GM Inside News Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
GM to show rear-wheel-drive cars in U.S.
By John Porretto, AP Auto Writer, 3/31/2004

DETROIT -- Americans soon will see several new better-handling rear-wheel-drive cars now that technological advances have allowed manufacturers to overcome past drawbacks such as poor handling on ice and mediocre fuel economy.

General Motors Corp. is one making a big push to rear-wheel drives, with several versions planned. The world's largest automaker is scheduled to introduce a rear-wheel-drive Buick concept car Tuesday in conjunction with media preview days at the New York International Auto Show.

The Buick Velite, a four-seat convertible, is the first example of a car GM could produce for the North American market from a new global vehicle platform for rear-wheel-drive models.

Cars with front-wheel-drive systems began to dominate the market in the 1970s because they were lighter and more fuel efficient. They also tended to handle better on snow and ice.

But advances in fuel economy and technology, such as traction control and electronic stability control, have prompted some automakers to venture back to rear-wheel drives, targeting customers who crave enhanced performance.

Rear-wheel drives typically handle better than front-wheel drives because the car's weight is more evenly distributed -- engine up front, followed by the transmission, driveshaft and axle and differential at the rear.

In front-wheel versions, most of the components are up front.

"A big part of good ride and handling, particularly in terms of turning capability, has to do with mass distribution," said Mark Hogan, GM's group vice president for advanced vehicle development. "We're far more able to get 50-50 mass distribution -- which is ideal from a ride and handling standpoint -- with a rear-drive car versus a front-drive."

Hogan said the rear-drive's different internal configuration also allows designers to move the wheels out a bit farther and provides different styling options, another plus for customers.

Already, GM has reintroduced the sporty rear-wheel-drive Pontiac GTO. Pontiac also plans to bolster its lineup with the new rear-wheel-drive Solstice roadster next year.

GM has said its Saturn brand will add a RWD sports car in 2006.

DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group also is betting big on rear-wheel drives. Two new large RWD vehicles, the Chrysler 300 sedan and Dodge Magnum wagon, will debut this spring.

Chrysler also is expected to add a rear-wheel-drive car called the Dodge Charger to its portfolio for the 2006 model year. Dodge used the Charger name in the 1960s for a high-powered car popular among the street-racing set.

Ford Motor Co.'s new GT supercar, scheduled for release this summer, has a rear-wheel-drive package, and the Mustang has been a RWD stalwart since its introduction 40 years ago.

Mike Wall, an analyst with CSM Worldwide, said much of the renewed emphasis in rear-wheel drives has come from domestic automakers. European brands such as BMW have maintained a strong rear-wheel lineup, while Asian manufacturers have not shown as much interest.

Wall said the new RWD offerings likely will not generate huge sales for the Big Three, but they can't afford to ignore any segment in the increasingly competitive marketplace.

Full Article Here
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Wall said the new RWD offerings likely will not generate huge sales for the Big Three, but they can't afford to ignore any segment in the increasingly competitive marketplace.

oh yeah? i dont think too many people in my age group 16-25 are going to be able to buy one..but i think if you keep the cost down these things will sell like hotcakes. and i you can really keep the price down people my age will grap these things over a cobalt any day...mind you its a nice car but it isnt a camaro, or impala, or monte, or whatever else is going to be rwd. you can make a peppy rwd 4 seater for under 20k cant ya?..doesnt have to be v8 but that is preferable hehe. :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
Originally posted by c400mark@Apr 1 2004, 03:06 AM
Wall said the new RWD offerings likely will not generate huge sales for the Big Three, but they can't afford to ignore any segment in the increasingly competitive marketplace.

oh yeah? i dont think too many people in my age group 16-25 are going to be able to buy one..but i think if you keep the cost down these things will sell like hotcakes. and i you can really keep the price down people my age will grap these things over a cobalt any day...mind you its a nice car but it isnt a camaro, or impala, or monte, or whatever else is going to be rwd. you can make a peppy rwd 4 seater for under 20k cant ya?..doesnt have to be v8 but that is preferable hehe. :p
there is a HUGE difference between someone 16 and someone 25.

HUUUUUUUUUGE
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,963 Posts
Originally posted by c400mark@Apr 1 2004, 03:06 AM
Wall said the new RWD offerings likely will not generate huge sales for the Big Three, but they can't afford to ignore any segment in the increasingly competitive marketplace.

oh yeah? i dont think too many people in my age group 16-25 are going to be able to buy one..but i think if you keep the cost down these things will sell like hotcakes. and i you can really keep the price down people my age will grap these things over a cobalt any day...mind you its a nice car but it isnt a camaro, or impala, or monte, or whatever else is going to be rwd. you can make a peppy rwd 4 seater for under 20k cant ya?..doesnt have to be v8 but that is preferable hehe. :p
16-25 is a large market. At 24-25, I expect to be buying my first Camaro. Maybe 16-20 is a better market. By mid 20's, people are out of college and they want a new ride for there new job.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top