Drive Type: rwd
Number of Cylinders: 8
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Naples, Florida, United States
We've been on the fence with NASCAR for some time now. On one hand, it's some of the closest racing anywhere in motorsports, with actual passing and door-handle-to-door-handle action as a matter of course. But on the other, it's become template racing - a personality-driven sport more about the drivers than any sort of loyalty to a particular automaker. The Car Of Tomorrow format really rammed that message home, with a racecar's identity coming down to little more than headlamp stickers slapped on the nose. That's not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but we've wondered for some time what's in it for the automakers, who pay big money to stay in a series that has had little increasingly little do with street car sales, let alone innovation.
Apparently General Motors was beginning to wonder the same thing. In a new ESPN report, Rick Hendrick, team owner of Hendrick Motorsports, suggests that GM would have seriously considered leaving NASCAR if it wasn't for the move away from the COT to the new Gen 6 racer. According to Hendrick, GM North America boss Mark Reuss spearheaded the charge away from the 2007 COT and toward a racecar with clearer automaker ties - cars like the new Chevrolet SS racer shown above. Learn more about the fight for a closer-to-production look in the ESPN story at the link.
Now, if we could just get more rear-wheel drive V8 coupes into showrooms....
General Motors has announced a large investment in its Spring Hill, Tennessee facility. The former home of Saturn production will be getting a $167 million addition to a previously announced $183 million, to cover a pair of new midsize vehicles. The investment is expected to create 1,800 jobs at the factory.
That $350 million is being divvied up for a pair of programs at Spring Hill. The first will take the bulk of the money ($223 million) and create 1,000 of the 1,800 jobs, while the other will take the remaining $127 million and generate the leftover 800 positions. But GM says the investment will cover "midsize vehicle programs." So what could they be?
The leading candidate in our minds is a new crossover for Buick, called the Anthem, that will slot between the Encore and Enclave, but will be slightly smaller than the Equinox and Terrain. As we've explained, the new model will likely be the first product to sport GM's new D2UX platform, which will eventually replace both the Delta and Theta platforms. Spring Hill is already building the Equinox, so there could be some credence to this theory.
As we continue to put together all the data for the year-end edition of By The Numbers, General Motors has announced that it sold more than a million vehicles in the US last year that achieved at least 30 miles per gallon on the highway. More impressively, GM managed this feat using multiple strategies including small vehicle size, turbocharged engines and hybrid or plug-in technologies across four brands (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC) accounting for 13 separate models. This number will grow even more in 2013 thanks to cars like the all-electric Spark, the diesel Cruze, the range-extended Cadillac ELR and the Buick Encore compact CUV.
GM's small car sales were up 39 percent last year helping to attain this million-sales mark for 30-mpg models, and almost 40 percent of all GM sales consisted of cars with fuel-efficient I4 engines. In regards to more advanced means of improving fuel economy, GM says that it plans on having 500,000 vehicles with "some form of electrification" on the road by 2017.
Scroll down for the full list of GM's million 30+ mpg cars as well as an informative press release.