZ models (an Ecotec 2.4L eAssist is standard in Malibu Eco) and rated at 197 horsepower (147 kW) – nearly 17 percent more than the previous model. Its fuel economy will be competitive for the segment, with highway mileage expected to approach the mid-30s. The 2013 Malibu lineup also offers greater safety, with 10 standard air bags, as well as an available rearview camera system, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. It is also the first 2013 midsize car to earn double honors for safety, including a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a 2012 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. All models are covered by a transferrable five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, as well as a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Standard powertrain and chassis content: Ecotec 2.5L direct injection with continuously variable valve timing, rated at 197 horsepower (147 kW) Six-speed automatic transmission with tap-shift control Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS Panic brake assist Electronic park brake StabiliTrak electronic stability control system Electric power steering (rack-mounted) MacPherson strut front suspension Four-link rear suspension Sixteen-inch aluminum wheels Standard exterior content: Active front lower grille aero shutters (LS, Eco, 3LT Turbo) Projector-beam headlamps with automatic exterior lamp control Fin-type combined OnStar/SiriusXM Satellite Radio antenna (body color) Acoustic-laminated, solar-absorbing glass Intermittent windshield wipers with structureless blades Standard interior content: Air conditioning Audio system: AM/FM stereo with CD with MP3 playback SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with three-month trial period) Six-speaker sound system Bluetooth phone connectivity Cruise control Remote keyless entry Power windows with express down feature Power door and window locks Driver information center Tilt and telescopic steering column Steering wheel audio and cruise controls Driver’s footrest Overhead console Compass display Two auxiliary power outlets Rear center armrest with storage Standard safety content: Ten standard air bags, including dual-stage frontal air bags, driver and front passenger thorax side-impact air bags, driver and front passenger knee air bags and head curtain side-impact air bags (front and rear outboard seating positions) and rear outboard thorax side-impact air bags Safety belt pretensioners Tire pressure monitoring system OnStar with six months of Directions and Connections service, including Automatic Crash Response, Crisis Assist, Stolen Vehicle Assistance, Remote Door Unlock and more Uplevel features: In addition to the content included on LS models, Eco, LT and LTZ models add: Seven-inch color touch-screen with concealed storage behind it Chevrolet MyLink connected radio Bluetooth streaming audio for select phones USB port and auxiliary input jack Ice-blue ambient lighting Dual-zone automatic climate control (Eco, 2LT, 3LT and LTZ models) Color driver information center (Eco, 2LT, 3LT and LTZ models) On 2LT, 3LT and LTZ models, an available advanced safety package adds Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. A leather package for Eco (2SA) and LT (2LT/3LT) adds leather-trimmed seating and heated front seats. On LTZ, the following features are also standard: LED taillamps Eighteen-inch aluminum wheels Dual exhaust with bright chrome accents Silver grille insert Fog lamps Chrome door handles Leather-appointed seats Heated front seats Eight-way power-adjustable driver and passenger seats with power lumbar Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob Remote start Power sunroof (2LZ) An available premium package on the LTZ adds passive entry/keyless access, push-button starting, high-intensity discharge headlamps and driver’s memory seat and mirrors. Nineteen-inch wheels are also available. Exterior Colors: Silver Ice Metallic Black Black Granite Metallic Blue Topaz Metallic Summit White Crystal Red Tintcoat White Diamond Tricoat Taupe Gray Metallic Atlantis Blue Metallic Champagne Silver Metallic Interior Color/Trim Choices: Jet Black Jet Black/Titanium Jet Black/Brownstone Cocoa/Light Neutral Malibu Eco The Malibu Eco is Chevrolet’s most fuel-efficient Malibu ever. It is the first Chevrolet to feature General Motors’ eAssist battery electric/gas propulsion system, which uses a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery and an electric motor-generator to enable regenerative braking, electric assist and start-stop functionality. That helps deliver an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in city driving and 37 mpg on the highway. All-new turbocharged powertrain Malibu’s first-ever turbocharged powertrain is offered on LT and LTZ. The Ecotec 2.0L turbo is SAE-certified at 259 horsepower (193 kW) and 260 lb.-ft. of torque (353 Nm). Its peak torque is sustained from 1,700 to 5,500 rpm – a broad range that provides an immediate feeling of power in all driving conditions and helps produce 0-60 performance in 6.3 seconds. The 2013 Malibu will be sold in nearly 100 countries on six continents and will serve as a flagship Chevrolet midsize in many parts of the world. The Malibu is built in multiple locations including the United States, China and Korea. In North America, Malibu is built at the Fairfax, Kan. and Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plants. View full article
  2. William Maley

    Review: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco

