Friday, April 24, 2009

Chevrolet Announces New 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

Bucharest Ring - Chevrolet Corvette C5RImage by bkdc via Flickr

Grand Sport. It’s one of the most storied monikers in Corvette’s illustrious racing heritage. Today, Chevrolet announced it is returning to the lineup in the new, 2010 Corvette Grand Sport model.

The announcement was made at the 12th annual C5/C6 Corvette Birthday Bash, held at the National Corvette Museum, in Bowling Green, Ky.

The new Grand Sport combines the Corvette’s LS3-based powertrain with unique, wide-body styling and a racing-bred suspension for a distinctive model that delivers a great balance of road and race track performance. It is offered in both coupe and convertible body styles, with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The LS3 6.2L engine is rated at 430 horsepower (321 kW)* and 424 lb.-ft. of torque (575 Nm)* with the standard exhaust system. An optional two-mode exhaust system elevates the power ratings to 436 horses (325 kW) and 428 lb.-ft. (580 Nm).

The Grand Sport replaces the Corvette’s previous Z51 package and brings a greater degree of handling performance, with wider wheels and tires; revised shock, stabilizer bar and spring specifications; and specific gearing. The equipment enables cornering capability of 1.0 g, as well as a 0.2-second improvement in 0-60 acceleration vs. standard LS3-powered models.

Grand Sport coupe models equipped with the manual transmission are uniquely outfitted for race track competition, too, with a dry-sump oiling system, differential cooler and a rear-mounted battery.

The complete list of content and special features for the Grand Sport includes:

  • Wider front and rear fenders – including specific front fenders with integrated Grand Sport badges
  • Z06-style front splitter and tall rear spoiler
  • Functional brake ducts and extra cooling
  • Unique 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels; painted finish standard and chrome finish optional
  • Large 275/35ZR18 tires in front and 325/30ZR19 tires in the rear
  • Z06-size brakes, including 14-inch (355 mm) front rotors with six-piston calipers and 13.4-inch (340 mm) rear rotors with four-piston calipers
  • Specific manual transmission gear ratios
  • Specific rear axle ratio on automatic-equipped models

With its special equipment, the Grand Sport offers a unique blend of performance and amenities. Its suspension package approaches that of the Z06, but includes a removable roof on coupes (Z06 has a fixed roof) and, of course, the availability of a convertible body style. Also, the paddle-shift six-speed automatic transmission is offered, while a manual transmission is the only choice with the Z06.

All of Corvette’s exterior colors are offered on the Grand Sport, and an available Heritage package adds iconic front fender hash marks offered in four colors, as well as two-tone seats with Grand Sport embroidery. The Grand Sport can be ordered with 1LT, 2LT, 3LT and 4LT trim packages, too.

Grand Sport history

Envisioned by legendary Corvette engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov as a factory-built, lightweight and race-ready production model that would trump domestic and foreign road-racing competitors, the original Corvette Grand Sport was a promising idea that led to the production of five special prototypes in 1963. The project was later shelved, following GM’s agreement to stay out of manufacturer-backed motorsports.

The five prototypes were based on the styling of the 1963 Corvette and were hand-assembled under Duntov’s watchful eye. But while they looked like production models, the prototypes were purpose-built race cars that shared little with their assembly-line cousins. Duntov also oversaw the Grand Sport engine program that featured a special, 377-cubic-inch small-block V-8 with side-draft carburetors.

Although never officially sanctioned by General Motors, the five Grand Sport prototypes saw extensive racing experience throughout the 1960s in the hands of “private” racers who had strong contacts within Duntov’s engineering circle. All five original cars are accounted for today and are among the most valuable in the collector market.

Chevrolet offered a limited-edition Grand Sport production model in 1996, commemorating the original racing cars and marking the end of the C4 era in Corvette production. All of the 1,000 examples were painted Admiral Blue and featured a white center stripe and red “hash mark” graphics on the left front fender, a graphic scheme that mimicked the look of some of the original race cars.

*SAE certified.




Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe and Convertible

Body styles / driveline:

two-door hatchback coupe with removable roof; rear-wheel drive (Coupe and Convertible)


composite body panels, hydroformed steel frame with aluminum and magnesium structural and chassis components

Manufacturing location:

Bowling Green, Ky.


6.2L V-8 LS3

Displacement (cu in / cc):

376 / 6162

Bore & stroke (in / mm):

4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92

Block material:

cast aluminum

Cylinder head material:

cast aluminum


overhead valve, two valves per cylinder

Fuel delivery:

SFI (sequential fuel injection)

Compression ratio:


(hp / kW @ rpm):

430 / 321 @ 5900* w/ std. exhaust
436 / 325 @ 5900* w/ opt. exhaust

Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):

424 / 575 @ 4600* w/ std. exhaust
428 / 580 @ 4600* w/ opt. exhaust

Recommended fuel:

premium recommended not required

EPA estimated fuel economy (city / hwy):

15 / 25 (automatic)
16 / 26 (manual)


six-speed manual

six-speed paddle-shift automatic




Gear ratios (:1)






















Final drive ratio:



Chassis / Suspension


short/long arm ( SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper & lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite leaf spring, monotube shock absorber


short/long arm ( SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper & lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite leaf spring, monotube shock absorber

Traction control:

electronic traction control; Active Handling



front and rear power-assisted disc with ABS with six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers, cross-drilled rotors

Rotor diameter x thickness (in / mm):

front: 14 x 1.3 / 355 x 32
rear: 13.4 x 1 / 340 x 26

Brake swept area
(sq in / mm):

front: 309 / 1994
rear: 269 / 1735

Wheels & Tires

Wheel size:

front: 18-inch x 9.5-inch
rear: 19-inch x 12-inch


front: P275/35ZR18
rear: P325/30ZR19


Wheelbase (in / mm):

105.7 / 2685

Overall length (in / mm):

175.6 / 4460

Overall width (in / mm):

75.9 / 1928

Overall height (in / mm):

48.7 / 1236

Curb weight (lb / kg):

3311 / 1502 (Grand Sport Coupe)
3289 / 1492 (Grand Sport Convertible)

Weight distribution
(% front / rear):

51 / 49


Seating capacity


Interior volume (cu ft / L):

52 / 1475

Headr oom (in / mm):

38 / 962

Legroom (in / mm):

43 / 1092

Shoulder room (in / mm):

55 / 1397

Hip room (in / mm):

54 / 1371


Cargo volume
(cu ft / L):

Coupe: 22 / 634
Convertible: 11 / 295 (top up); 7.5 / 212 (top down)

Fuel tank (gal / L):

18 / 68.1

Engine oil (qt / L):

5.5 / 5.2 (automatic transmission)
10.5 / 9.9 (manual transmission)

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Sunday, April 19, 2009


AJAC award given to the 2005 Ford MustangImage via Wikipedia

  • Continuity, stability and the willingness to listen to and implement Mustang customer feedback help keep the pony car on top
  • Key members who worked on the last major Mustang redesign in 2005 also contributed to the 2010 model
  • The 2010 Mustang will be in dealer showrooms this spring with a starting price of $20,995

DEARBORN, Mich., April 16, 2009 – No doubt, people have a special connection to the Ford Mustang. Nine million sold since the iconic muscle car’s introduction in 1964, including the past 22 years as the best seller in its segment, are testament to Mustang’s success and the passion it engenders.

But what about the people who design, engineer and build Mustang? Is it just another job to them?


“Mustang is a special car, and it requires a special group of people to design, engineer and manufacture Mustang,” said David Pericak, Mustang chief nameplate engineer. “We’re fortunate to have a strong core group of talented people who understand what Mustang is and what it takes to produce this world-class car.”

Continuity and passion are two of the linchpins of the ongoing success of Mustang. For all involved, creating Mustang literally is a dream job. Key members of the team who worked on the last major upgrade, which was the 2005 model, also contributed to the 2010 edition.

