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By cam (Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 11:46:36 AM EST) (all tags)
Mainly of the V8 kind. Holdens, Pontiacs, Buicks - you name it.


The petrolhead forums boards, especially the GTO ones have gone through a period of depression knowing their beloved car is being cancelled, and now they are going through a high with the announcement by Bob Lutz that the GTO will be re-appearing in 2009 on the new Zeta platform.

Rear wheel drive platforms are the bread and butter of the Australian car market, for both Holden and Ford. It is unsurprising then that GM is having Holden engineer their new rear wheel drive Zeta platform. At this stage it looks like this will be serving as the basis of the future GTO, Camaro and Monte Carlo SS.

Lutz said in a speech in Geneva;

“The reason we said it was canceled is because that way our people would put their pencils down,” Lutz said. “In GM if you say something is deferred, then people keep working on it. We really needed to get that message through to everybody.” GM’s 74-year-old product guru said the program into which the GTO is incorporated was ‘getting out of control’ and running up costs that would have made it unworkable.

The GTO is an imported Holden Monaro. The Monaro was on an old chassis and was not intended to be of a large run in Australia, let alone exported to the US. Production of the Monaro was recently shut down in Australia meaning shipments of the GTO will be drying up too. It will probably not be replaced until the Zeta platform series of cars are introduced.

The article also contains;

Besides Camaro and GTO, other models set to be based on the Zeta platform are upcoming replacements for the Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo, and a new car called the Buick Statesman, according to Lutz.

Holden has a leg into the Chinese market where it sells as Buick (Holden sells as Chevrolet in the Middle East, Asia and South America; and as Vauxhall in the UK). The recent V8 Supercar race in China had one of the Holdens in Buick livery. Surprise, suprise Holden also sells a Holden Statesman International! Which happens to be a big car of American boat - or even Buick - proportions.

So what will a 2009 GTO look like? The boards seem divided. Some want retro and others don't. It appears those that don't want the retro styling like their GTOs as competitors to BMW and Mercedes for sports coupe supremacy. It is my bet the 2009 GTO will look like a two-door Commodore with a Pontiac grill.

It will also be the luxurious end of muscle-car performance. The retro wannabees will be fighting it out with the retro Mustangs and Challengers in their 2009 Camaros. I suspect Mustang had the retro market sewn up, for now. It is pretty hit and miss anyway, the Thunderbird missed big time. The PT Cruiser and Beetle have seen lagging sales. The biggest problem with a retro car is where do you go after three years? Another more retro design?

Nostalgia only goes so far before it becomes po-po-po-mo.

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Lagging sales and retro vehicles by lm (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 01:34:29 PM EST
The present VW and Dahmler-Benz reputation for lack of quality couldn't have anything to do with their weak sales, now, could it?

The biggest engine Chrysler will put into the PT in the factory is 230 hp at 245 foot pounds of peak torque. Compare to the Passat with the 3.6L V6 that has  280 hp at 265 foot pounds. So we have a sedan that you might find your grandma driving outperforming the PT. With the PT you get retro-muscle car looks with no punch.

Stuff a fuckin' V8 into a PT with it'll sell better. Right now, it's the pseudo-performace brand for people who don't know anything about cars.

And the bug? It's a retro-econobox at luxury car prices. WTF? Make a bug priced at entry-level Toyota prices and sales will go back up.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
And Pontiacs history of shoddy quality didnt by cam (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 02:37:14 PM EST
impact the GTO's sales either - bwahahaha. On the forums one of the common comments is they cant believe Pontiac's build quality in the car. I doubt horsepower will save the PT Cruiser. IIRC only baby-boomers have been buying it. Small market car anyway.

Which raises the question, why did GM do a copy-cat car and release it three years later when the market was exhausted? I suspec the same thing will happen with the Camaro, it will be entering a market exhausted by the Mustang, Charger and Challenger.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
The Magnum doesn't seem to be doing too badly by lm (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Mar 08, 2006 at 09:52:49 AM EST
It's retro, it's a freaking station wagon, and you can get it with a really, really big engine.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Not certain the Magnum is retro by cam (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Mar 08, 2006 at 11:23:27 AM EST
It looks like a Dodge truck cut down to sedan size. Dodge/Chrysler have a bit off guts in the design department. I usually like seeing what they have come up with. I also like their trashy 1930s US style (golden age) inspiration. Makes for a very American car.

Station wagons are people too. The SUV replaced the station wagon because they were too pussy and lacked testosterone. The Magnum is a good example of a tough station wagon. I hope they revive the genre.

The Outback has been creeping back to a station wagon too, though they call it cross-over. But my wifes car is for all intensive purposes a station wagon.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
My rule of thumb by lm (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Mar 08, 2006 at 12:25:04 PM EST
If it doesn't have at least three rows of seats, it isn't really a station wagon. Bonus points are awarded for making the third row drop seats.

I'd argue that the magnum design is very retro. The lines all harken back to the art-deco movement. It isn't obviously street cruiser retro like the PT, but it is retro nonetheless.

It was mini-vans that first put the stake into the heart of wagons. The SUV movement just kind of came around to mop up the remains. We'll see if something can rise from the ashes.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
I think of the station wagon as a sedan by cam (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Mar 08, 2006 at 02:42:11 PM EST
with a whopping big boot. Then again, even in the old days of the 1970s, the Australian boats werent as big as American ones.

I consider retro as trying to revive a specific car or frame. For instance the Mustang is retro as it is based off a previous design. I wouldnt call the Magnum retro as it isnt a copy of a former Dodge, just an interesting design which borrows from a style, rather than a specific car.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
I really by blixco (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 02:08:22 PM EST
wish that the rest of the world would start using rear drive.  My RSX would be a kick ass world beating goddamn car if it were rear wheel drive...but as it stands it's a kick as car that can beat other from wheel drive cars that aren't SRT-4s.

I looked at a number of used rear wheel drive cars (BMW 3 series, some new GM products) but ultimately can't find a rear wheel drive car with decent quality ratings.  Period.

Let's hope GM makes the G6 coupe in rear wheel, small V8 form soon.  And without that stupid-ass Pontiac front fascia.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

I agree with the small wheel-base V8 by cam (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 02:33:19 PM EST
The world needs the return of the Holden Torana. When it raced it chewed everything up. It was a small car with a 5L V8 in it. Brock's run of Bathurst wins came in it and the Group A Commodores which werent much bigger than the torrie.

About twelve years ago I went looking for a Torana killer. I nearly bought an AMC Javelin. It was a bit bigger than a torrie, but had a 454 in it. Unfortunately it wasnt registered so didnt want to spend the extra money on it. Ended up with a hotted up Holden instead.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
Javelin! by blixco (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 02:51:43 PM EST
I nearly got one of those instead of a Camaro way back when.  Ended up with a Mustang instead.

Hot damn, I wanted one of those.  Nowadays, I dream of Lotusssss and Morgans.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
Mate of mine buys a muscle/sports car each summer by cam (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 03:00:45 PM EST
and has the discipline to sell it when the weather turns. So he doesnt keep it for me than three months which limits its depreciation. He also buys wisely. Since he started doing this he has bought a 79 Trans Am (403cubes) and a Porsche Boxter. He reckons this year he is going to get a Lotus Elise. I am uber-jealous.

I have made it a point that he drives any car I buy.... what are mates for.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
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