    William Maley Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com June 13, 2012 All of us have had the experience of something not meeting our expectations. Whether it’s an expensive hotel that provides the same service of a Motel6, a nice restaurant that serves the equivalent of Burger King, or a highly recommended mechanic that somehow charges $650 for an oil change. This happened to me with the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco. When it arrived onto my driveway for a few days, I was excited at the premise of the Eco model. However when my time with the Malibu Eco was up, I was a bit deflated. Onward to the exterior Exterior When I first saw the new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu at the North American International Auto Show in earlier this year, I was a bit disappointed. Compared to the outgoing Malibu, the new one didn’t have the presence and the sexy curves. Instead, it went for a mishmash of Cruze and Camaro, giving it an unpleasant look. However, when you drop the bright lights of an auto show and bring it into the real world, the Malibu design begins to grow on you Up front, there is a lot of Cruze influence. The front end juts out, putting the double grille opening with chrome accents running around the edge as the main focus. A pair of projector headlights extends up into the front fenders. The side profile shows off the Malibu’s beltline going up a slight angle. The back end features a Camaro inspired trunk lid and taillights. Also, the Malibu Eco includes a Camaro inspired narrow rear window view. Thankfully, this Malibu Eco was equipped with a rear-view camera, making it easier to back up. Now Meet The Malibu Eco's Interior Interior One place where the new Malibu runs rings around the old one is in the interior. Stepping into the Malibu Eco for the first time, my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe how much effort GM put into the Malibu’s interior design. Organic curves, HVAC vents molded into the dash, soft touch materials used throughout the cabin, and some impressive build quality. The Malibu Eco is one the first vehicles in Chevrolet’s lineup to come equipped with the MyLink infotainment system. A five-inch touch screen radio takes center stage in the dash, providing controls and information for whatever you’re playing (AM/FM/XM/iPod/Aux). MyLink also includes Pandora and Stitcher internet radio that uses your smartphone to play though. The system had its hiccups though. From time to time when using Pandora, no sound would come out. That was remedied by unplugging and plugging my iPhone back into the system. Also, MyLink froze up on me, causing me to turn off the car and turn it back on. Now, this is a first generation product and I expected some bugs to come with it, but hopefully GM has some fixes on the way to squash them. As for passengers, those sitting in the front won’t find much to complain about as the optional leather wrapped seats provide enough comfort and support. Passengers sitting in the back will complain about the claustrophobic feelings they’re having. Headroom and legroom is on the short end, especially when compared to other midsize sedans. The space deficiency is even more apparent when you compare the Malibu Eco to its little brother, the Cruze. Trunk space is also on the small size, measuring in at 14.3 cubic feet. That’s due to the Eco having a battery in its trunk. If you want more trunk space in your Malibu, you’re going have to wait till later this year when the 2.5L four comes out. What's Under The Hood Ride & Drive Underneath the Malibu Eco’s hood lies GM’s eAssist mild-hybrid system. eAssist is comprised of a 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder producing 182 HP and 172 lb-ft of torque, and a electric motor producing 15 kW and either 110 (cranking) or 79 (electric assist) lb-ft of torque hooked up to a 115V lithium-ion battery. eAssist differs from a regular hybrid on how the electric and gas powertrains deliver their power. In a regular hybrid, the electric motor can power the vehicle alone at low speeds. eAssist cannot do that at all. Instead, eAssist uses the electric motor to help the gas engine in acceleration. Also, eAssist allows stop/start tech to be used. Driving with the eAssist system was an interesting experience. Pulling away from a stop, it gives you the illusion of having a more powerful engine. You can thank the gas and electric motors working together. After the initial acceleration, the electric motor switches off and the 2.4L provides adequate power for most driving. If you need to make a pass, the electric motor kicks back on to provide extra power. The transition from hybrid to gas power is seamless; the only way to know when it happens is when you have the hybrid powertrain screen up. But all is not perfect with the eAssist powertrain. Like most hybrids, the Malibu Eco’s brakes don’t give the kind of reassurance you want. Also, the stop/start system doesn’t stop all of time. At most stoplights, the system would leave the engine idling. Part of that was due to the Air Conditioning running in what is called comfort mode, which needs the engine to run. But when the Air Conditioner was off, the engine still would not turn off. I was left wondering if I was doing something wrong with braking or if this was a problem with this particular Malibu Eco. And that leads me to the biggest disappointment of the Malibu Eco; the fuel economy. The EPA rates the Malibu Eco at 25 City/37 Highway/29 Combined. My average for the Malibu Eco was 26.5 MPG. Now, I am going to put a good amount of blame on the Stop/Start system possibly not working. But even with 29 MPG combined in the EPA cycle, cars like the Toyota Camry, Kia Optima, and Volkswagen Passat with their base engines can meet or exceed that average. It left me wondering why GM went forward with the eAssist mild hybrid and not a regular hybrid system or something else. Those problems with the powertrain are a big shame since the Malibu’s ride shines as a long distance cruiser. The suspension does a great job of providing a very comfortable ride, soaking up many road imperfections. The steering weighted perfectly for what the Eco is built for. Also, Chevrolet must have stolen a few of Buick’s quiet tuning engineers since the Malibu Eco is very, very quiet. And The Verdict Verdict As my time with the Malibu Eco was coming to a close, I was getting more and more disappointed. The Malibu Eco has some very positive points: a comfortable and quiet ride, good looking exterior, impressive interior, and the new MyLink infotainment system. But those positive points cannot hide some very glaring problems of the Malibu Eco: the smallest back seat in the class, the stop/start system that didn’t stop, and the not so impressive fuel economy of the eAssist system. And there is one thing I haven’t brought up yet. The Malibu was originally waiting on the new 2.5L four-cylinder to go into production. However, GM CEO Dan Akerson wanted the Malibu out sooner and the decision was made to start building the Eco early since it the closest to being ready. My question is this: if GM had kept the original date, could this have made the Malibu Eco a better car? The Malibu Eco is a car full of hopes and dreams, but sadly cannot reach all of them. Cheers: Comfortable Ride Interior and Exterior Design MyLink Infotainment System Jeers: Fuel Economy Non Auto Stop/Start System Interior Space Year - 2013 Make - Chevrolet Model - Malibu Trim - Eco Engine - 2.4L DOHC Four-Cylinder with eAssist Driveline - Front Wheel Drive, Six Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM - 182 @ 6200 Torque @ RPM - 172 @ 4900 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/37/29 Curb Weight - 3620 lbs Location of Manufacture - Kansas City, Kansas Base Price - $26,845.00 As Tested Price - $29,380.00 (Includes $760.00 Destination Charge)