“The experience of the team is a huge benefit to us,” said Keith Knudsen, supervisor, Mustang vehicle architecture. “Not only do we have better relationships that come from working together over the long term, we’ve all been part of the program long enough to hear the customer feedback as a group, understand concerns and agree where we wanted to make improvements.”

One customer-driven improvement for the new Mustang is moving the windshield washer nozzles off the hood and into spot recessed in the cowl. This seemingly minor change brings about several benefits, including better aerodynamics, less wind noise, a cleaner appearance, no washer fluid on the hood, and, perhaps most important, the smooth surface allows customers to easily customize the hood with racing stripes.

“Overall, it shows great attention to a small detail, and that’s indicative of many parts and systems on the 2010 Mustang,” said Tom Barnes, vehicle engineering manager. “Together, they all make a big difference.”

A host of other customer-generated improvements can be found on the 2010 Mustang, including:

  • Increased horsepower on the V-8 models through a cold-air induction system
  • Bigger wheels (19-inch option) and tires (245 mm)
  • Moved antenna to rear, improving appearance, aerodynamics and wind noise
  • Improved interior craftsmanship
  • Reduced interior noise
  • More usable interior stowage, including larger door pockets and seat back map pockets, along with covered cup holders
  • Interior trunk release
  • Electronic automatic temperature control
  • Steering wheel audio controls
  • Automatic headlamps
  • Rear-vision camera
  • Outside temperature indicator
  • Sequential rear turn signals
  • Flipping the tachometer and speedometer so the left hand on the steering wheel doesn’t block the tachometer
  • Flush design of the console bin so the elbow doesn’t hit it while shifting
  • Softened edges on the side of the center stack and instrument panel to make it a friendlier contact point for drivers with long legs
  • Improved execution of the console’s rear edge for improved rear passenger knee and leg space

Here’s a closer look at some of the key customer-driven improvements on the 2010 Mustang and how they were executed:

More-refined interior: The foundation of the 2010 Mustang’s world-class interior is a new, one-piece soft instrument panel exquisitely crafted in seamless TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) skin, fully encompassing textured or genuine aluminum-finish panels. Extending the soft skin and foam around the center stack was critical not only for better appearance and craftsmanship, but also to provide a softer, more comfortable rest for the driver’s leg.

“Gaps between parts – the chrome-ringed air registers, for example, are accurate to within fractions of millimeters,” said Senior Designer Robert Gelardi. “This attention to detail is the bedrock of the new interior and what sets Mustang apart from the competition. Our goal was a product that goes beyond perceived quality to offer a premium experience. We were absolute perfectionists about the selection of materials and executing every detail. We never stopped at, ‘good enough.’ We only stopped at ‘right.’”

Attention to detail seen everywhere – even the trunk release
The interior design team worked diligently on every detail. Take, for example, the buttons for traction control and the interior trunk release, which was one of several customer-driven enhancements to the 2010 Mustang. The Mustang team wasn’t satisfied with simply adding this feature and moving on. Instead, the team made it special as both graphics on the buttons show an actual Mustang instead of a generic car symbol.

The shape of the IP finish panels mirrors the angle of the tail lamps and allows the navigation screen to be placed higher and closer to the driver. The Mustang pony now is a genuine aluminum badge in the center of the steering wheel featuring real aluminum spokes with audio controls in premium models. “Everything looks crafted, not molded,” Gelardi said. “People will feel special in this car.”

Steven McCarley, president of the Mustang Club of America, was fortunate enough to have driven the new Mustang before its reveal and came away impressed.

“They’ve definitely improved the seating and the material – it’s stronger, firmer and better overall,” said McCarley, noting one of the requests his group wanted for the 2010 model. “The front end is much more aggressive and the placement of the controls is more user-friendly.”

Easy Fuel® Capless Fuel Filler System: This industry-exclusive feature has an integrated spring-loaded flapper door that allows customers to simply insert the fuel nozzle into the tank to fill up – no screw cap required. Easy Fuel automatically seals after the fuel nozzle is removed, emitting fewer evaporative emissions into the environment.

Improved handling: Many of the enhancements from the successful Mustang Bullitt and Ford Racing vehicles are carried through the full 2010 Mustang lineup, creating a nimbler, more-responsive Mustang. Standard on all models is a three-link rear suspension with a panhard bar. AdvanceTrac®, new for 2010, traction control and anti-lock brakes also are standard.

AdvanceTrac can be run on or off with the V-6. In the GT, AdvanceTrac, can be run in on, off or Sport mode, which allows drivers to push it more while still retaining control.

“We adjusted the springs, stabilizer bars and shocks to better balance the ride, steering and handling for all models, which results in a more engaging driving experience,” said Barnes. “The 2010 Mustang feels more controlled for steering and handling, yet retains a good ride balance.”

Tires are increased by an inch across the Mustang line, with 17-inch tires standard on the V-6 and 18-inch tires standard on the V-8. A 19-inch Pirelli Summer tire is late available as an option for those seeking higher performance. The proven chassis from the Bullitt series serves as the base for the GT. A tower-to-tower brace pioneered on the Bullitt lends additional torsional and lateral stiffness to the chassis to improve cornering for those selecting the 19-inch tire.

Aerodynamics were honed to ensure that both the aerodynamic drag and lift balance were improved for better overall efficiency. The drag coefficient, which measures the ability of the Mustang to slip through the air, has been reduced by 4 percent in the V-6 models and 7 percent in the GT models. The front aerodynamic lift also has been reduced by 37 percent for V-6 models and 23 percent for GT models, significantly improving steering feedback and driver confidence at higher speeds. Improved aerodynamics also contribute to fuel efficiency, with the V-6 getting an unsurpassed 26 mpg highway.

For some team members, the passion for Mustang began almost at birth – literally.

Gelardi’s ride home from the hospital after he was born came in his mother’s 1969 Champagne Gold Mustang coupe. From there a love of automobiles, especially Mustang, blossomed.

“It’s pretty amazing that the first time I ever rode in a car it was a Mustang and now I’m part of the team that helped create the 2010 Mustang,” said Gelardi, who worked on the 2005 model as well before leading interior, exterior and wheel designs for the 2010 edition. “Working on Mustang is an honor, which is exactly how everyone else on the team feels.”

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Ford Mustang GT350Image by matze_ott via Flickr

  • Several original owners of the 1964½ Mustang will attend the Ford Mustang 45th anniversary celebration with their beloved pony cars April 17-21 in Birmingham, Ala.
  • The 45th anniversary celebration is expected to draw more than 2,500 Mustang enthusiasts and their cars as well as hundreds of thousands of spectators

When Phil Florio bought his 1964½ Wimbledon White Ford Mustang, he says it was “love at first sight.” Forty-five years later, the love affair is still going strong.

“I’m going to be 71 in May, but when I get behind the wheel of that car and turn the key, I’m 25 years old again,” said Florio, of Summerfield, Fla. “It keeps me young.”

Florio is one of nine original owners of the 1964½ Mustang – America’s first pony car – who will display and share stories about their beloved steeds at the Ford Mustang 45th anniversary celebration, which will be held April 17-21 at the Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

Florio says he cherished his muscle car from the start.

“I used to drive the car in New York in the middle of winter, and when I got home I’d get blue hands trying to wash the snow and salt off of it in the freezing cold weather,” said Florio. “I loved the car, and knew when I bought it that I was going to keep it for as long as I possibly could.”

For many original Mustang owners – like Florio and Laki Malamatenio, who owns a 1964½ Poppy Red Mustang 289 that he refers to affectionately as “Poppy” – the car is more than just a fast, fun and affordable means of transportation. It is an integral part of the fabric of their lives.

“‘Poppy’ took me to Las Vegas to get married. She took me to the hospital when both of my children were born, and she’s taken the whole family on vacation,” said Malamatenio, of Grass Valley, Calif. “My whole life flashes before my eyes when I get into that car.”

