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GM investigates recent leaked images of Super Corvette

According to a Detroit News article this morning, GM is investigating the images of a Corvette Supercar were leaked to the internet this week.

GM believes the photos were snapped in Romulus by an employee of a transport company that was in the process of shipping the vehicle. Earlier internet reports stated that employee was identified and arrested, but those charges have not been confirmed.

As this vehicle gets closer to production, more opportunities arise for spy photographers to catch a glimpse. GM is getting better at keeping things a secret.

Click HERE for the Detroit News Article

Are these Corvette SS pictures real?

You be the judge. These images of a red Corvette SS test mule showed up on Jalopnik.com this week.

Being the previous images of that silver car were found out to be faked, will these prove to the be real deal?

What GM learned from the GTO flop

Excellent article here. This touches on much of what the automotive community already knew, but it is good to hear it out of the mouth of the General themselves!

Source: Autoweek.com

CHICAGO - The 2008 Pontiac G8 is General Motors' second recent attempt to sell an Australian-assembled car in the United States.

The first, the 2004-06 Pontiac GTO, failed to reach sales expectations and was dropped. The coupe was based on the Holden Monaro.

During an interview this month at the Chicago Auto Show, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said the automaker learned three lessons from the GTO:

1. The car's styling was not fresh. That body style had been on the market in Australia "for probably close to seven or eight years. So if you are going to bring in a car, it should be at the beginning of its design cycle, not at the end."

2. "We overpriced it."

3. The wrong dealers were targeted. Initial GTO distribution was based on historic Pontiac sales, which were heavily in the Midwest. But Midwest buyers did not want a rear-drive car. Instead, California should have been targeted at the beginning. "We will not make that mistake this time."

Zeta platform can save GM $750 Million

GM plans to save up to $750 Million dollars using the new Zeta platform.

Engineered by GM Holden in Australia, the savings come from not doing things the old GM way by having a unique chassis for each region. Todays Global approach to doing business shares the platform across continents. It gives GM the flexibility it hasn't seen since the days of Fisher Body (how many of you remember that?). GM can build anything on this platform, pony cars, sedans, convertibles & even wagons.

Source: AutoInsiderNews.com

Camaro Convertible ends up missing!

It seems more than a few people who attended the recent Chicago Auto Show felt as if something was missing. After winning two awards, "Best of Show" and "Vehicle I'd Most Like to Have in My Driveway" during the show, Chevrolet had to remove the Camaro and put it on a transport truck headed for California for another commitiment before the conclusion of the Chicago show.

For those who waited until the last day of the show, they were not able to see the Camaro Convertible - hopefully everyone out there reading this blog in the Chicago area had a chance to check it out.

Muscle cars reach a new era

You've seen the Barrett-Jackson auction shows on SPEED TV. You've seen cars that once rolled off of showroom floors for $4-5,000 selling within minutes for six figure dollar amounts.

Between those high dollar cars and the recent offerings from the big three with the retro designs of the new Mustang, Challenger and Camaro there are plenty of options for people to, at least partially, relive the era of the sixites and early seventies with a classic looking car.

A recent article in the Baltimore Sun captures the current trend in car buying, old and new. Click here to see the story.

The Shrifter™ - paddle shifted manumatic

The Shrifter™ is the hottest performance invention of the new millenium! Turn your electronic automatic transmission into a paddle shifted manumatic! The Shrifter™ is a patent pending design that provides ultra quick up and downshifts without removing your hands from the steering wheel. The Shrifter™ will change gears in milliseconds--Faster than any mechanical manual or automatic floor shifter. And you can switch on the fly between manual and automatic modes.

Here is a 1968 Camaro using the system: http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2563772

See their website for additional details - www.twistmachine.com

Challenger muscle car to roar out of Brampton, Ontario

Source: Globe and Mail - GREG KEENAN

The Chrysler entrant in the North American muscle car wars will roar out of Brampton, Ont.,
DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc. announced Tuesday that the Dodge Challenger will be assembled in its Brampton plant about a year from now.
“Quickly bringing desirable new products such as the Dodge Challenger to market is critical to keeping our plants humming and our dealerships busy,” Reid Bigland, president of DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc., said in a statement.
The Challenger made its re-entry to the Chrysler world at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but it was overshadowed by the return of a rival, the Chevrolet Camaro from General Motors Corp.

Camaro Convertible is headed to Cleveland

Good morning, Camaro Comrades and Firebird Friends!

Chevrolet and the North East Ohio Camaro Club is pleased to invite you to another "Camaro/Firebird Day at the Cleveland International Auto Show" - on Saturday, March 3rd at the " I X " Center -- which is just south and next to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
You will enter the "West" Entrance at 9am -- and Chevy will host a Continental Breakfast in the Chevy Exhibit where you can get up close and personal with the STUNNING Camaro Concept Convertible..........before the public gets in that day!
Admission is a reduced rate of $7.00 per person payable at the door.....exact change is appreciated!

Also on display:

  • The Chevy Volt concept -- the car that 'shocked' the world at the North American International Auto show!
  • The new Equinox SPORT
  • The HHR Panel
  • The Silverado RALLY SPORT concept truck

AND........for our Firebird Friends ........

>The G6 GXP
>The Solstice GXP
and ...most importantly --- The G8 Concept car!

...........and of course, the entire GM lineup of cars and trucks............
We're limited to 300 people..........so we ask that you sign yourself up --(you're allowed one guest!)
When we hit 300, we must put you on 'alternate only' --
So.........don't delay!

Sign up here and don't delay!!!

Post your first and last names in this thread to sign up!

I hope to see you there!!

