Fuel Mileage: What was GM thinking?!!!

With gas prices up and GM sales declining, I can't understand what their engineers were thinking when they designed the new Saturn Ion and Chevy Cobalt.
These are nice cars, BU T: With automatic transmisssions, they get LOWER EPA highway fuel economy than the larger Chevy Malibu with the 4 cylinder engine and much lower than the Corolla. These low mileage figures make these cars less competitive in the marketplace.
Doesn't GM know that people who buy this class of car are interested in fuel economy. If they craved horsepower, they would be looking at other cars.
GM could have designed these cars with better highway mileage without sacrificing zero to 60 acceleration by putting in a taller final drive ratio.
We're not talking rocket science here. If GM has some logic behind their designs of these cars, I would like to hear it.
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"Don_" wrote: > With gas prices up and GM sales declining, I can't understand > what their > engineers were thinking when they designed the new Saturn Ion > and Chevy > Cobalt. > > These are nice cars, BU T: With automatic transmisssions, > they get LOWER > EPA highway fuel economy than the larger Chevy Malibu with the > 4 cylinder > engine and much lower than the Corolla. These low mileage > figures make > these cars less competitive in the marketplace. > > Doesn't GM know that people who buy this class of car are > interested in fuel > economy. If they craved horsepower, they would be looking at > other cars. > > GM could have designed these cars with better highway mileage > without > sacrificing zero to 60 acceleration by putting in a taller > final drive > ratio. > > We're not talking rocket science here. If GM has some logic > behind their > designs of these cars, I would like to hear it.
Not necessarily, just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder so is car buying. I agree there should be options but now a days, not too many of us go for the one size/color fits all theory. I recently read of a guy who refused to buy a white service van. Dealers laughed but he hung in there and found what he wanted. Now others want options.
On that note, my wife (who likes smaller cars) refused a great price on a 4 cyl Alero and held out for a 6 cyl. Like every person I like to save a buck but I will pay for power when I WANT it. I still fill my tank with premium and drive large cars.
What happen to that engine that would cut itself back from 8 to 4 cyls on the highway? If the technology was any good I would pay for that.
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Well then ya better step over to the Mopar dealer, pull out your wallet and get a 300 with a Hemi. It's got the tech. your looking for. Of course it's too early to tell if it's gonna be problem free, I remember the old 8-6-4 tech. of the Caddy's but that was then. Nothing like some consumer testing for a year or two to make sure something works OK before I buy though.......
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John
"anything you say can & will be misquoted & used against you"
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2006 Grand Prix, Monte Carlo SS and Impala SS will have a cylinder deactivation on their new V-8. 300 Horse power & 335 Torque
Harryface ؿ 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE 300,734 miles
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On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 15:49:51 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Harry Face) wrote:

But the Monte and Impala will look like a 96 Lumina; I know retro is in, but I don't think 1996 is far enough back :)
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"Brad Clarke1" wrote: > On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 15:49:51 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Harry > Face) > wrote: > > &nbsp;>>2006 Grand Prix, Monte Carlo SS and Impala SS will > have a cylinder > &nbsp;>>deactivation on their new V-8. 300 Horse power & 335 > Torque > But the Monte and Impala will look like a 96 Lumina; I know > retro is in, > but I don't think 1996 is far enough back :)
I wonder why they wont try to cut a 3.8L down to 3 cyls. I would love to see a technology like that on a Buick PA, Lesabre or a Bonne... With a button on the shifter so I can turn off the feature in the rockies. Of course, it may stall when the AC cuts on and the lighter is pushed in...
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LeBuick
Unfortunately the three models you mentioned will not be here in 2006.
Harryface ؿ 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE 300,734 miles
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"Harry Face" wrote:

2006.
Now there is where im confused about their thinking, stopping production on your (the) best sellers and replace them with unknowns??? They are even using newly designed engines etc... We know what goes wrong on a 3.8L.
Logic to me says get rid of my worst sellers in hopes of boosting that end of the market. They have the mid to luxery size market in their hands for all who cant afford a Lexus but they are gambling with it.
I guess thats why I dont make the big bucks, I dont get it...
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The answer is two-fold: 2007 and 2010 - the years when stricter emissions standards go into effect. Most likely, GM put the 3.8L onto the test bench and decided that it needed such major modifications to meet the new standards that it was better to build a new motor from the ground up (just don't be surprised if it shares some major components as the current 3.8L). If they are coming out with a new motor, better to do it before the standards go into effect and get some real-world miles under its belt before the deadlines.
Cheers - Jonathan
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Jonathan A. Race
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wrote:

Why not a 1.6L 4 cylinder hybrid with an electrically driven supercharger & reed valves in the inlet to allow for a smooth transition between (full throttle) blower operation and normal operation?
Should be able to get 200 peak HP out of it reliably with an additional 50 from each of two electric motor regenerative motors on each rear wheel coupled to Li-on Battery pack and capacitor for stoplight juicing ;-)
A twin clutch electronic transmission, electric assist steering, & A/C compressor with a PET plastic body for weight & cost savings one could have a mid sized stormer that eats the new Accord on economy and performance.
It seems to me that the manufacturers are going the wrong way. People want quick cars. And they also want/need fuel efficient, cheap, safe cars, however they can't keep a complex car maintained sufficiently.
Quick is a relative term. So for Joe average full throttle acceleration will last for a few seconds "at most" if the vehicle is reasonably equipt.
So... Allow them to charge up a high capacity capacitor at the stop light with the little four cylinder engine revving and charging the capacitor, Light turns green four cylinder works like crazy, capacitors dump electrical charge into rear mounted electric motors...
Blinding acceleration until you're past the speed limit or the car beside you. No heavy reinforced structure to handle massive power at one given wheel, 4 wheel drive on demand. No heavy drive train to provide acceleration, No large super expensive battery pack, quick acceleration, excellent economy during normal operation, seamless operation for the operator.
I know that Volvo's had a system where it would allow an "over boost" condition to last for something like 7 -15 seconds. (can't recall if it was called Turbo+) regardless.
With an electrically driven blower the engine can be optimized for regular driving with only slight strengthening to handle the temporary higher boost loads, there would be less of a requirement for an inter cooler, you wouldn't have continuous drag on the engine but the power would be there when needed. Wired correctly the rear wheel braking could be done with the electric motors/generators (so no need & no weight of rear wheel braking systems or ABS systems.
A crank mounted clutched generator could function as not only a generator but also a starter and drive motor for the front wheels in economy mode (stop & go traffic).
Benefits: Cheaper power, no drive belts to maintain, no PS fluid to heat up, etc, simplified wiring harness (data bus communication) simplified smaller brakes (primary braking done via regenerative) greater power to weight ratio, better fuel economy, greater reliability (fewer things to go wrong) improved long term appearance (aka rust free bodies). etc, etc, etc,
The big appeal for me. Instant acceleration, no waiting for the engine to rev, or the turbo's to spool, just instant torque from the electric engines until the gas engine gets on the boil and keeps up the linear increase in power. In theory it should also be quieter under most circumstances.
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What about the back EMF of the electric motors and the size and weight of the motors and capacitors. A reed valve? If you could find a way to handle the temperature and seal, you still would have losses just to open the thing. A plastic body? Are you going to injection mold the whole thing in one shot?
(Harry

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snipped-for-privacy@AutoForumz.com says...

I'd like to see an option that would activate an additional 100-200HP and reduce gas mileage down to 5 MPG like the old days :-)
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