Malamatenio says his Mustang also has special meaning because he used it to buy his first home.

“We wanted to buy a house, but we didn’t have enough money for a down payment,” he said. “The car was paid off, so I took out a home loan using ‘Poppy’ as collateral.”

To Malamatenio, “Poppy” is part of the family.

“Sometimes when I’m working on her, my wife says ‘You spend more time with her than you do with me,’” he laughed.

Fred Glazier’s Rangoon Red Mustang coupe also brings back poignant memories, he says.

“I dated my wife in it. We took it on our honeymoon, and we brought both of our children home from the hospital in it,” said Glazier, of Souderton, Pa. “We are emotionally attached to this car, and I always tell me kids, ‘When I die, you better not sell it, or I’ll come back to haunt you.’”

Glazier says his 1964½ Mustang inspired him to leave a career as a pharmaceutical representative and start a new vocation restoring antique cars.

“I’ve specialized in the restoration of Mustangs since 1979,” he said. “A few years ago, I started working on my car, and today it looks like it did when I first bought it.”

Kathy Miller, of Boardman, Ohio, says she will never forget the day she received her 1964½ Prairie Bronze Mustang coupe as a high school graduation present from her mom and dad,

“I was so surprised that day, and I’ve had the car ever since,” she said. “It went to college at Ohio State with me, and it was the car that I drove for my first job selling real estate.”

Miller says she and her husband also drove the car on their wedding day.

“My son restored the Mustang five years ago, and there was still rice in the dashboard,” she chuckled. “There’s a lot of nostalgia surrounding that car.”

For Edgar “Alex” Alexander, his black 1964½ Mustang convertible was an impulse purchase he never once second-guessed.

“My first wife and I needed a car, and we had no conception of what we wanted,” he said. “There was a Mustang convertible on the lot, and my wife fell in love with it so we just ordered it.”

Alexander says the car garnered a lot of attention wherever the couple went.

“We would go to the store or to the movies, and when we came out there would be a half dozen people or more looking at the car,” he said. “It was really cool.”

He says the pride of ownership continued to grow over the years.

“At the beginning it was a car,” he said. “Now, it’s a treasure.”

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Pony CarImage by Wendigo_ via Flickr

Ever since the debut of the original Ford Mustang 45 years ago, there has been an ongoing debate about what to call the pony cars built between April and August of 1964. Are they “1964½” Mustangs or 1965 models?

Technically, all of the original Ford Mustangs are 1965 models because all carry a 1965 model year Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

But the majority of Mustang enthusiasts throughout the world are purists at heart, and they know very well that the vehicles produced from April to August of 1964 were different enough from those manufactured during the remainder of the model year to warrant giving them another name.

“An entire generation has grown up calling these vehicles ‘1964½.’ It is part of the lexicon of Mustang history,” said John Clor, author of The Mustang Dynasty. “Technically, all of the original Mustangs are 1965 models, but true enthusiasts know that production of the car ran for a year and a half and that the car changed after the first six months.”

The biggest change was in the electrical system. The so-called 1964½ Mustangs used generators while those made during the standard 12-month 1965 model year used alternators. Also, the V-8 option was different. The 1964½ models used the 260-cubic inch V-8 engine, while the 1965 models employed a 289-cubic inch V-8 engine.

“People like to say there is no such thing as a 1964½ Mustang, and in theory they are correct,” said Charles Turner, national head judge for the Mustang Club of America (MCA). “But there is a wide range of little differences between the cars built before and after August of 1964 that make them very unique. The MCA accepts the 1964½ as a model year because we view it as a different car.”

Those lucky enough to own a Mustang built between April and August of 1964 view their pony cars as a totally different breed of the steed.

“We take exception to someone calling them 1965 Mustangs because the ’64½ was a unique car when it was introduced, and it is a very special thing to own one,” said Fred Glazier, who bought his Rangoon Red Mustang coupe in May of 1964. “When you tell someone you have a 1964½ Mustang, people who understand Mustangs know what you’re talking about.”

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Friday, April 10, 2009


Cool Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3Image by matze_ott via Flickr
  • The 1994 Mustang, which ushered in the fourth generation of Mustangs, was dramatically restyled to evoke its pony car heritage. The hatchback style was dropped, leaving the two-door coupe and convertible. The SVT (Special Vehicle Team) Cobra launched with a 240-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8.
  • 1995 was the final model year for the 5.0-liter V-8, which began life as the 260- and later 289-cid engine. The second SVT Cobra R was introduced with a 300-horsepower 5.8-liter V-8 and five-speed manual transmission.
  • In 1996, Mustang GTs and SVT Mustang Cobras were equipped for the first time with 4.6-liter Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) V-8, which produced 305 horsepower.
  • Ford’s Passive Anti-Theft System became standard on all models in 1997.
  • In 1998, the output of Mustang GT’s 4.6-liter V-8 was increased to 225 horsepower.
  • A redesigned Mustang debuted in 1999. It sported sharper lines, pronounced wheel arches plus new hood, grille, fascias and lamps. The SVT Mustang Cobra became the first Mustang with independent rear suspension. The 4.6-liter DOHC V-8 produced 320 horsepower.
  • In 2000, the third Mustang SVT Cobra R was produced in a 300-unit run. It came with a 386-horsepower, 5.4-liter DOHC V-8 mated to Mustang’s first ever six-speed transmission.
  • Inspired by the 1968 movie, the first Mustang Bullitt GT model was offered. It featured unique side scoops, 17-inch “Bullitt”-styled wheels and lowered and specially-tuned suspension.
  • In 2002, production ended for two of Mustang’s closest competitors: Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird.
  • The Mach I returned in 2003 with a 305-horsepower V-8 under a signature ram-air “Shaker” hood scoop. The supercharged SVT Mustang Cobra produced 390 horsepower.
  • In 2004, Ford produced its 300 millionth car – a Mustang GT convertible 40th anniversary edition. The 2004 models were the last cars built at Ford’s fabled Dearborn Assembly Plant, which built Mustangs since the car’s 1964 introduction.
  • In 2005, production of the all-new Mustang moved to Flat Rock, Mich. Plant. The Mustang’s V-6 engine was increased to 4.0-liters and the V-8 increased to 300 horsepower.
  • The V-6 “Pony Package” debuted in 2006. GT models got 18-inch wheels, and owners could configure instrument panel lighting in 125 different colors, an industry first, using Ford’s MyColor instrument gauge.
  • In 2007, Ford introduced a special “Warriors in Pink” Mustang, designed to help raise funds for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure breast cancer research. The vehicle lineup also included the Mustang Shelby GT and the Shelby GT500KR. The second limited-edition Mustang Bullitt was introduced in November.
  • The 9 millionth Mustang – a GT convertible – was built in 2008 and sold to an Iowa farmer.
  • The 2009 Mustang features a glass roof option and special 45th anniversary badging.
  • The 2010 Mustang was introduced in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It cleverly combines modern technology with Mustang heritage and a V-8 with even more horsepower and even throatier signature Mustang exhaust sound. It will be available at Ford dealerships later this spring.
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General Motors Adding More Fuel-Saving Direct Injection Engines For 2010

Pontiac Solstice GXP photographed at the Washi...Image via Wikipedia

The all-new, five-passenger 2010 GMC Terrain joins the rapidly growing list of vehicles with GM’s direct injected (DI) engines that use less fuel, make more power and produce fewer emissions. The Terrain brings to 18 the number of North American GM models that will feature DI in 2010 – more than any other manufacturer.

“Direct injection is a key component of GM’s Advanced Propulsion Technology Strategy that uses multiple technology pathways to achieve increased efficiency and the diversification of energy sources,” said Tom Stephens, vice chairman, Global Product Development. “Because there is no single solution, we’re applying advanced technology where it makes the most sense for customers in regard to fuel efficiency, performance and cost. The efficiency gain with direct injection represents a great technological value that customers can benefit from immediately.”