  3. William Maley

    Review: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco

    William Maley Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com June 13, 2012 All of us have had the experience of something not meeting our expectations. Whether it’s an expensive hotel that provides the same service of a Motel6, a nice restaurant that serves the equivalent of Burger King, or a highly recommended mechanic that somehow charges $650 for an oil change. This happened to me with the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco. When it arrived onto my driveway for a few days, I was excited at the premise of the Eco model. However when my time with the Malibu Eco was up, I was a bit deflated. Onward to the exterior Exterior When I first saw the new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu at the North American International Auto Show in earlier this year, I was a bit disappointed. Compared to the outgoing Malibu, the new one didn’t have the presence and the sexy curves. Instead, it went for a mishmash of Cruze and Camaro, giving it an unpleasant look. However, when you drop the bright lights of an auto show and bring it into the real world, the Malibu design begins to grow on you Up front, there is a lot of Cruze influence. The front end juts out, putting the double grille opening with chrome accents running around the edge as the main focus. A pair of projector headlights extends up into the front fenders. The side profile shows off the Malibu’s beltline going up a slight angle. The back end features a Camaro inspired trunk lid and taillights. Also, the Malibu Eco includes a Camaro inspired narrow rear window view. Thankfully, this Malibu Eco was equipped with a rear-view camera, making it easier to back up. Now Meet The Malibu Eco's Interior Interior One place where the new Malibu runs rings around the old one is in the interior. Stepping into the Malibu Eco for the first time, my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe how much effort GM put into the Malibu’s interior design. Organic curves, HVAC vents molded into the dash, soft touch materials used throughout the cabin, and some impressive build quality. The Malibu Eco is one the first vehicles in Chevrolet’s lineup to come equipped with the MyLink infotainment system. A five-inch touch screen radio takes center stage in the dash, providing controls and information for whatever you’re playing (AM/FM/XM/iPod/Aux). MyLink also includes Pandora and Stitcher internet radio that uses your smartphone to play though. The system had its hiccups though. From time to time when using Pandora, no sound would come out. That was remedied by unplugging and plugging my iPhone back into the system. Also, MyLink froze up on me, causing me to turn off the car and turn it back on. Now, this is a first generation product and I expected some bugs to come with it, but hopefully GM has some fixes on the way to squash them. As for passengers, those sitting in the front won’t find much to complain about as the optional leather wrapped seats provide enough comfort and support. Passengers sitting in the back will complain about the claustrophobic feelings they’re having. Headroom and legroom is on the short end, especially when compared to other midsize sedans. The space deficiency is even more apparent when you compare the Malibu Eco to its little brother, the Cruze. Trunk space is also on the small size, measuring in at 14.3 cubic feet. That’s due to the Eco having a battery in its trunk. If you want more trunk space in your Malibu, you’re going have to wait till later this year when the 2.5L four comes out. What's Under The Hood Ride & Drive Underneath the Malibu Eco’s hood lies GM’s eAssist mild-hybrid system. eAssist is comprised of a 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder producing 182 HP and 172 lb-ft of torque, and a electric motor producing 15 kW and either 110 (cranking) or 79 (electric assist) lb-ft of torque hooked up to a 115V lithium-ion battery. eAssist differs from a regular hybrid on how the electric and gas powertrains deliver their power. In a regular hybrid, the electric motor can power the vehicle alone at low speeds. eAssist cannot do that at all. Instead, eAssist uses the electric motor to help the gas engine in acceleration. Also, eAssist allows stop/start tech to be used. Driving with the eAssist system was an interesting experience. Pulling away from a stop, it gives you the illusion of having a more powerful engine. You can thank the gas and electric motors working together. After the initial acceleration, the electric motor switches off and the 2.4L provides adequate power for most driving. If you need to make a pass, the electric motor kicks back on to provide extra power. The transition from hybrid to gas power is seamless; the only way to know when it happens is when you have the hybrid powertrain screen up. But all is not perfect with the eAssist powertrain. Like most hybrids, the Malibu Eco’s brakes don’t give the kind of reassurance you want. Also, the stop/start system doesn’t stop all of time. At most stoplights, the system would leave the engine idling. Part of that was due to the Air Conditioning running in what is called comfort mode, which needs the engine to run. But when the Air Conditioner was off, the engine still would not turn off. I was left wondering if I was doing something wrong with braking or if this was a problem with this particular Malibu Eco. And that leads me to the