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Discussion Starter #1
An interesting article which may help shed some light on the mysteries of this car:
http://news.drive.com.au/drive/motor-news/fuel-to-curb-vf-commodore-exports-20130328-2gvpe.html

Speaking at the motor show reveal of the Chevrolet SS ...to media at the 2013 New York motor show, General Motors executive and former Holden boss Alan Batey said it would be America’s strict fuel use targets that will ultimately put a limit on sales.
The so-called corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) targets set strict sales-weighted measures that effectively discourage manufacturers from selling gas guzzlers.
With fuel use expected to be around 12 litres per 100km for the V8-powered export model, the Chevrolet SS will push GM’s average up, something that has a bigger impact the more that are sold.


I'm still a bit confused by the way GM has approached this. You've got heavy media promotion, yet average mechanical specification and limited availability for the sake of limiting sales?

I would have thought that a more expensive, highly desirable and ultra-high-performance model with lower sales targets would be more profitable per unit without being harmful to GM's CAFE requirements.
 

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Some that is interesting is the Gas Guzzler tax does not apply to Trucks.

for example; you can buy a Pick Up Truck with a lame 15 MPG as best fuel economy and get some incentive for the purchase. Buy a Pontiac G8 GXP that gives around 21 MPG (when new) and you get penalized with another $2,500 as a Gas Guzzler and no incentives.

In my understanding CAFE was written in the 70s and most people drove cars than trucks.

At the pace the Gov is going I will not be surprised the Gas Guzzler Tax will be superseded for a Carbon Tax and that applies to all.
 

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Atomizing of fuel via the high pressure fuel system of DI LT1 will further improve the average during year #2 and #3 and hopefully beyond in the quest of "helping the SS survive".

They cobbled together a re-skinned GXP for the short term, and the LS3 is somewhat efficient, but if the 5.5 or 6.2 LT1 is slated for the future years SS's, perhaps along with a 8-or-so gears transmission, that will help sell cars to people who otherwise think that big cars are quite fuel inefficient.

There is even talk within GM about possibly giving up on the Colorado and sister trucks in lieu of the SS-derived "Ute" that also would get relatively better gas mileage than the midsize truck .... but that would be a bit much to "speculate". US'folks prefer their full-size trucks generally, however, I see a small (perhaps growing?) segment for the possibility of a car-truck or whatnot.
 

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What I want to know, more than the logical progression of more fuel efficient engines and transmissions, is where will the 2017 and beyond SS's be built? An intelligent move of production to the same USA plant that will build the 2015 Camaro would solve a lot of exchange rate issues at the very least.:wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Regarding the new engine, for over 20 years Holden has avoided launching a new car with a new engine simultaneously. This is because their developmental resources are tiny compared to larger companies. When the VE HSV range was launched in '06, it carried over the LS2 which was a couple of years old at the time. In about '08, the LS3 was quietly added as standard on all models.

Logically, if the SS can remain alive for another year or 2 it will receive the latest engine and hopefully the 8 speed.

The issue of trucks is an excellent point. We had something similar in Australia. Since the '70s, 4WD wagons like the Toyota Landcruiser were subject to a reduced import duty (like 5% compared to 15 for a passenger car import). This was lobbied by farmers, but from the '90s onwards taken advantage of by families despite the 4WD vehicles having poor fuel economy, being more rollover-prone and not having to meet passenger car crash safety standards. In recent years this was corrected by reducing the duty to 5% for all imports.

It is a very reasonable to argue that a performance car 'misused' as a commuter runabout is no more harmful than a full-size pickup truck similarly misused. If the political outcome doesn't match commonsense, the chances are there is a lobby group at work. It may be the industries who genuinely require the capabilities of a truck, or even automakers who know that trucks are more profitable. Either way, the outcome is unfortunate for performance car enthusiasts and even environmentalists.

As for assembly, there is a strong likelihood that the Elizabeth operations will remain as is for some time, as its operations are propped up by local taxpayers to avoid the loss of an entire industry employing tens of thousands. But perhaps there is the possibility of CKD kit exports a la the Buick Park Avenue.
 

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I suppose what it all comes down to is, will the Commodore of the 2017 MY be RWD and V8 powered, or will it be reduced to the likes of the Impala, i.e., FWD and V6? If GM takes the SS back to the USA, the most logical move would be to match up its production location with its cousin, the Camaro. If the Commodore stays on with the RWD and V8s, there still may be a compelling argument made for leaving production of the SS in OZ. But GM being GM, we may never know until the last minute what they plan on doing, as is evidenced by the lack of technical data being released on the VF/SS.:wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
In today's globalised industry, a FWD Commodore would be an Australian-assembled Impala. The whole R&D capabilities of the country would be lost (given the Falcon's questionable future). We already make the Toyota Camry here which is exported to the Middle East - presumably with modifications to suit hotter climates and local tastes. It is popular but doesn't get anyone too excited.

To summarise: give me RWD or give me death. :D
 

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It is a very reasonable to argue that a performance car 'misused' as a commuter runabout is no more harmful than a full-size pickup truck similarly misused.
Just this statement shows where we are eventually headed...the austrailian govt has "decided" what is appropriate use and what is not.
 

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In today's globalised industry, a FWD Commodore would be an Australian-assembled Impala. The whole R&D capabilities of the country would be lost (given the Falcon's questionable future). We already make the Toyota Camry here which is exported to the Middle East - presumably with modifications to suit hotter climates and local tastes. It is popular but doesn't get anyone too excited.

