We all hate what Chevy did to the Monte Carlo following its axing after the 1988 model year. 1988 was the final year for the “Manly” Monte, if you can call a 180-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8 “Manly.” Most of its testosterone came from its throaty V-8 exhaust note and relatively edgy look, when fitted with the SS package.
In 1995, the Monte Carlo essentially came back as a two-door version of the Lumina. It was fattened to extreme proportions in 2000, as Chevy attempted to make this neutered muscle car somewhat resemble its earlier muscular years without adding any real muscle to it. Apparently, some people see these circa-2000 Monte Carlos as disposable machines, as one man decided to turn his into a V-6-powered missile, then launching it into General Motors’ headquarters, also known as the Renaissance Center for a reason unknown to us.
According to reports by witnesses, the driver, donning all black clothing, lined up the car perfectly with the revolving front door. After sitting there for a short period of time, the driver punched the gas on this flabby, 180-horsepower coupe and smashed into the revolving front door. GM was likely pretty happy that the driver chose this car as his weapon of choice, as its 8-second 0-to-60 mph time greatly limited the damage done and the automotive giant expects the damage to be as good as new in just a day.
There is no motive yet behind the kamikaze Monte Carlo driver, but the police do have the suspect in custody and are questioning him. With the craziness that is happening these days, the possible motives are endless. We’ll let you know why exactly this man chose to plow his beloved Chevy into GM’s headquarters once we learn the motive.
Back in 2007, Buick unveiled a cool Riviera Concept which many thought would move on to production form. Nothing has been heard about this concept since then, but on May 3rd General Motors filed a trademark for a Riviera name, citing it for use on automobiles. Although they did not say it would be used for a Buick model, the previous concept makes us consider this as an option.
In fact, last year, it was rumored that GM wanted to produce a sporty coupe, possibly based on the rear-wheel drive Alpha platform. Then, at the 2012 New York Auto Show, the company announced it was considering bringing the Riviera name back, but in a rear-wheel drive form. The concept unveiled back in 2007 was a sporty coupe built on an Epsilon front-wheel drive platform.
So, the Riviera name may be used either for either a production version of the concept which would arrive sometime in 2015, or a new Riviera concept. We’re hoping for the first scenario!
A beat-up, burnt Porsche 996 is a sight for sore eyes. To put it plainly, the finest in German engineering doesn’t deserve to be treated like this by an engine fire that rendered it virtually catatonic.
Fortunately, LS1tech forum member "1dirtyZ" has come to save this particular 996 from the jaws of a junk shop incinerator. Taking the completely destroyed 996, 1dirtyZ bought the Porsche sports car to give it a complete make-over, one that specifically involved changing the powertrain and putting in a General Motors LS1 V8 engine to replace the 996’s old 3.6-liter H6 engine that produced 316 horsepower. With the LS1 V8 engine, the Porsche 996 is looking at a new output of around 345 horsepower and 350 lb/ft of torque.
The project is far from a finished product - as you can see, there’s still plenty of work left to be done - but from the looks of things, it should be done sooner than later. In the meantime, there are a couple of videos you can watch of the GM-powered Porsche 996 - how often do you hear that? - hitting the road for some test runs after the jump.
Aspiring presidential candidates are already busy gearing up for the 2012 elections with hopes of becoming the most powerful man in the U.S. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it, and luckily they have a presidential limo that can withstand the job.
At first glance, the Cadillac One just looks like a modified Cadillac DTS, but General Motors did not actually assign the presidential state car a specific model name. This may be due to the fact that it carries many different components from many different GM models, including Cadillac Escalade headlights, side mirrors, and door handles; Cadillac STS sedan taillights and back up lights; and what looks to be the GMC Topkick commercial truck’s chassis and driveline. GM went through a lot of trouble building the perfect presidential vehicle, but what happens to the car after the base build is what makes it capable of keeping our president utterly and unbelievably safe.
For starters, the car’s chassis has a 5" reinforced steel plate that runs underneath the car in case a bomb finds its way there. Then the entire bodywork is a combination of dual hardness steel, aluminum, titanium, and ceramic which breaks up projectiles upon impact. The doors and gas tank are armour plated, but the gas tank also receives a specially designed foam that prevents it from exploding. The tires are Kevlar reinforced and are shred and puncture resistant. If anyone successfully tears them apart, the steel rims underneath the tires will allow them to get the Cadillac One to safety.
The Cadillac One also has a number of accessories that enable it to solve problems quicker than they come around, including night vision cameras, pump action shotguns, tear gas cannons, and blood. Yes, that’s right. The Cadillac One is equipped with bottles of the president’s blood just in case he gets hurt and needs a blood transfusion. Take that, suckers!
Check back with us soon to find more interesting tidbits as part of our Car Infographics series.
Toyota got a lot of crap last year for the millions of vehicles that were recalled due to problems with unintended acceleration, but where would the company fall in a list of the top automotive recalls? Our next piece in the Car Infographics series answers that very question with the largest recalls in our automotive history.