biggest disappointment of the Malibu Eco; the fuel economy. The EPA rates the Malibu Eco at 25 City/37 Highway/29 Combined. My average for the Malibu Eco was 26.5 MPG. Now, I am going to put a good amount of blame on the Stop/Start system possibly not working. But even with 29 MPG combined in the EPA cycle, cars like the Toyota Camry, Kia Optima, and Volkswagen Passat with their base engines can meet or exceed that average. It left me wondering why GM went forward with the eAssist mild hybrid and not a regular hybrid system or something else. Those problems with the powertrain are a big shame since the Malibu’s ride shines as a long distance cruiser. The suspension does a great job of providing a very comfortable ride, soaking up many road imperfections. The steering weighted perfectly for what the Eco is built for. Also, Chevrolet must have stolen a few of Buick’s quiet tuning engineers since the Malibu Eco is very, very quiet. And The Verdict Verdict As my time with the Malibu Eco was coming to a close, I was getting more and more disappointed. The Malibu Eco has some very positive points: a comfortable and quiet ride, good looking exterior, impressive interior, and the new MyLink infotainment system. But those positive points cannot hide some very glaring problems of the Malibu Eco: the smallest back seat in the class, the stop/start system that didn’t stop, and the not so impressive fuel economy of the eAssist system. And there is one thing I haven’t brought up yet. The Malibu was originally waiting on the new 2.5L four-cylinder to go into production. However, GM CEO Dan Akerson wanted the Malibu out sooner and the decision was made to start building the Eco early since it the closest to being ready. My question is this: if GM had kept the original date, could this have made the Malibu Eco a better car? The Malibu Eco is a car full of hopes and dreams, but sadly cannot reach all of them. Cheers: Comfortable Ride Interior and Exterior Design MyLink Infotainment System Jeers: Fuel Economy Non Auto Stop/Start System Interior Space Year - 2013 Make - Chevrolet Model - Malibu Trim - Eco Engine - 2.4L DOHC Four-Cylinder with eAssist Driveline - Front Wheel Drive, Six Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM - 182 @ 6200 Torque @ RPM - 172 @ 4900 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/37/29 Curb Weight - 3620 lbs Location of Manufacture - Kansas City, Kansas Base Price - $26,845.00 As Tested Price - $29,380.00 (Includes $760.00 Destination Charge) View full article
  4. William Maley Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com May 17, 2012 After months of speculation, rumor, and hearsay, GM let the cat out of the bag today. Coming late next year as a 2014 model, the Chevrolet SS RWD sedan. (Yes, SS is the actual name). The SS sedan will be based on the Holden Commodore sedan and it will be it will be used by NASCAR Sprint Cup teams starting at the 2013 Daytona 500. At the moment, Chevrolet isn't saying much about specifics. We're expecting a small-block V8, manual transmission option, and to be sold in limited numbers. “As a passionate race fan and performance enthusiast, I am thrilled that Chevrolet will deliver a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR racecar in the SS that is closely linked to the performance sedan that will be available for sale. The Chevrolet SS is a great example of how GM is able to leverage its global product portfolio to deliver a unique performance experience that extends beyond the track. I am personally looking forward to driving it,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America in a press release. The lead up related to this: Chevy’s Upcoming SS Sedan May Give Way to a New Ute and Wagon Did OnStar Accidentally Confirm An SS Model In 2014? Rumorpile: GM Trademarks SS... Why Now? Impala Leaping Out of NASCAR, Unnamed Model Taking Its Place Press Release in on Page 2 Chevrolet Announces New SS Performance Sedan Will compete in 2013 NASCAR and arrive in showrooms as 2014 model DETROIT – Chevrolet today announced the return of a V-8 powered, rear-wheel-drive performance sedan to the U.S. lineup, the Chevrolet SS. The SS will also be Chevrolet’s next NASCAR Sprint Cup racecar and will debut in its race configuration at the 2013 Daytona 500. The limited production version of the Chevrolet SS will be a 2014 model and will arrive in dealer showrooms in late 2013. It is the first time in 17 years that Chevrolet will offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan for sale in the United States. Chevrolet has a long history of using the SS (Super Sport) designation on high-performance models of some of its most enduring nameplates. The SS designation first appeared in 1957 on a Corvette prototype race car built under the guidance of Zora Arkus-Duntov with the plan to enter it in the Le Mans 24-hour race. The first production vehicle offered with an SS option was the 1961 Impala – 453 were built with the performance upgrades which included a modified chassis and suspension, power brakes, a steering column mounted tachometer and unique wheels and tires. The latest SS model in the Chevrolet lineup is the fifth-generation Camaro, which debuted in 2010. The Chevrolet SS will be a derivative of the award-winning global rear-wheel-drive architecture that spawns performance vehicles like Chevrolet Camaro and Holden’s upcoming VF Commodore. The much anticipated Australian-built car will benefit from significant technology advances which enhance overall performance. “As a passionate race fan and performance enthusiast, I am thrilled that Chevrolet will deliver a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR racecar in the SS that is closely linked to the performance sedan that will be available for sale,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America. “The Chevrolet SS is a great example of how GM is able to leverage its global product portfolio to deliver a unique performance experience that extends beyond the track. I am personally looking forward to driving it.” Chevrolet was America’s best-selling performance car brand in 2011 with Camaro and Corvette accounting for one out of every three sports cars sold in the United States. The addition of the SS should strengthen Chevrolet’s position as a leading performance brand.
