I stumbled upon your Lemons Z34-fiero article. My brothers both had LQ1 Cutlasses and whoever designed that engine was a sadist. They both blew the headgaskets and were impossible to work on. FYI: we run the SHO-swapped, mid-engine Geo Metro in the 24 Hours of LeMons. I had some good battles against that LQ1 Fiero, some captured on my helmet cam. (Read More…)
There have been a number of important meetings in the auto industry over the last several years that TTAC dearly wishes it could have been a fly on the wall for, including GM’s decision to keep Opel, Fiat’s negotiations with the White House and Saab’s visit to its local payday loan store, to name just a few. But perhaps one of the more interesting boardroom battles of recent years has to be the new VW-Porsche Group’s struggle over how to brand its forthcoming mid-engine sportscar platform which first debuted as the VW BlueSport. Bertel reported last Summer that Porsche, Audi and VW were all bidding for the group’s sportscar development work, but that Porsche was likeliest to emerge with the title.
And it turns out he was right, as Auto Motor und Sport reports that VW has solved the problem by canceling Audi’s planned version of the BlueSport, leaving small mid-engine sportscar efforts in the hands of Porsche and VW. Though the decision makes the BlueSport’s branding challenge quite a bit easier (while cementing the prominence of firms related to Ferdinand Porsche at the expense of the Horch-created Audi brand), it has one less-than-ideal outcome: it removes Audi’s ability to bracket Tesla’s Roadster, a move which would have surely hurt the Silicon Valley upstart. Still, internal politics are more important than obliterating a limited-production competitor… and at least VW has its branding ducks back in one relatively orderly line.
Ferdinand Piech is cultivating long standing traditions. He always liked to watch a good catfight between his people. In the olden days, he did let plants in Europe compete and bid for cars. Now for the battle royale: Who will develop the basics on which all future sports cars in the Volkswagen empire will be built? Porsche or Audi? The answer should be obvious: (Read More…)
Along with flying cars and hydrogen fuel cells, the mid-engined Corvette occupies the most spurious level of automotive rumor-mongery. GM has a deep, rich history of flirtation with the idea of a mid-engine ‘vette (too deep and rich for us not to commission a forthcoming brief history from Paul Niedermeyer), but even in the last three years the engine configuration of the C8 Corvette has attracted intense speculation. In October of 2007, Motor Trend kicked off the modern era of mid-engine ‘vette rumors with a lengthy piece which “revealed” that
GM vice chairman Bob Lutz reportedly has been pushing for a mid-engine C7… We hear Lutz is backing down from his support of a mid-engine C7, though other powerful GM execs reportedly still favor it. Those at GM who prefer an evolutionary, front-engine C7 are facing a tough battle.
Almost exactly a year later, MT took it all back. With GM facing bankruptcy and bailouts, plans for a new Corvette were put on hold and the RenCen pendulum was swinging back towards an evolution of the front-engined C7. And yet now, with bankruptcy still less than a year in GM’s past, the mid-engine Corvette rumors are bubbling back up again. (Read More…)