GM'S 2005 SEMA Showcase
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2nd November, 2005
GM's small-vehicle lineup will make a big impact at this year's Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show, proving that with the right combination of technology, great products and accessories, it's possible to pack performance, style and fuel economy into one exciting package.
Among the 25 smaller vehicles taking centre stage at SEMA are customised versions of Chevrolet's new hit HHR and Cobalt; the new Pontiac Solstice and G6; the Saturn Ion and upcoming Sky; and the new, smaller Hummer H3. These fuel-efficient vehicles are the perfect canvas for customisers who'd rather spend their money on a killer audio system than at the pump. And they also can be very well-equipped for the customer who wants to make a statement without the work.
In September, HHR sales were up 55 percent over August, and HHRs are disappearing from dealers’ lots almost as quickly as they arrive. Cobalt sales are at a brisk pace as well, with more than 40 percent of calendar-year-to-date sales to non-GM owners. The new H3 is driving record Hummer sales, and also attracting new GM customers, with about 70 percent of H3 buyers new to GM.
For those who insist on a custom ride, GM will show off a growing portfolio of crate engines and accessories designed and engineered by GM. Other GM Accessories offerings, including a new performance exhaust system portfolio, electrical accessories collection and supercharger kits, will be featured as well.
“GM’s launch products are already making a name for themselves in the aftermarket community,” said Mark LaNeve, GM vice president, North American Sales Service and Marketing. “We're seeing Chevy Cobalts and HHRs, Pontiac G6s and Hummer H3s sold with GM Accessories or going straight from the showroom to the customisation shops.
"It is a great sign that people who love cars think we have great vehicles to personalise, and that our fuel-efficient small cars and trucks are finding a new appeal in the aftermarket."
According to U.S. News’ new “muscle-per-gallon” index, based on data from Kelley Blue Book, GM is a leader in helping fuel economy and horsepower live peacefully under the same bonnet. The Saturn Ion Red Line tops the index of vehicles under $20,000, with the Cobalt SS Coupe and Sedan rounding out the top five and the Pontiac G6 No. 10. In the overall survey, three Corvettes are in the Top 10, with the new Z06 rated No. 2.
While smaller cars dominate the show floor, those seeking traditional high-horsepower rides won't be disappointed: GM will feature noted car buff/collector Jay Leno's '32 Bowtie Deuce Roadster featuring GM's venerable small-block V-8 (LS7), as well as a 620-horsepower '70 Chevelle thoroughly modernised during the summer by a group of Michigan college students. The newest members of Cadillac's V-Series performance lineup, the STS-V and the XLR-V, also will be on hand.
Al Oppenheiser, director of Concept and Vehicle Integration for GM Performance Division, said shows like SEMA help showcase the ingenuity of GM engineers and designers, and let customers know what they can develop in their own garages.
"We're providing our aftermarket partners, our internal Performance Parts operations and automotive enthusiasts with the best vehicle canvas on which to create parts, pieces and components that look cool and go fast," he said. “But we're not just building show cars. We're building vehicles with race-proven technology and production components that people can actually buy today."
GM’S 2005 SEMA SHOWCASE: A BRAND-BY-BRAND TOUR
Here are the highlights of GM’s 2005 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) portfolio. The show is 1st-4th November in Las Vegas, nevada, USA.
Leno's '32 Bowtie Deuce Roadster
GM Performance Division
Leno ’32 Bowtie Deuce Roadster: An expected crowd-pleaser is GM Performance Division’s Leno '32 Bowtie Deuce Roadster, which combines several American automotive legends: the '34 Chevy, the '32 Ford Deuce roadster, the legendary GM small-block V-8 and America's sports car icon, the Corvette.
Performance Division engineers used the GM small block, in the form of the LS7 featured in the brand-new Z06 Corvette, to power the roadster. It’s the same engine used in the 2006 Z06 and is available to enthusiasts only in a crate through GM Performance Parts.
Working with car enthusiast Jay Leno, GM took this engine to even greater heights, developing a High Output version of a production LS7 and boosting the existing 505 horsepower to the 580-plus range. Power is transferred to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.
