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Old 04-02-2007, 03:24 PM   #1
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GM Mulls Mini Cars

GM Mulls Mini Cars
The Daily Auto Insider
Monday, April 2, 2007

April 2007 1 of 1

General Motors is taking a serious look at bringing low-cost 50-mile-per-gallon mini cars to the U.S. market, The Associated Press reported, citing GM's top global product planner.

However, GM Group Vice President John Smith said the automaker is still in the very early stages of investigating the U.S. market potential for vehicles that are significantly smaller than current sub-compact cars.

Meanwhile, GM will show three different models of mini cars at the New York auto show that are based on the tiny Chevrolet Matiz and Spark that are sold in several markets, including Europe and Asia, the story said.

In coming months, GM will collect research data to gauge consumer interest through an online voting campaign at www.vote4chevrolet.com.

There currently is not a mini car sold in the U.S., but DaimlerChrysler will launch its Smart micro-car brand here next year, the story said.

Whether GM's interest will come to anything is unclear. "The honest answer is, I don't know yet how serious we are," Smith said, referring to the mini car segment.
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Old 04-04-2007, 02:50 AM   #2
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For inner city commutes with heavy traffic, sounds like a good idea. I wouldn't want to get on the hwy in one of those. I'd feel very vulnerable. When there's less sheet metal between you and the end/side of the car, there's less to crunch before you get the ... cruch.
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:31 PM   #3
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For inner city commutes with heavy traffic, sounds like a good idea. I wouldn't want to get on the hwy in one of those. I'd feel very vulnerable. When there's less sheet metal between you and the end/side of the car, there's less to crunch before you get the ... cruch.
i actually recently saw a video of one of those Smart Cars hitting a concrete baracade at 70mph. I was amazed at how well it held up. Honestly, it looked like it held up better than a lot of other cars would....

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ju6t-yyoU8s

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ju6t-yyoU8s
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:35 PM   #4
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i actually recently saw a video of one of those Smart Cars hitting a concrete baracade at 70mph. I was amazed at how well it held up. Honestly, it looked like it held up better than a lot of other cars would....

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ju6t-yyoU8s

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ju6t-yyoU8s
Yeah, but you would still be dead... Saw the same clip your talking about...
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:36 PM   #5
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Yeah, but you would still be dead... Saw the same clip your talking about...
Yeah you would be dead... you would be dead in just about any car if you go from 70 mph to zero instantly.
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:38 PM   #6
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Yeah you would be dead... you would be dead in just about any car if you go from 70 mph to zero instantly.
Yep, your right on that...
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:01 PM   #7
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2007 New York Auto Show: Chevrolet searching for minicar cool with Trax, Groove, and Beat Concepts
A trio of minicar concepts from GM

Chevrolet has chosen to use the New York Auto Show to show off three new concepts as well as gauge the market for the microcar segment in the U.S. Dubbed Trax, Beat, and Groove, the three concepts all take different approaches to what a minicar can be. All three were developed in GM's South Korean design studio and aim to appeal to younger buyers.

The Trax (who's cover was blown earlier this week ) is a four-door, front-wheel drive micro-SUV with an electric limited slip differential that features a battery and electric motor to drive the rear wheels in the event they are needed for traction, resulting in a low-cost all-wheel drive vehicle.

The exterior is painted a vibrant Blaze Orange with Burnt Orange accents (and Flame Yellow brake calipers), but despite its fun appearance the Trax builds in practicality with fold-flat rear seats, a functional roof rack, and an efficient 1-liter gasoline engine.

Featuring equally attention-getting Vertigo Green paint that extends to its dashboard and brake calipers, the Chevrolet Beat is a three-door micro-hatchback. A 1.2-liter turbocharged engine and automatic transmission deliver power to the Beat's front 17-inch wheels.

Designed with tuners and customizers in mind, the Beat features stylized rocker panels, headlamps, wheels, and fascias with a high-performance theme to appeal to this market. The headliner of the Beat is fitted with fiber-optic lights that produce a star pattern and a navigation unit is hidden in the center console. An Alpine six-speaker stereo is also included along with a subwoofer mounted in the trunk.

The Groove was inspired not by the tuner market but by a military helmet. Perhaps an unorthodox inspiration for a car design, but the intention was for the Groove to feel safe simply looking at the vehicle.

The idea behind the Groove was to make a departure from small cars that are labeled as "cute" and to develop a small car with a tough stance. The Groove's 17-inch rear wheels were placed as far aft in the chassis as possible to create the perception of great length, while the long, flat cabin provides more interior space that would be expected of such a small vehicle. The front-wheel drive Groove is powered by a 1.0-liter diesel unit and features a Lunar Quartz exterior with contrasting satin silver chrome details.

All three vehicles are on display at the New York Auto Show this week and by going to www.vote4chevrolet.com, you can vote for your favorite. Chevrolet will use the results to determine what kind of market there might be for the development of a microcar for U.S. consumption.
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:02 PM   #8
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:06 PM   #9
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Hummm.... I like the front of the green one and the body of the orange one. If these things seriously get 50 mpg, I will definitely be picking one up as a commuter car. I am pretty sure I could also haul it in the bed of my pickup truck...
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:26 PM   #10
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Had the Fox News Channel on just now and Neil Cavuto had Bob Lutz on talking about domestic cars in general and they showed a clip of the Green Mini Car driving around... I have to say that i really do like it!...


On a separate, but somewhat related topic regarding this segment see the thread .... Toyota vs GM
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Old 04-04-2007, 05:44 PM   #11
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imo i think the designer of these cars should be shot and i do NOT think gm should make these cars
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:18 PM   #12
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Not bad little cars. Like I said, for inner city driving and short trips, I'd pick one up..no doubt.

Put it in the bed of the pickup truck....that's funny...
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:52 PM   #13
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i could see the green one taking off and selling here in the states. i live near philadelphia and the highways around here just flat out suck. there would be no way that i would be driving my new camaro to work everyday on I 95 and in the city. i might have to pick one of these up too as a daily driver.
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Old 04-05-2007, 04:22 PM   #14
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What are the demension of these mini cars?
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:13 PM   #15
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This video gives you an idea on the size...

http://www.roadandtrack.com/article....rticle_id=5114
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Old 04-05-2007, 09:04 PM   #16
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I think the green one is growing on me...

...probably has something to do with that little 5 door sport wagon sitting in my driveway.
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Old 04-07-2007, 11:26 AM   #17
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The Beat is a three-door hatchback powered by turbocharged gasonline engine. The Groove, a front-wheel driver with a 1-liter diesel engine, and aims for a more "classic" Chevy look.
Trax will be GM's "micro-SUV," and carries with it a all-wheel-drive system and 1-liter gas engine.
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