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Old 03-19-2008, 03:12 PM   #1
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TCC: Lutz on future powertrains and RWD

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GM vice chairman Bob Lutz is talking fuel economy and climate change at this week’s New York auto show, and when the topic of new fuel-economy regulations came up during a special interview session with the blog community, Lutz frankly laid out how the new rules will dramatically change the General Motors product lineup.

Earlier in the day, Lutz told the Detroit Free Press that 80 percent of GM’s products would have to be hybrids by 2020 if the company were to meet the new 35-mpg CAFE standard that the Congress crafted, and President Bush signed off on, last November.

“We’re all going to have to get used to cars getting downsized, to getting cars with six-cylinders and four-cylinders,” Lutz said. “And as we downsize, small rear-wheel-drive vehicles will probably be the exception rather than the rule.”

The new CAFE rules probably mean that there won’t be more rear-drive vehicles like the Solstice and Sky, Lutz added. And all development costs will go up - transmissions will need more gears, car bodies will have to be engineered to weigh less, and more complex turbocharged engines will take the place of larger-displacement and simpler engines.

And no single “green” powertrain will be the answer, he noted. Hybrids will be a big player; GM is also looking at start-stop systems and hybrids currently in vehicles like the Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura, and is trying to figure out how to pay to install them. “We’ll have to look at generalizing that,” Lutz estimated, which could be an increased cost of $3500 a car.

GM’s two-mode hybrid system will cost even more. The $7000 hybrid system in the Tahoe “doesn’t even come close” to paying for the cost of the system.

Diesels will be a part of the equation too, but Europe has much less stringent diesel regulations and American diesels will be similarly expensive to work in to the lineup.

“It’s by no means locked in concrete,” Lutz told The Car Connection.

Powertrains won’t be the only vehicle components affected, either. Lutz said that improved aerodynamics, including moveable aerodynamics, are a part of GM’s solution to the CAFE issue.

The Free Press notes that while GM and other automakers agreed to the new 35-mpg CAFE fuel economy standard, California’s attempts to set even tougher regulations are being challenged in court.
http://www.thecarconnection.com/blog/?p=967
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Old 03-19-2008, 03:40 PM   #2
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kinda ridiculous in my opinion. so if it's like last time we got a bunch of regulations, it will be another 30 years until we se really good performance. bummer
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:07 PM   #3
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If GM stops building smaller RWD cars, I stop buying GM. It is as simple as that. Someone will build what I want, and I'll go there. Tread carefully GM.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:15 PM   #4
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If GM stops building smaller RWD cars, I stop buying GM. It is as simple as that. Someone will build what I want, and I'll go there. Tread carefully GM.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:46 PM   #5
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:47 PM   #6
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Heerrreee we gooooo...

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Lutz: Most vehicles will be hybrid by 2020
David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

NEW YORK -- General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz said today that the automaker would have produce 80 percent of its vehicles as some type of hybrid by 2020 in order to meet new tougher fuel economy standards.

"Ultimately by 2020, we figure that 80 percent of vehicles are going to require some sort of level of hybridization," Lutz said in an interview today. "We cannot get to 35 miles per gallon with anything resembling the current product portfolio with conventional technology."

Automakers must average a combined 35 miles per gallon by 2020 for passenger cars and light trucks, a 40 percent increase. Lutz said in order to meet the first increases in the requirements, GM would build about one-third of its vehicles as hybrids by 2015 -- when new fuel economy standards "really start to bite."

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By the end of 2008, GM will have eight hybrids. That includes some "mild" cheaper hybrids that get a smaller fuel economy increase than so-called "full" hybrids like GM's line of full-size SUV dual-mode hybrid Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon. Those vehicles get a 25 percent increase in fuel economy from hybrid power plants. GM also plans to produce a plug-in Saturn Vue hybrid by the end of 2010 that will be able to go 10 miles on battery power alone.

Lutz said GM will be forced to add hybrid engines "to a lot of sport utilities and pick-up trucks."

Lutz has said earlier that building so many hybrids will add $6,000 to $7,000 to the cost of an average vehicle and that most -- if not all -- V-8 engines will disappear. The company is still not sure how to get the heaviest vehicles to improve as much as the government will require. "We don't know. We're open to ideas."

Congress passed the new fuel economy requirements in December. Next month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will announce its first four years of proposed fuel economy increases that will begin in 2011.

You can reach David Shepardson at (202) 662 - 8735 or dshepardson@detnews.com.
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...74/1148/AUTO01

This is certainly "New" but I'd more than take this w/ a grain of salt and call B.S. I think this is just the automotive media lighting fires just for the sake of burning something and getting people to panic.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by stovt001 View Post
If GM stops building smaller RWD cars, I stop buying GM. It is as simple as that. Someone will build what I want, and I'll go there. Tread carefully GM.


This is actually the first time I've ever had to think of that....really. I've ONLY ever owned GM cars...6 of them....all Chevys. Wow...but another brand? Well, I do want RWD.
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:00 AM   #8
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maybe i'm stupid....... but, who cares about what is going to happen in 2020. that is over 12 years away. fbodfather, has said a few times that the laws are not witten yet. so yes they should work on the tech of it all. but, don't go out there and freak people out. $7000 plus to a price of a car today, might be $1000 in 12 years. with the way tech prices drop, my tv sold for almost $4000 when it came out, 2 years later i got a bran new one for $1600. no, it not cars, but it is an example of tech prices falling.

besides if i was the head of gm 2019 i would have the most power non-fuel effienct cars in america. (the year of the old-school muscle car ) then in 2020 do the whole cafe thing.
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Old 03-20-2008, 02:04 PM   #9
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What you say maks some sense. But if they don't do it NOW, then they won't have time to improve, and 'edit' things. This stuff isn't just waiting in the wings to be slapped into vehicles and vuala 35mpg.

Nope. If they don't start now - it's gonna be a slap in the face come 2020.
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Old 03-20-2008, 02:18 PM   #10
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most of V8 engine will disappear..so ferrari will have what? I4 and v6? I mean this is for 12 years from now. And at present we have Nissan with new 5.0 l V8, BMW with their new V8 TT, rumors about Acura making V8, Jaguar with their new V8. Lexus and their V8, ford is developing some new boss V8 engine, hyundai V8. If they could develop their new V8 only to last so short so could GM.Yes there are still rumors about V8 DOHC engine(completly new design, not ultra) and CIB V8 with DI etc. but it seems that GM is preparing to give up and quit investing in any new v8 engine just a bit too soon.
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:38 PM   #11
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I vote that we all say "F" it and move to australia...Or gather up all the green weenie socialist scumbags and hang them from the Capitol building by their toes.
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:50 PM   #12
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I vote that we all say "F" it and move to australia...Or gather up all the green weenie socialist scumbags and hang them from the Capitol building by their toes.
Be sure to let us know when you do that.
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