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mtn
mtn SuperDork
10/8/09 11:20 p.m.

The heat seaters might be a deletable option. I know it wouldn't make sense for most of the nation south of the Mason Dixon line to have them.

plance1
plance1 HalfDork
10/9/09 12:28 a.m.

I rented cadillacs a few years ago, usually the larger ones (DTS?) and the seats had heat and cooling. So maybe on the smaller CTS cars that kind of thing is an option that Avis is no longer getting on their cars. Regardless, of what side of the Mason-Dixon line you are on, your friggin knee shouldnt hit the dashboard in a top of the line luxury car. Of all the reviews of the car I have read, only one time did I see someone comment on this, maybe everyone is just used to the crappy ergonomics.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
10/9/09 6:26 a.m.
plance1 wrote: I rented cadillacs a few years ago, usually the larger ones (DTS?) and the seats had heat and cooling. So maybe on the smaller CTS cars that kind of thing is an option that Avis is no longer getting on their cars. Regardless, of what side of the Mason-Dixon line you are on, your friggin knee shouldnt hit the dashboard in a top of the line luxury car. Of all the reviews of the car I have read, only one time did I see someone comment on this, maybe everyone is just used to the crappy ergonomics.

I can't ride in a Subaru. My knees hit the dash in every one of them.

irish44j
irish44j Reader
10/9/09 8:14 a.m.
John Brown wrote:
plance1 wrote: I rented cadillacs a few years ago, usually the larger ones (DTS?) and the seats had heat and cooling. So maybe on the smaller CTS cars that kind of thing is an option that Avis is no longer getting on their cars. Regardless, of what side of the Mason-Dixon line you are on, your friggin knee shouldnt hit the dashboard in a top of the line luxury car. Of all the reviews of the car I have read, only one time did I see someone comment on this, maybe everyone is just used to the crappy ergonomics.

I can't ride in a Subaru. My knees hit the dash in every one of them.

damn, you must be a moose! I'm 6'1 and my knees have several inches of room. that said, the new ones may have more knee room than the old ones.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
10/9/09 8:26 a.m.

6'3" roughly 300lbs still. I have been dieting and working out, I seem to be adding more mass than losing fat, which is the opposite of what I REALLY need to do.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
10/30/09 3:35 p.m.
http://www.autonews.com/article/20091030/ANA02/910309987/1186 said: Frank Weber, the German-born engineer in charge of General Motors' coveted Chevrolet Volt hybrid program, is moving back to Germany to take a senior management role at Opel, a GM spokesman said today. He will be replaced by Doug Parks, who has been working at Opel since 2007 as chief engineer for GM's global compact cars, which include the Opel Astra and Chevrolet Cruze. Weber's move is GM's second significant departure from the Volt team in the past month. In September, Bob Kruse, executive director of vehicle engineering for hybrids, electric vehicles and batteries, left to start a consulting firm. GM immediately named GM engineering veteran Micky Bly to replace Kruse. The Volt, one of the most anticipated vehicles in GM history, is due to be launched in late 2010. GM spokesman Dave Roman said today that Weber's new title has not been announced. Roman said Weber will help manage Opel product development once GM closes a deal to sell a controlling stake in Opel to Magna International Inc. and a Russian investor, Sberbank. The move, Roman said, was planned. He said Weber's assignment in the United States is ending now that the Volt development is nearly complete and the car is ready for production. “Coincidentally, the move timed pretty well for the development team. The Volt is now in execution mode,” Roman said. “Frank's done a great job leading the team.” Weber, 43, led the powertrain and electronics engineers as they designed and tuned the Volt's gasoline-electric powertrain. Unlike other hybrids, the Volt's gasoline engine does not drive the wheels. Only an electric motor does. On the Volt, the gasoline engine is connected to a generator that creates power for the electric motor after the car has traveled 40 miles on batteries. Opel will have its own version of the Volt, called the Ampera, in late 2011, one year after the launch of the Chevy version of the hybrid. You can reach Richard Truett at rtruett@crain.com.

I really think there is something else going on here. Every GM engineer involved with this program is running away.

confuZion3
confuZion3 SuperDork
10/30/09 7:15 p.m.