  5. William Maley Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com May 17, 2012 After months of speculation, rumor, and hearsay, GM let the cat out of the bag today. Coming late next year as a 2014 model, the Chevrolet SS RWD sedan. (Yes, SS is the actual name). The SS sedan will be based on the Holden Commodore sedan and it will be it will be used by NASCAR Sprint Cup teams starting at the 2013 Daytona 500. At the moment, Chevrolet isn't saying much about specifics. We're expecting a small-block V8, manual transmission option, and to be sold in limited numbers. “As a passionate race fan and performance enthusiast, I am thrilled that Chevrolet will deliver a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR racecar in the SS that is closely linked to the performance sedan that will be available for sale. The Chevrolet SS is a great example of how GM is able to leverage its global product portfolio to deliver a unique performance experience that extends beyond the track. I am personally looking forward to driving it,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America in a press release. The lead up related to this: Chevy’s Upcoming SS Sedan May Give Way to a New Ute and Wagon Did OnStar Accidentally Confirm An SS Model In 2014? Rumorpile: GM Trademarks SS... Why Now? Impala Leaping Out of NASCAR, Unnamed Model Taking Its Place Press Release in on Page 2 Chevrolet Announces New SS Performance Sedan Will compete in 2013 NASCAR and arrive in showrooms as 2014 model DETROIT – Chevrolet today announced the return of a V-8 powered, rear-wheel-drive performance sedan to the U.S. lineup, the Chevrolet SS. The SS will also be Chevrolet’s next NASCAR Sprint Cup racecar and will debut in its race configuration at the 2013 Daytona 500. The limited production version of the Chevrolet SS will be a 2014 model and will arrive in dealer showrooms in late 2013. It is the first time in 17 years that Chevrolet will offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan for sale in the United States. Chevrolet has a long history of using the SS (Super Sport) designation on high-performance models of some of its most enduring nameplates. The SS designation first appeared in 1957 on a Corvette prototype race car built under the guidance of Zora Arkus-Duntov with the plan to enter it in the Le Mans 24-hour race. The first production vehicle offered with an SS option was the 1961 Impala – 453 were built with the performance upgrades which included a modified chassis and suspension, power brakes, a steering column mounted tachometer and unique wheels and tires. The latest SS model in the Chevrolet lineup is the fifth-generation Camaro, which debuted in 2010. The Chevrolet SS will be a derivative of the award-winning global rear-wheel-drive architecture that spawns performance vehicles like Chevrolet Camaro and Holden’s upcoming VF Commodore. The much anticipated Australian-built car will benefit from significant technology advances which enhance overall performance. “As a passionate race fan and performance enthusiast, I am thrilled that Chevrolet will deliver a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR racecar in the SS that is closely linked to the performance sedan that will be available for sale,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America. “The Chevrolet SS is a great example of how GM is able to leverage its global product portfolio to deliver a unique performance experience that extends beyond the track. I am personally looking forward to driving it.” Chevrolet was America’s best-selling performance car brand in 2011 with Camaro and Corvette accounting for one out of every three sports cars sold in the United States. The addition of the SS should strengthen Chevrolet’s position as a leading performance brand. View full article
  6. Blake Noble Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com May 4th, 2012 GM hasn’t exactly been bashful about the fact it plans to build a new rear-drive performance sedan for Chevrolet next year, and race it on your local NASCAR track. Announced in March of this year, the upcoming Chevy — which will wear the SS moniker in either short or long-hand form — should likely boast the same 6.2 liter V8 heart which furiously beats beneath the hood of the Camaro SS. The 6.2 should produce upwards of 415 horsepower for use in the SS sedan. When news broke about the Chevrolet SS, it was widely believed that the car would be only be available with a V8 and four doors. However, that may not turn out to be the case as it seems GM may be planning to further expand the Bowtie brand’s portfolio of rear-drive cars. Car and Driver is reporting that after the SS is introduced with the hairy-chested 6.2 V8, Chevrolet will offer a version of the car for more squeamish buyers using a 3.6 liter V6 good for churning out 300-plus horsepower. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise given that most automakers must remain conscious of ever increasing CAFE regulations with every new model and a V6-powered Chevy SS would likely achieve highway mpg figures somewhere in the upper 20s. What may be seen as surprising is that the Chevy SS family may not be comprised of just a V6 or V8-powered sedan. When the SS moves to an updated, lighter version of the Zeta platform on which it is based, GM could very well introduce additional ute (read: ElCamino) and wagon bodystyles. This should take place around 2015, and production of the SS will also shift to North America — likely GM’s plant in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada — from Australia where it will first be built alongside the related Holden Commodore. It’s worth mentioning that while production of the Chevy SS will probably move out of Australia, it’s unclear if the Holden Commodore will follow suit. Australian website Drive is skeptical and thinks if the Commodore leaves its native home it likely wouldn’t happen until a totally new model is introduced for 2018, pending future currency exchange rates and sales. Whatever the case, enthusiasts will undoubtedly be excited at the prospect of not only the upcoming Chevy SS, but a new wagon and especially a successor to the beloved ElCamino. Let’s just hope that GM doesn’t revoke anyone’s green card this time around. Sources: Car and Driver, Drive
