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4,134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To allow the other thread to get back to its main topic, lets bring the overlap debate here and how to fix it...

Here's my take on how to deal with the midsizers...

Malibu $20K-$30K
Epsilon FWD
Should be focused on having decent handling, great gas mileage, sleek but not offensive styling, and a comfortable ride. Should be roomy and have a good pricing setup, and aimed directly at the heart of the midsize category: The Camry and Accord.

Interior material quality should be improved, and features such as a navigation should be available as the vehicle should be able to be loaded to the brim as it customary in todays higher-end midsizers such as the Camcord.

Should offer 2.4L (180 HP) I4, 3.6L (260 HP) V6, and hybrid.

Aura $25K-$36K
Epsilon FWD/AWD
This should be European-inspired in styling and its handling. Sharp, direct steering, sleek European design, and a high quality interior fit-and-finish. Aimed at the TSX.

Priced higher than the Malibu, it also should come with a little more intimate interior with more aggressively bolstered seats and a tight but not harsh suspension tuning, a la 3-series or TSX.

Manual should be available on the turbo 2.0L (260 HP) I4 and DI 3.6L (304 HP) V6. Hybrid should be available. XE should be the I4 while the XR should be the DI 3.6L. Redline version should see a more aggressive suspension tuning and a small bump in power - upto 310 or 320 HP. AWD should be an option on the XR, standard on the Redline. (With respect to the CTS, the CTS should, as its been talked about, have the DI 3.6L be its based engine, possibly bumped to 320 HP)

The Redline is not a must have, but would be a nice and interesting addition to this lineup.

G6 $20K-$30K
Alpha RWD
This should be priced similar to the Malibu. A sporty suspension, tight steering, and aggressively bolstered seats should be the setup on this RWD sport sedan. Aggressive but clean sheet metal. Manual standard, tapshift optional like in the Aura.

Should use the same engine setup (2.4L I4 and 3.6L V6) as in the Malibu. Possibly a little more spendy.


Doing this would allow GM to focus the Malibu as a top seller in the standard midsize category hanging with the Camcords. The Aura should be a sportsedan midsize Euro-inspired TSX competitor. And the G6 can be a unique sport sedan in a FWD-only category. Both the Aura and G6 should be a bit more niche so that they can focus them on what they should be.

This gets rid of the overlap issue and helps to give 3 distinct offerings in the midsize category. No more overlap, a more defined and focused model setup, and something to help focus their respective brands.

Saturn - Sporty, European brand.
Chevy - The Good Old American brand.
Pontiac - True sporty RWD brand.

Thoughts? Anyone want to give it a shot on the Lambda's or these midsizers? Or anything else for that matter?

Super Moderator
21,213 Posts
Ditch the Outlook, bring over the Zafira for Saturn's people-mover.
Traverse: Low price, affordable, all around utility crossover.
Acadia: Upscale, more standard/optional features. Aimed at middle class America. With the Outlook gone, the Acadia will be its own style of crossover.
Enclave: Luxury crossover, highest MSRP, more powerful engine choices, more refined and detailed, more standard features than optional.

6,921 Posts
The non-DI 3.6 needs mileage that is competitive with the Accord and the Camry.
Manual or automatic, everything GM should be six speed or better (DSG for the Aura anyone?).
Speaking of which, a manual option for the Aura/Pontiac would be great.

Hybrid? BAS+? or Two-Mode? Either way, it needs to get significantly better mileage than the 4 cyl/6 speed combination.

Base 4? How about a 2.0L/1.8L/1.6L DI/turbo depending on best power/mpg combination + extra grunt for Pontiac?

Ford is going to small displacement with turbo-charging and that seems to be a workable idea, especially with $4/$5/$$$$ gas around the corner.

11,071 Posts
You forgot the LaCrosseInvicta, AmericanRevolution!!!

Here's my "Epsilon-II" palette:

Malibu: spot-on, aim for the Camcord appliance buyer. For North America only.

Epica: 107" SWB Epsilon2. For Europe, Russia, Korea, Taiwan (where this size segment is huge) and Southeast Asia. It's unlikely buyers in these markets would go for the N/A Malibu. Russia maybe...