Both of the Terrain’s available engines – a new 2.4L four-cylinder and a 3.0L V-6 – come standard with DI, with 2.4L-equipped models estimated at 30 mpg on the highway (EPA certification pending). That puts GMC’s new crossover SUV at the top of its segment in highway fuel economy.

Additional new GM models with DI include the 2010 Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan, the sporty 2010 Chevy Camaro, the redesigned 2010 Cadillac SRX and the 2010 Chevy Equinox crossover. They contribute to GM’s global initiative that will see eight distinct DI engines offered in 38 vehicle models around the world next year.

“Direct injection is a near-term solution – along with hybrids and biofuels like E85 – that fits well within GM’s current portfolio, but our strategy envisions mid- and long-term powertrain solutions that will ultimately reduce vehicle emissions to zero, increase fuel efficiency dramatically and displace petroleum as the primary energy source,” said Stephens. “Vehicles like the 2011 Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle and our advanced fuel cell-electric prototypes are tangible examples of GM’s vision.”

GM’s DI lineup

The range of 2009 and upcoming 2010 GM models that offer the efficiency of direct injection includes the following – with additional models to be announced later:

Buick Enclave: This popular crossover offers an efficient 3.6L DI engine that delivers a class-leading EPA highway rating of 24 mpg (FWD models).

Buick LaCrosse: All-new for 2010 and going on sale this summer, the redesigned Buick LaCrosse will offer DI engines exclusively, including a 3.0L V-6 and 3.6L V-6.

Cadillac CTS and CTS Sport Wagon: The CTS sedan and new CTS Sport Wagon come standard with a 3.0L DI V-6 in 2010. Also available is a 3.6L high-feature DOHC V-6 engine that was named to Ward’s AutoWorld’s 2009 “Ten Best Engines” list for North America – for the second consecutive year. With the 3.6L DI engine, the CTS sedan is rated at 26 mpg on the highway.

Cadillac SRX: When it hits the street this summer, the redesigned 2010 SRX crossover will offer a 3.0L DI engine that is expected to deliver highway fuel economy in the mid-20s (testing is ongoing).

Cadillac STS: The STS uses a version of the CTS’ award-winning 3.6L DI V-6, giving this full-size sedan EPA-rated 26 mpg on the highway.

Chevrolet Camaro: Chevy’s iconic sports coupe is back, with a powerful 3.6L DI V-6 that turns out 304 horsepower (227 kW) and EPA-rated 29 mpg on the highway.

Chevrolet Cobalt SS: This sporty compact blends high performance with high efficiency; its 260-horsepower (194 kW) 2.0L turbocharged engine is EPA-rated at 30 mpg on the highway.

Chevrolet Equinox: Arriving in dealerships this summer, the redesigned 2010 Equinox will offer two DI engines – a 2.4L four-cylinder rated at 30 mpg and a 3.0L V-6. Consumers who drive the 2.4L-equipped Equinox 15,000 miles per year will save 134 gallons of fuel or about $270 to $400 annually (assuming gas prices of $2 or $3 per gallon), as compared to the 2009 Equinox.

Chevrolet HHR SS: Employing the same 260-horsepower (194 kW) 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder DI engine as the Cobalt SS, the HHR SS model delivers 29 mpg in EPA-rated highway mileage.

Chevrolet Traverse: The 2009 model with its 3.6L DI engine enjoys best-in-class highway fuel economy of 24 mpg (FWD models) of any eight-passenger SUV.

GMC Acadia: An efficient 3.6L DI engine (similar to the Chevy Traverse, Buick Enclave and Saturn Outlook) contributes to this crossover’s class-leading EPA-rated 24 mpg (FWD models).

Pontiac Solstice GXP: A turbocharged, 2.0L DI engine delivers driving thrills and fuel-economy thrift, with an EPA highway rating of 28 mpg (manual-transmission model).

Saturn Outlook: This full-size crossover delivers downsized fill-ups, with its 3.6L DI V-6 rated at a class-leading 24 mpg (FWD models).

Saturn Sky Red Line: Equipped with the same turbocharged, 2.0L DI engine as the Solstice GXP, Saturn’s sporty roadster also delivers 28 mpg on the highway (manual-transmission model).

GM’s fuel-saving initiative

GM’s direct injection push is part of a larger effort to implement multiple fuel-saving technologies across its vehicle portfolio. Twenty models in GM’s 2009 lineup deliver EPA-rated highway fuel economy of 30 mpg or more – more than any other automaker.

GM’s non-hybrid models also rank first in highway fuel economy in both the midsize sedan and subcompact segments, with Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura rated at 33 highway mpg; and Chevrolet Cobalt XFE and Pontiac G5 XFE rated at 37 highway mpg.

Additionally, GM offers more models with fuel-saving six-speed manual transmissions than any other manufacturer in North America. That contributes to GM’s 2009 domestic car and light truck lineups’ estimated fuel savings of 700 million gallons when compared with the 2008 lineup, during the life of the vehicles. That means a saving $1.4 to $2.1 billion in fuel costs, assuming gas prices of $2 to $3 per gallon. It’s estimated that GM’s 2010 lineup will add another 1.1 billion gallons of fuel savings and $2.2 to $3.3 billion, relative to the 2008 lineup.

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2009 Shanghai Auto Show - Ford EcoBoost

Lincoln MKT concept photographed at the 2008 N...Image via Wikipedia

Ford EcoBoost engine technology can deliver up to 20% better fuel economy and up to 15% fewer CO2 emissions.

  • EcoBoost engine technology delivers up to 20 percent better fuel economy, 15 percent fewer CO2 emissions and superior driving performance versus larger displacement engines.
  • EcoBoost will be available on half a million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles annually in North America during the next five years.
  • Ford EcoBoost will be introduced into China market in the near future.

A major part of Ford’s near-term environmental plan is a new engine technology called EcoBoost. The EcoBoost family of 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines features the harmony between twin turbochargings and direct fuel injection technology.

Compared with more expensive hybrids and diesel engines, Ford EcoBoost builds upon today’s affordable gasoline engine and improves it, providing more customers with a way to improve fuel economy and emissions without compromising driving performance. Ford EcoBoost provides:

  • Up to 20 percent improvement in fuel economy.
  • Up to 15 percent reduction in CO2 emissions.
  • Improved engine performance.

Plus, Ford EcoBoost is easy on the wallet. Customers in North America purchasing a vehicle featuring an EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine can expect to recoup their initial investment within two and a half years through savings in fuel costs. Drivers of diesel-powered vehicles in North America need seven and a half years to recoup their investment. Hybrid owners need nearly 12 years when all options are equalized for miles driven per year and fuel costs.

The affordable engine technology will be available on half a million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles annually in North America during the next five years. The first in a wave of new Ford EcoBoost engines makes its debut in the Lincoln MKS, MKT and Ford Flex in later 2009.

Ford EcoBoost engines will be progressively introduced to Ford’s European product range from 2010. Also, the affordable engine technology will be introduced into China lineups in the near future.

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2009 Shanghai Auto Show - Ford Focus

WAYNE, MI - OCTOBER 15:  Ford Motor Company as...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Ford Focus has quickly become one of China's best-selling cars, and for model-year 2009, Ford introduces a Focus with dramatic exterior styling, refined interior design and impressive safety technology.

Safety and comfort features for new Focus (model-year 2009)

  • Driver and front passenger airbags and front seat-mounted side airbags now standard occupant safety features across the new Focus model range
  • Emergency Hazard Warning Light Activation System
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP) available on Focus Sport
  • Enhanced interior with high-quality materials and new instruments
  • New customer-focused, premium quality features include a 'Premium' centre console with additional storage space
  • Compelling new technologies allow higher level of In-Car Entertainment (ICE) connectivity with conventional 3.5mm jack and USB port

The Ford Focus is one of the world's most awarded cars, winning both the European Car of the Year and North American Car of the Year. In China, the Ford Focus has received more than 90 awards from national motoring media in recognition of its class-leading driving dynamics, precise steering and braking control, distinct design and build quality as well as achieving a C-NCAP five-star score for occupant crash protection. (Ford Focus Limited is the first medium-size car in China to receive a five-star rating by C-NCAP.)

