Lutz's Leisurely Cruze
Cars.com’s Kickingtires blog has a question: “With consumers so concerned about fuel economy, why is General Motors waiting two years to bring out the Chevrolet Cruze, the replacement for the compact Chevy Cobalt?” Of course, we would ask the question with more of a “if the Cruze isn’t being sold for two years, why is GM hyping it now?” slant. Either way, even Kicking Tires is saying something’s gone wrong, horribly wrong, here. But no matter, Bob Lutz has the answer. “We’re waiting on the new world car because that gives us time to develop the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder for it,” explains the man of maximum. And the way Lutz tells it, the Cruze’s new 1.4 turbocharged four-banger will be worth the wait. “The 1.4-liter is going to be more high torque than high horsepower,” explains the Car Czar. “High torque at the low end for power takeoffs and quick acceleration while still getting high mileage… We expect to get more than 40 mpg highway, better than with some hybrids.” Well, that sounds worth the wait, right? Well, in yet another Lutzie-worthy performance, Maximum Bob shoots his argument in the foot by revealing that “The 1.4 liter goes on sale in Europe in a couple weeks.” So then why is the Cruze not available until the mythical land of “late 2010?” Instead of waiting for the engine, is it possible GM’s waiting for, say, low-interest government loans for retooling factories to build more fuel-effiecient cars? Bet on it.
With all this talk about future models, I got confused. What new models exactly is GM introducing to the US for 2009? CTS-V and G8-amino? OK, what vehicles that they have a chance to sell more than 5K copies of a year? Wow. FYI, the new '09 Fit goes on sale this week.
I would just like to take advantage of this opportunity to restate my theory that Volt development is so financially intensive, it claims resources normally slated to sustain other programs. The Cruze development issues noted above are indicative of how much resources GM currently has available, in relation to how much the Volt requires. Unfortunately, my theory will probably remain a theory as obtaining truth-in-information from GM appears more complicated than building the LHC and proving the existence of the Higgs boson. Thanks for that opportunity.
There's a picture of the Geo Metro in the dictionary, under the definition of "penalty box". My late grandma's gutless-wonder Metro has only one redeeming quality: it can turn on a dime and give a nickel's change. The turning radius must be measured in inches instead of feet.
tony-e30 : No worries about the LHC creating a black hole, though, 'cause GM already made one to stuff government money into... ;-) Cars like the Cruze would definitely tell the country that GM "gets it", but if they're relying on (waiting for) taxpayer dollars (loans) to get the ball rolling, then the profits should be shared with the taxpayers. They really need to de-emphasize the Volt Hail Mary, and build cars that Americans can buy ASAP.