  7. Blake Noble Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com May 4th, 2012 GM hasn’t exactly been bashful about the fact it plans to build a new rear-drive performance sedan for Chevrolet next year, and race it on your local NASCAR track. Announced in March of this year, the upcoming Chevy — which will wear the SS moniker in either short or long-hand form — should likely boast the same 6.2 liter V8 heart which furiously beats beneath the hood of the Camaro SS. The 6.2 should produce upwards of 415 horsepower for use in the SS sedan. When news broke about the Chevrolet SS, it was widely believed that the car would be only be available with a V8 and four doors. However, that may not turn out to be the case as it seems GM may be planning to further expand the Bowtie brand’s portfolio of rear-drive cars. Car and Driver is reporting that after the SS is introduced with the hairy-chested 6.2 V8, Chevrolet will offer a version of the car for more squeamish buyers using a 3.6 liter V6 good for churning out 300-plus horsepower. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise given that most automakers must remain conscious of ever increasing CAFE regulations with every new model and a V6-powered Chevy SS would likely achieve highway mpg figures somewhere in the upper 20s. What may be seen as surprising is that the Chevy SS family may not be comprised of just a V6 or V8-powered sedan. When the SS moves to an updated, lighter version of the Zeta platform on which it is based, GM could very well introduce additional ute (read: ElCamino) and wagon bodystyles. This should take place around 2015, and production of the SS will also shift to North America — likely GM’s plant in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada — from Australia where it will first be built alongside the related Holden Commodore. It’s worth mentioning that while production of the Chevy SS will probably move out of Australia, it’s unclear if the Holden Commodore will follow suit. Australian website Drive is skeptical and thinks if the Commodore leaves its native home it likely wouldn’t happen until a totally new model is introduced for 2018, pending future currency exchange rates and sales. Whatever the case, enthusiasts will undoubtedly be excited at the prospect of not only the upcoming Chevy SS, but a new wagon and especially a successor to the beloved ElCamino. Let’s just hope that GM doesn’t revoke anyone’s green card this time around. Sources: Car and Driver, Drive View full article
  8. Drew Dowdell

    The Sedans of NYIAS2012

    Drew Dowdell Managing Editor CheersandGears.com April 5, 2012 The 2012 New York Auto Show was sedan heavy this year with 6 major releases or concepts. Some of the releases were impressive, some not so much. Fisker Atlantic - A smaller, lighter, and less expensive entry from Fisker, the Atlantic hopes to slot in at the high end of the BMW 3-series price range. This luxury extended range electric vehicle is one of the curviest sedans shown at the show. Despite the low roof in the rear, Fisker promises the Atlantic will have similar interior room to the 3-series as well. Fisker had some problems with the launch of the Karma earlier this year, but if a similar issue can be avoided on the Atlantic, we think Fisker can pull this one off after all of the funding they've recently secured. While electric vehicles aren't to everyone's taste, we think that any domestic manufacturer trying to put sexy cars into production should be applauded. 2014 Chevrolet Impala – This was one of the bigger surprises for me. I'm not sure why my expectations were so low, but Chevrolet did a great job on the Impala. With this car, Chevy is moving the Impala away from the fleet queen status it has maintained for at least a decade. Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but you can be certain it will jump substantially from the ~$23k you can get into one today with. The interior is well above the current full size class in design and amenities. There is still the issue of the steering wheel and buttons, but we'll have to wait till the car gets closer to production. Of note, the Impala has generated more traffic and comments than any other release from the show.2013 Lincoln MKZ – As we had essentially seen this car in concept form at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, so the overall look isn't a surprise. This Fusion based Lincoln is a transitional product for Lincoln (hopefully the last such) and Lincoln continues to stress that they have 7 new or refreshed vehicles coming. While the MKZ has some interesting engine options and technology, not to mention the huge sunroof, I think this still isn't enough to bring Lincoln back to prime time. It still doesn't have the interior of the ES and doesn't have the presence of a 2008 CTS. Lincoln needs more, a lot more, if they ever want to be relevant in this class again. 