So I read earlier this week that Bob Lutz is saying that the US Government killed Pontiac. He says that GM had big plans to rescue the struggling brand with innovative, rear-wheel designs that included small performance cars that would have set the Germans back on their heels. Had these plans come to fruition, he hints, enthusiasts would have been busting down the doors and the brand would have quickly returned to good health. Sounds like new golden age for Pontiac was just around the corner. And it would have worked too, if it weren’t for those meddling Feds. That’s what Bob says anyhow, but I’m not so sure. The way I remember it, I had a hand in killing Pontiac, too. (Read More…)
Tag: bob lutz
Late last week Bob Lutz told the Automotive News that VL Automotive, his venture to retrofit Fisker Karma’s with Corvette drivetrains, has negotiated a deal with an Asian investor in Fisker to give VL access to the software code that runs the Karma’s integrated infotainment system. ”Without getting those codes, it was close to impossible to get a working car,” Lutz said. He said that VL has now bought 25 brand new unsold Karmas and that the finished product, what Lutz and his partners call the Destino, will be offered with either the 450-hp direct-injected LT1 V8 from the new C7 Corvette or an upgrade to the 638 hp LS9 supercharged V8 from the outgoing C6 ZR1. (Read More…)
Now that I’m done reviewing Bob Lutz’s new book, I’m going to give a copy away, just like we do with all the accumulated swag over at TTAC Towers. There may or may not be some greasy fingerprints sustained during an attempt to read this book while eating a grilled cheese sandwich. But the price is right. If you want it, all you have to do is give me the most compelling reason why you deserve it. Email your answers to editors at ttac dot com. Contest closes one week from today.
The longer I do this, the more I realize that it’s about people, not machines. Don’t get me wrong, I still think that cars are way cool, something only human beings could create, but it’s those human beings involved in that creation that make stories worth telling and hearing. When my son, my only son, Moshe, whom I love, was a boy we put model cars together. It was a father-son thing but I also wanted him to learn a little patience. We took care putting them together, but we rarely painted them. That too took much patience. Sometime when he was in fifth grade, so this would have been 1994 or 1995 when Mo was ten years old, we were building a model of a Dodge Viper. It was an AMT/Ertl kit, in 1:25 scale. (Read More…)
Henrik Fisker paired up with Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li to get his company back. Fisker is a co-founder of severely troubled Fisker Automotive. Li and Fisker are trying to buy the U.S. government loan to Fisker at a big discount. Henrik Fisker was ousted in March. (Read More…)
Fisker is worth around 200 Karmas at retail. “A team including former General Motors Co executive Bob Lutz and China’s largest parts maker is looking to buy Fisker Automotive for $20 million, a fraction of the “green” car company’s estimated worth almost a year and a half ago,” Reuters says. (Read More…)
When former TTAC Editor-in-Chief and now Editor emeritus Edward “Op-Ed” Niedermeyer wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal and warned that GM’s center of gravity shifts more and more to China, GM’s retired multi-role fighter Bob Lutz reamed Ed via Fortune. Now, Bob Lutz himself appears to be an accessory in a deal that transfers U.S. government-financed technology to China for pennies on the dollar. Says Deepa Seetharaman, in-house alternative drivetrain expert at the Reuters Detroit office, in her in-depth article: (Read More…)
Forward contracts on popcorn skyrocketed at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as former TTAC Chief Editor Ed Niedermeyer drew massive fire for his recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. On Sunday, GM’s PR Chief Selim Bingo blasted Niedermeyer for “stepping through the looking glass” and for “carelessly comparing GM’s spending in China to that in the U.S.”
Isn’t the Internet wonderful? Now industry types can trade barbs directly, without going through unreliable journalists. Ed Whitacre still needed to write a book (or more like he had it written) to put down Bob Lutz, Dan Akerson et al. Bob Lutz, however, has his own blog, hosted at Forbes, and boy does he take revenge on Whitacre: (Read More…)
It isn’t often one of the biggest news items coming out of NAIAS 2013 is from a tuning house … especially a tuning house nobody has ever heard of before. Attach the name Bob Lutz to a car, along with a brand new, fire breathing, tire shredding 6.2L LT1 V8 from the new Corvette, you are bound to turn some heads. Oh, and they wedged it into a Fisker Karma.
That’s Maximum to the Bob.
From the first part of this clip from Bob Lutz and Elon Musk’s recent appearance on the Charlie Rose, in which the two discuss “The CO2 Thing,” you might guess that the two are at odds with each other. After all, Bob’s the gruff, “Global Warming is Bullshit” type and Elon is the sensitive, change-the-world type. But by the end of this brief clip, the two industry mavericks are falling all over themselves with mutual admiration. But then, both have learned from the other (however indirectly) over the past few years: Lutz’s legacy of the Volt was in part motivated by Musk’s endeavor, and Musk himself has a lot more respect for Detroit’s “old school” manufacturing know-how now that his firm is actually trying to build its own cars in volume. It’s a study in contrasts watching these two iconoclasts from such separate worlds going at it… and yet you get the distinct impression that these two guys aren’t quite as different as you might think.
Watch the complete Musk-Lutz interview here.
Watch Lutz’s one-on-one interview here.
It’s a phenomenon with some precedent: import manufacturers will get nowhere with a certain bodystyle or drivetrain until one of the US domestic brands jumps on the bandwagon and popularizes it. And Jeff Breneman, executive director of the U.S. Coalition for Advanced Diesel Cars, is hoping the same dynamic plays out in the world of diesel power when Chevy brings its Cruze Diesel to the US. He tells WardsAuto
The fact that Chevy will offer a diesel Cruze in 2013 is huge. The gas-powered Cruze will get 40 mpg (5.9 L/100 km), so the diesel is expected to get 50 mpg-plus (4.7 L/100 km), and that will make it a game-changer.
Ford, Toyota or Honda haven’t got a diesel for the U.S. yet, but get ready for 2013-2014. That’s when we’re going to see a lot more diesels.
And, as the diesel booster-in-chief, it’s not surprising that Breneman would come to that conclusion. But what are folks inside GM saying about the Cruze diesel? In a recent interview with TTAC, senior advisor Bob Lutz suggested that we shouldn’t expect the Cruze diesel to conquer America or “change the game” all that much.