For model-year 2009, Ford has improved the Focus in many areas. New Focus presents a fresh exterior design with dramatic headlamps and large lower front grille obviously inspired by Ford of Europe's 'kinetic design' language. Along with the Focus's more dramatic and identifiable exterior features, the interior also reveals design improvements that are immediately noticeable and more refined.

These improvements and upgraded features reflect the attitude of the Focus buyer in China, who insists on premium quality features, a high degree of driving enjoyment and advanced safety technology.

From the driver's view, new instruments – with individual binnacles surrounding tachometer and speedometer – are more legible day and night. All gauges are illuminated in red for improved comfort and visibility at night.

However, not all improvements are visible, as is the case of Ford providing dual front airbags and front seat-mounted side airbags on all Focus models to improve occupant protection and reassuring peace of mind. ESP (electronic stability program) with Traction Control in addition to the system's ABS control has been added to the Focus Sport in keeping with the car's dynamic agility and driving performance. ESP assists the driver in extreme situations by detecting the initial onset of possible loss of vehicle stability. ESP rapidly and accurately manipulates the braking system to allow the driver to retain vehicle stability.

With the four brand pillars of kinetic design, leading engineering, enhanced safety and driving dynamics, the new Ford Focus is available in a series of four models series and two body styles.

Ford Focus Model Range:

  • Focus Comfort – 5dr hatch 1.8-litre manual
  • Focus Comfort – 4dr sedan 1.8-litre manual
  • Focus Fashion – 5dr hatch 1.8-litre automatic
  • Focus Fashion – 4dr sedan 1.8-litre automatic
  • Focus Luxury – 4dr sedan 1.8-litre automatic
  • Focus Luxury – 4dr sedan 2.0-litre automatic
  • Focus Sport – 5dr hatch 2.0-litre manual
  • Focus Sport – 5dr hatch 2.0-litre automatic

Expressive exterior and ergonomic interior design enhances the new Ford Focus's sporty character.

Ford of Europe's design team took a whole vehicle approach in applying 'kinetic design' form language to the new Focus. Immediately obvious is the Focus's new front design, in particular the dynamic new form of the bonnet and the enlarged, trapezoidal opening of the lower grille that works so effectively with those bold, dramatic headlamps.

In the top-of-the-range Luxury model, the lower trapezoid grille is framed by an elegant chrome surround, while new-look fog lamps and bezels complete the frontal transformation.

A strong shoulder line links the front to the rear – framed by Ford's characteristic bold wheel lips – which gives the Focus its new sleek profile. The bodyside is clean and uncluttered.

From the rear, Focus hatch has a newly sculpted tailgate and glass area and highly visible new tail lamps with clear lenses.

Leading Engineering
The dynamic new look of the Focus exterior is complemented by a new interior ambience which features significant detail changes and added features. Inside, the new Ford Focus interior is emphasised by improved craftsmanship, quality materials and enhancing comfort levels.

Comprehensive improvements were made to create a user-friendly space. A new “Premium” centre console has been designed with an emphasis on improved design and function. The centre console creates a “flow through” effect from the centre stack of the instrument panel and helps to create a “cockpit feel” for the driver and front passenger. It features a movable armrest, an integrated drinks holder, a card holder and a multi-purpose storage space.

The new Ford Focus delivers new higher levels of connectivity and in-car systems. It is particularly significant for users of new generation iPod players, as this connection allows full control of the unit's functions through the main audio system and recharge for iPod. Dual-zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC) has been added as a standard feature on Focus Luxury, allowing the driver and front passenger to set individual temperatures.

The new Focus 1.8 Luxury sedan (available with automatic only) also receives additional high-end comfort features including: power-adjust driver's seat with lumbar support, dual-zone EATC, six-stack in-dash CD with steering wheel controls, leather upholstery with leather door trim, rear seat centre console with storage and drinks holder, dimmer control for interior lighting, front map light, perimeter alarm system, additional interior and exterior chrome highlights, and Ghia badge.

Enhanced Safety
The new Ford Focus delivers class-leading safety and occupant protection with increased occupant safety features and side impact protection.

The comprehensive occupant safety package for new Focus includes dual front airbags and front seat-mounted side airbags (on all models), standard Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic Brake Distribution and Electronic Brake Assist.

Driving Dynamics
Focus achieves class-leading driving dynamics through use of an advanced 'Control Blade' multilink rear suspension and front MacPherson struts and the semi-isolated front subframe to achieve the optimum balance of ride, handling, steering precision and comfort.

The Focus engine range is proven and offers customers the advantages of power and fuel efficiency from a 1.8-litre and a 2.0-litre version of Ford's Duratec petrol engine – the 1.8-litre engine producing 91kW is available in Comfort and Fashion; and the 2.0-litre engine producing 104kW is offered in Sport and Luxury.

The new Ford Focus range offers two transmission choices: the relaxed comfort of an automatic (with a driver-select Sequential Sport Shift) or a more performance-minded five-speed manual gearbox.

The Focus body structure also plays a major role in the car’s driving quality and occupant safety. New Ford Focus has been engineered to the same high torsional stiffness as its predecessor ensuring excellent dynamic response.

Ford Focus has always been acclaimed for its excellent on-road driving behaviour. And new Focus is engineered to flatter the novice driver and reward the expert with assured and predictable controllability, precise steering and confident, benchmark handling.

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GM and Segway Join Forces to Reinvent Urban Transportation

Segway PTImage via Wikipedia

General Motors Corp. and Segway today demonstrated a new type of vehicle that could change the way we move around in cities.

Dubbed Project P.U.M.A. (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility), GM and Segway are developing an electrically powered, two-seat prototype vehicle that has only two wheels. It could allow people to travel around cities more quickly, safely, quietly and cleanly - and at a lower total cost. The vehicle also enables design creativity, fashion, fun and social networking.

GM and Segway announced their collaboration, while demonstrating the Project P.U.M.A. prototype in New York City this morning.

"Project P.U.M.A. represents a unique solution to moving about and interacting in cities, where more than half of the world's people live," said Larry Burns, GM vice president of research and development, and strategic planning. "Imagine small, nimble electric vehicles that know where other moving objects are and avoid running into them. Now, connect those vehicles in an Internet-like web and you can greatly enhance the ability of people to move through cities, find places to park and connect to their social and business networks."

Trends indicate that urbanization is growing, and with that comes increased congestion and more competition for parking. Cities around the world are actively looking for solutions to alleviate congestion and pollution. Project P.U.M.A. addresses those concerns. It combines several technologies demonstrated by GM and Segway, including electric drive and batteries; dynamic stabilization (two-wheel balancing); all-electronic acceleration, steering and braking; vehicle-to-vehicle communications; and autonomous driving and parking. Those technologies integrate in Project P.U.M.A. to increase mobility freedom, while also enabling energy efficiency, zero emissions, enhanced safety, seamless connectivity and reduced congestion in cities.

"We are excited to be working together to demonstrate a dramatically different approach to urban mobility," said Jim Norrod, CEO of Segway Inc. "There's an emotional connection you get when using Segway products. The Project P.U.M.A. prototype vehicle embodies this through the combination of advanced technologies that Segway and GM bring to the table to complete the connection between the rider, environment, and others."

Project P.U.M.A. vehicles will also allow designers to create new fashion trends for cars, and to focus on the passion and emotion that people express through their vehicles while creating solutions that anticipate the future needs of urban customers.

The Project P.U.M.A. prototype vehicle integrates a lithium-ion battery, digital smart energy management, two-wheel balancing, dual electric wheel motors, and a dockable user interface that allows off-board connectivity. The result is an advanced and functional concept that demonstrates the capabilities of technology that exists today.