2013 Lexus ES – A few months ago a Lexus exec was talking smack on the Buick Lacrosse saying that the next ES interior would blow away the Buick. I'm not sure if he was talking about the next next one or just what, but this 2013 ES ain't it. The ES takes on the predator mouth grill that is spreading throughout the rest of the Lexus lineup, but it doesn't quiet fit on the otherwise slab sided car. The clean lines of the rest of the car break into a mess of creases and folds at the front. Stare at the ES for more than 15 seconds and the Camry/Avalon base is still apparent. The interior is flat and gray. There is no integration between the dash and the door. The lines don't even line up. The center console is hard scratchy plastic in the places where it isn't piano black. The dashboard is just rubber with stitching. You set the parking brake in the ES with your foot. The Lacrosse has electronic parking brake available. After I checked out the ES, I wandered over to Hyundai to check out the Santa Fe and ended up sitting in an Azera. Sticker price on the Azera was $32k, but the interior design was much nicer and better executed. Yes it's a Hyundai and not a Lexus, but to quote Oldsmobile: “It's your $32,000, demand better.” 2013 Nissan Altima – The new Altima should make the competition sit up and take notice. The interior is attractively done with a light and airy feel. Controls are laid out in a logical fashion and visibility seems excellent. Of course, having a class leading combined fuel economy won't hurt either. The Sonata and Optima have been the media darlings of the class for about a year now, but my bets are either on the Altima or Fusion taking on that role in the near future.Acura RLX concept – This thing is just a mess. It looks like a big, bloated Honda Accord. All that complexity of the hybrid and it only gets 30mpg highway? The V6 Chrysler 300 can do that today. Sure the RLX has 370 horsepower, but that is irrelevant to the target market of this car. A more targeted horsepower number and a blow-your-mind fuel economy number would be more likely to get customers to overlook the dull and dated style. 2013 Toyota Avalon – The Avalon managed to stay unleaked right up until the reveal, probably because no one could be bothered to click send. Described by Toyota as “bold and sporty”, the Avalon adopts the new corporate face that we know from the Camry. Moving to the new Camry platform, the Avalon boasts better structural rigidity and a re-calibrated suspension. Styling wise, we're not so sure about “Bold and Sporty”. It's a conservative Toyota sedan... burgundy is about as bold as you get here. The let down is how we were teased last week with a drawing from Toyota that showed a car much more rakish. Sedans aren't everyone's cup of tea, but if nothing else, the variety of these entries is interesting. What do you think? Are we spot on? Off our rocker? Leave your comments below. Of course, once they visit the C&G garage, you'll get to take part in the review.
  9. Drew Dowdell Managing Editor CheersandGears.com April 5, 2012 The 2012 New York Auto Show was sedan heavy this year with 6 major releases or concepts. Some of the releases were impressive, some not so much. Fisker Atlantic - A smaller, lighter, and less expensive entry from Fisker, the Atlantic hopes to slot in at the high end of the BMW 3-series price range. This luxury extended range electric vehicle is one of the curviest sedans shown at the show. Despite the low roof in the rear, Fisker promises the Atlantic will have similar interior room to the 3-series as well. Fisker had some problems with the launch of the Karma earlier this year, but if a similar issue can be avoided on the Atlantic, we think Fisker can pull this one off after all of the funding they've recently secured. While electric vehicles aren't to everyone's taste, we think that any domestic manufacturer trying to put sexy cars into production should be applauded. 2014 Chevrolet Impala – This was one of the bigger surprises for me. I'm not sure why my expectations were so low, but Chevrolet did a great job on the Impala. With this car, Chevy is moving the Impala away from the fleet queen status it has maintained for at least a decade. Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but you can be certain it will jump substantially from the ~$23k you can get into one today with. The interior is well above the current full size class in design and amenities. There is still the issue of the steering wheel and buttons, but we'll have to wait till the car gets closer to production. Of note, the Impala has generated more traffic and comments than any other release from the show.2013 Lincoln MKZ – As we had essentially seen this car in concept form at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, so the overall look isn't a surprise. This Fusion based Lincoln is a transitional product for Lincoln (hopefully the last such) and Lincoln continues to stress that they have 7 new or refreshed vehicles coming. While the MKZ has some interesting engine options and technology, not to mention the huge sunroof, I think this still isn't enough to bring Lincoln back to prime time. It still doesn't have the interior of the ES and doesn't have the presence of a 2008 CTS. Lincoln needs more, a lot more, if they ever want to be relevant in this class again. 