Maximum Bob: On Again Off Again RWD Impala is… Uh…

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
maximum bob on again off again rwd impala is uh

As we've reported several times, GM just can't seem to make up its mind about whether or not its next gen Chevrolet Impala will be front or rear wheel-drive. In the last episode our Forbes interview blog (thanks Jer!), we find GM's Car Czar in a bit of drivetrain quandary. Again. Still. Maybe. "'My personal preference is large, rear-wheel-drive cars,' says Lutz. 'My business preference is doing what is right for the shareholder and the public, in light of upcoming regulation on fuel economy. If there's a mile or two difference in fuel economy, you go for the one with the better economy. That's where the internal debate [on the Impala] is now– no firm decision at this point, but my guess is that we will come down on the side of the front-drive car.'" And while an anxious nation awaits an answer, Forbes' elder statesman predicts GM will gain market share in '08, thanks to an improving rep and a strong dollar (never mind all those transplants' U.S. factories, I guess). On this point, Maximum Bob is uncharacteristically sanguine/realistic– for a moment. "If we have a weak market and high fuel prices, people may buy more cars instead of trucks. Our mix is nearly 70% trucks, so if trucks tank fast enough, that takes our share down… If you look to our position against the competition, we're in the best space we've been in years. So you could well be right about our market share." I say nothing.

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4 of 23 comments
  • on Dec 27, 2007

    Doesn't this guy work for a small, Michigan company called GENERAL MOTORS? And didn't this small, Michigan company just reveal a 625HP, 200MPH, 11-second TWO SEATER? And he is worried about 1-2 MPG??????????? Something don't jive... I'll take a G8 GT with a side of RWD Impala SS goodness, please.

  • Mgrabo Mgrabo on Dec 27, 2007

    blunose - i think you're on to something regarding that Atlas I-6; it's really a great, underused motor with a lot of differentiation potential in these crowded family car segments - i grew up driving buzzy I-4/5spd combos & now appreciate "comfort" torquey v8s provide. i generally find the std V6/auto set-up unsatisfying on all levels - not torquey enough or quick enough to spool up, but love, love, love the compromise BMWs i-6 & even M-Bs early 90s i-6 engines provide

  • Lichtronamo Lichtronamo on Dec 27, 2007

    This is what I would suggest to Maximum Bob: CHEVROLET: Aveo (Gamma) Cobalt (Delta/Delta II) Malibu (Epsilon) Impala (stretched Epsilon II) Camaro (Zeta) Corvette Equinox (Theta/Theta II) Traverse (Lambda) Tahoe Suburban Colorado Silverado Express Van SATURN (why???) Astra (Delta/Delta II) Aura sedan/coupe/wagon (Epsilon/Epsilon II) VUE (Theta II) Zafira Sky PONTIAC - BUICK - GMC Vibe (NUMMI) Alpha coupe/sedan G8 sedan/wagon/ute(VE-Zeta) Solstice roadster/coupe LaCrosse (Epsilon II - think Lexus ES) Lucerne (VM-Zeta) Enclave Terrain (Theta II) Acadia (Lambda) Yukon Yukon XL Sierra SAAB - sell it to the Indians CADILLAC BLS coupe/sedan (Alpha) CTS coupe/sedan/wagon (Sigma II) STS sedan (VE-Zeta) BRX (Theta II) Escalade

  • SherbornSean SherbornSean on Dec 27, 2007

    Lichtronamo, First of all, they are called Native Americans, and second of all, they seem to be doing quite fine with casinos. Why would they buy a bankrupt auto brand like SAAB? Seriously, if the Impala is RWD, then why does Pontiac exist?