Bonneville Salt Flats: Rain shortened this year’s August Speed Week and washed out the October World Finals. But before it ended abruptly, GM Performance Division’s Ecotec Lakester set a 189.205-mph speed record in G Class/Blown Gas Lakester, and the driver reached 203 mph with one of his two mandated passes to set a record.
The Ecotec Lakester will be on display, along with two other vehicles engineered by GM Performance Division for this year’s runs at Bonneville: the 2006 Chevrolet So-Cal HHR and the California Street Rods Student Project Cobalt SS.
Cobalt SS Supercharged Coupe Time Attack Unlimited: Chevrolet and GM Performance Division took the sizzling Cobalt SS Supercharged coupe and turned it into an Unlimited Class Time Attack machine, which already beat the legendary Nissan Skyline’s times by seven seconds in Street Tuner Challenge’s Time Attack on 21st July.
The Time Attack Cobalt SS Supercharged coupe’s Stage 2+ Ecotec engine was developed by GM Performance Division and GM Powertrain. It features an Eaton M-62 Gen 5 Hybrid supercharger and delivers 264 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 230 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. When nitrous boost is added, performance jumps to 344 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 350 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,600 rpm.
The Cobalt SS Supercharged Coupe Time Attack Unlimited will race 8th November at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in central California, the same track where it beat an 801-horsepower AWD, twin-turbo Nissan Skyline and a nitrous charged Volkswagen Jetta.
Bob Mull's Chevrolet Cobalt SS
Chevrolet HHR: Chevy's new runaway hit, the HHR, pays homage to the past, the 1949 Suburban. Both the HHR and the Chevy Cobalt feature GM's little engine that can, the Ecotec.
The Ecotec 2.2-litre four-cylinder engine is GM's first truly global powerplant. In production trim, it delivers exceptional fuel economy and low exhaust emissions in a reliable, low-maintenance package. In racing trim, it can deliver more than 1,000 horsepower – even when using a majority of production parts.
The HHR was designed to be a blank canvas for imaginative customisers and tuners, and it is already living up to its mission. It will be featured in a number of configurations, including:
A GM Accessories-dressed HHR will be on the show floor; other tuner interpretations of the HHR come from Unique Performance, Darkside, Yearone and PTeazer.
Cobalt : The Chevy Cobalt SS Supercharged has been a major dealer draw, and nearly 30 percent of buyers intend to modify their Cobalt SS, according to the Foresight Research 2005 Chevrolet Halo study. The Cobalt SS Supercharged is pure, guilt-free performance, with an EPA fuel economy rating of 23 mpg city and 29 mpg highway (US figures).
Cobalt’s SEMA entries include:
In addition, GM Accessories will display a 2006 Cobalt with a soon-to-be-released ground effects kit, rear spoiler and body-coloured wiper arms. A Bob Mull customised Cobalt SS also will be featured.
Chevy’s medium duty portfolio will be represented as well. GM Fleet and Commercial will show off the Monroe and MTX Chevrolet Kodiak C4500, featuring 2,000 thumping watts of audio power at 4 ohms.
Chevrolet HHR by Unique Performance
Saturn’s SEMA line-up provides a preview of the brand’s new design character as well as the work of a highly regarded builder of tuner cars, LJ Garcia. Also known as The Godfather, Garcia’s Wide Body Saturn Ion Red Line represents his first domestic customisation.
A wide body appearance and bright yellow paint have become signature Garcia themes, and this Saturn Ion Red Line incorporates both. Other styling elements include carbon fibre APR exterior mirrors and rear wing, as well as an aluminium grille.
The vehicle also features a full complement of audio and entertainment equipment, including 10-inch subwoofers, component sets, amplifiers, monitors and Tsunami products.
Power comes from the stock supercharged and intercooled GM Ecotec engine, delivering 205 horsepower and 200 lb.-ft. of torque. Its impressive performance is further enhanced by a power intake system, damper kit, racing catch tanks, headers and oil block adapter. Performance is supplemented by a CVN Motorsports custom air-ride suspension, DP Racing LJ01 custom 19 x 9-inch wheels and Falken GRB FK-451 tyres.
Other Saturn entries include the Aura concept, which provides the inspiration for the brand’s all-new midsize entry that debuts in 2006; the 2007 Saturn Sky, which showcases a selection of the GM Accessories that will be available at launch, as well as some concept accessories currently in development; and the redesigned 2006 Saturn Vue Red Line, which combines bold new styling and proven performance with impressive fuel economy.