2013 Lexus ES – A few months ago a Lexus exec was talking smack on the Buick Lacrosse saying that the next ES interior would blow away the Buick. I'm not sure if he was talking about the next next one or just what, but this 2013 ES ain't it. The ES takes on the predator mouth grill that is spreading throughout the rest of the Lexus lineup, but it doesn't quiet fit on the otherwise slab sided car. The clean lines of the rest of the car break into a mess of creases and folds at the front. Stare at the ES for more than 15 seconds and the Camry/Avalon base is still apparent. The interior is flat and gray. There is no integration between the dash and the door. The lines don't even line up. The center console is hard scratchy plastic in the places where it isn't piano black. The dashboard is just rubber with stitching. You set the parking brake in the ES with your foot. The Lacrosse has electronic parking brake available. After I checked out the ES, I wandered over to Hyundai to check out the Santa Fe and ended up sitting in an Azera. Sticker price on the Azera was $32k, but the interior design was much nicer and better executed. Yes it's a Hyundai and not a Lexus, but to quote Oldsmobile: “It's your $32,000, demand better.” 2013 Nissan Altima – The new Altima should make the competition sit up and take notice. The interior is attractively done with a light and airy feel. Controls are laid out in a logical fashion and visibility seems excellent. Of course, having a class leading combined fuel economy won't hurt either. The Sonata and Optima have been the media darlings of the class for about a year now, but my bets are either on the Altima or Fusion taking on that role in the near future.Acura RLX concept – This thing is just a mess. It looks like a big, bloated Honda Accord. All that complexity of the hybrid and it only gets 30mpg highway? The V6 Chrysler 300 can do that today. Sure the RLX has 370 horsepower, but that is irrelevant to the target market of this car. A more targeted horsepower number and a blow-your-mind fuel economy number would be more likely to get customers to overlook the dull and dated style. 2013 Toyota Avalon – The Avalon managed to stay unleaked right up until the reveal, probably because no one could be bothered to click send. Described by Toyota as “bold and sporty”, the Avalon adopts the new corporate face that we know from the Camry. Moving to the new Camry platform, the Avalon boasts better structural rigidity and a re-calibrated suspension. Styling wise, we're not so sure about “Bold and Sporty”. It's a conservative Toyota sedan... burgundy is about as bold as you get here. The let down is how we were teased last week with a drawing from Toyota that showed a car much more rakish. Sedans aren't everyone's cup of tea, but if nothing else, the variety of these entries is interesting. What do you think? Are we spot on? Off our rocker? Leave your comments below. Of course, once they visit the C&G garage, you'll get to take part in the review. View full article
  10. General Motors Announces $275 Million Investment For Truck Plant William Maley - Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com October 27, 2011 General Motors announced yesterday they will invest $275 million for their Fort Wayne, Indiana to build the next generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks. GM says the investment will create or retain 150 jobs on top of the 3,400 workers who currently build trucks at the plant. “This investment will allow us to continue building award-winning pickups that offer better fuel efficiency than ever before without sacrificing features and functionality. We remain committed to providing customers the utility and capability of our world-class full-size pickups,” said Larry Zahner, GM manufacturing manager, in a statement. Press Release is below GM Invests $275 Million in Ft. Wayne Assembly Plant Supports next-generation full-size pickups and creates or retains 150 jobs 2011-10-26 - FT. WAYNE, Ind. – General Motors will invest approximately $275 million to prepare its plant here to build the next generation of Chevrolet and GMC full-size pickup trucks, creating or retaining 150 jobs. The plant, which currently has 3,400 employees on three shifts, builds the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups. The investment announced today is the last announcement of the $2 billion GM announced in May 2011 that will create or retain about 4,000 jobs in 17 facilities in eight states over the next 18 months. “This investment will allow us to continue building award-winning pickups that offer better fuel efficiency than ever before without sacrificing features and functionality,” said Larry Zahner, GM manufacturing manager. “We remain committed to providing customers the utility and capability of our world-class full-size pickups.” September was a very good month for GM’s full-size pickup trucks. GMC Sierra sales were up 26 percent and Chevrolet Silverado sales were up 36 percent. Sales of GM full-size pickups have increased month over month since July, contributing to a year-to-date market share gain of about one full point. “Today’s announcement is great news for the hard-working members of UAW Local 2209,” said Joe Ashton, UAW vice president, representing the GM Department. “Our members’ experience and knowledge will ensure that this next generation of trucks will exceed the expectations of our customers. This is an important vehicle program for GM and the decision to locate the work in Fort Wayne demonstrates our mutual commitment to making GM a great American company.”

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