Drive Type: 2WD
Portland, Oregon, United States
Super Storm Sandy took out a lot of automobiles in its path of destruction through the Northeast last October. The number surpassed 250,000 at last count, and a few of those were owned by Chevrolet - cars either sitting on dealership lots or waiting at port to be shipped off. Rendered unsellable by the water damage inflicted by Sandy, these vehicles were facing the crusher. But Chevy didn't send them there.
Instead, Chevy had a better idea: It will be donating 300 of these vehicles damaged by Sandy to help train first responders at Guardian Centers in Perry, GA. Chevy is the official automotive partner of Guardian Centers, which is an 830-acre facility that trains first responders in disaster preparedness. Junked cars are practically a consumable commodity there, where a full-size cityscape simulator gives trainees an entire urban center in which to train for all sorts of rescue operations and disaster scenarios.
Chevy says its particular vehicles will be used "in conjunction with role players for wide area searches, traffic congestion in emergency situations, counter terrorism, public order and mass casualty exercises." While grim scenarios all, we're certainly glad there are people out there preparing for the unexpected. While a zombie apocalypse isn't officially on the list of potential disasters to prepare for, when the virus hits, we'll be hot-footing it to Perry, GA to hang with these guys and gals.
As inventory of the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse continues to pile up, General Motors will be idling its Fairfax Assembly Plant for two weeks, according to Automotive News. This move comes about a month after the plant was shut down for three weeks in late December and early January for the same reason. As of January 31, the GM had a 94-day supply of Malibu stock while the LaCrosse was a little worse with a 117-day supply.
Just last week, GM announced that it would be investing $600 million in upgrading this plant, but it's unclear what future plans the company has in store for Fairfax considering slow sales of both the plant's models. We do expect a refreshed and more luxurious LaCrosse shortly and an early design update for the Malibu to be announced at some point this year, although we have had no official word as to when either will happen.
General Motors has officially captured the horsepower crown for mainstream pickup trucks with its 6.2-liter V8. The big mill, available in both the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, comes to market with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, handily outdoing its two cross-town competitors, Ram (5.7-liter V8, 395 ponies and 407 lb-ft) and Ford (6.2-liter V8, 411 hp and 434 lb-ft).
The new GM 6.2 will take a bit of an investment, though. Those that want the extra thrust will need to go with either the LTZ or High Country trims from the Chevy, or the SLT and Denali trims from GMC, which are the two highest trim levels for the respective vehicles. Trim levels aside, if you're in the business of towing, GM has you covered. Optioned with the 6.2-liter V8 and the Max Trailering Package, owners will be able to pull 12,000 pounds, a hugely impressive figure.
We still aren't certain as to what sort of economy the new engine will get, but it'll probably be a bad bet for the fuel conscious. As for availability, expect to see the 6.2-liter trucks in showrooms later in the fall.