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The coupe market was already in decline. But I wonder what this could have done for Oldsmobile if that GM-80 version had been brought to market.

Old's had the really nice 1990-92 Toronado, but it didn't sell well at all (I thought the 1986-89 version was pretty sharp too). But those were more expensive cars. If they had a smaller, more mainstream-priced car like this FWD coupe, it might have helped the division's image. This might have been able to replace some of those hundreds of thousands of lost A- and G-body Cutlass Supreme sales that the W-body never came close to holding.
 

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The coupe market was already in decline. But I wonder what this could have done for Oldsmobile if that GM-80 version had been brought to market.. This might have been able to replace some of those hundreds of thousands of lost A- and G-body Cutlass Supreme sales that the W-body never came close to holding.
Because the segment was dying but not dead, I think GM should have just restyled the A/G body coupes in 1988, given them port fuel injected 3.8L V6 and 5.0L V8's and not bothered with the $7 billion W body platform, which was almost as large as the H body and not much roomier than the FWD A body.
 

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The coupe market was already in decline. But I wonder what this could have done for Oldsmobile if that GM-80 version had been brought to market.

Old's had the really nice 1990-92 Toronado, but it didn't sell well at all (I thought the 1986-89 version was pretty sharp too). But those were more expensive cars. If they had a smaller, more mainstream-priced car like this FWD coupe, it might have helped the division's image. This might have been able to replace some of those hundreds of thousands of lost A- and G-body Cutlass Supreme sales that the W-body never came close to holding.
Even if a GM-80 Olds went over well, it would've been a short buzz and then hangover. 90's aero styling aged like milk, and there were too many fwd's with companies overall. I consider the Golf to have won the "nice" small car battle then. Even with good styling, the fwd Cutlass Supreme betrayed the rwd image of strength. Toronado was bound to be absorbed into a large sedan. Olds maybe should've had 2 fwd cars, and a 3-row something. Then rwd, Cutlass sedan and hammer out more SUVs. I wish they stuck with Olds, and even had Denali go to them.
 

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My '02 Grand Prix GTP did handle a lot better than my '94 also - they did a lot of work to the W Body chassis vs. my '94. Suspension was more compliant, a lot less torque steer and it could actually corner, but still no Alpha chassis. I kept the stock tires, which at the time GM kept to taller sidewalls and all season sport tires for (I presume) better ride and less flats but at the expense of handling. The '94 was definitely about looks and actual performance wasn't really there.

Pontiac lost me on the final generation of the Grand Prix - it was to big and I wasn't in love with the style. I liked the Grand Am GXP, except for the buck tooth grill and massive wing, neither of which I could get past....

I liked the 3.4 a lot better than the supercharged 3.8 in my '02. The car mags seems to get a kick out of the supercharger sound, but I never cared for it. But I certainly didn't hate it. The '02 was an all around better vehicle than my '94.
The GM performance parts catalog of the early 90's had a W-body handling package, if I recall right. Some of that maybe, possibly made it to production cars. Fwd is always a trade off, weight distribution giving sloppy weather standing bite (a reason it exists) and also push.
 

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Even if a GM-80 Olds went over well, it would've been a short buzz and then hangover. 90's aero styling aged like milk, and there were too many fwd's with companies overall. I consider the Golf to have won the "nice" small car battle then. Even with good styling, the fwd Cutlass Supreme betrayed the rwd image of strength. Toronado was bound to be absorbed into a large sedan. Olds maybe should've had 2 fwd cars, and a 3-row something. Then rwd, Cutlass sedan and hammer out more SUVs. I wish they stuck with Olds, and even had Denali go to them.
Yeah, I suspect you'd have been right. Whatever success an Olds GM-80 had would have been short-lived. The market was already turning away from coupes. I don't think the FWD/RWD thing was really a big deal. Then and now, the vast majority of people just don't care about that. And FWD was just the way to go in mainstream cars back then.
 

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Because the segment was dying but not dead, I think GM should have just restyled the A/G body coupes in 1988, given them port fuel injected 3.8L V6 and 5.0L V8's and not bothered with the $7 billion W body platform, which was almost as large as the H body and not much roomier than the FWD A body.

I don't recall if it was on this site or another car site that I got into a long back-and-forth with someone who defended the whole GM-10 W-body program. Their point was how long the platform was around, all the total cars built.

It was a disaster. I agree with MaryAnn Keller, the auto analyst who called it the worst industrial disaster in American history. If you look at the W-body overall, yeah it sold a lot of cars, but over a very long period of time. And that platform was continuously improved and resulted in some pretty solid cars with the later Grand Prix and Impalas, and the excellent Olds Intrigue. My '02 Monte Carlo was really quite a nice car, with impressive handling for a decent sized FWDer.

