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What Does the Future Hold For GM Trucks? Will the Company Be Able to Compete With Tesla and Rivian?

What Does the Future Hold For GM Trucks? Will the Company Be Able to Compete With Tesla and Rivian?

Hazy statements from Mary Barra affect the credibility of the whole company

We are a little befuddled listening to what Mary Barra had to say about GM producing an all-electric truck. Who’s Mary Barra? Well, she is the CEO of General Motors and. when asked about doing an electric pickup truck to compete with Tesla’s upcoming pickup, she did not have any answer and just commented, ‘stay tuned.’ Stay tuned to watch GM go down?

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GM Has a Compact, Unibody Pickup in the Works and We're Worried

GM Has a Compact, Unibody Pickup in the Works and We’re Worried

It may never arrive Stateside

The Chevrolet Montana is getting replaced by a bigger, more practical compact truck that will sit on the Global Emerging Markets (GEM) platform and also share elements with the next-generation Tracker. It will be a direct competitor to the Fiat Toro and the Renault Duster Oroch in South America, but we may never see it sold in the United States.

There seems to be growing interest in compact, crossover-based, trucks, at least in Latin America where the Montana has been on sale since 2003. Its, as-of-yet unnamed, replacement will be on sale by 2020 and will follow suit on a trend kick-started by Renault and Fiat, among others. Both now offer four-door pick-up trucks and Chevrolet’s new unibody offering will boast the same number of doors. Is this a niche worth exploiting on the North-American market? We don’t know, and it’s also unlikely for GM to sell a GEM-based car here.

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New Autonomous Vehicle Rules On the Way

New Autonomous Vehicle Rules On the Way

Legislation facilitating use of autonomous cars could be on the way

Autonomous vehicles might be exempt in the future from some of the safety standards put in place by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) if changes that accommodate this new type of road vehicle sees the light of day.

Automotive giants such as GM have called for legislative changes that would allow "the full deployment of self-driving vehicles" which, at the moment, have to be equipped with a steering wheel, pedals, and mirrors, although autonomous cars don’t have a driver.

As such, The NHTSA "intends to reconsider the necessity and appropriateness of its current safety standards" as applied to automated vehicles, the U.S. Department of Transportation said in an 80-page update of its principles dubbed "Automated Vehicles 3.0."

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GM's First Self-Driving Vehicle Could Carry the Name AV1

GM’s First Self-Driving Vehicle Could Carry the Name AV1

A blast from the past lends its name to the future

It’s no secret General Motors is working hard to create its own fully autonomous vehicle, and now, it looks as though the domestic auto-making behemoth could be gearing up for a big reveal before we know it.

Continue reading for the full story.

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General Motors Files For "Chevrolet Code" And "ZH2" Trademarks

General Motors Files For "Chevrolet Code" And "ZH2" Trademarks

Could the 2012 Chevrolet Code 130R Concept finally get a production version?

General Motors, the parent company of Chevrolet, has filed two trademark applications for the names “Chevrolet Code” and “ZH2” in what could be a precursor for a couple of new models that will be sporting the Bowtie in the future. One of those name has a recent historical tie to Chevrolet whereas the other is, well, anyone’s guess.

Let’s start with the Chevrolet Code trademark, which GM filed on June 2, 2016 in the category of “Motor land vehicles, namely, automobiles, sport utility vehicles, trucks, engines therefor and structural parts thereof.” We have to go back four years to connect the dots here when the American automaker presented the Chevrolet Code 130R Concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. Back then, the Code 130R Concept was thought to be a preview for a compact, four-seater coupe and was presented with a red metallic paint finish, a new set of 20-inch matte anodized gold wheels, and a tech-heavy interior that featured Wifi, smart phone integration via Chevrolet’s MyLink system, and a heads-up display. Most importantly, it also came with a 1.4-liter EcoTec turbocharged engine that produces 150 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, all while mated to a standard six-speed automatic transmission.

Since its debut, the Code 130R Concept has been tucked away, out of sight and out of mind. Neither GM nor Chevy commented on the decision to trademark the Chevrolet Code name, but don’t be surprised if the concept is revisited with an eye towards finally building a production model.

Then there’s the ZH2 trademark. This is the real mystery of the two applications because the name itself has never been attached to a particular brand or model. That said, the nomenclature is familiar given that Chevrolet has used other versions of it in the past, specifically the ZR1 on the Chevrolet Corvette and the ZL1 on the Chevrolet Camaro. It’s likely that the ZH2 will be used similarly, but the question is, which model is going to use it? That, and could the “H” in ZH2 stand for “hybrid?”