It happens more often than we would like, but recalls are just a part of the automotive business that we all have to become accustomed to. After all, these machines are man-made and as we all know, people can very easily make mistakes. So who tops the list?
Let’s step back to Toyota for a moment. In 2010, the company had to recall 5.3 million vehicles due to reports of the driver side floor mats getting wedged underneath the gas pedal, causing unintended acceleration. Models involved in this recall included the likes of the Camry and Prius, as well as other models ranging from 2004-2010. 5.3 million is a large number, but Toyota only captures the #4 spot.
And here we thought that recalls were left behind in 2010. How silly of us. 2011 is barely a month old and we already have our first recall of the year.
Taking in the honor is General Motors who is recalling 26,751 SUVs and trucks from its 2011 model line-up. According to GM, the problem concerns a defect in the rear-axle cross pins, which were not heated properly and, as a result, could fracture and get displaced within the rear axle, creating an interference condition and, eventually, causing the rear axle to lock. This, in turn, could affect the driver’s ability to maintain directional control of the vehicle and a crash could occur without warning.
As is the case with all recalls, General Motors has instructed their dealerships to install a new rear axle cross pin to any affected vehicle at no cost to the owner. As expected, GM’s dealers will install a new rear axle cross pin free of charge, with the safety recall to begin before the end of the month.
Who can say they don’t listen to music while they’re driving? If you raised your hand as if we could see you, then there is no need for you to read on. But if you love the sound of your favorite tunes coming out of the car’s stereo like we do, then, thanks to Matt Kirsch, we have some songs to test out those speakers.
Kirsh, a former General Motors audio engineer has published a list of songs that tests the capabilities of your stereo. And no, they are not sings that will bust your eardrums. It should be interesting to see how many think of their systems after going through this ten song list.
The list is varied between every sort of genre and artist and should give those tweeters, subwoofers, and mid-range units a real test. If you don’t want to search for all those songs, Kirsh has put them for download on iTunes.
With North America taken care of, General Motors is turning its attention to the European market, where the company is struggling with high operating costs with its Opel and Chevrolet brand.
The European vehicle lineup is a bit different when compared to the one in America. Where as its American lineup was outdated and uncompetitive a few years ago, the European products are just fine. The Opel Insignia was 2009’s European Car of the Year and the Astra was third in 2010.
Instead of product failures, it’s the high operating costs and mediocre sales that are hurting the company. On top of that, GM’s increased emphasis on importing cars from Korea has lowered production costs.
GM of Europe has seen its market share in Germany plummet to 8 percent during the first quarter of 2010. On the plus side, an increased demand for Chevrolet in the United Kingdom has seen the company’s European market share climb by 0.6 percent.
During the second quarter, GM did manage to reduce losses, but it was at a terrible cost. There were massive job cuts - around 8,000 people - and the closure of a plant in Belgium. Many believe this, and GM’s overall downturn, has hurt the brand’s image. GM even tried to sell Opel, but they changed their minds.
Detroit automaker, General Motors, and Chinese company, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), started working together a few years ago when GM began building a $250 million facility in China to develop alternative fuels. This loose partnership filled with many projects has provided GM with a lot of monetary benefits throughout these past few years and it seems the benefits will keep on rolling on as these two companies have started another project together. Their newest venture will be the co-developing of a few small engines and advanced transmissions.
The engines will range from 1.0 to 1.5-liter and they will use direct injection and turbocharging technology. They hope that these motors will produce decent power while returning great fuel economy. They will be used in front-wheel drive cars and will be connected to a dry dual-clutch automatic transmission that the two will also be working on.
The products will be developed here in the United States in Michigan and at the joint venture Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center in Shanghai. After development, the engines and transmission will be used in cars throughout the world.
"The GM-SAIC partnership is the most successful one in China’s auto industry. There is a big chance that SAIC may take a stake in GM and bring their relationship to the next level," said Sheng Ye, associate research director at industry consultancy Ipsos’ Greater China region to Rueters.
Live up north and want to turn your car on to warm it up before you get in? Live down south and want to get in your car when it has reached a comfortable cooling temperature? Well, OnStar, together with GM, have made this possible by the expansion of their mobile app technology.
Owners of most new 2011 Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC vehicles will have the ability to turn on their car, honk their horns, work their lights, and lock and unlock their doors straight from their smartphone. Gone will be the days when car owners will have to be within a certain distance or even have their keys with them to utilize the capabilities of a traditional vehicle key fob.
These GM brand specific apps will not only provide these vehicle key fob services to you, but they will also provide key diagnostic information right at your fingertips. This information will include fuel tank level and range, remaining oil life, current and recommended tire pressure, and lifetime average miles per gallon. Not satisfied yet? The apps will also be able to provide car owners with current odometer readings, vehicle VINs, and OnStar account numbers right from the phone!
A little scary? Absolutely. Kind of cool? Absolutely. What do you guys think? Leave your comments down below.