You might be right. But the car is basically done. They don't need them anymore. Move you resources to other projects as they are needed. Once you have the propulsion system down (just an example), you don't need the guy who designed it to continue to work on that project anymore. Move him somewhere else (like perhaps to the division that will see the European version into production).

irish44j
irish44j Reader
10/30/09 7:23 p.m.

In reply to John Brown:

lol...ok the subaru probably isn't for you...if anything because the seats are pretty narrow, just right for my scrawney 175lb self, lol.

I'm thinking for you....Impala SS ;)

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
11/4/09 11:30 a.m.

I wear a Beetle pretty well.

joepaluch
joepaluch New Reader
11/5/09 12:24 p.m.
Trans_Maro wrote: I have the history book on the Fiero. GM brass wouldn't approve Pontiac to make a 2-seat sports car so it was brought in with the weak little 4-banger and it got 40-ish mpg with the economy diff gears that almost no-one actually ordered. (I could be wrong on the figure but it was damn impressive)... ..The Fiero got killed off by the allegedly untrue "Thou shalt not mess with the Corvette" edict at GM. They claim production ceased because of low sales numbers but it was outselling the Corvette in it's final year. Considering the fuel economy of this little beast, what could they have done with another 20 years of development? Oh, wait, someone here is busy doing it :) Shawn

THIS is why GM will fail. GM managment has never allowed GM engineers to develop truely stellar products. It always seems a small team of engineers or even sales type come up with some great idea only have water down by corporate mandate and then killed just as it starts to come good. By contrast what remains at GM is all the bland stuff that just "gets by".

Heck even the Corvette for all it glory could be so much better. Over its history it has had peaks and valleys that have always force it compete with the proper European cars at a disadvantage.

There is no doubt GM has great engineers who can build fantastic cars that people wil lust after in every market segment, but the problem is will they be allowed to do so.

GM had alot of momentum of the early Saturn, but spoiled it. GM had momentum with the EV1 with electric cars, but spoiled it. GM managment instead of fostering innovation seem to work very hard to spoil it while the engineers keep trying bring it out.

What happend to the GM rear steering system for large trucks? It is dead now, but why was it not developed further? Rev 1 may not have been perfect, but now they have nothing.

You can probalby see many more example where GM engineers have come up with something, but it got canned before it ever worked to its potential. Then some other company takes that idea, fully supports it and this new development becomes a major bonus. All the while GM is still stuck working on being "average".

joepaluch
joepaluch New Reader
11/5/09 12:30 p.m.

BTW... My 2002 BMW 530 does not have seat heaters. They were an option and some of the used cars I saw had them. The one I liked best did not have seat heaters. It did have sport seats, sport suspension and a "sun shade" package. Living Arizona seat heaters are kind of pointless anyway. The sun shade stuff sure is nice however and the sport seats very nice too.

kb58
kb58 New Reader
11/5/09 1:03 p.m.

I would think seat heaters in a rental would be a very good idea...

Type Q
Type Q HalfDork
11/5/09 1:18 p.m.
joepaluch wrote: GM managment has never allowed GM engineers to develop truely stellar products. It always seems a small team of engineers or even sales type come up with some great idea only have water down by corporate mandate and then killed just as it starts to come good. By contrast what remains at GM is all the bland stuff that just "gets by". Heck even the Corvette for all it glory could be so much better. Over its history it has had peaks and valleys that have always force it compete with the proper European cars at a disadvantage. There is no doubt GM has great engineers who can build fantastic cars that people wil lust after in every market segment, but the problem is will they be allowed to do so. GM had alot of momentum of the early Saturn, but spoiled it. GM had momentum with the EV1 with electric cars, but spoiled it. GM managment instead of fostering innovation seem to work very hard to spoil it while the engineers keep trying bring it out. What happend to the GM rear steering system for large trucks? It is dead now, but why was it not developed further? Rev 1 may not have been perfect, but now they have nothing. You can probalby see many more example where GM engineers have come up with something, but it got canned before it ever worked to its potential. Then some other company takes that idea, fully supports it and this new development becomes a major bonus. All the while GM is still stuck working on being "average".