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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GM Announces Big Investment for New Mystery Model

GM Announces Big Investment for New Mystery Model

Okay, General Motors is up to something, but it’s not telling us. The only bit of information it let out of the bag is that it’s investing a huge sum of money into its Orion plant in Michigan to help with the launch of an “all-new vehicle.”

How much money exactly? A grand total of $300 million, which works toward GM’s goal of $5.4 billion by the end of 2015. This will put the company just $2.3 billion short of its goal with just over six months left to go in the year.

Other than these details, GM didn’t reveal anything else. It didn’t even give us a teaser of what it is working on at the Orion plant. We already know that GM will build the Bolt in this plant, but it has already lumped $160 million into the plant to aid in the release of this 200-plus-mile EV. So, what in the world can GM possibly be working on?

Other than the upcoming Bolt, the only other two vehicles currently in production at Orion are the 2014 Chevy Sonic and 2016 Buick Verano. Neither of these models are due for any changes soon, and GM was pretty adamant that there will not be a hot hatchback model, so that all but eliminates the Sonic on the surface.

Continue reading to see what I think GM is up to, then let us know in the comments what you think the automaker is hiding from us.

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General Motors Trademarks "GMC Granite"

General Motors Trademarks "GMC Granite"

GMC really has no idea whether it wants to build a production version of its 2010 Granite Concept. However, it just keeps on extending the trademark. In fact, it’s extended it so many times that it just recently had to file for the trademark all over again.

After using up all five of its six-month extensions for the Granite trademark, General Motors had to reset the entire process and refile on May 26th, 2015. This constant renewing of the trademark means that this name must have some value to the brand, but the it remains unclear what the automaker plans to do with it.

For those who missed it, the Granite Concept was a C-segment crossover with suicide doors, a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that likely produced around 150 horsepower, and a high-tech cabin filled with all sorts of gadgets to keep your average tech nerd plugged in.

Why GMC never actually produced this Fiat 500X, Jeep Renegade, and Mini Countryman competitor is likely because the market wasn’t quite ready for an SUV this size. Now with these small SUVs sprouting like weeds in late spring, GMC is likely ready to pull the production trigger.

Now, don’t look for the suicide doors, the futuristic cabin, and all the gadgetry. Instead, look for a clean, compact people hauler with more traditional looks than its main competitors and slightly more off-road capabilities.

Continue reading for the full story.

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GM Plans No Direct Competitor For The Ford F-150 Raptor

GM Plans No Direct Competitor For The Ford F-150 Raptor

Take it for what it’s worth, but GM executive vice president of global product development, Mark Reuss says the automaker has no plans on developing a full-size competitor to the upcoming, second-generation Ford Raptor. That word comes from an interview Reuss had with Edmunds about viability of the project.

Reuss is quoted saying, “We have a lot of priorities…. [and] capital is not endless. That is not one of our highest priorities in terms of spending capital right now.”

While it’s never wise to fully accept the fate of a vehicle based on such loose quotes, this does feel like sugar in the gas tank of the Raptor competitor’s possibility. It also somewhat dulls the excitement over GM’s trademarking of the “Badlands” name. Perhaps that’s a vehicle GM showrooms will never see. It could, however, be that rumored Jeep Wrangler-fighter from GMC.

With the bad news (sort of) confirmed, speculation can turn to the smaller, yet likely just as capable, Colorado ZR2 concept. The highly modified truck made its debut at 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show and wowed audiences with its remote reservoir shocks, meaty tires, four-inch suspension lift and four-inch stretched width. The concept even boasted a built-in winch behind the front bumper.

Of course, the Colorado ZR2’s fate is still undetermined as it still has the “concept” term stuck on its name.

With all the off-road rumors swirling around The General these days, it’s hard to give up on either idea of a GMC Badlands or the Colorado ZR2. Let’s just hope Reuss has something up his sleeve on this one.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford F-150 Raptor.

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More General Motors Trademarks: "Scottsdale" And "Silverado Big Sky"

More General Motors Trademarks: "Scottsdale" And "Silverado Big Sky"

The trademark filings continue for General Motors, this time with a new name and the return of an old favorite. Filed on February 9th and 12th respectively, the Silverado Big Sky and Scottsdale names seem very likely candidates for near-future trim levels or special editions in the GM truck lineup. In fact, it doesn’t take much imagination or guess work to figure out that both names will accompany the Chevy Silverado.

The more obvious name is the Silverado Big Sky. This will likely be a subset option package group to an existing trim level, say the mid-range LT or LTZ, and bundle several popular options together for a one-click option box shopping experience. Conversely, Chevy may follow Ford’s lead and introduce a panoramic sunroof option. This is less likely, but still a possibility.

