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Muscle Car Wars Heat Up as Chevy Reveals New 2017 Camaro ZL1

Gen-6 model adds another 200 hp to the equation.

by on Mar.16, 2016

The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 bumps the pony count up to 640 with its LT4 V-8.

If you think the battle for the White House has gotten nasty, just check out the fight for supremacy in the pony car market. Ford and General Motors are lobbing everything but hand grenades at one another, and GM is firing the latest shot with the announcement that it will bring out an all-new version of the Camaro ZL1 next year.

Chevy gave a handful of automotive journalists a look at the new model – and a brief ride — during a sneak preview at the Spring Mountain race track an hour outside Las Vegas. And, if seeing is believing, it only takes a lap inside the 640-horsepower monster to know that the bowtie brand is playing for keeps.

We perform!

“We’re delivering world-beating levels of performance, on the track and off,” proclaimed GM President Dan Ammann, before strapping on his element and heading out onto the track.


Victory, Defeat – and Plenty of Surprises – at the Rolex 24 at Daytona

Another tequila sunrise to start the 2016 racing season.

by on Feb.01, 2016

Luis Filipe Derani celebrates after driving the last leg in the ESM team's Honda at the Rolex 24.

It wasn’t champagne flowing in Florida Sunday afternoon — nor milk, the beverage of choice for Indianapolis 500 winners. After 22-year-old Luis Filipe Derani shot across the finish line to wrap up the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the drink of choice was tequila.

No surprise, for Derani and his four co-drivers claimed an unprecedented victory behind the wheel of the Honda-powered Tequila Patron Extreme Speed Motorsports prototype, a full 26 seconds ahead of their nearest competitors.

Racing News!

It was the first time ever that a P2-class race car had claimed victory in what is generally seen as America’s most grueling endurance race – and a prelude to the summer’s main event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“Words can’t describe it,” said ESM co-driver Scott Sharp, a previous Daytona winner. “It hasn’t sunk in yet, but it’s amazing.”


Buick Avista Scores Big – But Unlikely to See Production

Coupes are losing ground as upscale buyers shift to SUVs and CUVs.

by on Jan.18, 2016

Even if Avista doesn't make it to production, it's likely to influence the brand's future designs. Avista photos by Len Katz.

Of the dozens of new cars, trucks, crossovers and concept vehicles to make their debut at this year’s North American International Auto Show, perhaps none has generated as much buzz as the Buick Avista.

The striking 2+2 show car got a special preview the night before the auto show’s official media preview began and has continued to draw crowds since the 2016 NAIAS opened its doors to the public with a splashy black tie charity preview last Friday.

Your Insider!

To turn a popular movie cliché on its head, if they come, will GM build it? That was a question has posed to a number of senior General Motors executives, including President Dan Ammann. But for those who might be ready to plunk down a deposit, the news isn’t good.


GM Plugging in a Potential Game-Changer

New Chevy Bolt expected to see huge drop in battery costs.

by on Nov.11, 2015

The Chevy Bolt shown during its January 2015 debut at the Detroit Auto Show.

When it comes to electric vehicles, it’s all about the batteries. They determine range, charging time, performance and, of course, price. And the longer the range the higher the price tag.

But General Motors believes it’s close to the proverbial paradigm shift as it gets ready to bring its new long-range Chevrolet Bolt to market. The 200-mile battery-electric vehicle is expected to have the lowest-priced batteries available, breaking a target price many experts didn’t anticipate could be reached for at least five more years.

In the Know!

“We’re going to be at $145 a kilowatt-hour when we launch the Bolt,” said Mark Reuss, GM’s global product development director, during a lunchtime interview.


Regulators in US, Germany Crack Down on Emissions, Mileage Testing

Dozens of vehicles brought back for new testing in wake of VW scandal.

by on Nov.11, 2015

A Z71 version of the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel which won a 31 mpg EPA highway rating.

Not so fast. When General Motors asked the Environmental Protection Agency to issue its official fuel economy rating on the new Chevrolet Colorado Duramax diesel pickup, the agency took a little longer than expected, EPA officials asking if they could keep the test truck a bit longer than normal, says Mark Reuss, GM’s global product development chief.

The EPA is taking a much more careful approach when it comes to testing for emissions and fuel economy, Reuss and other industry officials tell And U.S. regulators are not alone. Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority says it will run new tests on dozens of vehicles sold in that country to ensure they comply with diesel emissions standards.

Insider News!

Those moves come in the wake of revelations – first announced by the U.S. EPA on September 18th – that Volkswagen AG had cheated on emissions testing for vehicles equipped with the maker’s 2.0-liter EA 189 diesel engine. A total of 482,000 of those vehicles were sold in the U.S., 11 million worldwide. Since then, VW has admitted to other emissions “irregularities.”