To summarise: give me RWD or give me death. :D
RWD is better in my opinion. Yes shamefully the Falcon will die a miserable death once the Mustang reaches Aussie Showrooms despite some people claiming that won't happen and the Falcon will live on RWD. I don't see the need for FWD in Australia, you have relatively little to no snow fall your whole tire line up is practically Summer Only for here in North America and RWD can be more fuel efficient if worked right.

If you've read Lutz's book CAFE was created by the Japanese to squash the American Car Market which they practically succeeded in doing for the most part by forcing Auto Makers no time to develop successful and problem free FWD platforms. Hence why in the early 80's NA Auto-manufacturers had horrible problems when introducing new FWD cars especially GM while the Japanese having ran FWD for years already had perfected transmissions.
 

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CAFE was created by the Japanese to squash the American Car Market
I find that a bit of a stretch. Pretty much I can say CAFE was a product of the Oil Embargo in the 70s.

Back then was preached that we were heading for an Ice Age; 20 or so years later a Global Warming.

I am not on favor or against FWD. GM had a great car and by some people's opinion overengineered and was the Oldsmobile Toronado that shared the platform with the Cadillac Eldorado. The Drivetrain was used on the GMC Motorhomes. Watch the movie "Stripes"; they used the same Motorhome.

Here is a picture of the chassis with drivetrain.




I do agree for a Performance Sedan RWD is the way to go.
 

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Car RamRod
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I'm still a bit confused by the way GM has approached this. You've got heavy media promotion, yet average mechanical specification and limited availability for the sake of limiting sales?
.
It gets people to the showrooms, where salespersons can convince people that they really need an economy car.
 

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Regarding the new engine, for over 20 years Holden has avoided launching a new car with a new engine simultaneously. This is because their developmental resources are tiny compared to larger companies. When the VE HSV range was launched in '06, it carried over the LS2 which was a couple of years old at the time. In about '08, the LS3 was quietly added as standard on all models.

Logically, if the SS can remain alive for another year or 2 it will receive the latest engine and hopefully the 8 speed.

The issue of trucks is an excellent point. We had something similar in Australia. Since the '70s, 4WD wagons like the Toyota Landcruiser were subject to a reduced import duty (like 5% compared to 15 for a passenger car import). This was lobbied by farmers, but from the '90s onwards taken advantage of by families despite the 4WD vehicles having poor fuel economy, being more rollover-prone and not having to meet passenger car crash safety standards. In recent years this was corrected by reducing the duty to 5% for all imports.

It is a very reasonable to argue that a performance car 'misused' as a commuter runabout is no more harmful than a full-size pickup truck similarly misused. If the political outcome doesn't match commonsense, the chances are there is a lobby group at work. It may be the industries who genuinely require the capabilities of a truck, or even automakers who know that trucks are more profitable. Either way, the outcome is unfortunate for performance car enthusiasts and even environmentalists.

As for assembly, there is a strong likelihood that the Elizabeth operations will remain as is for some time, as its operations are propped up by local taxpayers to avoid the loss of an entire industry employing tens of thousands. But perhaps there is the possibility of CKD kit exports a la the Buick Park Avenue.
While the opposite is here and hence why our truck market especially in the heavy truck industry is very limited. Due to the "Chicken Tax" created in retaliation for Germany putting an extra Tax on American Chickens brought over after WWII. The Tax was mainly aimed at the VW Type II aka the Samba/Microbus. This is why for the most part now Subaru Outback Legacy Wagons are assembled in the US due to their ground clearance declared to be that of a small truck/SUV. All Japanese Manufacturer Trucks assembled in the US examples the Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra. The Freightliner/Dodge Sprinter brought over as a Knock Down Kit. Last but not least what Ford does for North America with the commercial version of the Transit Connect, the passenger version is exempt so all vans come over as passenger wagons, those selected are then taken to a facility that strips them, shreds the unnecessary material and then converts them to the cargo version. Its why pretty much all heavy trucks on the road you see are mostly American such as Peterbilt, Freightliner, Kenworth, and Mack. If I remember right Volvo trucks are assembled in the US to avoid the tax as well. Its why we do not have MAN, DAF, or Scania Trucks. Hino did come over in small quantities but they were expensive to offset the Tax.

I find that a bit of a stretch. Pretty much I can say CAFE was a product of the Oil Embargo in the 70s.

Back then was preached that we were heading for an Ice Age; 20 or so years later a Global Warming.

I am not on favor or against FWD. GM had a great car and by some people's opinion overengineered and was the Oldsmobile Toronado that shared the platform with the Cadillac Eldorado. The Drivetrain was used on the GMC Motorhomes. Watch the movie "Stripes"; they used the same Motorhome.

Here is a picture of the chassis with drivetrain.




I do agree for a Performance Sedan RWD is the way to go.
The Oil Embargo brought a lot of headaches to all including the national mandate for 55mph on all highways and interstates. The Japanese had a huge hand in CAFE, they also called the Volt a stupid idea which it is not. The Japanese also had a big affinity for restricting the horsepower of all their performance vehicles for a long time. Factory performance cars such as the Impreza WRX STi, the Supra and Godzilla could not be 300HP or above from the factory. That law has been revoked now I believe with the introduction of the R35 aka The GT-R. The same type Motorhome was used in the film Twister as well though known as the Transmode.
 
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