The Scottsdale on the other hand, may end up being a new trim level altogether. The Scottsdale name dates back to the third generation of the Chevy C/K-series trucks of the 1970s and 80s. Back then the Scottsdale was a mid-range trim package. It continued in that role into the C/K’s fourth generation, eventually being retired after the 1998 model year.

The argument for the Scottsdale name being a trim package is further strengthened when reading GM’s trademark filing description. It says it’s for, “Motor land vehicles, namely automobiles, sport utility vehicles, trucks, vans, engines therefore and structural parts thereof.” That’s pretty inclusive when compared to the Big Sky’s description of, “Motor land vehicles, namely, trucks.”

Perhaps Chevrolet will compete with Ram’s Express trim level by putting the Scottsdale trim level between the WT and LS options. The trim level could spill over to the Colorado, Tahoe, and Suburban as well.

Click ’Continue Reading’ to learn more about General Motor’s new trademarks.

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General Motors Trademarks "Badlands" Moniker

General Motors Trademarks "Badlands" Moniker

General Motors has filed for a trademark on yet another truck name, this one just as promising as the Z71 Trail Boss name that came before it. This time, it’s “Badlands.” While the name conjures up thoughts of blasting over sand dunes and through deep streams, there is still no clue what GM might use the name for, or even at all.

The fine folks at GM Authority spotted the February 16th filing with he U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The official paperwork leaves a slew of questions unanswered, with the description only stating, “Motor land vehicle, namely, trucks.” Could this be the Raptor fighter we’ve all been waiting on? Could it be a mere concept? Only time will tell. Until then, we’re left to speculate.

Perhaps one of the more tantalizing uses of the Badlands name is that Jeep Wrangler fighter GMC is rumored to be building. Said to be taking inspiration from the defunct Hummer brand, the off-road-ready GMC would bring some long-overdue competition to the Jeep. Like the Badlands name, there is no official word or even solid rumors as to what the General has planned.

Conversely, the Badlands name could end up being just another special edition package on one of GM’s many trucks. Let’s just hope for the former. In the mean time, stay tuned for any further developments.

Click ’Continue Reading’ to learn more about GM’s new "Badlands" moniker.

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GM Trademarks "Z71 Trail Boss" Nomenclature

GM Trademarks "Z71 Trail Boss" Nomenclature

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is oftentimes the first leak of an upcoming vehicle as automakers make names and terms officially theirs. Hopefully that’s the case with General Motors’ latest USPTO filing of the name “Z71 Trail Boss.” While it could just be a concept vehicle, the Z71 Trail Boss could be GM’s long-awaited answer to the Ford Raptor, Ram Power Wagon, or even Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

The filing does not go into detail, but it does say the name is designated for “passenger vehicles, namely, light duty pickup trucks.” Now the term “light duty pickups” technically includes both the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and its smaller brother, the Colorado, so anything is possible. But let’s look at what’s probable.

Z71 is a term only used by Chevrolet these days, with GMC using the All Terrain nomenclature; so forget anything with the Sierra or Canyon. Also considering Chevrolet has already showcased the Colorado ZR2 concept at the LA Auto Show, it’s likely the Trail Boss name will be slated for the Silverado. After all, the ZR2 name already has credibility from its time with the Chevy S-10 and Blazer.

So what can we expect from the Z71 Trail Boss? As much as I’d love to say the truck should outclass the F-150 Raptor with longer suspension travel, stronger skidplating, and a more powerful engine, I’d be wrong. I suspect the Silverado Z71 Trail Boss will be more in line with the new 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel.

I’m betting the truck will receive a slightly more aggressive suspension package over the standard Z71 package, along with a mild styling update. Perhaps it will come with a built-in winch like the Colorado ZR2 concept and the Ram Power Wagon. It will likely come with electronic locking differentials fore and aft like the ZR2 concept, as well as a taller ride height by an inch or two. Things under the hood will undoubtedly remain stock, with GM using the standard 5.3-liter V-8 or possibly the 6.2-liter V-8.

GM has certainly gotten the truck community’s attention with this Z71 Trail Boss name. Let’s just hope whatever it’s attached to earns the title.

Click past the jump to read more about GM’s new nomenclature.

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GM Trademarks "Nightfall Edition" Package For Pickup Trucks

GM Trademarks "Nightfall Edition" Package For Pickup Trucks

General Motors plans to introduce a special-edition pickup truck wearing the "Nighfall Edition" badge in 2015, according to a trademark the manufacturer filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office earlier this month. AutoGuide reports the package will include "a black exterior, black grille, black five-inch assist steps, 18-inch aluminum wheels, polished exhaust tips, [a] spray-in bedliner, [a] remote start system and automatic climate control." Assist steps and bedliner? That’s a truck alright!