I think it gets down to your basic attitude. For at least the last 40 years, perhaps longer, GM has been competing in the world with companies that play to win. GM, in my estimation, has been playing not to lose. That is a fundemental difference in mind set.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
11/12/09 8:01 a.m.

http://www.autonews.com/article/20091112/ANA05/911119980/1259

Can Buick capitalize on its performance history from over a generation ago? That's the intent of the 2011 Regal, a German-assembled, front-drive sedan that is essentially a rebadged five-passenger Opel Insignia. U.S. sales begin in the second quarter of 2010. The Regal name was associated with several high-performance models in the 1960s, '70s and '80s. “If there was ever a performance Buick in the last 30 years, it was the Regal,” said Craig Bierley, the brand's director of product and marketing. “Whether it be a Grand National, a GS, a GNX, it was always our performance brand.” Buick hopes to capitalize on the Regal's history and the Insignia's success. Since it went into production about a year ago, the Opel version of the car has won several awards including European Car of the Year. What distinguishes the Regal from the Insignia are minor cosmetic changes -- essentially Buick's waterfall grille, the design of the front headlights and some interior trim. The Regal is the next chapter in Buick's transformation to rejuvenate the brand and attract younger buyers. The Enclave crossover was first, followed by the LaCrosse sedan. Today, the brand's average buyer is 70 years old, according to Buick. The Regal is targeting buyers in their 40s and 50s, especially those who are interested in the Acura TSX, Audi A4 and Volvo S60. “Delivering performance credentials to the Buick buyer and changing people's perceptions, that is the role that the Regal plays in spades for us,” Bierley said. Buick will highlight the Regal's European-tuned chassis and an optional turbocharged engine and driver-selectable suspension system. The system has three suspension modes: normal, sport and touring. The four dampers are electronically controlled and adjust to road conditions within milliseconds. Additionally, the system changes the throttle response, shift pattern and steering effort for each of the modes. Engine choices Two engines are available. A turbocharged, 220-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is optional with an estimated 258 pounds-feet of torque. Fuel economy is estimated at 18 mpg in the city and 29 highway. The turbocharged engine will be available in the third quarter of 2010. The base engine is a 182-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder with an estimated 172 pounds-feet of torque. Fuel economy is estimated at 20 mpg city and 30 highway. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with both engines. A V-6 will not be offered. “Performance today means not just 0-to-60 but what can you do without draining the tank,” said Jim Federico, a Buick vehicle line executive. The Regal will be priced and positioned below the LaCrosse, Buick's flagship sedan. The Lucerne will be discontinued, possibly as early as 2010 or 2011. The Regal and LaCrosse share General Motors Co.'s global mid-sized vehicle platform. But the Regal is 190.2 inches long, 6.8 inches shorter than the LaCrosse. The Regal's wheelbase is 107.8 inches, 3.9 inches shorter than LaCrosse's. The Regal and LaCrosse do not share sheet metal or glass. The Regal will be assembled in Russelsheim, Germany, for about 15 months. One model will be offered -- the top-of-the-line CLX. Then assembly will be transferred to North America and a lower-priced Regal model, the CX, added to the range. The Regal has been sold in China since December. Since then, 64,000 have been sold there, Bierley said.

But GM does not want to badge engineer or import any new cars.

Stealthtercel
Stealthtercel Reader
11/12/09 8:36 a.m.

Too bad "what [you can] do without draining the tank" apparently isn't going to lead to importing some of those tempting diesels they use in Germany.

pres589
pres589 Reader
11/12/09 8:44 a.m.

They could do worse than bringing over the Insignia with a Buick grill, but I don't know if this will work out much better than, say, the Saturn LS cars that were rebadged Opels. You would think GM would remember how this normally goes for them. There's also the issue of 182 HP being asked to pull around 3600+ pounds of Opel with a quartet of Americans weighing it down further.

Ford has the Taurus and GM is going to try selling this, which do you think will win? Who / what is GM using as a benchmark for their vehicles these days besides older GM products?

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
11/12/09 9:24 a.m.
pres589 wrote: Ford has the Taurus and GM is going to try selling this, which do you think will win? Who / what is GM using as a benchmark for their vehicles these days besides older GM products?