Built to carry two or more passengers, it can travel at speeds up to 35 miles per hour (56 kph), with a range up to 35 miles (56 km) between recharges.

Since the introduction of the Segway Personal Transporter (PT), Segway has established itself as the leader in the small electric vehicle space. Its approach to congestion and environmental challenges is balanced with a strong understanding of the functional needs of its customers, enabling them to do more with less. Segway has delivered more than 60,000 lithium-ion batteries to the market.

GM has been a leader in "connected vehicle" technologies since it introduced OnStar in 1996. Today, this on-board communications package connects six million subscribers in North America to OnStar safety and security services. GM has also pioneered vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications systems and transponder technology. These and additional connected vehicle technologies could ultimately enable vehicles that don't crash and drive themselves.

"Imagine moving about cities in a vehicle fashioned to your taste, that's fun to drive and ride in, that safely takes you where you want to go, and "connects" you to friends and family, while using clean, renewable energy, producing zero vehicle tailpipe emissions, and without the stress of traffic jams," said Burns. "And imagine doing this for one-fourth to one-third the cost of what you pay to own and operate today's automobile. This is what Project P.U.M.A. is capable of delivering."

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2009 Shanghai Auto Show - Ford Mondeo

A photo of a Ford Mondeo ST220Image via Wikipedia

Described as one of the best mid-sized sedans in China, the Ford Mondeo delivers European design and refinement, excellent driving dynamics, and five-star occupant protection.

  • Mondeo prioritises convenience and connectivity with Bluetooth, GPS satellite navigation, and keyless entry as well as advanced Human Machine Interface
  • Mondeo received highest five-star C-NCAP score for occupant protection (October 2008) and features advanced body structure with rigid safety cell, dual front airbags and side airbags
  • Advanced, fuel efficient 2.3-litre engine and six-speed automatic combine to deliver excellent performance
  • Mondeo has received critical acclaimed by China's independent motoring publications Car and Driver and Motor Trend

Ford Mondeo brings European design, European engineering and European driving dynamics to China with class-leading occupant protection, ultimate refinement and a host of sophisticated features the Mondeo customer expects.

European heritage is immediately obvious in Ford Mondeo's expressive kinetic design characterised by its distinct headlamp design, poised and confident stance, bold wheel arches and taut, defined surfacing. These signature kinetic design features that embody Mondeo have since become the distinguishing design features of Ford's current generation of passenger cars in China.

The Ford Mondeo is impressive, and continues to impress the experts.

  • Top 10 Car by Motor Trend (2008)
  • 10 Best Car by Car and Driver (2008)
  • Best Driving Performance Car by Sina
  • Judging Committee's Special Recommendation by China Mainstream Media Alliance

Internationally, the experts agree. Ford Mondeo continues to receive praise from motoring experts.

  • 2008 Best Domestic Large Sedan by Car News Magazine (Taiwan)
  • 2009 Best Medium Car by New Zealand Automobile Association

In October 2008, the China New Car Assessment Program (C-NCAP) crash tested Mondeo. The Mondeo earned C-NCAP's highest rating of five stars for occupant protection with safety features such as dual front airbags, front side airbags and an advanced body shell engineered to control the impact forces and minimise the effect on occupants. In terms of its body structure and extensive use of high-strength steels and ultra high-strengths steels, the Ford Mondeo is truly world class.

Ford Mondeo's nimble and athletic handling, superb braking performance and electronic driver's aids such as ESP assist the driver to potentially avoid an accident.

In China, Ford Mondeo appeals to a customer who is successful and who appreciates European design and finds pleasure in driving.

Ford offers Mondeo in six variants:

  • Mondeo Luxury High Navigation (with GPS satellite navigation)
  • Mondeo Luxury Sport Navigation (with GPS satellite navigation)
  • Mondeo Luxury Sport
  • Mondeo Luxury
  • Mondeo Fashion
  • Mondeo Comfort (with 2.0-litre engine)

Two efficient engines are offered – a 2.0-litre reserved for the Comfort while the majority of Mondeo variants are powered by a refined and advanced 2.3-litre engine delivering excellent performance and fuel efficiency.

The Duratec 2.3-litre engine produces 117kW at 6500rpm; what's more, it delivers more than 190Nm between 2000 and 5800rpm. Light in weight to ensure excellent driving dynamics with accurate steering response, the aluminium engine is accompanied by a computer-controlled six-speed automatic transmission.

Driving Dynamics
Ford Mondeo appeals to those who enjoy driving. It achieves the ride comfort expected from an executive sedan and also provides the required confidence and dynamic agility to those who enjoy driving.

Ford Mondeo achieves this extraordinary balance of comfort and confident driving dynamics by starting with a very stable and rigid body structure. To this rigid body structure, the Mondeo utilises MacPherson struts at the front with a multi-link independent suspension at the rear.

Bold kinetic design, premium interior features, superior build quality and an exceptional balance of ride comfort and confident driving dynamics are genuine qualities of the Ford Mondeo. Motoring experts around the world and in China claim the Mondeo is an exceptional mid-sized sedan.

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Greg BiffleImage via Wikipedia

Greg Biffle is a racer’s racer who will drive anything—anytime, anyplace—and that includes the new Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R at next week’s Best in the Desert Terrible’s 250 at Primm.

Biffle, who is used to driving his NASCAR Ford Fusion around oval race tracks at close to 200 miles per hour, agreed to drive the F-150 SVT Raptor a couple months ago when Ford engineers were looking for some professional feedback.

“When I think of Raptor the first thing that comes to mind is a proven off-road piece with its finish in the Baja 1000, and I think it’s a long-time overdue, if you want my opinion,” said Biffle, who is participating in the event’s Fun Run on April 16, before heading to Phoenix for Saturday night’s NASCAR event.

“Up to this point, no manufacturer has built a truck like this. People had to do it themselves, so there’s a definite market out there and I’m excited about it. I’ve been paying attention and watching some of the desert testing that they’ve done and I can’t wait.”

A self-professed Ford truck lover, Biffle won his first NASCAR championship in 2000 behind the wheel of an F-150 in what is now known as the Camping World Truck Series. And while he works on a variety of vehicles at his race shop outside of Charlotte, N.C., driving in the desert is something he’s never done until now.

“I really enjoy off-roading. I enjoy riding motorcycles. I enjoy my sand car,” said Biffle, who will be driving the F-150 SVT Raptor R being campaigned by former Ford Rough Riders Rob MacCachren and Steve Olliges in all five Best in the Desert races this year.

“I’ve never pre-run Baja or anything like that, and I might do that this year, but I’ve never really been in a specific off-road. I’ve watched the stuff on Speed a lot. It looks fun and it looks exciting to do, so I’d like to mess with it a little bit.

“I think that I would be more of a closed-course guy than wide-open across the desert, not knowing what’s over the next hump,” continued Biffle, who has proven to be proficient in a car as well, having 14 career NASCAR Sprint Cup wins and a NASCAR Nationwide Series championship in 2002. “Just going wide open where you have no idea what’s coming up may not be the thing for me. I don’t even do that on the sand dunes. I get to know my area fairly well when I’m there, and then you can have a lot of fun.

“I think this is going to be somewhat similar. Certainly, it’s going to have some limitations over something like a sand car, but it’s going to do way more than a regular pick-up will do—or anything street legal you want to take off-road,” continued Biffle. “So, it’ll be fun to experience what it’ll be like to drive. I’m looking forward to it.”

Biffle’s personal favorite truck is the Ford F-150 SVT Lightning, which is equipped with a super-charger and by his own admission “really goes,” and while he says he’s hooked on the F-Series diesel models as well, the vehicle he’s eyeing for his next purchase is the new 2009 F-150.

