New Camaro ZL1 to Pack 580hp

Chevy is quite serious about bringing the fight to the Ford GT500 with its new Camaro ZL1. So serious, in fact, that they are giving it a ludicrous 580hp, more than even the CTS-V. They are even claiming that the new ZL1 will not be only a straight line monster, but a truly track capable machine as well.

In order to make it track-ready, the new ZL1 will feature cooling for the differential and engine oil, and a new version of their magnetic ride control system. This new ride control system will offer five different traction modes, even one for VHT prepped drag racing surfaces. The ZL1 and GT500 fight is looking to be a knock down, drag out bar brawl. Get excited.

  

Lutz Comes Back to The General

Here’s more evidence from From the Detroit News that Detroit is serious about the car guys.

General Motors said Friday its former head of product development, 79-year-old Bob Lutz, is on the company roster as a part-time special adviser. He had been informally advising GM executives since his retirement in 2010.

“I’ll basically be doing formally what I did informally for the past 16 months — general observation and advice to senior management … whoever wants the view of a highly experienced outsider as an aid in arriving at what, in all cases, will be their judgment,” said Lutz, a former GM chairman and legendary figure in the industry.

His return comes at a critical time for GM as the Detroit automaker tries to sustain momentum built on vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt and Buick Regal — cars developed under Lutz’s watch.

“The company is in great shape and is being extraordinarily well-led. I’ve seen the ‘post-Lutz’ products, and they’re great. But they value my opinion, and, as you know, I enjoy offering it,” Lutz said.

Analysts like Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of the automotive website Edmunds.com, praised the move.

“This is a good thing for GM. Even with his depth of experience, Bob can always be counted on as a source offresh ideas,” Anwyl said.

Read the full article for more information.

  

Cadillac Ciel Concept

Luxury cars as of late are all about flash, status, and specs. But nowhere to be found is the heritage, craftsmanship, and pedigree of luxury cars of old. Cadillac looks to bring some of those features back with the Cadillac Ciel Concept.

The Ciel is a large, seductively styled four door convertible that recalls the classic luxury cars of yesteryear, while looking ahead to the future. It’s cabin is swathed in leather wood, and jeweled gauges. It is made of nicer materials than most billionaires’ suits. The exterior is chiseled and masculine, but also subdued. The motor is a twin-turbo V-6 with hybrid electric drive. Every ounce of this car oozes class, without the gaudiness of new Bentleys and Rolls Royces.

It may be just a concept, but this is just the type of car Cadillac needs. Reason being, it is a Cadillac in the truest sense, a refined, luxurious, traditional, American luxury car. These cars were enjoyable to drive, beautiful to look at, and exquisitely crafted. This doesn’t mean they were the soft, wobbly, vinyl monstrosities like the Cadillacs of the 1980s wanted us to believe, but gentleman cruisers that buyers in the 1920’s-1960s would have had. Watch Boardwalk Empire or Mad Men and you’ll see what I mean.

However, in the 1970s, the Germans came along with their cars that needed to be the fastest accelerating, harshest riding, and most “sporty” luxury cars. They were like this in order to get from point A to point b as quickly as possible. In other words they changed the luxury game and, in the process, completely veered everyone off the entire point of what a luxury car is.

Luxury isn’t about getting somewhere quickly, its about enjoying the drive no matter how long it takes. You’re rich you make your own schedule. You shouldn’t have to drive fast to get around the proletariat, you should have them in so much awe of your car they move out of the way naturally. Cadillac needs to bring this car, and the traditional luxury car way of thought, back with the Cadillac Ciel.

Source: GM

  

Woodward Dream Cruise: Extra Photos

Bullz-Eye has plenty more shots of the Woodward Dream Cruise for your enjoyment. Check back often, since we should have more photos as they come from GM.

  

How Far the Mighty Have Fallen

In a recent Consumer Reports test, the new Honda Civic scored too low for them to recommend. The Honda Civic has long been a CR darling for an infuriatingly long time, until now. They report:

So what happened? The new Civic feels insubstantial with a cheap interior. You don’t get much feature content for the $19,405 that our Civic LX automatic costs, either. That’s a problem given the high bar set in this class by the new-to-market Chevrolet Cruze, the redesigned-for-2012 Ford Focus, and the redesigned-for-2011 Hyundai Elantra.

But a savvy buyer could sit in a showroom and realize those Civic shortcomings. The problems that really hurt the Civic’s score run deeper and they showed up at our test track. Stopping distances are long. The steering is lightly weighted and comes up short on feedback. Body lean appears early in the corners. The ride is marred by frequent short pitches. And road noise still remains an annoying companion.

So, why now? Well, the Civic is fresh off a lukewarm redesign that saw a few bits like the interior and exterior tweaked, while the engine and suspension were either unchanged or softened. These changes were somehow deemed sufficient against an incredibly strong field of competitors. It is almost as if Honda was a procrastinating college freshmen during finals time. They waited until the last night, got drunk, and then tried to turn in what they did last time.

The worst part of this news is the timing. The Civic’s mediocrity comes during the strongest small car market to date. The Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, are ALL better then the dowdy Civic and the geriatric Corolla. At least the Civic is still ahead of the dreadful new VW Jetta.

It is with mixed feelings that this news is viewed. It is saddening to see what was once such a fine product be tarnished by ignorant product planners. Such talent wasted. It is especially to hard to realize that what made Honda great – clean styling, great driving dynamics, in a cheap and efficient package- is gone. It is like watching your favorite sports star phone it in on the court, night after night, or like the career of LeBron James.

On the other hand, this news brings much glee. Now, it is out in the open about the Civic and Honda’s mediocrity. For far too long, they have ridden reputation and marketing to hold onto their spot in the marketplace, instead of having a superior product. The domestic and Korean competition has been leagues better, yet the ignorant car buying public refused to see the evidence. Now, there is nowhere to turn. The most objective source available has called your “tried and true choice” a turd. People will ignore the new version and instead shop for used Honda Civics or another brand.

So yes, a bit of schadenfreude is in order. It is enjoyable to see a car that was undeserving of its praise be knocked down a few pegs. It is also enjoyable to see companies like Ford, Chevy, and Hyundai receive the recognition they deserve for doing the math and making great cars. Here’s also hoping that this news spurs Honda to start making great cars again, instead of using marketing muscle to spin their way to undeserved praise.

Source: Consumer Reports

  

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