But sales are the measure of success with any new vehicles. The drop in sales for Regal, Cutlass Supreme, and Grand Prix was epic. None of the 1988 and later Ws came remotely close to replacing the sales of what all had been best-selling vehicles. I guess Chevy overall did okay, moving a lot of Luminas (unlike the others, launched as a sedan first); between the Lumina and Celebrity, Chevy still moved a lot of midsize cars. But at that point, GM permanently lost dominance in the midsize market as well as initiating the death spiral of the entire Oldsmobile division.
 

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The GM performance parts catalog of the early 90's had a W-body handling package, if I recall right. Some of that maybe, possibly made it to production cars. Fwd is always a trade off, weight distribution giving sloppy weather standing bite (a reason it exists) and also push.
Sadly, with the '94 the torque steer was so bad that it negated a lot of the fwd bad weather benefits. They did have a 1st gear lockout so you'd start off in 2nd gear - that really helped!
 

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Sadly, with the '94 the torque steer was so bad that it negated a lot of the fwd bad weather benefits. They did have a 1st gear lockout so you'd start off in 2nd gear - that really helped!
I put a lot of miles on my dad's 93 3.4 Cutlass Supreme. I just kind of figured out how much traction it took on well, and then drove it under that. Real decent in the winter. Would've preferred rwd/awd with Chevy motors. I liked my father's older Oldses. I think a rwd based Cutlass at a decent price could've collected Chevy rwd people for a segment they need fwd for.

The compact fwd cars had the tuner thing going for a while. I don't think Chevy could do a Type R Civic clone today, it's on a pedestal. Maybe trying a paddle shifting hybrid with good power would go over. Sort of a mash up of the Hyundai N and Ionic. GM does have the torque vectoring diff in the toolbox, but not the hybrid. The foundation of that type of car is still the appliance nature.
 

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I don't recall if it was on this site or another car site that I got into a long back-and-forth with someone who defended the whole GM-10 W-body program. Their point was how long the platform was around, all the total cars built.

It was a disaster. I agree with MaryAnn Keller, the auto analyst who called it the worst industrial disaster in American history. If you look at the W-body overall, yeah it sold a lot of cars, but over a very long period of time. And that platform was continuously improved and resulted in some pretty solid cars with the later Grand Prix and Impalas, and the excellent Olds Intrigue. My '02 Monte Carlo was really quite a nice car, with impressive handling for a decent sized FWDer.

But sales are the measure of success with any new vehicles. The drop in sales for Regal, Cutlass Supreme, and Grand Prix was epic. None of the 1988 and later Ws came remotely close to replacing the sales of what all had been best-selling vehicles. I guess Chevy overall did okay, moving a lot of Luminas (unlike the others, launched as a sedan first); between the Lumina and Celebrity, Chevy still moved a lot of midsize cars. But at that point, GM permanently lost dominance in the midsize market as well as initiating the death spiral of the entire Oldsmobile division.
Didn't they have three production plants devoted to the GM-10 vehicles? I seem to remember that - definitely a disaster as sales never made it to the level to support the manufacturing base.

I never understood why - they looked pretty good for the time. Even the Taurus, that I never liked the looks, was able to overcome a lot of the "Detroit aversion" from their horrible quality.
 

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I put a lot of miles on my dad's 93 3.4 Cutlass Supreme. I just kind of figured out how much traction it took on well, and then drove it under that. Real decent in the winter. Would've preferred rwd/awd with Chevy motors. I liked my father's older Oldses. I think a rwd based Cutlass at a decent price could've collected Chevy rwd people for a segment they need fwd for.

The compact fwd cars had the tuner thing going for a while. I don't think Chevy could do a Type R Civic clone today, it's on a pedestal. Maybe trying a paddle shifting hybrid with good power would go over. Sort of a mash up of the Hyundai N and Ionic. GM does have the torque vectoring diff in the toolbox, but not the hybrid. The foundation of that type of car is still the appliance nature.
I did the same, but always had an element of caution in going around curves on a rainy day or where any kind of acceleration was needed. Seemed like a lot of fussing needed for a fwd vehicle that no other fwd vehicle needed (at least one's that I had driven). Still loved my GTP - fantastic looks overcame any downfalls for me.

GM would need to set up a whole universe of after market modifications, etc. to burst into the Type R Civic crowd - not sure if that is worth it.
 

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Didn't they have three production plants devoted to the GM-10 vehicles? I seem to remember that - definitely a disaster as sales never made it to the level to support the manufacturing base.

I never understood why - they looked pretty good for the time. Even the Taurus, that I never liked the looks, was able to overcome a lot of the "Detroit aversion" from their horrible quality.

