Public Citizen Not Impressed With GM's "New" Powertrains
Last week, GM told the world its '08 models would hit the streets with 14 new or "significantly revised powertrains" with a "focus on saving fuel and improving performance." Public Citizen ("We fight for clean, safe and sustainable energy sources") has accused the automaker of mistaking "old" for "new." The consumer advocacy group claims that "most of the good ideas in the new powertrain lineup… are old news technologies that were listed five years ago." The sole exception? GM's two-mode hybrid. Even then Public Citizen slates the automaker's hybrid efforts for "putting it in some of the largest models, undermining efforts to build more efficient functional family vehicles." What's more, Public Citizen has an answer to SUV and pickup truck economy and safety: unibody construction! "Building the body and frame as a single piece, instead of the Frankenstein monster of a car body stuck to a truck frame, could help protect occupants of a vehicle struck by an SUV." And reduce their ability to tow or haul. At least Public Citizen questions the wisdom of biofuels. Looks like that initiative may be losing momentum amongst the chattering classes.