Saturn Aura Concept Car
The new Hummer H3 is driving record sales. The Hummer H3 Street on display at SEMA is designed to appeal to urban buyers with an interest in a customised appearance, while delivering the brand’s trademark iconic bold design and unmatched off-road personality. Another entry, the H3 Rugged, further showcases Hummer’s unique off-road capabilities.
The Street is powered by the same engine that powers the H3, the Vortec 3500 3.5L in-line five-cylinder. It also features an independent SLA torsion bar in front and a Hotchkiss design multi-leaf rear suspension like the H3, as well as electro-hydraulic power 4-wheel disc, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes.
The Hummer H2 SUT features a chrome grille, hood handles, side vents, fuel door, tubular side step and tail lamp guards. Body-coloured accents and 20-inch JAX alloy wheels round out the package.
Hummer H3 'Street'
Another breakaway hit in GM’s small-car portfolio, the brand-new Pontiac Solstice roadster, is already a head-turner. GM Performance Division built the Solstice Weekend Club Racer concept to showcase how a racing version of the car might be configured. This aggressive package would allow Solstice owners to compete in amateur track events with a minimum of upgrades.
The most noticeable changes are external, starting with a removable hard top. The concept top transforms the Solstice into an enclosed car, which is what many amateur and professional racing classes demand.
Another Solstice on display will feature available exterior and performance accessories to showcase how simple additions can make this great roadster even better. Available GM Accessories for the Solstice include 18-inch wheels, a tonneau cover, front end cover, suspension package and an air induction kit.
Pontiac’s roomy new 2006 G6 coupe already has the looks and performance of a competition-inspired machine, so it doesn’t take much to boost the excitement factor. GM Performance Division built the G6 Performance Coupe to showcase how wild the 2+2 coupe could be with replacement body parts. Those parts include new front and rear fascias, new rocker panels and a large rear deck wing. Forgeline 19-inch wheels and racing-inspired Wilwood brakes complete the functional/stylistic additions.
A G6 sedan accessorised by GM Accessories will be on display, as well as a G6 concept, the Roush G6.
Finally, Pontiac ’s new, compact Torrent SUV heads for the slopes. GM Accessories built a showcase of available and potential accessories to highlight winter sports activities, including a snowboard rack and off-road B.F. Goodrich tyres.
Accessorised Pontiac Torrent
General Motors has its designs on the burgeoning customisation market – literally – with a recent investment in its accessory design studio in Auburn Hills, Mich. The studio, an extension of the GM Design Centre in Warren, is dedicated to the design of high-quality accessories that integrate seamlessly into the style and function of GM vehicles.
GM Accessories will take the wraps off of several new initiatives at SEMA, including a new integrated electronics accessories portfolio; a new, comprehensive performance exhaust portfolio; and two supercharger kits that will add some juice to the already high-powered 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt SS Coupe.
The electronics accessories portfolio will be unveiled beginning later this year and includes rear seat entertainment/dual DVD headrests; remote start; inclination sensor, which works in conjunction with the vehicle’s theft-deterrent system if it senses that the vehicle is being jacked up; navigation system; six-CD changer and XM Satellite Radio, a production option being offered on vehicles that include XM factory wiring.
It takes more than an engine to make a performance vehicle – it also must sound like one. To that end, GM Accessories has developed one of the industry’s most comprehensive performance exhaust portfolios. By the second quarter of 2006, GM plans to have performance exhausts available on 30 GM vehicles.
The good news for Cobalt SS owners is that GM Performance Parts is offering Stage 1 and Stage 2 supercharger kits. The Stage 1 Kit includes higher flow fuel injectors and an ECU calibration to provide a 25-horsepower boost to the Cobalt’s engine, for a total of 241 horsepower (torque is 200 lb.-ft.). Add the Stage 2 Kit, with its smaller supercharger pulley and drivebelt, and the engine comes alive, adding 15 lb.-ft. of torque across a broad engine speed range.
The Cobalt Stage 1 and Stage 2 Kits will be available from GM dealerships in the first quarter of 2006.
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