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Posts Tagged ‘Chevrolet’

2014 NAIAS: 2015 Chevrolet Colorado

January 14th, 2014 No comments

2014 NAIAS: 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

January 13th, 2014 No comments

 

The only people not happy to see the C7 ZO6 roll onto the Detroit Auto Show stage today are owners of the once-mighty ZR1. Corvette engineers have forgotten all about model heirachy and brought the new ZO6 model to market with even more power and performance than last year’s $120k range-topper. What makes that news even harder to hear is that the much-improved ZO6 will almost certainly cost tens of thousands less than the previous flagship. Chevrolet expects true supercar performance with regards to road holding, acceleration and braking. All of the aggressive body additions are the result of intensive wind tunnel testing to improve downforce at speed and the car looks downright menacing in person. Oh yeah, one more fact to wrinkle ZR1 drivers’ noses: the ZO6 broke the Milford proving ground track record on the first go-round. You’ve gotta love the march of progress. We do!

Video Review: 2014 Chevrolet Sonic

November 4th, 2013 No comments

      GM’s been enjoying much improved sales results the last few years and a big driver of that has been the newfound competitiveness in its car lineup. Chevrolet now has a strong entry at every level from the ity bity Spark to the downright handsome Impala and it’s been far too long since we’ve been able to declare that. We just got a crack at the 5-door Sonic and while no one will be using phrases like “downright handsome” to describe it, we found a lot to like about the little Michigan-made Chevy. Read more…

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Video Review: 2013 Chevrolet Spark 2LT

March 16th, 2013 No comments

 

      There should be a plaque on the dash of every Chevy Spark that the driver would have to recite before turning the key. It would be an adaption of Chief Joseph’s great surrender speech and it would read “I will pass no more forever”. This would put the driver in an appropriate state of mind since you are surrendering driving fun every time you set off in a mini car powered by a 1.25-liter I4 that musters 84 hp. We thanked our lucky stars for the standard 5-speed manual since the optional 4-speed automatic must be positively glacial in its acceleration. Of course once we got used to the lack of power the Spark surprised us with what it does offer. Our loaded 2LT trim came with power windows locks and mirrors, 10 airbags, 15” aluminum wheels, OnStar, even heated seats, satellite radio and a 7” touch screen with MyLink smartphone integration for Pandora, navigation and Bluetooth audio! To say we were a bit surprised at what Chevy has included for $15,795 is an understatement. Of course, compared to even the next class up you should be prepared for a noticeable increase in wind, road and engine noise and other refinement issues like small vibrations coming transmitting through the steering wheel. Still, the car offered a fine ride, 38 mpg on the highway and more than enough room up front—although back seat passengers should be small and cargo room with the 2nd row up is very tight. As for style, the Spark should catch the eye of young, first time buyers who care more about features than foot-pounds of torque and as for us, it’s safe to say we were pleasantly surprised with Chevy’s first mini car in the US.

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2013 NAIAS: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

January 14th, 2013 No comments

       We don’t get to write about a new Corvette very often and the proof is in the math where it’s taken 60 years to finally deliver up a seventh generation. The wait has always been worth it and this time looks like no exception. The most dramatic changes are with the styling where lines get sharpened and a new quarter window adjoining the door glass takes the greenhouse in a daring new direction. The rear is also emboldened with dramatic LED lights, new vents and quad exhaust. In person the Corvette Stingray (that name returns to denote the base model) comes off as lithe and athletic but not overly refined or timeless. We do expect great things from the 450 hp LT1 V8, which finally features Direct Injection and should pay dividends in fuel economy, especially when paired with the new 7-speed manual transmission. Yes, seven speeds, just like the Porsche 911 only Chevrolet has engineered in a rev-matching system that should be a hoot. The C7 is 99 pounds lighter than the outgoing car and boasts a stiffer chassis thanks to hand-me-downs in the form of the aluminum frame from the ZO6 and ZR1. The interior is one area where we didn’t want to see any sharing from the outgoing car and we’re glad to report the new interior looks and feels leagues better. There are even two styles of seat for those who want even more aggressive bolstering. With as promising as the C7 looks we might not have to write about the next generation Corvette for a long time. Read more…

