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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm kind of interested in this car. Supposedly it will be debuting in LA, since the G6, C6 Vette, and Kappa platform (Solstice) will be showing at Detroit.
I've been lurking in various GM forums for a few days, and here's what I've found.
<edit>
New GM sketch of the SS:

And what is it with GM placing this poor car behind these, uh, interesting women?


The original sourpuss standing in front of a Cobalt. Both the silver car and the red car are confirmed to both be Cobalts.

And the (rumored Canada only) Pontiac Pursuit official sketch:

Apparently there will be both sedan and 5 door hatchback versions as well as a 2 door coupe. The SS will use a 200+hp S/C ecotec, al la ION Redline. The instruments will be mounted in front of the driver.
In addition, at Detroit a Chevy version of the Kappa (Solstice) platform ("...a new, flexible, hydroformed architecture designed for spirited driving.") will debut as a concept car, the Nomad, a 7/8th scale modern interpretation of a '53 Vette with a kammback.
There is lots of info on http://www.cheersandgears.com, http://carspyshots.proboards2.com/index.cgi, and http://www.gminsidenews.com, and out of respect I don't want to post any more pics from those . If anyone has anything else interesting to add, that would be cool.


Modified by JettaPat at 6:39 PM 12-17-2003
 

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Re: 2005 Chevy Cobalt front end in Detroit Free Press, among other things (JettaPat)

Quote, originally posted by JettaPat »
And what is it with GM placing this poor car behind these, uh, interesting women?


It's their target market.
 

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Re: 2005 Chevy Cobalt front end in Detroit Free Press, among other things (JettaPat)

Well, that's kind of bland...but pretty much what you'd expect. At least it's not blatantly ugly like the current one. The idea of the 5-door is encouraging, though.
 

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Re: 2005 Chevy Cobalt front end in Detroit Free Press, among other things (Rob)

Quote, originally posted by Rob »

It's their target market.

http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif That's just plain mean... but still funny!
It's no wonder we get generic products from GM - my crystal ball says these women don't look the type to be leading a small car platform to fight the likes of Civic, etc.
Yeah, I'm negative, but it's true. Where the heck do you find a car of this size and cost that still has a torsion beam rear end?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: 2005 Chevy Cobalt front end in Detroit Free Press, among other things (ironside_a)

Quote, originally posted by ironside_a »
I'm very intrigued by the red car in this picture...any theories?

As stated above, it's supposes to be some kind of Cobalt coupe, with intended resemblance of the (somewhat unrelated) Astra. It may be the SS there's been a lot of talk about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: 2005 Chevy Cobalt front end in Detroit Free Press, among other things (uncleho)

Quote, originally posted by uncleho »

Yeah, I'm negative, but it's true. Where the heck do you find a car of this size and cost that still has a torsion beam rear end?

At a Volkswagen dealership?
 

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Re: 2005 Chevy Cobalt front end in Detroit Free Press, among other things (JettaPat)

Quote, originally posted by JettaPat »

At a Volkswagen dealership?

Even VW FINALLY scrounged up enough gray matter to change that with the 5th gen! GM will be stuck with this Delta platform for another decade!
 

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Re: 2005 Chevy Cobalt front end in Detroit Free Press, among other things (JettaPat)

I'm guessing that the woman in the first photo is Lori Queen, vehicle line executive for small cars at GM.
Quote »
QUICK CONCEPT TO COMPLETION: GM has a huge stake in little Chevy Cobalt
December 12, 2003
Detroit's desperate bid to become a credible force in the small-car market depends on 5-foot-2 Lori Queen and her obsession of the last two years, the Chevrolet Cobalt.
Queen, 47, is the vehicle line executive, or VLE, for small cars at General Motors Corp., the only Detroit automaker preparing to unveil new small cars at the Detroit and Los Angeles auto shows. Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group will have splashy new passenger car designs, but theirs will be mostly upscale offerings, midsize and larger.
GM will no doubt turn heads with the new Pontiac Solstice, a flashy little two-seater.
But it's the 2005 Chevy Cobalt, which replaces the aging and much-maligned Cavalier, that could be the most important car GM -- or anyone else -- rolls out this year.
With Cobalt as its high-volume entry, GM aims to unseat Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic as the class of the small-car crop, and to make money in a segment renowned for tiny or nonexistent profit margins. What's more, Cobalt's unusual birthing process became something of a pilot for GM's overhaul of its entire vehicle development operation in 2002.
In other words, as Cobalt goes, so might go GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz's vaunted crusade to turn out "gotta have" cars and trucks in super-fast time.
Married to the job
That's a lot of pressure on Queen, oldest of six children in a Dearborn family in which dad was a Ford executive. She never wavered from GM after she did co-op work as an engineering student at General Motors Institute in the 1970s. She's even married to the company, literally. Husband, Jim Queen, is GM's vice president of engineering.
So she knows the stakes. They're big.
"This may be our last chance. If we can't do it right, we're probably out of the small car business," she says.
Noting that Solstice and a tall wagon design code-named HHR are also part of her small-car stable, she adds, "if we don't nail the Cobalt, everything else will evaporate."
Queen's apocalyptic tone as she talks about GM and Detroit's future in small cars is perfectly justified. This is the product segment, after all, that has given us such Hall of Shame cars as the Chevy Vega, the Ford Pinto and the American Motors Gremlin.
And the Chevy Cavalier, the nation's top-selling car in 1984 and 1985, was held in such low regard by the late 1990s that GM opted to spend its scarce dollars on truck and sport-utility designs, ignoring Cavalier altogether. It last got a full makeover in 1995, but GM has reportedly lost as much as $1,000 per car on Cavaliers because of heavy rebates needed to move them.
Despite fierce competition and losses or paltry profits in small cars, GM is reluctant to abandon the segment, for two reasons:

