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General Motors Wants Carbon-Fiber Wheels For Its Performance Cars

General Motors Wants Carbon-Fiber Wheels For Its Performance Cars

Likely to offered as optional equipment for the Camaro Z/28, Corvette Z06, and Cadillac V-Series models

General Motors is planning to develop its own carbon-fiber wheels as optional equipment for its performance-oriented cars. That’s the word from Autoblog, which found out about the company’s plans from William Rodgers, the man in charge of GM’s research and development of light polymer systems. There’s no timetable as to when the new carbon-fiber wheels will hit the market, but it shouldn’t take too long given that Ford is already offering carbon rollers for the Mustang Shelby GT350R and the upcoming GT supercar.

General Motors will reportedly work with Carbon Revolution as its supplier. The Australian company produces the world’s only one-piece carbon fiber wheel and provides carbon-fiber rollers to Ford Motor Company. Rodgers confirmed that Cadillac’s V-Series models, including the CTS and ATS, would be candidates for the new technology, but range-topping versions of the Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette — the Z/28 and Z06, respectively, are also expected to get similar options.

According to Rodgers, GM is already testing carbon-fiber wheels for wear-and-tear and examining repair costs. The company expects the new wheels to save about 35 pounds per vehicle and enhance driving dynamics due to their stiffer structure and lower unsprung and rotational mass.

General Motors will become the second automaker to offer carbon-fiber wheels on a mass-produced car after Ford. Carbon rims were first introduced by Koenigisegg in 2005. The wheels were offered as optional equipment for the CCX supercar and have since them been available in the aftermarket from various shops.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Video: Jay Leno Reviews 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Yenko Stinger

Video: Jay Leno Reviews 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Yenko Stinger

Jay Leno may have cast from from show business for a second time, but he certainly hasn’t given up his passion for cars. In his latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, he features his own 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Yenko Stinger while he interviews its previous owner who completely restored the car to its previous glory.

The story behind the Yenko Corvair is quite an interesting one. Don Yenko — the legendary aftermarket performance builder and who Leno equates to Chevy’s version of Carol Shelby — specially ordered 100 Corvairs from General Motors. Yenko set out to create a road racer from the rear-engine car. The Corvairs were modified with optional equipment categorized in stages one through four.

Jay’s Stage II Stinger produces 190 horsepower — up from 110 horses produced by the standard Corvair’s engine. That power comes from a rear-mounted, quad-carbureted, 164-cubic-inch (2.6-liter) flat-six mated to a manual transmission that spins the rear wheels. Speaking of wheels, Jay’s Corvair rolls on 15-inch steel rims verses the original 13-inch “wheelbarrow” wheels. The only other modification done after Yenko’s work was an aftermarket air breather added to the engine to keep oil from spewing from the crank vent.

On the road, the Yenko handles well. Its non-power steering and non-power brakes make for an authentic experience, although stopping requires a heavy foot. The flat six’s exhaust note is certainly different from the average 1960’s-era American muscle car.

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GM Considers Toyota GT-86 Competitor

GM Considers Toyota GT-86 Competitor

Do you remember theChevrolet Code 130R Concept that was unveiled last year at the Detroit Auto Show? If you liked it, you’ll be happy to know that General Motors is considering a rear-wheel-drive sports car inspired by it.

The potential new model would target the new Toyota GT-86 sports car and its derivatives. Though it hasn’t been confirmed for production just yet, "it is on the wish list of the former Holden boss."

General Motors North America boss Mark Reuss confirmed in a recent interview that the car is on GM’s list and that indeed it will be "a great entry" for the company.

A production version of the 130R would be based on a shrunken version of Cadillac’s freshly-developed Alpha rear-wheel drive platform. Reuss did not provide any other details on this possible car, but did confirm they will try to keep it as cheap as possible.

A final decision on such a car will be made in the upcoming months, so stay to see if such a car will really happen!

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GM Trademarks Riviera Name

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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Porsche 996 gets an LS1 V8 engine transplant

Porsche 996 gets an LS1 V8 engine transplant

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.

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