GM – LG Chem Find New Way to Work Together to Bring Chevy Bolt to Market

Traditional OE-supplier approach "unsuitable and unsustainable."

by on Oct.20, 2015

Lower battery costs will let GM price the Chevy Bolt around $35,000 before federal incentives.

Often criticized for the way it hammers price cuts out of its suppliers, General Motors is taking a very different approach in the development of its first long-range battery-electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Bolt. In a joint news conference with Korea’s LG Corp., GM officials outlined a new strategy putting a premium on partnership.

The new approach could be a blueprint for the future, suggested Mark Reuss, GM’s global product development director. It may also help LG become a major force in the emerging electric vehicle market, rather than just being relegated to supplying batteries to carmakers like GM.


“GM used to act more like a dictator than a customer,” said Reuss, during a tour of the electric vehicle operations at the maker’s suburban Detroit technical center.  That approach, primarily focused on squeezing out costs, is “unsuitable and unsustainable,” Reuss added.


GM Puts Its Products on a Diet

Efficiency is part of performance, says product czar Reuss.

by on May.19, 2015

The 2016 Chevy Camaro lost 200 pounds.

Pressure to improve fuel economy in the face of tough new federal rules is forcing General Motors to put its future products on a diet – something that will also require a major change in its internal culture, said the maker’s global product development chief.

The new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is an example of this shift in direction, said Executive Vice President Mark Reuss. In years past, each new product was heavier than the model it replaced. But the sixth-generation muscle car is 200 pounds lighter. Cutting mass, Reuss said, not only translates into a more fuel-efficient vehicle but one that is quicker and more nimble.

A Real Heavyweight!

“It still needs to be a wicked fast track car,” he said. But Reuss added that, “I include efficiency in performance.”


Your Next GM Car Could Alert You Before it Breaks Down

Maker developing “active, preventive maintenance system.”

by on Nov.14, 2014

The next version of the Chevy Impala may alert you to a possible mechanical problem before it happens.

If you haven’t just gotten your driver’s license last week, odds are you’ve faced that mysterious and inexplicable “Check Engine” light at least once or twice, leaving you the choice of heading to the dealer or ignoring the indicator, hoping the bulb might burn out.  Then again, you might have gotten no warning whatsoever when your battery died or a water pump failed.

Award-Winning News!

General Motors is developing an “active, preventive maintenance” system that could avoid such headaches by giving a motorist a detailed alert before something on the vehicle breaks, says the maker’s global product development chief.

“We’re testing the system now with our employees,” noted Mark Reuss, during a lunchtime interview.


GM Likely to Continue Flood of Recalls, Analyst Warns

Pace of ignition switch recalls repairs slower than expected.

by on May.23, 2014

GM product chief Mark Reuss will reportedly lead new management oversight of safety issues.

Even as General Motors struggles to catch up with the recall repairs it has already ordered, the maker is apparently getting ready to announce still more safety-related callbacks in the weeks and months ahead, cautions a new analyst’s report.

During a meeting with senior GM officials this week, analysts from Barclays were advised that the fast pace of safety-related actions could continue through at least mid-summer. And along with more near-term recalls, GM is taking steps at a senior management level that could lead to longer-term changes in its safety operations.


“It is tough to say if recalls from past vehicles has already peaked, as the team has not yet completed mining the data,” it has been gathering, lead Barclays analyst Brian Johnson wrote following the meeting in Detroit. “Also, given the data-mining is being conducted on an issue by issue, and not on a make and model-year basis, it is possible that GM may issue further recalls for vehicles which have already been recalled.”


GM Shakes Up Engineering in Wake of Recall Scandal

Maker hopes to catch potential safety problems earlier.

by on Apr.23, 2014

GM Product Chief Mark Reuss unveiling the Corvette Z06 during the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

General Motors continues to shake up its senior management ranks in the wake of the ongoing ignition switch recall scandal, this time ousting its global engineering chief and splitting the job into two new posts with a goal of catching potential safety problems earlier on.

The “retirement” of 55-year-old John Calabrese comes shortly after GM’s directors of Human Resources and Public Relations announced their departures amidst a crisis that could see the automaker face criminal charges levied by the Justice Department for the decade-long delay in ordering a recall of defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. GM has also been accused of delaying another recall while federal regulators have launched an investigation into braking problems involving the company’s new Chevrolet Impala sedan.

Your Auto News Source!

“We feel that just an organizational change is not going to solve everything,” said Mark Reuss, the GM veteran who took over as global product development director late last year. “We have to have the right people with the organization, with the right leadership and with the right processes in place. … We know we can do it and we are going to do it.”