It needs some low-priced models to attract first-time car buyers to GM brands.
It needs a high-volume car with good gas mileage to help meet federal fuel economy standards for its overall lineup.
Still, aside from Saturn, the brand launched in 1990 as a small-car import fighter with marginal results, GM entered the 21st Century will hardly any small-car development plans. "We had a huge portfolio problem with small cars," Queen recalls.
Queen chose her team
The call to Queen went out in September 2001, when she was chief engineer for the Chevy Colorado pickup truck project. As VLE for small cars, Queen was told she could handpick a team to quickly design, plan and make a business case for a Cavalier replacement.
That Cobalt project, then code-named X001, would also have its own advisory board of senior GM executives, led by Mark Hogan and including such top brass as group vice president Gary Cowger and labor relations vice president Troy Clarke. "This was unheard of," Queen says, a single car project having its own advisory board of GM corporate honchos.
"My VLE peers worried that this would disempower me," Queen recalls, "but it turned out exactly the opposite." Her team found it could move much faster as obstacles melted away with a mere phone call or two from advisory board big shots.
Hogan, a veteran executive who had headed GM's Brazil unit, was president of e-GM, the company's e-commerce entity, when he was tapped to form the Cobalt advisory board and work with Queen's team. "The advisory board was Mark's night job," Queen recalls.
Hogan said the advisory board was created "because the challenge was so great.
"We had never done well in terms of profits with small cars. In fact we consistently lost money," Hogan says. "Lori faced the toughest financial challenge of any VLE, not only to do a segment-leading product but to do it and make money. We felt we need to help eliminate any roadblocks in their way." The challenges included prickly relations with the UAW local in Lordstown, Ohio, where the Cobalt would be built.
Winning union support
By November 2001, in just two months, Queen's team had won approval for the Cobalt's charter -- the first major hurdle in GM's product development process -- with a plan that included design, pricing, materials and financial assumptions. Top-level GM labor relations people took the unusual step of opening their financial books for UAW Vice President Richard Shoemaker to win union support for the plan.
"People were in awe" of the two-month charter approval, Queen says, noting that other product programs had taken up to two years to reach that stage. From start to finish, the Cobalt team has taken a car from concept to completion in two years, about half of the standard four-year cycle of years past.
The success of the fast-track approach with Cobalt prompted Lutz and GM's top brass to revamp GM's entire product development along the same lines.
In January 2002, Hogan was named group vice president for advanced vehicle development. He, Lutz and Cowger installed a system predicated on early involvement by top GM executives in the design phase of every GM vehicle.
Speed is a priority. "Now the norm is a 14- to 16-week process for charter approval" on a vehicle project, Hogan says, adding that the Cobalt project "was definitely a precursor to our advanced vehicle design process."
The competition
Until its official unveiling Dec. 29 at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Cobalt photos and product details are supposed to be under wraps. But it's clear GM is positioning the vehicle squarely against Corolla, Civic and Volkswagen Jetta at the upper end of the subcompact class (think of transaction prices from $15,000 up to the low 20s).
Thanks to its recent purchase of South Korean automaker Daewoo, GM will offer the smaller Korean-made Aveo next year at the low-priced end of the small-car universe.
GM hopes to sell about 300,000 Cobalts a year eventually. "This is a huge car for us," Hogan says. "It's important for the renaissance of Chevy cars. It's important to our ability to bring new customers into GM."
In an age when SUVs, trucks and luxury cars mean so much, when was the last time such a small car could mean big things for GM? It's been a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: 2005 Chevy Cobalt front end in Detroit Free Press, among other things (uncleho)

It may be 10 years before we see the Mk V here anyway!
Just kidding. Yeah, you'd think Uncle Bob would've had some say in changing that rear end. Oh well. I'm hopeful for this Kappa thing, though. Mmmmm, Solstice! And the G6 sounds really promising.
 