I liked them too. I read pretty positive reviews when they came out on styling and overall engineering. Grand Prix was MT car of the year, with Cutlass Supreme (which I preferred) second. I really thought all three of the original GM-10s were really quite nice looking. I know that the initial powertrains were thought of as pretty average at best, but better engines were promised. In 1989, I was on a business trip to California and had a rented Buick Regal. After my business was over, I drove up the coast on the PCL to Monterrey from LA, and it was a great trip.

A lot of people will just scream "FWD!" By that wasn't the issue. By 1987, the sales of the G-bodies were starting to sputter pretty badly. The market was changing. GM launched three new coupes when the market was turning hard to sedans, particularly to the Taurus (and of course Accord, Camry). So maybe GM was just a bit unlucky. There's a long lead time on car development, and when GM-10 started, the market still loved coupes big-time. Buick sold a quarter of a million Regals (coupe and sedan) in 1982, 83, and 84. In 1991 when the W-body Regal sedan finally came out, they sold 126K, and it went down pretty badly from there. Maybe if they had launched the sedans at the same time the whole story would have been different.

And like you, I'll never understand the appeal of that jellybean styling. I think it was GM's James MacDonald that said something like, "There's no trick to making an aerodynamic car, the trick is in getting it to look good." He was wrong about the market reaction to the Taurus, though I definitely agreed with him.
 

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I liked them too. I read pretty positive reviews when they came out on styling and overall engineering. Grand Prix was MT car of the year, with Cutlass Supreme (which I preferred) second. I really thought all three of the original GM-10s were really quite nice looking. I know that the initial powertrains were thought of as pretty average at best, but better engines were promised. In 1989, I was on a business trip to California and had a rented Buick Regal. After my business was over, I drove up the coast on the PCL to Monterrey from LA, and it was a great trip.

A lot of people will just scream "FWD!" By that wasn't the issue. By 1987, the sales of the G-bodies were starting to sputter pretty badly. The market was changing. GM launched three new coupes when the market was turning hard to sedans, particularly to the Taurus (and of course Accord, Camry). So maybe GM was just a bit unlucky. There's a long lead time on car development, and when GM-10 started, the market still loved coupes big-time. Buick sold a quarter of a million Regals (coupe and sedan) in 1982, 83, and 84. In 1991 when the W-body Regal sedan finally came out, they sold 126K, and it went down pretty badly from there. Maybe if they had launched the sedans at the same time the whole story would have been different.

And like you, I'll never understand the appeal of that jellybean styling. I think it was GM's James MacDonald that said something like, "There's no trick to making an aerodynamic car, the trick is in getting it to look good." He was wrong about the market reaction to the Taurus, though I definitely agreed with him.
There is a certain magic to "different" - people want to be different and sometimes that overrides "good looks"??? Ford's sold really well, as I recall, in the late 80s and early '90s, but I hated their droopy, jellybean look. The Ford Tempo was the worst to me. So many Fords looked like their lighting elements were melting off the bar of soap. I compared that to the shark like crisp lines of the Buick Regal coupe.

Though, to your couple comments, the GM-10's did look a lot better as coupes than the sedan versions.
 

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There is a certain magic to "different" - people want to be different and sometimes that overrides "good looks"??? Ford's sold really well, as I recall, in the late 80s and early '90s, but I hated their droopy, jellybean look. The Ford Tempo was the worst to me. So many Fords looked like their lighting elements were melting off the bar of soap. I compared that to the shark like crisp lines of the Buick Regal coupe.

Though, to your couple comments, the GM-10's did look a lot better as coupes than the sedan versions.
Definitely.

I think they always planned sedan versions (after all, there were past Cutlass Supreme and Regal sedans), though at the time I remember people almost talking about the sedans as though they were an afterthought that GM had to rush to market because of the collapsing sales. They really dropped the ball on that styling. The coupes were nice. The sedans were really dull.
 

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The coupe market was already in decline. But I wonder what this could have done for Oldsmobile if that GM-80 version had been brought to market.

Old's had the really nice 1990-92 Toronado, but it didn't sell well at all (I thought the 1986-89 version was pretty sharp too). But those were more expensive cars. If they had a smaller, more mainstream-priced car like this FWD coupe, it might have helped the division's image. This might have been able to replace some of those hundreds of thousands of lost A- and G-body Cutlass Supreme sales that the W-body never came close to holding.
I wouldn't mind a 90's Calais International
1990 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais Photos, Informations, Articles -  BestCarMag.com
 

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I wouldn't mind a 90's Calais International
1990 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais Photos, Informations, Articles -  BestCarMag.com
I liked some of the later Oldsmobiles.

I rented an Alero coupe in Colorado Springs in 2001. It was a really nice car. Drove well, strong V-6. It was loaded and had a leather interior that was way nicer than what I ever would have expected. I thought that the interior of that car was on a par, and maybe better, than any Japanese competition.
 
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