Well said.

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter HalfDork
11/12/09 10:03 a.m.

Isn't there some logic that goes if you want 50 year olds to buy your car, you market it to 20 year olds?

This country is VERY youth-oriented... no one wants to be seen driving an "old man's car" or a "grandma-mobile".

pres589
pres589 Reader
11/12/09 7:08 p.m.

Something else; Buick dude is quoted with blah blah Buick performance blah. No one remembers that stuff save for hard core car guys. Guess what? They aren't going to touch this thing either. If a guy with a bit of coin wants a hot Buick he'd actually hit the auctions or similar outlet and buy one. Frankly, that ain't this, and there hasn't been one since 1987 that anyone took notice of.

I could get all ranty but I think I'd be preaching to a choir that already knows this stuff. What baffles me is that GM is keeping guys like Lutz on board. He's the guy that should be in the commercials instead of the new CEO, and keep him away from anything else. Hell, don't even give him pens for whatever office room he gets put in, he'd just do something dangerous like try to greenlight another SSR.

forzav12
forzav12 New Reader
11/12/09 7:32 p.m.

OK, yet another ill-informed bashing of GM. First, seat heaters are available on the CTS, a very highly rated vehicle, BTW, from sources as diverse as KBB to R&T. Second, GM is hardly "playing not to lose". The Corvette, the CTS,CTS-V,CTS Sportwagon, truck/SUV line, Malibu,Enclave,Solstice, the new Buicks, etc,etc,etc have all reviewed quite well and have outright won a number of comparos. Finally. I guess the patsies at Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Mazda,Lexus,et al, must be building "older GM products" these days, since those are the 'benchmarks" much of the GM line has been besting lately. There are a number of reasons for GMs difficulties and consequent elimination of certain nameplates(obviously beyond the grasp of many in this post), but an entire line of subpar vehicles isn't one of them.

pres589
pres589 Reader
11/12/09 8:10 p.m.

You're dodging; what car is the Regal better than if you consider the overall qualities of the vehicle and it's street price? It doesn't sound interesting and it doesn't seem like a logical purchase option considering the other available cars out there. I'll save my armchair suggestions on what should have been the Regal only if someone really wants to hear them, and I can't imagine why that would happen.

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro HalfDork
11/12/09 9:38 p.m.

Performance Buick = GS Stage one

They wouldn't bother to build a car like that again anyway.

Shawn

Schmidlap
Schmidlap Reader
11/12/09 10:13 p.m.
pres589 wrote: Ford has the Taurus and GM is going to try selling this, which do you think will win?

Isn't the Lacrosse Buick's competitor for the Taurus? Similar size, price, power, reviews etc. Buick is using the Regal as a competitor for the Acura TSX, Volvo S60 and Audi A4 (I edited this - I accidentally wrote S4 when I first posted - Thanks for pointing that out Pres589), all of which are more Fusion sized than Taurus. I think the lack of a V6 option will hurt it unless gas prices go through the roof again, but the S60 only has inline 5's, and it sells decently (though Volvo isn't terribly profitable).

Bob

pres589
pres589 Reader
11/12/09 10:26 p.m.

Audi A4 vs this thing? Not a chance. S4 is something else again and the Regal would need some form of LSx V8 to compete with that, plus all wheel drive, because what the world didn't ask for was another Impala SS with a transverse mounted truck engine.

Schmidlap
Schmidlap Reader
11/13/09 10:11 a.m.

Oops, I meant A4, not S4 - thanks for pointing that out. Since I've never driven an A4, I can't really comment on how good or bad they are, but they've never really seemed like anything special, just a more expensive VW, kind of like choosing a Lincoln MKZ over the Fusion - you get a nicer interior and different looks, but its still the same basic car. They seem to sell pretty well with a 210hp turbo 4 lugging around a 3500lb car (the AudiUSA website says that's the only engine available).

Until we start getting more info about this car and read some reviews, it seems kind of premature to decry it as a failure, especially since what we enthusiasts like rarely has any bearing on how successful a car is, especially a Buick.

Bob

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