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All I have to add is not everyone can afford a VW or a car over $15k. I think this will be a fun car for the price point. And don't forget GM likes to tack on nice fat rebates.
I sometimes get the feeling that everyone in the lounge is making 6 figures and they forget what it's like to make ends meet.
 

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Re: 2005 Chevy Cobalt front end in Detroit Free Press, among other things (uncleho)

Quote, originally posted by uncleho »
Where the heck do you find a car of this size and cost that still has a torsion beam rear end?

The 2003 Corolla and Sentra?
Maybe they'll finally put an IRS on the next Cavalier, but I'm not holding my breath. On the bright side, they can't possibly make a worst car than the last Cavy.
 

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Re: 2005 Chevy Cobalt front end in Detroit Free Press, among other things (JettaPat)

Quote, originally posted by JettaPat »

As stated above, it's supposes to be some kind of Cobalt coupe, with intended resemblance of the (somewhat unrelated) Astra. It may be the SS there's been a lot of talk about.

Apparently my reading skills leave something to be desired.
 

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Re: 2005 Chevy Cobalt front end in Detroit Free Press, among other things (courtesi)

Quote, originally posted by courtesi »

I sometimes get the feeling that everyone in the lounge is making 6 figures and they forget what it's like to make ends meet.

I think a lot of people here ignore the fact that "car enthusiasts" make up VERY small percentage of new car buyers. The majority of new car buyers don't care about cornering or 0-60 times. This car was designed for consumers, not enthusiasts so complaining that it's boring or that it has poor handling is pointless.
Ever count the number of Cavaliers you see on the road on a daily basis? GM didn't sell that many because they're outstanding cars. A low price, rebates and incentives made it a very affordable car. Unlike most of us here, most car buyers make their decision based on PRICE not performance or style.
 
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Re: 2005 Chevy Cobalt front end in Detroit Free Press, among other things (MEIN_VW)

300,000 Cobalts a year? Not bloody likely. No matter how good the car might be, those numbers are completely unrealistic for the marketplace. Even the top sellers in the class right now only barely come close to that target. And with several new, good entries coming to market all at once (Mazda 3, Kia Spectra, VW Golf, Nissan Sentra, etc.), it's only going to divide the pie further.
My fear is GM will start saturating the car with rebates to make a sales goal that was completely unrealistic to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: 2005 Chevy Cobalt front end in Detroit Free Press, among other things (MEIN_VW)

Quote, originally posted by MEIN_VW »

I think a lot of people here ignore the fact that "car enthusiasts" make up VERY small percentage of new car buyers. The majority of new car buyers don't care about cornering or 0-60 times. This car was designed for consumers, not enthusiasts so complaining that it's boring or that it has poor handling is pointless.
Ever count the number of Cavaliers you see on the road on a daily basis? GM didn't sell that many because they're outstanding cars. A low price, rebates and incentives made it a very affordable car. Unlike most of us here, most car buyers make their decision based on PRICE not performance or style.

Exactly, good points from both of you. IMO, it is possible to use older technology in a good package in order to satisfy a number of different target audiences. And yes, price is definately a concern when "transportation" is concerned, just look at my daily driver.
 

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Re: 2005 Chevy Cobalt front end in Detroit Free Press, among other things (JettaPat)

Quote, originally posted by JettaPat »

Exactly, good points from both of you. IMO, it is possible to use older technology in a good package in order to satisfy a number of different target audiences. And yes, price is definately a concern when "transportation" is concerned, just look at my daily driver.

Yeah, BUT you guys forget to realize that GM does NOT want to continue making a car line that is: 1) Seriously unprofitable, 2) Seriously underwhelming compared to competition (and hence, needs ridiculous rebates to sell), and 3) (see 1 and 2).
I fully realize why nonenthusiast drive the cars they do and what financial limits mean (my family KNOWS poverty). I also realize that IF Honda can sell a car with the likely descent margin they do and STILL provide good content (content that 905 of buyers could car less about - modified wishbones, etc.) and USE that content as a selling strategy... well, so can/should GM.
It's like with all of the other postings about GM. It's NOT enough to be adequate today. The articles above say as much. Those execs KNOW it's life or death. To be on the edge like GM is with small cars (and cars in general), they need to have: 1) A superior car to Honda, etc. that cost less that can fit the lower budget range and 2) A superior car to VW, etc. that cost less that can fit the higher small-econocar class... That could be Opels selling as Saturns with fully-loaded perceived luxury appointments (but even the new Astra has that archaic rear end).
As for Corolla not having an independent rear end any longer... they are using their Toyota Quality Reputation to sell a commuter car that all enthusiast know is far inferior in handling to its predecessors.
 

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Re: 2005 Chevy Cobalt front end in Detroit Free Press, among other things (username)

Quote, originally posted by username »
interesting photos

Is that you walking behind the lady that looks like she was someone's nightmare principal in grade school?
I can't believe someone actually allows picture taking in a facility like that.
 
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