Insignia/Aura: should get DI across the board. Two four-cylinder 2.0 engines, and Two 3.0 V6's, both in either turbo and normally-aspirated form. Four or five doors and obligatory station wagon. For Europe (Opel), Latin America (Chevrolet), and North America (Saturn). Holden too unless they feel an Alpha Torana would better serve the Oz midsize market.

Invicta: low $30s. 3.0-litre or 3.6-litre DI V6's. North America and China. Maybe move Buick into markets like the Middle East and Southeast Asia, where flashy chrome styling sells well.

Saab 9-3: 107" SWB Epsilon2. Return to hatchback body (I don't care if Americans like them or not). Low-pressure and full-blown turbo "fours".

Saab 9-5: 112"ish LWB Epsilon2. Sedan body. Entry-level turbo'd "four" and DI low-pressure V6. Full turbo V6 for top-dawg model.

My vision of a GM crossover family:

Gamma-sized: Baby Chevy CUV (Chevy Recon?) could be assembled at Moraine and exported to Latin America, Europe, Russia and Southeast Asia, either built-up or as CKD units. Would compete with Ford EcoSport in L/A and Daihatsu Terios & Xenia and Toyota Avanza in Asia. Maybe let GMC offer a N/A version as entry-level model if fuel prices keep climbing. I see biggest potential in Brazil, Russia, and ASEAN region.

Delta-sized: Captiva and Antara/Vue replacement. Wheelbase around 106". Replaces 'nox in N/A. "Four" or V6 powerplants. Small Saab 9-4x should have been this size. Maybe a Buick "baby Enclave". It would be smaller and cheaper than Caddy Theta-II, so no luxury overlap, and with no GMC version, would give BPG dealers a compact crossover in this burgeoning segment. Chevy, low $20s, Saturn, mid $20s, Buick/Saab, high $20s.

Theta-II: Replaces GMT360s. 112"ish wheelbase. Little wider than current Theta to put them more midsized to compete with Highlander, Edge, etc. Offered by Chevrolet (competing with Toyota), GMC (competing with... hell, who knows), and Caddy (competing with Lexus RX, BMW X3). Possibly just let GMC offer it instead of both Chevy and GMC. Saab's version (9-6x?) would compete with Volvo XC90, and different enough in character from Caddy to prevent overlap, though they'd be priced similarly. Chevy, mid $20s, GMC, high $20s, Cadillac/Saab, low-to-mid $30s.

Lambda: Should have been Traverse and Enclave only. Other possible products: GMC wagonesque model, à-la Pacifica and R-class. Or a really supersized Zafira, if you will! Possible Escalade replacement (since it's all about bling, and not actual towing or offroad capability). A Ridgeline-esque Crossover pickup could replace Avalanche or provide niche model for GMC. Chevrolet, high $20s/low $30s, Buick, mid-to-high $30s, Cadillac, mid-$40s-to-low $50s.

I had some ideas dating back to around 2004 for a duo of Epsilon-based MPV's, inspired by GM's cancelled Buick Signia and Pontiac Banner "sportwagons". Here's my reasoning: the Zafira-type MPV is a brilliant concept, and in many ways is superior to the traditional minivan, mainly it's free from the "soccer mom" minivan image. But the Zafira and its European competition are based on the standard-size European family car, which is more Corolla/Golf sized. The standard American family car is bigger; Camry/Malibu-sized. Thus, a "supersized" Zafira-type MPV might find ready buyers here. I envisioned two models: A Buick version (Terraza was SUCH a good name; what a waste...), with conservative, chromey styling, aimed at soon-to-be-retiring baby boomers, and a sportier, family-oriented Chevy version. In strange coincidence, the model I had planned was called the "Chevy Journey" after the Brazilian concept MPV from around 2003. The Dodge Journey turned out to be exactly what I had pictured: a 5+2-seat MPV on about a 112"-113" wheelbase. Buick could also offer a SWB 5-seat version of its model, something along the lines of the Fiat Croma. The Chevy version could compete in Europe with the Ford S-Max, Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, etc. Or rebadge it as an Opel/Vauxhall for Europe...

Oh, sorry if this seems "cut and pasted" from five different, unrelated, articles...

2,317 Posts
What gets a coupe version? Coupes are seen as more sporty so Pontiac? But with the Opel it would be easier to transfer over as a Saturn. Hmmm...

I say Saturn as I hope Pontiac's Alpha car becomes its own beast. Plus Saturn is good for another niche vehicle just to get more people on its lots.
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