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http://www.thecarconnection.com/blog/?p=759

Camaro Goes Hybrid, As GM Axes Rear-Drive Impala, LaCrosse?

General Motors has been forced to rework the investment case for the Chevrolet Camaro in the wake of new fuel-economy rules adopted this past December.

The Camaro will still be built, but higher-end V-8 versions likely will be priced higher than expected. As for other planned GM rear-drivers–a new Chevrolet Impala, Buick LaCrosse and the replacement for the Pontiac G8 due this spring–all have been dropped along with a new V-8 engine GM was contemplating building.

“You can’t kill something that was never approved,” said one GM official, who asked for anonymity but who confirmed the rear-wheel-drive projects are now dead.

Stew Low, a spokesman for GM of Canada, said the Camaro project is safe and is moving forward. The GM of Canada plant in Oshawa, Ontario outside of Toronto should be ready to build the first Camaro late this year, Low said.

Buzz Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, said that GM is spending $2.5 billion in Oshawa - including $435 million from the Ontario and Canadian federal governments.

“We anticipated that would be followed by other rear-wheel-drive vehicles, but the money they spent on the plant makes it a flex plant, so you can build both front-drive and rear-wheel-drive in the facility,'’ Hargrove told reporters in Canada.

Only a proposal for new ultra-luxury rear-wheel-drive Cadillac seems to still have a chance of making it through GM’s product development process and into production. Even that project, though, may well depend on how the Environmental Protection Agency writes the rules enforcing the new fuel-economy standards.

The death of the other rear-drive GM vehicles also has implications for the final pricing of the Camaro when it goes on sale next year.

Last year, GM vice chairman Robert Lutz had told TheCarConnection.com that the rear-wheel-drive platform developed for the Camaro would support other vehicles as part of GM’s effort to make the project financially manageable. Spinning more vehicles from one platform spreads the costs around and is the most efficient and effective way for GM to use its available capital, Lutz has said.

As part of global product strategy GM plans to use fewer but more flexible platforms that would accommodate a wider range of vehicles and vehicle designs. Specifically, the new Camaro platform could be used for other rear-drive vehicles, Lutz said he said before the fuel-economy debate had heated up in Congress.

Part of the reason for the delay in moving forward with the Camaro project revolved around extending the utility of the fundamental architecture so it could serve as the platform for other vehicles as well, he said.

The new fuel-economy rules, however, have basically forced GM to reconsider its extensive plans for rear-wheel-drive vehicles. Rear-wheel-drive trucks and SUVs are safe for now because the new federal rules will allow some wiggle room for trucks. GM, though, is not in a position to absorb the roughly 1-mpg fuel-economy penalty that comes with building rear-wheel-drive passenger cars, GM insiders said in the wake of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

However, GM’s decision to scrap the other rear-drive models is putting an enormous cost burden on the new Camaro.

GM officials are saying they should be able to recover some of the investment costs in the new rear-wheel-drive platform by selling the vehicles in places such as Australia, the Middle East and China. Australia, however, has a new government that takes global warming very seriously. China is imposing new fuel-economy standards that are as tough as those found in the United States and one of the largest vehicle markets in the Middle East, Iran, is off limits to American car companies.

Nevertheless, GM desperately wants to price the new Camaro competitively against vehicles like the new Dodge Challenger and particularly the Ford Mustang, which pretty much inherited the segment after GM withdrew the Camaro earlier in the decade.

With a new generation of rear-wheel-drive vehicles consigned to the never-built file somewhere in the company’s engineering office, GM now is working on a plan B for Camaro.

GM chairman Richard Wagoner has already confirmed a V-6 engine will be part of the Camaro package.

While the concept Camaro has come with V-8 engine, a V-6 would serve as basic engine for the production Camaro and would help keep prices competitive.

Meanwhile, Tom Stephens, the head of GM’s Powertrain Group, told reporters recently that turbocharging can help boost both fuel economy and horsepower.

The V-8 version of the Camaro is very likely carry a substantial premium and GM is thought to have assigned a team of engineers to work out how to apply its new dual-mode hybrid system for an even more expensive version of the Camaro.–By Joseph Szczesny
 

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If this is all true, and the Camaro doesn't get a V8 with a comparable sticker price to the Mustang, can we all finally bash politicians together, please?

Don't get me wrong, CAFE I think is a good idea. Ramming a huge percentage with a short deadline in, is not. It should have been a gradual process, building up. Bur for now, this has all put the industry into panic mode.
 

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V8

If this is all true, and the Camaro doesn't get a V8 with a comparable sticker price to the Mustang, can we all finally bash politicians together, please?

Don't get me wrong, CAFE I think is a good idea. Ramming a huge percentage with a short deadline in, is not. It should have been a gradual process, building up. Bur for now, this has all put the industry into panic mode.
I AGREE, is it the donkey are the Elephant that passed the CAFE LAW :confused:
 

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CAFE is a bull**** idea. It's forcing consumers to buy things they don't necessarily want. Americans WANT bigger cars, we WANT powerful cars. If we're willing to pay for them, what's our government got to say about it? I'm all about emissions standards, but emissions and mpg are apples and oranges. Forcing the consumers to buy crap they don't want while NOT forcing oil and fuel companies to invest their record profits in upgrading their plants and investing in research for alternative fules is complete BULL****.
 

