GM Brings High Performance, Style To Annual SEMA Show
LAS VEGAS - General Motors is revving up its commitment to meet customers' desires for increased personalization, bringing a variety of exciting new production and concept vehicles to the 2004 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show.
GM highlights at SEMA include a race-prepared Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged fresh from the Bonneville Salt Flats; a new, more fuel-efficient version of GM's legendary small block V-8; and the debut of Jay Leno's latest creation with GM Performance Parts. Also on display will be the newly announced, V-8-powered Pontiac Grand Prix GXP. Additional highlights will include the first showing of the new Pontiac G6 GXP performance concept and two announcements from GM Racing.
"Our goal is to make GM vehicles the preferred canvas for customization," said Mark Reuss, executive director of GM Performance Division. "Working with our SEMA partners, as well as with our internal Performance Parts Group and GM Racing, we're creating the parts and components that look cool and go fast."
GM's SEMA exhibit includes nearly 40 production, concept and brand-directed vehicles targeted at enthusiasts in every segment, displaying innovative new levels of technology and functionality - from high-performance derivatives of production vehicles to plus-size wheel and tire packages.
GM Performance Division plays the crucial role of integrator among various GM disciplines. "Performance Division is involved from the earliest stages of product development to ensure performance technologies and high-quality accessories are available throughout a vehicle's lifecycle," Reuss said. For example, the Pontiac Solstice on display at SEMA showcases GM Accessories developed in parallel with the roadster production program, which will debut as a 2006 model.
In a similar way, GM Performance Division works with GM Racing to integrate racing technologies into future vehicle development programs or add them to the GM Performance Parts catalog. GM engineers on race teams such as the Cadillac CTS-V on display at SEMA help test and validate these technologies that push the limits of performance and appearance.
At the same time, GM is continuing to strengthen relationships with vehicle customizers to help them develop aftermarket components for GM vehicles. "We want to make it easy for SEMA members to apply their creativity to GM products," Reuss said. "That's why we provide technical data about our vehicles online as part of SEMA's web site."
Going from concept to reality
For GM, the SEMA show is an important venue to get reaction from the experts in specialty vehicles. The process helps move great ideas from the concept stage into the dealer's showroom as fast as possible.
The Pontiac Grand Prix GXP production car showcased at this year's show can be traced to a concept that was first shown at the 2002 SEMA event. It will join the Bonneville GXP, another former SEMA production announcement, in Pontiac's portfolio, while this year's SEMA show introduces a new G6 GXP concept.
GM Performance Division has developed several other high-performance vehicles that have gone to production, including the Cadillac CTS-V, the Saturn Ion Red Line and Vue Red Line, and the Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged. The development of performance variants is part of a global effort by GM that also encompasses efforts such as Opel OPC in Europe, Holden HSV in Australia and Vauxhall VXR in Great Britain.
GM's SEMA display vehicles are designed to complement and enhance the brand character of each vehicle. Following are brand highlights:
- Buick brings a premium touch to its all-new Terraza crossover sport van with uplevel features such as 17-inch Chrome-tech wheels and a Harman-Kardon audio system.
- Cadillac is showing off a number of accessories available at dealers, including wheels, grilles, and performance exhaust systems for the new 2005 STS luxury performance sedan and the XLR luxury roadster. The Cadillac Escalade ESV Pinnacle concept explores the ultimate luxury experience in an SUV. The Cadillac SRX Sport, a production model that goes on sale in 2005, features accessories in development for those who desire a sportier version of the SRX luxury utility.
- Chevrolet explores new potential for its hallowed SS badge with a small-block V-8 powered Colorado SS along with stylized special editions of the Cobalt SS Sedan and Cobalt SS Supercharged Coupe. Tuner style, including lowered chassis, performance brakes and body kit, heat up the Aveo Xtreme. Cavalier Xtreme Coupe demonstrates a new GM Performance Parts supercharger kit for the Ecotec 2.2L four-cylinder. The Malibu Maxx Cross Country features a higher-displacement 3.9L V-6 and sporty appearance. Two versions of the new sixth-generation Corvette add high-performance components and styling features to the package. High-performance versions of the Silverado include a Craftsman Truck Series edition and a Performance Diesel powered by the Duramax 6.6-liter V-8. Twenty-inch chrome wheels are part of the customization of the Suburban LTZ.