Scott Settlemire
aka FbodFather

Making Modern Horsepower the Old-Fashioned Way

Source: The New york Times - Don Sherman

January 14, 2007

At a Detroit auto show press conference last week, Dodge announced that for 2008 the Viper SRT10 would get a boost of 90 horsepower — to 600, from a mere 510. Some reporters in the crowd might have thought that DaimlerChrysler engineers had at last modernized the Viper’s brute-force V-10 engine with dual overhead cams and four-valve cylinder heads.

They would have been wrong.

Instead, they learned, the monstrous Viper engine would continue to breathe through two valves in each cylinder, and those valves would still be opened by pushrods, a venerable mechanism that has all but vanished from modern cars. Still, the Viper V-10 would have a full complement of technology tricks inside, like variable valve timing, which makes it possible to tune the engine for both high power and low emissions with a few computer-controlled adjustments.

High horsepower and high technology usually march in lockstep, advances in performance arriving whenever mechanical innovations permit. Fuel injection, turbochargers and four-valve-per-cylinder designs have all made it possible for automakers to deliver the power that makes drivers reach for their checkbooks, yet remain in compliance with air-quality regulations and often with little penalty in fuel economy.

After the energy squeezes of the 1970s, the future of automobiles seemed to be small — downsized cars and trucks powered by engines with fewer cylinders and smaller displacements. To compensate for the reduction in brawn, engineers set out to fine-tune the coming generations of engines. Inevitably, producing V-8 power from a four- or six-cylinder engine pushed the engineers in the direction of higher engine speeds — more revolutions per minute to extract equivalent performance on less fuel.

Of course imports from Europe and Japan, where gasoline has long been expensive, were already using overhead cam engines to extract the best performance from their small size. Moving all the mechanical parts that open and close the valves to the top of the engine — thus eliminating the pushrods — yields a stiffer valvetrain that in turn makes it possible to spin the engine faster, a key to maximum power.

Stacking the cams on top of the cylinder head also clears the way for larger, more efficient ports, the pathways that direct gases into and away from the combustion chamber. A third benefit is that operating four valves for each cylinder is impractical with pushrods but a cinch with overhead cams. Doubling the number of valves can improve combustion, lower exhaust emissions and increase mileage.

But bucking this prevailing wisdom has long been a Motor City specialty. Wouldn’t you know it, Detroit’s seemingly old-tech pushrod engines, also called overhead valve designs, have become horsepower heroes. It’s as if the 505-horse V-8 that lets the Corvette Z06 run with Ferraris, the engines in G.M.’s bread-and-butter full-size trucks, Chrysler Group’s Hemi V-8, and the Dodge Viper’s thundering V-10 never got the memo that pushrods are obsolete.

So why do pushrods persist? Because they are superior in certain areas and inventors keep coming up with fresh ideas to keep them in the game.

Packaging is where the overhead valve engines trounce the overhead cam alternatives. Extra camshafts, and the chains or belts needed to drive them, increase weight, cost and complexity — but especially size. Pushrod engines, notably V-8’s, can fit in spaces that may be too small for an overhead cam design. Because the top of a pushrod engine is so compact, engineers can load the bottom half with larger pistons that sweep through a longer stroke.

As an example, consider two current cars with V-8 engines of about 500-horsepower, the 7-liter Corvette Z06, a classic pushrod design, and the 4.3-liter Ferrari F430, a high-tech dual-cam engine. While the horsepower is similar, the Corvette V-8 produces 470 pound-feet of torque compared with the Ferrari’s tepid 343 pound-feet. Torque is what spins the tires when a rambunctious driver tromps the gas pedal, and it’s what helps pull a heavy trailer over a mountain pass.

The Viper holsters a magnum V-10 under its low hood. Along with the arrival of new technology deep inside, this engine grows to a strapping 8.4 liters for 2008. Extra camshafts aren’t necessary when you’ve got 10 huge pistons answering every nudge of the throttle.

The challenge is to make large engines seem small and economical at the gas pumps. To do that, G.M. and DaimlerChrysler disable half of the cylinders in some of their V-8s during cruising, when all their muscle isn’t required. Cylinder deactivation is easy to accomplish with pushrods, but more difficult with overhead cams.

To coax their pushrod designs to rev higher without running out of breath, engineers have designed lighter, stiffer, lower-friction valvetrains. Pushrod V-8 engines racing in Nascar routinely rev to 9,000 rpm. Thanks to natural trickle-down, the lightweight valves, low-friction lifters and high-tension valve springs made of exotic steels have filtered into production pushrod engines, giving them the speed and stamina to compete with Ferrari’s V-8. While the F-430’s screaming 8,500 r.p.m. maximum speed is still out of reach, the 7,000-r.p.m. redline of the Corvette outdoes the 6,600-r.p.m. maximum of the Porsche 911 Turbo. The new Viper engine revs to 6,200 r.p.m., 200 more than before.

To fill the cylinders with the air and fuel needed to sustain high-speed operation, Detroit engine designers have packed larger intake ports into the space available between the pushrods. Lacking the room to go wider, engineers increased the capacity of the intake passages by making them taller.

Variable valve timing is another emerging technology that engineers employ to minimize emissions, improve smoothness and enhance power. Changing the timing of specific operations — when valves open and close in relation to each other and to the position of the pistons — is not difficult in a dual-cam engine, which controls the intake and exhaust valves independently.

Accomplishing variable valve timing with a single camshaft is a different matter entirely, because the lobes that lift the valves are locked in relation to each other.

Engineers at Dodge, working with the British firm Mechadyne, redesigned the camshaft to create two concentric shafts, one inside the other. The hollow outer tube holds the exhaust lobes while an inner shaft drives the intake lobes.

This allows continual adjustment of valve operation, according to the needs of the engine at different speeds.

The cam-within-a-cam concept has existed for decades, but perfecting it for production might just add another decade to the life of the pushrod engine.