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Design Critique

January 14th, 2013 No comments
 
     We’ve never been given the task to design a car, much less one as sacred to the automotive faithful as the long running Chevrolet Corvette. The look of such a car must be a challenge to the designers in order to balance the continuation of the legend while reinventing and innovating to keep the car fresh and competitive. It is much easier for those of us on this side of the drawing board to praise or criticize each generation of Corvette. At the end, however, it is the consumer and enthusiast who decides the success and failure of each successive automotive generation. We’re critics though and we know what we like and we know Corvette history. Unfortunately this new car, which revives the Stingray name, did not immediately take our breath away. Even so we must remember our original thoughts when casting our gaze on the C5 Corvette, which is now considered the car that revolutionized what it meant to bear the beloved name. That car didn’t immediately strike us as beautiful then either. Certainly we can praise the upgraded interior and speculate on what it will feel like to row through seven gears. What we can’t predict is whether the C7 will grow better with age or be remembered as the car that broke the Corvette’s beauty streak.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco

September 8th, 2012 No comments

2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO

 Rental Car No More

     Several years ago, 2004 to be precise, GM began to unload the original front wheel drive Chevrolet Malibu as a rental car by stripping it of its Malibu nameplates and slapping the vague Classic lettering on the deck lid. Having worked as a rental car lot attendant, I can attest that this car was the backbone of the rental car world. Unfortunately, its reliability and non-descript styling were its best points. It seemed Chevrolet had decided to join the Japanese in offering a forgettable midsize sedan except every facet was executed with mediocrity resulting in unsupportive seats, carpet that separated from its rocker sills and a completely lifeless driving experience. The revised 2004 Malibu that went to retail customers rather than fleets was hardly an improvement with its numb electrically assisted steering. If the outgoing Malibu/Classic’s styling could be described as vanilla, its replacement was nothing more than French Vanilla. GM finally stepped up to the plate with the well-received all-new Malibu for 2007. Five model years have passed, and though it was hardly looking old, GM realized that a timely replacement would be necessary to maintain the Malibu’s newfound competitiveness.  Read more…

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Automotive Trends GARAGE Season 2 Episode 1

December 14th, 2011 No comments

 

      Stand by because the heroes of automotive banter are back in front of the video camera. In our season premiere we cover GM’s hotly anticipated new vehicle of the century: the Chevrolet Volt. We would be remiss to give it all away here, but in a nut shell, the boys are smitten. Read more…

2011 Chevrolet Cruze ECO

September 26th, 2011 No comments

Low Tech Meets Low Compromise in the Battle for Fuel Efficiency

     It’s not as if Chevrolet has never attempted this before. Take a mainstream small car, make some powertrain tweaks and attempt to turn the vehicle into a hyper-mileage car that passes as conventional transportation. As General Motors’ entry-priced brand, Chevrolet has a long history–not all of it memorable–at marketing highly efficient vehicles. Some notable–scratch that, tragic–examples include the Chevette diesel, the GEO Metro XFi, and the Cobalt XFE. None of these vehicles set the sales charts on fire (a scant 324 diesel Chevettes were sold in 1986), so does Chevrolet’s latest hyper-miler, the Cruze ECO, have any chance at succes? Read more…

2011 Chevrolet Volt

August 18th, 2011 No comments

Love At First Charge

    It’s not often that we anticipate testing a vehicle as much as we did with Chevrolet’s Volt. That’s because it’s not often that a vehicle comes along packing a powertrain as revolutionary as GM’s Voltec system. And it was because of this advanced propulsion system and its lightning paced development that we were preparing ourselves to overlook a few rough spots in the days before the vehicle’s delivery. We figured that if mighty Toyota still hadn’t sanded off all the sharp edges on its hybrid powertrain after three generations of Prius development the Volt and its more advanced, but still first gen, technology could be a bit of a half-baked science experiment in the real-world hands of our editors. The truth, it turns out, is that GM has managed to surprise our jaded staff with the level of refinement we enjoyed in our production-spec Volt. It’s so astonishing that it’s difficult to put into words, but we’re confident that after digesting both our written and video reviews you’ll understand our level of admiration for what the General’s best and brightest have accomplished with the world’s first extended-range electric vehicle. Read more…