- GMC explores ways to take its premium Denali-badged vehicles to an even higher level. Special editions of the Envoy Denali and Yukon XL Denali elevate traditional Denali refinement and luxury with a number of uplevel interior and exterior accents. The Sierra Crew Cab Denali Limited Edition offers a variety of uplevel details and appointments that add extra style and comfort to Sierra's latest iteration.
- With two H2 SUV concepts - a Special Edition and Black Ops Edition - HUMMER reinforces its status as a top off-road performer wrapped in a premium package. Premium features like chrome wheels, carbon fiber interior trim, a rear vision camera and the HotShot wiper system bring the Special Edition to a higher level of luxury, while the Black Ops concept takes the H2 in a "stealthy" direction with "black chrome" accessories that match its black exterior paint and ebony interior.
- Pontiac's presence is highlighted by two GXP performance sedans - the production 2006 Grand Prix GXP, with a new 300-horsepower LS4 V-8 engine, and the G6 GXP concept with a 275-horsepower 3.6L HO V-6. Meanwhile, the Pontiac GTO and Solstice models at SEMA illustrate how GM Accessories can accentuate the total performance package.
- Saab enters the premium sport compact segment with the 2005 9-2X, available as a 227-horsepower turbocharged 2.0L Aero and a 165-horsepower 2.5L Linear. Saab's 9-2X Aero show car sits on a lowered chassis and is fitted with lightweight 17-inch BBS rims, a ProDrive stainless steel sport exhaust system and a short-throw shifter topped by a Momo-designed shift knob.
- Saturn previews a new competition package, including limited slip differential and boost gauge with tachometer, available interim 2005 on the Ion Red Line. Saturn's SEMA offerings also include a Vue that showcases a wide variety of accessories available at retailers.
Marking the 50th anniversary of the legendary small-block, GM Powertrain will showcase its new 5.3L LS4 V-8 engine, which will debut in the 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP. The 5.3L LS4 V-8 represents the first time that the small-block will be offered in a front-wheel-drive car.
The LS4 produces approximately 300 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque. It also incorporates Displacement on Demand technology (DOD), which helps the vehicle realize fuel economy gains of up to 12 percent in certain light-load driving conditions, such as highway cruising, by seamlessly alternating between eight- and four-cylinder operation.
When matched with the inherent smoothness and torque of the V-8 configuration, the LS4 delivers strong performance - 90 percent of torque is available between 1500 rpm and 5600 rpm - and surprising economy. It's a combination most competitors' V-6 offerings can't match.
GM Racing helps transfer technology to the street
Racing helps demonstrate the depth of GM's technical resources, the capabilities of its people and the performance, reliability and quality of its products. By integrating motorsports with GM's product development efforts, technology is quickly transferred from the track to the street. GM plans to make two racing-related announcements at SEMA; in addition, GM's SEMA presence includes several vehicles that are already making their marks in competition.
Fresh from the Bonneville Salt Flats is the Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged, which is based on Chevy's new factory-built front-wheel-drive Super Sport. Driven by Nelson Hoyos, the Cobalt SS Supercharged set a mark of 243.127 mph, eclipsing the 212.684 record established last year by Jim Minneker in a Saturn Ion Red Line, showing the high-end capabilities of GM's Ecotec global four-cylinder engine.
A supercharged, 205-horsepower version of the same engine powered the Ecotec Lakester, a collaboration between GM Performance Division, GM Design and the So-Cal Speed Shop. Also displayed at SEMA is the customized Chevy SSR push truck used to provide the initial acceleration for the high-geared race cars at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
GM's SEMA exhibit also includes the Pontiac Crawford DP03, one of the most successful Daytona Prototype endurance sports racing cars in the history of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. Using the most successful engine in motorsports - the GM small block V-8 - the Pontiac powerplant in the DP03 features an all-aluminum variant of the LS6 V-8 engine along with stock throttle body and intake manifold found in the 2004 Pontiac GTO.