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CAFE is a bull**** idea. It's forcing consumers to buy things they don't necessarily want. Americans WANT bigger cars, we WANT powerful cars. If we're willing to pay for them, what's our government got to say about it? I'm all about emissions standards, but emissions and mpg are apples and oranges. Forcing the consumers to buy crap they don't want while NOT forcing oil and fuel companies to invest their record profits in upgrading their plants and investing in research for alternative fules is complete BULL****.
I agree with you somewhat, but the public is ignorant. Like the line from MIB, "a person is smart, but people are stupid". Look at smoking. And before you guys bash me, I was a smoker for years. But it's bad for you, and other people around you, and it's expensive, and nasty. Yet people are fine with doing it. And if you want to hurt your body, it IS your right. But it's not your right to hurt other people without their consent, or if you do, then you should have to pay a penalty.

I think if instead of regulations, they had some sort of Tax Incentive, or something to reward those that had better overall internal standards, that would be much better. Pay those companies that spend the money to better themselves.

Unfortunately, I don't think there's a solution to all of this. If the public really cared about gas mileage and efficiency, then a year after the gas prices went up drastically to hang around $3 a gallon, the F-150 would not still be the best selling vehicle in the U.S.

I'm not trying to create an argument, I just think something needs to be done to make the industry focus on efficiency, and to start the path to get us away from oil. But on that note, I will have a gas burning V8 car as long as I can, because I really enjoy every minute of driving them.
 

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I agree with you somewhat, but the public is ignorant. Like the line from MIB, "a person is smart, but people are stupid". Look at smoking. And before you guys bash me, I was a smoker for years. But it's bad for you, and other people around you, and it's expensive, and nasty. Yet people are fine with doing it. And if you want to hurt your body, it IS your right. But it's not your right to hurt other people without their consent, or if you do, then you should have to pay a penalty.

I think if instead of regulations, they had some sort of Tax Incentive, or something to reward those that had better overall internal standards, that would be much better. Pay those companies that spend the money to better themselves.

Unfortunately, I don't think there's a solution to all of this. If the public really cared about gas mileage and efficiency, then a year after the gas prices went up drastically to hang around $3 a gallon, the F-150 would not still be the best selling vehicle in the U.S.

I'm not trying to create an argument, I just think something needs to be done to make the industry focus on efficiency, and to start the path to get us away from oil. But on that note, I will have a gas burning V8 car as long as I can, because I really enjoy every minute of driving them.
It's not like we don't have places we can get our own oil. The amount of oil that they estimate is under the Alaskan tundra is ridiculous.

On a side note, I think "global warming" is some of the biggest BS to come out of Washington. Meteorologists who don't have a political agenda agree that the earth goes through cycles of weather, likely caused by axial wobble. There is no indication that the current weather cycle is not normal or is accelerated by greenhouse gasses caused by automobiles.

That's not to say that I don't believe in producing vehicles that produce lower emissions. Just look at Phoenix from 30 miles away at noon...There's this brown cloud that hangs over the city and that CAN'T be good, but I don't think that raising MPG standars is going to change that one bit.
 

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^I agree.

I don't think emissions effects global climate. I do believe it is a local problem though.

The populated areas in the world are tine compared to the entire world.
 

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I guess its about time for one of these:
 

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According to this the global temp is on the fall. Also if cars are responsible then how do you explain all the rises in temp before current time?

 

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Also back in midevil times the same sorta thing was happening. The earth was warming, crops were getting better. Then all of a sudden the temp drops, crops fail, the black plague begins.




http://academic.emporia.edu/aberjame/ice/lec19/holocene.htm

880-1140: Radiocarbon dates on trees that grew in Canada far north of modern timberline.
 

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According to this the global temp is on the fall. Also if cars are responsible then how do you explain all the rises in temp before current time?

Its really quite simple. Pre-historic man had terrible flatulence !! And if enough of todays left leaning politicians and their special interest groups get their way, we'd all have a cork up the pie hole!! Believe me if there's already talk of Cows emitting too much gas and somehow trying to contain it , we can't be far behind (no pun intended)
 

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We can't always have everything...

CAFE is a bull**** idea. It's forcing consumers to buy things they don't necessarily want. Americans WANT bigger cars, we WANT powerful cars. If we're willing to pay for them, what's our government got to say about it? I'm all about emissions standards, but emissions and mpg are apples and oranges. Forcing the consumers to buy crap they don't want while NOT forcing oil and fuel companies to invest their record profits in upgrading their plants and investing in research for alternative fules is complete BULL****.
I must say - we Americans are spoiled as hell & think the world owes us everything. face it, if we want to keep this world where we can live & breathe & so can our kids, we're going to have to sacrifice somewhere. CAFE is meant to protect the environment, help extend fuel supply -not to destroy our rights. Eventually we'll use up all the resources on this planet. Our government has everything to say about it - its made up of elected officials that act in our best interest (whether we always agree or not).

It could be worse - we could be under fuel rations - not something we WANT but may NEED to comply with someday....

I DO agree with you however, that the oil companies MUST be held to a higher standard & make the same sacrifices the consumers do
 

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The cycle completes itself again

Also back in midevil times the same sorta thing was happening. The earth was warming, crops were getting better. Then all of a sudden the temp drops, crops fail, the black plague begins.




http://academic.emporia.edu/aberjame/ice/lec19/holocene.htm

880-1140: Radiocarbon dates on trees that grew in Canada far north of modern timberline.
Funny you mention that - I'm in a graduate program for Environmental Health & we were just discussing the fact that the plague is actually starting to increase again in some 3rd world nations.....:eek:
 
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