Ford Motor Company and General Motors confirm agreement to co-develop nine- and ten-speed automatics
In a sort of competitive sacrilege, Ford Motor Company and General Motors have both officially confirmed an agreement to jointly develop a completely new generation of nine- and ten-speed automatic cog swappers for cars, crossovers, SUVs and trucks.
The transmissions will be used in front- and rear-wheel drive automobiles with hopes to improve fuel economy and performance.
“Engineering teams from GM and Ford have already started initial design work on these new transmissions,” said Jim Lanzon, GM’s global transmission engineering vice president in the press release. “We expect these new transmissions to raise the standard of technology, performance and quality for our customers while helping drive fuel economy improvements into both companies’ future product portfolios.”
As a part of a new marketing campaign for the Chevrolet Sonic, General Motors is making the new subcompact do some crazy adventurous activities. We’ve already seen the new 2012 Sonic perform a skydive as a part of its Let’s Do This campaign and now GM is taking the model bungee jumping.
What’s next on the Sonic’s bucket list?
Check out the video after the jump.
Click here for more news on the Chevrolet Sonic.
General Motors announced today that it will be investing $ 325 million in tools and equipment to support the production of future electric vehicle components. The move will create 418 jobs at its Warren transmission facility. The plant, which currently employs 679 employees, produces transmissions for the Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, the GMC Acadia and the Chevrolet Malibu.
“This investment in the future recognizes the excellent work force and operation of this plant,” said GM Manufacturing Manager Gerald Johnson. “While we aren’t sharing many details about this product, I can tell you that this investment demonstrates how GM, working with our UAW partners, continues to innovate and bring new electrification solutions to our customers.”
Timing for the tooling and equipment for the new investment has not yet been decided.
The plant produced more than 338,000 transmissions in 2010.
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Earlier this year, we sent one of our more accomplished drivers, Dan Edmunds, to drive a 651-horsepower V12 Ferrari. It was the new Ferrari FF, the all-wheel-drive shooting-brake, though, and a good deal of the driving was on ice and snow. Dan of course had heard of snow, and has seen it a few times over the years, but as a California native this winter-wonderland was a rare treat for him to explore the ins-and-outs of Ferrari’s various forms of computer wizardry.
Now, Dan is not alone in his Southern Californianess; literally hundreds of potential FF owners live here and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. For these owners who want some fun and to see what the car can really do, and, I guess, for owners who may actually need to traverse the white stuff from time to time, Ferrari has launched a new winter driving school in Aspen.
Ferrari’s Winter Driving Experience is based on the Italian offering, Pilota On Ice, and will be available from January of 2012 through early spring. Pricing for the two-day course is $ 11,300 and includes two-nights/three-days in Aspen. Porsche’s Camp4 Canada winter driving experience in Mecaglisse, Quebec runs about $ 4,995 CAD.
First up: This guy.
Land Rover today took the covers off of its new DC100 Concept alongside the DC100 Sport Concept. Both concept models preview the future direction of the next-generation Land Rover Defender model.
“The new concept marks the move of the iconic Defender into the 21st century market,” Land Rover said. “The concept car builds upon the original models character but demonstrates the versatility and the future of the Defender. The design team aim to keep the Defender’s simple and honest style whilst meeting the requirements of an all-new global market.”
The all-new Land Rover Defender is planned for production in 2015 and we’re definitely looking forward to it.
The Land Rover DC100 Concept and the DC100 Sport Concept are powered by a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder diesel engine with hybrid compatibility. The engine is mated to an 8speed transmission with Intelligent Stop / Star and Intelligent four-wheel drive with torque vectoring and Driveline Disconnect. Not sure whether that is the same setup that the production Land Rover Defender will offer.
BY STUART FOWLE, PHOTOGRAPHY BY KGP PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE MANUFACTURER
The Chevrolet Colorado has stirred up more buzz than any mid-size pickup has in a very long time—a little surprising, since it hasn’t officially been confirmed for sale in the United States. Is it just another case of us wanting what we can’t have? Perhaps, and Chevrolet seems to want it that way. While some quotes from the division the past few months indicate the global Colorado will indeed be built and sold in America within the next two years, the company’s communications staff continues to give us the cold shoulder when asked for outright confirmation.
Interest has again spiked, because, as you can see in these spy photos, there’s going to be an SUV version. As you’ll remember, Chevrolet stopped producing truck-based mid-size SUVs here with the death of the TrailBlazer; the unibody Equinox and Traverse now represent the bowtie in their respective classes. There is recent precedent for a small-pickup-based GM SUV, however, in the form of the Hummer H3, which used the current Colorado as its base. If the new pickup is in fact headed here (and we think it should be), Chevrolet just might see a market for truck-based sport-utes as well. Nissan serves as an example of car- and truck-based utes living in harmony, with the Murano, the Pathfinder, and the Xterra being sold side-by-side for some time now.
Both the Colorado pickup and SUV are still heavily camouflaged in these spy photos, but imagining how they’ll look isn’t hard. The open-bed version should look nearly identical to the concept shown back in March. Now, remember back to when the Chevy S-10 and the Blazer were both on sale and it’s easy to picture the SUV, even if that tall, boxy camo is throwing off the proportions. If or when Chevrolet launches it here, we expect it’ll be spun as an active-lifestyle alternative to the city dweller’s Equinox.
As far as engine choices go, it’s easiest to imagine a U.S.-spec Colorado getting the corporate 3.6-liter V-6 because, well, every mid-size anything under the GM umbrella makes use of that engine. The Equinox’s naturally aspirated 2.4-liter inline-four is another option, although we’d love to see both a turbo four and a small turbo-diesel (as was installed in a second Colorado truck concept) used to make smaller pickup trucks and any resulting SUVs relevant again. Hopefully, more details will come soon, but we have plenty of time to continue speculating—don’t expect either of these vehicles to show up before 2013.
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General Motors made it clear before its first annual Global Business Conference it would not entertain any questions about a much-anticipated initial public offering. And since there were only financial analysts in attendance — journalists were in “listen only” mode for the webcast — nobody violated the restriction. We did learn a few things, including the enthusiasm some of the new execs have for the vastly changed corporate culture at the company, and a rundown of some future product.
“I saw a company that was overly complicated, that over-analyzed,” Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre said of the culture when he joined. He also saw a company with global scope, scale and capacity, one that deserved to survive.
North America President Mark Reuss said GM’s incentive spending is down $1,200 per vehicle since June 2009, and its inventory has been cut in half, to about 400,000. Market share is about 20 percent in the U.S., with four core brands instead of eight.
Steve Girsky, vice chairman, corporate strategy and business development, who also worked for GM in 2005-06, said the automaker has cut unnecessary reports and meetings. GM International Operations “used to do 90 different reports a month. Now they do three.”
Before Girsky’s presentation, Tom Stephens, vice chairman, global product operations, gave a rundown of upcoming product. Financial analysts at the GM Tech Center got to see pictures of the new models. Cameras were not allowed.