While this may be excellent news for truck enthusiasts, the filing does not specify which nameplate will receive the special package. Although anything is possible without official confirmation, we have a hunch the Nightfall Edition bundle is reserved for the special edition version of the GMC Canyon that’s scheduled to break cover at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show in January. The manufacturer has yet to unveil any details surrounding this truck, but it’s about time GM’s midsize truck gets a special production version after showcasing several concepts at the 2014 SEMA Show.

There’s also the possibility the Nightfall Edition goes to the Chevrolet Colorado, but the blacked-out exterior and the black-and-chrome body parts are more of a GMC thing. Either way, we’ll find out soon enough as the 2015 Detroit Auto Show is only three weeks away.

Click past the jump to read more about GM’s new ’Nightfall Edition’ Package.

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GM Considers Ford Raptor Competitor

GM Considers Ford Raptor Competitor

It appears General Motors may be considering a Ford Raptor competitor in the near future, though not with the Silverado or Sierra. Reports from GM Authority suggest The General will use the upcoming midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon as the truck of choice.

It seems GM has chosen the smaller trucks mostly due to their compact size and lighter weight, giving them more agility and potentially better handling. Along with being more agile, the smaller trucks will fit into tighter trails, like the famous Rubicon Trail in California — a trail the Raptor is simply too large to navigate.

There are really no solid details to go on, so speculation will have to suffice. It’s likely the new Raptor fighter will come with the largest engine offering, meaning the 3.6-liter V-6. Perhaps GM will allow the 2.8-liter turbo-diesel to power the off-roader as well. Beefy springs and shocks will be a must, along with larger off-road tires. Expect to see the Eaton G80 locking rear differential come standard along with a high-capacity cooling system for the engine and transmission. Generous underbody skid plating will also come included.

As far as naming the new GM truck, we could see a revival of the ZR2 nomenclature last used in regular production on the long-dead Chevy S-10. The name had a recent comeback on a Chevrolet Silverado concept truck back in 2011, but never gained any traction. We already know GM was pondering a “ZR2 package” back when the new Colorado/Canyon twins were revealed in 2013, so the likelihood is rather high the ZR2 will happen. Whether it’s a true Raptor fighter has yet to be seen. Stay tuned for further details.

Note: Chevrolet Colorado Rally Concept pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about GM’s future Ford Raptor competitor.

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2012 LA Auto Show Design Challenge Competitors Announced

2012 LA Auto Show Design Challenge Competitors Announced

Back in September, Los Angeles Auto Show organizers announced the theme for this year’s Design Challenge contest: contenders needed to design a law enforcement car for the year 2025. Today, they have finally announced the six competitors coming from BMW, General Motors, Honda (two entries), Mercedes-Benz and Subaru.

BMW’s entry will be the E-Patrol (Human-Drone Pursuit Vehicle), which is a concept built on a modular structure with three different drones. In the case of a pursuit in heavy traffic, the patrol officer can deploy either the flying drone or one of the single-wheel drones to chase the suspect and report back to the officer.

General Motors entered the contest with a Volt Squad — a three-vehicle fleet designed around the concept of observe, pursue and engage. Honda has two entries for 2012: the CHP Drone Squad, a vehicle-based-system for 2025, which is designed to work efficiently and seamlessly in the harsh environment of California highways. Honda’s second entry is the "CHiPs" 2025 Traffic Crawler, a vehicle that has the ability to adjust to changes in the traffic environment.

Mercedes is entering the contest with Ener-G-Force, a vehicle based on the G-Class and designed as an environmentally friendly SUV. And finally Subaru’s entry is the SHARC (Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept) highway patrol vehicles. They are capable of providing an innovative, affordable and environmentally conscious solution for 24-hour highway monitoring, protection and rapid emergency response.

The winner of the contest will be announced on November 25.

Click past the jump to read the press release on each vehicle.

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Tech Jargon: QNX CAR 2 is Secretly Revolutionizing the Automotive Technology World

Tech Jargon: QNX CAR 2 is Secretly Revolutionizing the Automotive Technology World

So you may have never heard of QNX, but you likely interface with it on a daily basis, given you have a car with a computer-based infotainment system (Toyota Entune, BMW ConnectedDrive, GM’s OnStar, etc.). QNX is essentially to a car what Windows is to a PC – it allows the software and hardware to do their delicate exchange of ones and zeros to turn them into what you see on the screen.

