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Old 10-24-2012, 01:26 PM   #1
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GM working on losing weight

here's an article that talks about GM's effort to reduce weight in their future products through the use of Magnisium panels.

If you couple that with the improvements in the new LT1 engine, perhaps it'll pave the way for a lighter, more powerfull Gen 6 Camaro.

http://www.autoweek.com/article/2012...n=awdailydrive

Last edited by HDRDTD; 10-24-2012 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:00 PM   #2
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GM working on losing weight.

So all the GM engineers now have gym memberships and are enrolled with Weight Watchers?

Several magazines have reported that the next-gen Camaro will be based off a version of the same platform as the new Cadillac ATS (the ATS is Cadillac's serious competition for the BWM 3-series and is lighter than the BMW). Here's a quote from the Motor Trend "Best Driver's Cars" article in another thread here on Camaro5: "We can't wait until the next-generation ATS-based Camaro ZL1 shows up with its smaller and lighter chassis."

But don't expect the 6th-gen Camaro any time soon. Top Camaro engineer Al Oppenheiser is on record (shown in a video clip in another thread here on Camaro5) that GM has time to wait until they see what Ford does with the redesigned 2015 Mustang (to be released in mid-2014 for the Mustang's 50th anniversary) before GM decides where to go with the new Camaro. Al noted that Ford is changing to the heavier independent rear axle across the board on the next Mustang and yet Ford plans on the next Mustang being lighter then the current one. Ford will be selling the 2015 Mustang in Europe and the Phillipines and Australia (previously exported Mustangs were only "gray market" cars) and is adding the independent rear suspension (along with less-retro and more European styling) and offering smaller engine options (for export only) to appeal to those markets. GM can wait and see just what Ford does with the 2015 Mustang and then plan the next Camaro. It is more expensive to change window glass (a car's greenhouse) than to change body panels. Ford uses the same glass on all 2005 through 2014 Mustangs. GM needs to make gen-5 Camaros a while longer before changing any glass.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:50 PM   #3
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http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/n...mallBlock.html
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:30 PM   #4
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...that's true, new materials, new engineering, new manufacturing processes, and new pricing, not to mention new motor design....we can make it stronger, better, faster, more expensive.....<intro music> daa daa daa dah, daa dah da daa dah daa da daa dah..drum roll, enter Steve Majors...
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:06 AM   #5
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Magnisium is a material that brings major cons with its pros. Its expensive, and it is highly flamable and has a service life in structural use. Gm has been using it in applications as well as ford and all other makes. Its not new to the auto industry. Its cons far outweight the pro's (pun intended). Carbon fiber and high strength steel are better alternatives IMO to go along with the current use of aluminum.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:23 AM   #6
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Al Oppenheiser is giving a media savvy answer in layman's terms. In reality development of the 5th Gen replacement has already started. GM can't wait until the new Mustang debuts in April 2014 to begin work on a car slated for a MY 2016 launch. The lead time is too long to begin then. GM has their own game plan for the 6th Gen Camaro and what they want to accomplish like starting with a lighter Alpha based RWD platform. There also isn't a lot of mystery into what Ford will do with the next Mustang. Both companies have their objectives and know what each has to work with.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:32 AM   #7
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Hopefully Al O was just blowing smoke because the Camaro shouldn't wait for anything.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azzkker View Post
Magnisium is a material that brings major cons with its pros. Its expensive, and it is highly flamable and has a service life in structural use. Gm has been using it in applications as well as ford and all other makes. Its not new to the auto industry. Its cons far outweight the pro's (pun intended). Carbon fiber and high strength steel are better alternatives IMO to go along with the current use of aluminum.
Yes it can be quite flammable in powder or shavings, but in auto components, it's quite safe.

Is it more expensive? sure it is and the article points that out. But they also point out as the use of magnisium expands, the price should start to come down.

As manufactures strive to reduce overall weight in order to compete with CAFE requirements, they have to look at all the altenatives out there and Mag is one of them.

I thought the article was interesting as it described the challenges they face when trying to use Mag in stamped form rather than the typical cast form.

Imagine the complexities involved in the process if both the material and the stamping dies have to be heated to 850 degrees to stamp the part.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by HDRDTD View Post
Yes it can be quite flammable in powder or shavings, but in auto components, it's quite safe.

Is it more expensive? sure it is and the article points that out. But they also point out as the use of magnisium expands, the price should start to come down.

As manufactures strive to reduce overall weight in order to compete with CAFE requirements, they have to look at all the altenatives out there and Mag is one of them.

I thought the article was interesting as it described the challenges they face when trying to use Mag in stamped form rather than the typical cast form.

Imagine the complexities involved in the process if both the material and the stamping dies have to be heated to 850 degrees to stamp the part.
I was just pointing out my experience i have had with it as i am an electrical tech/ mechanic at a local body shop. Mag components are very brittle and do not wear good. Ford has used it as the inner dash / steering column mounts on cars since the late 90's, and use it in main components like radiator core supports on the f-series trucks. Gm has not used it as much, but has recently started to use it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Azzkker View Post
I was just pointing out my experience i have had with it as i am an electrical tech/ mechanic at a local body shop. Mag components are very brittle and do not wear good. Ford has used it as the inner dash / steering column mounts on cars since the late 90's, and use it in main components like radiator core supports on the f-series trucks. Gm has not used it as much, but has recently started to use it.
Yep, A looooong time ago I worked at a local welding shop and one of the tasks I had was to mill apart some magnisium pallets that they would get in for repair. I wondered why the entire area around the milling machine was covered in layers of sand.