“I’ve always loved to not be limited in what I do, and rarely will you find something that you can’t do in a F-Series that you can do in a car. It goes through a drive-thru, fits in a parking garage, typically, and the trucks are so tough it can do everything you need it to do,” said Biffle. “I like the sight line of a truck, I like being able to put anything in it that I want at any time—to be able to pull trailers, just do anything I want to do. And, let’s face it, the trucks drive so well now that a large percentage of American people use the F-150 or F-250 for their primary vehicle—and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

“I love my car, but any day I pick my F-150 over a car.”

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GMC’s all-new 2010 Terrain makes its world debut at the 2009 New York International Auto Show. The Terrain is a five-passenger crossover SUV that blends bold styling with fuel efficiency and premium features.

“The new Terrain brings GMC’s history of innovation and engineering excellence into a smaller, fuel-efficient package for today’s buyer,” said Susan Docherty, Buick-Pontiac-GMC vice president. “The capability attributes that make a vehicle a GMC are ingrained in Terrain, making it an appealing choice for existing traditional SUV customers who are looking for distinctive styling and increased efficiency.”

A new, 2.4L four-cylinder engine that features direct injection is expected to deliver best-in-segment highway fuel economy of 30 mpg. Maximum fuel economy is achieved in part with an “ECO” mode that is activated via a console-mounted button. When engaged, it lowers the torque converter lockup speed to 1,125 rpm to help save fuel on models equipped with the 2.4L engine.

Also available will be a 3.0L DOHC direct injected V-6 engine delivering an estimated 264 horsepower (197 kW). Both engines are mated to efficiency-enhancing six-speed automatic transmissions and offer a refined, confident driving experience.

“GMC is a strong, core brand for GM and the Terrain crossover SUV is the latest example of how we’re adapting to changing market conditions,” said Docherty. “As we first demonstrated with the Acadia crossover, GMC is committed to offering the capable vehicles customers seek, with the personal technologies they expect.”

The 2010 Terrain goes on sale in late summer, with front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models offered in SLE and SLT trim levels. A comprehensive list of standard and available features includes purposeful technologies such as:

  • Standard rear vision camera
  • Programmable power rear liftgate
  • Bluetooth hands-free phone capability
  • MultiFlex sliding rear seat that increases passenger comfort or provides optimal cargo space
  • Remote vehicle start
  • USB audio connectivity; MP3 playback
  • Seven-inch touch-screen navigation system and a 40-gigabyte hard drive
  • DVD-based rear-seat entertainment system with two independent screens
  • Standard OnStar and XM Satellite Radio

Segment-best safety is anticipated, with features that include four-wheel disc brakes with StabiliTrak electronic stability control and traction control, as well as six standard air bags: dual frontal air bags; head curtain side air bags and pelvic/thorax seat-mounted side air bags. OnStar with one-year Safe and Sound service is also standard.

Bold styling

Terrain has a balanced, athletic stance and offers a commanding view of the road. Its design is characterized by bold, muscular fender flares, representing GMC’s aesthetic. Surfacing is angular yet refined, with a strong and capable front-end appearance that features precise, squared-off edges.

“We wanted to carve the GMC Terrain away from the pack and establish its identity as a powerful, fresh crossover SUV with a confident and strong stance,” said John Cafaro Jr., director of exterior design, Global Crossover Vehicles. “Everything about the Terrain communicates a sense of tailored toughness and passionate craftsmanship.”

Additional design features include a unique, three-element grille that is accented by a prominent chrome surround and projector-beam headlamps mounted in large, rectangular housings with chrome accents.

Interior details and flexibility

The Terrain’s rich, premium interior is influenced by industrial sculpture and exudes refinement exemplified by contrast stitching and fine materials that create a structured look throughout the cabin. A “floating” center stack, highlighted by warm ambient lighting, houses a multitude of ergonomic comfort and convenience controls.

The Terrain also features great attention to detail, with smart use of storage space and compartments that are suitable for a variety of items. They include an oversized glove box; a closed storage area in the instrument panel above the center stack; a closed storage compartment under the center armrest large enough for a laptop computer; and two-tier storage in the doors.

Terrain’s seats were developed to provide outstanding comfort and the standard MultiFlex sliding rear seat can be moved fore or aft nearly eight inches (200 mm), providing increased passenger comfort or greater rear cargo capacity. The 60/40-split rear seatback offers additional configurations for passengers and cargo; and the rear cargo area offers 31.6 cubic feet (894 liters) of storage, as well as one of the Terrain’s four auxiliary power outlets.

Confident and agile driving experience

Two new engines are offered on all Terrain models, each with fuel-saving direct injection and variable valve timing technology. Vehicle highlights include:

  • New 3.0L DOHC direct injected V-6 engine estimated at 264 horsepower (197 kW), which delivers an estimated 25 mpg highway, 18 mpg city (EPA certification pending).
  • New 2.4L Ecotec direct injected I-4 engine estimated at 182 horsepower (136 kW) that delivers an estimated 30 mpg highway, 21 mpg city (EPA certification pending)
  • Driving range of more than 500 miles (800 km) with both engines, for less-frequent fill-ups

The powertrains are mounted on a rigid, body-integral structure, with single-piece body side stampings and targeted applications of high-strength steel. It is the foundation of a confident driving experience that is both smooth and responsive.

GM’s first application of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology is used on 2.4L-equipped models. ANC uses microphones to detect booming sounds inside the vehicle and sends counteracting sound waves through the audio system’s speakers, ensuring a quiet driving experience at almost all vehicle speeds.

The Terrain rides on a 112.5-inch (2,857 mm) wheelbase and features a four-wheel independent suspension system, with wide front and rear tracks that enhance the ride and handling. A family of 17-inch, 18-inch aluminum and 19-inch chrome-clad wheels is available.

Terrain’s rack-mounted electric power steering system provides greater fuel efficiency on four-cylinder-equipped models, saving nearly 11 miles per tank of gas.

GMC Terrain will be produced at the CAMI assembly facility in Ingersoll, Ontario.

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Ford Motor CompanyImage via Wikipedia