QNX is actually in development of its second-generation operating system, which it has dubbed QNX CAR 2. This may sound like just another small and meaningless software changeover, but CAR 2 will include something that may revolutionize automotive infotainment systems – an HTML 5-based interface.

As it sits now, QNX builds the OS, but the manufacturer works the front end of its software in its own way, leaving the customer out of the equation. The HTML 5 interface will allow the manufacturer to set up the basic functions of the infotainment systems, but ultimately allow you to customize it as you see fit.

Additionally, the usage of HTML 5 will also help lower the gap between consumer electronics and automotive electronics, which currently have a 7- to 10-year gap between product cycles. Heck, your laptop is obsolete before you ever walk out of the store, yet some cars run the same cruddy infotainment systems they did in 2005.

Another huge relief that HTML 5 would bring to the automotive world would be the development of apps. As it stands now, cars are much like the iPhone – you have to buy licensed apps from the app store, which cost loads of money over time. With the introduction of HTML 5, you get the option of more open-source apps, like you do with an Android-based smartphone or tablet. No, we’re not trying to start a Mac vs. Android war; we’re just stating the obvious.

In turn, all of this should – theoretically – make bringing more advanced infotainment systems to the consumer at a lower price.

QNX expects to see CAR 2 start being used sometime in 2013 or 2014. We’ll keep an eye on this and bring you more information as it becomes available.

Check out the above video to see QNX CAR 2 in action, it’s pretty awesome.

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GM Trademarks Riviera Name

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!

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GM's future plans revealed

GM’s future plans revealed

The automobile industry is going through a tough on a global scale, and thing have gotten especially bad here at home, severe enough that the U.S. Government has stepped in to offer incentives to new car buyers to trade in their worthless clunkers. Both Chrysler and General Motors have gone through bankruptcy hearings and are undergoing major restructurings, at the moment it looks like Ford is standing at the top of the hill. Despite the poor outlook, the General has plans for a very bright future and they involve a few changes in the Cadillac lineup.

First of all there will be a production version of the Cadillac CTS Coupe, it will first make a debut as a concept in February and go into production in May, the road going model will then be followed up with a factory tuned high performance V-Series version a few months later. The CTS Coupe will be powered by a gasoline direct injected V6 that will deliver 270 HP. The big boy CTS-V on the other hand, will be powered by a 556 HP 6.2 Liter supercharged V8, the same engine that is found in the sedan.

Cadillac is also preparing a new concept car called ATS, the production version of the ATS will be available in both sedan and coupe body styles and is the General’s answer to the entry level luxury category dominating BMW 3-Series. While the larger Cadillac DTS is set to be replaced by a new model that is much sleeker, currently known as the Cadillac XTS, a model to be placed on top the Buick LaCrosse.

The more mundane next generation Chevrolet Malibu will go into production in 2012, while an all-new midsize model from Buick is scheduled to go into production in the next 24 months.

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GM's next models will save the company?

GM’s next models will save the company?

General Motors, like any other auto maker, has real big problems. As a result they cut thousands of jobs, reducing salaries. But they put big hopes in the future seven models.

The seven new models include a new Cadillac CTS Coupe (expected summer ’09), a CTS sport wagon coming in the spring, a Cadillac SRX due in the first half of next year, Buick’s Invicta next spring, Saab’s new 9-4X crossover due in fall ’09, Chevy’s redesigned Equinox coming in May, and the small Chevrolet Cruze.

The most important one to GM’s future may be the Chevrolet Cruze. This compact brings greater fuel efficiency and provides the basis for what GM hopes is a true "world car".

The trio of Caddy’s are important because the brand has been lagging the last two years due to competition and lack of new models. Cadillac is one area where GM can leverage the brand to sell models at a higher price point with greater margins, increasingly important with the slowdown in truck and SUV sales.

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New Chevrolet compact car coming next year

New Chevrolet compact car coming next year

GM announced the company will unveil a new Chevrolet compact car at an auto show this fall with production to begin early next year.

The future will be built on Delta compact car architecture at GM’s plant in Lordstown, Ohio. Under the hood there will be a new 1.4-liter global engine that develops between 120 and 140 hp. Sources say mileage could easily exceed 40 mpg.

The new engine will be shared among five nameplates: Chevrolet, Pontiac, Saturn, Opel and Daewoo, sources say. That means the Lordstown plant could build cars for export. The engine continues the trend that GM started with such cars as the Pontiac Solstice GXP and Saturn Sky Red Line.

GM also announced it will keep building the Chevrolet Cobalt through June 2010 as a 2009 model. Also, the Chevrolet minicar, the Beat, will come to the United States.

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