GM Has Awesome (pictures of) New Cars!
Can't wait for some good news about Product Revolution 2.0 from GM? Well, surf on over to Edmunds Inside Line for the latest in grainy computer-generated images of the cars that are sure to make you forget that GM was ever in any kind of trouble. Think American automakers can't build an attractive, efficient small car? Um, you were right. The first look at Chevy's Cobalt quasi-replacement, the Cruze, reveal bland baby Malibu styling that even Edmunds calls "over-used and derivative." And while the old Chevy Cruze (Suzuki Ignis) was a tall, flexible wagon, the new model sports a long front overhang and a tight greenhouse. But fear not, wagon lovers because the Caddy CTS sportwagon is coming. And by the looks of it, it will be yet another fashion nugget designed to convince Americans that all station wagons have less luggage capacity than sedans. That's right America, if you want to buy a GM with actual storage space you have no choice but to keep buying thirsty crossovers for at least five more years. For example, take the Caddy SRX, the Saab 9-4X or the Chevy Equinox… no, seriously, take them. They'll just be occupying valuable Volt real estate on GM lots come 2010. Finally, we get a look at a mid-sized Buick, possibly to be named the Invicta. Sure it looks good, but will it be enough to rescue the dead brand walking? Speaking of which, is it a coincidence that GM isn't showing any new Pontiac or GMC product? Probably not. The future is now!
Buick actually makes a good car, in fact they would be some of the General's best offerings. Too bad nobody even thinks to look. I am willing to bet that if you hid the Buick identity and wrapped it in ES 350 or Avalon wrappings, the vast majority of present ES/Avalon buyers would be just as satisfied. Sorry but there is some truth to the "perception is reality" line of thinking. Of course one can't help but comment about what made that perception to begin with...but lets be real. You don't have to go too far back in time to recall "Bring Me a Wrecker" or "Breakdown Motor Works" for BMW. Nobody brings up the Munich carmaker's past because they have done a stellar job of managing the present. Yet you still hear about X/J car disasters. This is something the General should ponder.
The Cruze is definitely Daewoo. I'm guessing that it really is the replacement for the Chevrolet Lacetti/Optra/Suzuki Forenza/Holden Viva/Buick Excelle. I wonder if the Forenza will disappear altogether or will Suzuki get a rebadge Cruze. Invicta will likely be built in Kansas City next to the Malibu and Aura. Torsion bar suspension = larger trunk
That CTS wagon looks good to me. Which means they won't make it, and if they do it will be hit with an ugly stick first.
If that sharp-looking Cruze turbo 1.4L meets its fuel economy claim of 45mpg, Honda and Toyota better get ready for some heavy discounting of its economy cars. 45mpg is Prius territory, without the Prius drawbacks. Will the Cruze hit 45mpg? With a really high top gear, on level grade, going 55mph, under absolutely ideal atmospheric conditions......no, it won't. Turbo engines guzzle fuel, and usually premium fuel at that. Turbos are like exotic dancers---you can cosset them and treat them gently and respectfully, but they'll still sock you for another $250 bottle of champagne. So I've HEARD, about exotic dancers. Ahem.