They never told me ahead of time why the sand was there.....
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarFan View Post
Al Oppenheiser is giving a media savvy answer in layman's terms. In reality development of the 5th Gen replacement has already started. GM can't wait until the new Mustang debuts in April 2014 to begin work on a car slated for a MY 2016 launch. The lead time is too long to begin then. GM has their own game plan for the 6th Gen Camaro and what they want to accomplish like starting with a lighter Alpha based RWD platform. There also isn't a lot of mystery into what Ford will do with the next Mustang. Both companies have their objectives and know what each has to work with.
This.

The 6th gen will be lighter....plan on an easy 200 to 250 lbs or so because it should employ the use of the Alpha platform. If they use more of these magnesium techniques in the architecture, it may be more than that.

The Cadillac ATS with the V6 weighs in at somewhere between 3,400 to 3,450 lbs. The Camaro V6 weighs around 3,750 lbs. Thats 300 lbs.

I can't wait....the 6th gen should easily be the better drivers car over the 5th gen. If the can nail the styling to go with the performance, it will be the best Camaro ever.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:38 PM   #12
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I can't wait....the 6th gen should easily be the better drivers car over the 5th gen. If the can nail the styling to go with the performance, it will be the best Camaro ever.
If it's anything less than the current Camaro, I know they'll consider it a failure. Constant improvement's the name of the game.

If you ever spend time reading into how they've approached the development of the featherweight Cadillac ATS, it's very impressive how much focus was on weight reduction and a dynamic driving experience. And the best part is that they've designed the platform to accommodate "exotic materials" in high-end models that can charge for it....like an ATS-V, or a Camaro ZL1....

...Knowing how good the current car is...reading articles like these...seeing how awesome the new Corvette is going to be...and knowing first-hand the dedication of the Camaro team......

The sixth gen Camaro will blow us away.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:26 PM   #13
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^...I think that sums it up nicely...
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:17 PM   #14
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It'm important to realize that GM will have to adapt the Alpha platform for a 6th Gen Camaro. Camaro will have a different set of performance and component requirements than the current ATS, suspension, brakes, and a stronger trans and IRS to handle powerful V8's. Thus GM will have to strenghten the platoform to support the more robust and powerful components and the weight savings won't be as much as say the difference in curb weight between an current ATS and the 5th Gen Camaro.

The goal will be weight savings gram by gram throughout the cars development however there is only so much that can be done on the platform level. The heavy components that we all want, V8, strong transmission, heavy duty IRS with suspension and high performance brake systems are all heavier than saw what is currently offered on say a Turbo 4cyl ATS M6.
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:25 PM   #15
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It'm important to realize that GM will have to adapt the Alpha platform for a 6th Gen Camaro. Camaro will have a different set of performance and component requirements than the current ATS, suspension, brakes, and a stronger trans and IRS to handle powerful V8's. Thus GM will have to strenghten the platoform to support the more robust and powerful components and the weight savings won't be as much as say the difference in curb weight between an current ATS and the 5th Gen Camaro.

The goal will be weight savings gram by gram throughout the cars development however there is only so much that can be done on the platform level. The heavy components that we all want, V8, strong transmission, heavy duty IRS with suspension and high performance brake systems are all heavier than saw what is currently offered on say a Turbo 4cyl ATS M6.
I see what your saying about possibly needing a stronger drivetrain. The argument has been stated before. But comparing ATS V6 to Camaro V6 I don't see it needing much in the way of stronger materials. The ATS V6 is a pretty good performer as is...tested to run a 5.6 second 0 - 60. If GM is concerned about quality, I'd assume they build the ATS to handle drivers that enjoy "getting on it" from time to time considering this is a sports sedan.

Maybe a slighly beefier transmission, and certain driveline components but the difference probably wouldn't be much overall. I'm guessing the Camaro may have less in the way of sound dampening and less high quality materials which would help offset that difference.

The current weight difference even with the bigger engine and beefier drivetrain from V6 to SS is around 100 to 150 lbs. Using that as a "guestimate" I'd estimate the next Gen Camaro V8...whether it be called SS or Z28 to be around 3600lbs give or take.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:50 PM   #16
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I see what your saying about possibly needing a stronger drivetrain. The argument has been stated before. But comparing ATS V6 to Camaro V6 I don't see it needing much in the way of stronger materials. The ATS V6 is a pretty good performer as is...tested to run a 5.6 second 0 - 60. If GM is concerned about quality, I'd assume they build the ATS to handle drivers that enjoy "getting on it" from time to time considering this is a sports sedan.

Maybe a slighly beefier transmission, and certain driveline components but the difference probably wouldn't be much overall. I'm guessing the Camaro may have less in the way of sound dampening and less high quality materials which would help offset that difference.

The current weight difference even with the bigger engine and beefier drivetrain from V6 to SS is around 100 to 150 lbs. Using that as a "guestimate" I'd estimate the next Gen Camaro V8...whether it be called SS or Z28 to be around 3600lbs give or take.

I think that 3600lbs for a four passenger rear wheel drive V8 car is going to be stretch. It would be great if it happens! I think the direction that Ford and GM are going with the world market rear wheel drive platform is going to limit the horsepower they can/will put in these cars. It will not surprise me if the current platform for both the Mustang and Camaro will be the pinnacle for horsepower for both.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:30 PM   #17
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It is doable. However the new LT1 is a bit heavier than the LS family.
Remember the GTO "only" weighed 3750. So all they would have to do is save 150 lbs.
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