  • In total, Ford and Ford Credit will use $2.4 billion in cash plus 468 million shares of Ford common stock to reduce Ford’s outstanding Automotive debt by $9.9 billion from $25.8 billion at Dec. 31, 2008. This will reduce Ford’s annual cash interest expense by more than $500 million based on current interest rates
  • This successful debt restructuring, together with previously announced agreements with the United Auto Workers, will substantially strengthen Ford’s balance sheet
  • Approximately $4.3 billion principal amount of Ford Motor Company’s 4.25% Senior Convertible Notes due December 15, 2036 were validly tendered and accepted for purchase pursuant to Ford’s conversion offer. Ford will use $344 million to pay a cash premium to convertible note holders who validly tendered
  • Ford Motor Credit Company today separately announced the final results of its previously announced $1.3 billion cash tender offer for Ford’s unsecured, non-convertible debt securities. Based on the tenders received, Ford Credit will use $1.1 billion in cash to purchase $3.4 billion principal amount of Ford’s unsecured notes
  • As previously announced, Ford Credit used $1 billion to purchase $2.2 billion principal amount of Ford’s term loan debt at a price of 47 percent of par.
DEARBORN, Mich., April 6, 2009 – Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) announced today the successful completion of debt restructuring initiatives that will reduce Ford’s Automotive debt by $9.9 billion from $25.8 billion at December 31, 2008, and lower Ford’s annual cash interest expense by more than $500 million based on current interest rates.
“By substantially reducing our debt, Ford is taking another step toward creating an exciting, viable enterprise,” said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. “As with our recent agreements with the UAW, Ford continues to lead the industry in taking the decisive actions necessary to weather the current downturn and deliver long-term profitable growth.”
Previously Announced Debt Restructuring Initiatives
On March 4, 2009, Ford and Ford Credit announced the major components of a comprehensive debt restructuring: (1) a conversion offer in which Ford offered to pay a premium in cash to induce the holders of any and all of the $4.88 billion principal amount outstanding of its 4.25% Senior Convertible Notes due December 15, 2036 (the “Convertible Notes”) to convert the Convertible Notes into shares of Ford’s common stock (the “Conversion Offer”); (2) a $500 million cash tender offer by Ford Credit (the “Term Loan Offer”) for Ford’s senior secured term loan debt (the “Term Loan Debt”); and (3) a $1.3 billion cash tender offer (the “Notes Tender Offer”) by Ford Credit for certain of Ford’s unsecured, non-convertible debt securities (the “Notes”).
Results of Conversion Offer
The Conversion Offer expired at 9:00 a.m., New York City time, on April 3, 2009 (the “Expiration Date”). As of the Expiration Date, approximately $4.3 billion principal amount of Convertible Notes were validly tendered and accepted for purchase, according to information provided by Computershare, Inc., the Exchange Agent with respect to the Conversion Offer. This will result in the issuance of an aggregate of approximately 468 million shares of Ford’s common stock and the payment of an aggregate of $344 million in cash ($80 in cash per $1,000 principal amount of Convertible Notes converted), plus the applicable accrued and unpaid interest on such Convertible Notes, on the expected settlement date of April 8, 2009. Upon settlement of the Conversion Offer, approximately $579 million aggregate principal amount of Convertible Notes will remain outstanding.
Holders who validly tendered and did not withdraw their Convertible Notes by 9:00 a.m., New York City time, on the Expiration Date and whose Convertible Notes were accepted for purchase will receive, for each $1,000 principal amount of the Convertible Notes converted, 108.6957 shares of Ford’s common stock plus $80 in cash and the applicable accrued and unpaid interest.
Previously Announced Results of Term Loan Offer
On March 23, 2009, Ford Credit announced that the Term Loan Offer, which expired at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on March 19, 2009, had been over-subscribed. Based on the tenders received, Ford Credit increased the amount of cash used from $500 million to $1 billion to purchase $2.2 billion principal amount of Ford’s Term Loan Debt at a price of 47 percent of par. This transaction settled on March 27, 2009, following which Ford Credit distributed the Term Loan Debt to its immediate parent, Ford Holdings LLC. The distribution of the Term Loan Debt is consistent with Ford Credit’s previously announced plans to pay distributions to Ford of about $2 billion through 2010.
Approximately $4.6 billion aggregate principal amount of Term Loan Debt remains outstanding.
Results of Notes Tender Offer
Concurrent with this announcement, Ford Credit separately announced today by press release the results of its previously announced $1.3 billion cash tender offer for Ford’s unsecured, non-convertible debt securities. As of the April 3, 2009 expiration date of the Notes Tender Offer, approximately $3.4 billion principal amount of Notes were validly tendered and accepted for purchase, according to information provided by Global Bondholder Services Corporation, the Depositary and Information Agent with respect to the Notes Tender Offer. This will result in an aggregate purchase price for the Notes of approximately $1.1 billion, to be paid by Ford Credit on the expected settlement date of April 8, 2009. Upon settlement of the Notes Tender Offer, such Notes will be transferred from Ford Credit to Ford in satisfaction of certain of Ford Credit’s tax liabilities to Ford. After settlement of the Notes Tender Offer, approximately $5.5 billion aggregate principal amount of the Notes will remain outstanding.
In addition, as Ford previously announced, it has elected to defer future interest payments related to the 6.50% Cumulative Convertible Trust Preferred Securities of Ford Motor Company Capital Trust II (the “Trust Preferred Securities”), which will result in the deferral of $184 million in interest on the Trust Preferred Securities annually.
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ford Mustang Facts: 1983 to 1993

Ford Motor Co.Image via Wikipedia
  • By 1983, the Mustang convertible was back. And so was the “Boss,” as Ford’s pony car steadily returned to its roots as a performance vehicle, following the gas crisis and tighter emissions standards that influenced the Mustangs of the 70s.
  • In 1984, Ford’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) team created the Mustang SVO. It sported a front fascia with fog lamps, functional hood scoop and a unique dual-wing rear spoiler. A turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine produced 175 horsepower.
  • Also in 1984, a special V-8 powered Mustang GT was created to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Mustang. It was a special limited edition done in Oxford White with a Canyon Red interior.
  • In 1985, Mustang received a 5.0-liter high output V-8 that made 210 horsepower when mated to a manual transmission. New Quadra-Shock rear suspension provided better acceleration and reduced wheel hop on fast takeoffs.
  • Mustang’s V-8 traded its carburetor for sequential multi-port fuel injection in 1986.
  • In 1987, the Mustang was restyled with a new “aero-look” body. The 5.0-liter V-8 produced 225 horsepower.
  • For its 25th Anniversary, all Mustangs produced between April 17, 1989 and April 17, 1990 sported the familiar running horse on the dashboard with “25 Years” inscribed underneath.
  • In 1990, Mustang sported a driver’s-side airbag as standard equipment.
  • In 1991, entry-level Mustangs received an improved 105-horsepower, twin-plug 2.3-liter four-cylinder with distributorless ignition. All V-8 models came with new five-spoke 16 x 7-inch cast aluminum wheels.
  • The stealthy Mustang LX 5.0 developed a cult following in 1992 and outsold all other models combined. Wire-style wheel covers and whitewall tires disappeared from the options list.
  • In 1993, Ford’s new Special Vehicle Team (SVT) introduced the limited-production SVT Mustang Cobra with subtle but distinctive styling cues and performance upgrades. The low-volume 1993 Cobra R, developed to be used as a race car, sold out prior to production.
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OnStar Files its 500th Patent Application

Chevrolet Volt photographed at the Washington ...Image via Wikipedia

OnStar today announced that it recently filed for its 500th patent, a milestone that further exhibits GM's leadership in technological innovation in the telematics industry. While the patents cover a wide range of technologies and services, this particular application supports OnStar's emergency services, and highlights the company's commitment to working with public safety officials to make our nation's roadways safer.

"Innovation has been the heart and soul of OnStar since we launched services over a decade ago, and our 500th patent filing is a wonderful milestone on what has been an amazing journey," said Chet Huber, president, OnStar. "GM's commitment to technological leadership in this category, confirmed by OnStar patents still being filed at the rate of once every six days, has created a strong and necessary foundation for OnStar's continued leadership across our broad range of safety, security and peace of mind services."

Examples of OnStar's patents include technologies that help make the first maneuvers in a navigation route more accurate, aggregate data from various sources into an easy-to-comprehend e-mail that helps subscribers understand their vehicles' performance and one that helps OnStar monitor diagnostic trouble codes in the vehicle.

The technology behind the 500th patent filing seeks to utilize the OnStar system to notify first responders approaching an alternative fuel vehicle after a crash of the type of propulsion used in the vehicle. High-voltage systems and unconventional fuels are often associated with alternative propulsion vehicles and pose special challenges to first responders.

As GM continues to innovate on the advanced propulsion front with vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt and the Malibu Hybrid, this type of information can be helpful for first responders as they survey the scene of a crash and determine the best way to help those in need.

"This new technology will bring a new level of safety to our firefighters," said State of Michigan Fire Training Director Joseph Grutza. "With the wide variety of automobiles on the road today, having a system that will identify the type of propulsion system of a vehicle that has been involved in an accident will allow us to perform our duties quicker and safer."

The opportunity to invent life-saving technologies like this is one of the reasons the OnStar engineers behind this patent have chosen to work for OnStar. The two inventors named on this patent have a combined 25 years of experience and over 20 patent filings between them.

"What I value most about my job is working for an organization that fosters creativity and innovation, all with the underlying premise of helping others," said Jamie Leyerle, OnStar Systems Operations engineer.

Kevin Krause, OnStar Global Systems engineer, adds, "This patent filing reinforces our dedication to the first responder community. They are our partner, and anything we do to help them in their job ultimately helps our customers. It's very rewarding."

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