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GM Puts Future RWD Vehicle Plans On Hold  
User currently offlineMolykote From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1342 posts, RR: 15
Posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1772 times:
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Since we've had about 2,000 car threads lately, here's fodder for one more:

http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=14&article_id=5186


General Motors is halting planning for virtually all new rear-wheel-drive cars in response to the possibility of stricter fuel economy standards from the federal government, The Detroit News reported.



Citing industry watchers, the News said GM is expected to produce the following rear-drive vehicles over the next several years:

More powerful versions of the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice roadsters
Replacements for the full-size Buick Lucerne and Impala sedans
A smaller Cadillac compact
Pontiac G8 sedan (still planned)
Chevrolet Camaro (still planned)


The C6 Vette and a few trucks are really the only American vehicles I care about but I'd be interested to hear the thoughts of our usual Detroit iron enthusiasts.

Although I've personally been disappointed with most Detroit cars of the last 40 years, I'd hate to see things go from bad to worse by dismissing RWD platforms out of hand (not that they've produced many RWD cars anyway).


Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1763 times:

Looks like they really don't want to try to re-establish their role as the maker of a decent RWD police car. Idiots.

User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1754 times:

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 1):
Looks like they really don't want to try to re-establish their role as the maker of a decent RWD police car.

To say nothing of good, durable taxicabs.



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User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1754 times:

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 1):
Looks like they really don't want to try to re-establish their role as the maker of a decent RWD police car. Idiots.

I don't get why the po po's are so hot for RWD. Sure it's great if you know how to power slide like a dirt tracker, but most doughnut eaters I know off this board are not that bright.

That being said, yet another argument for going forward with automated cars. If someone commits a crime, turn their escape vehicle off remotely, end of story.


User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1752 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 3):
I don't get why the po po's are so hot for RWD.

1. FWD has no V8 engine.
2. FWD transmissions are crap.
3. FWD cars are too small.
4. FWD cars are too light-duty for off-road, curb climbing, fast turns, hard braking, pursuits, etc.
5. FWD cars don't hold the road at high speeds (they like to "float").


User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1749 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 3):
I don't get why the po po's are so hot for RWD.

FWD drivetrains tend to be much less durable than RWD drivetrains, particularly when they're expected to deal with the torque from an engine powerful enough to haul around a vehicle as large as a cop car needs to be.



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User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8508 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1740 times:

Quoting TSS (Reply 5):
FWD drivetrains tend to be much less durable than RWD drivetrains, particularly when they're expected to deal with the torque from an engine powerful enough to haul around a vehicle as large as a cop car needs to be.

Why Chrysler can't learn this lesson with regards to their minivans is beyond me.

I love driving RWD cars (with a standard, please) because they just feel so much better than FWD, even if FWD is lighter and more compact.


User currently offlineNWA742 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1726 times:

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
1. FWD has no V8 engine.
2. FWD transmissions are crap.
3. FWD cars are too small.
4. FWD cars are too light-duty for off-road, curb climbing, fast turns, hard braking, pursuits, etc.
5. FWD cars don't hold the road at high speeds (they like to "float").

  

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 6):
Why Chrysler can't learn this lesson with regards to their minivans is beyond me.

It's not just that - FWD or RWD, Chrysler/Dodge has been building shitty automatic transmissions for some time now. The Ram and Caravan are notoriously problematic with regards to that.




-NWA742

[Edited 2007-04-15 06:12:18]

User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1714 times:

Granted, the cars I'm going to counter your arguement with won't be seeing duty as cop cars in the US but...

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
2. FWD transmissions are crap.

Really now? I got a 187,000 miles out of my "crap" Honda Accord with FWD before I traded it in on another Accord. I never changed the transmission fluid nor had a bit of trouble out of it.

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
4. FWD cars are too light-duty for off-road, curb climbing, fast turns, hard braking, pursuits, etc.

Please explain that to my too-light Honda Accord (on my second one now) that runs off-road through my family vineyard, over curbs many times, and could brake like nobody's business. Never had to go on a pursuit though so I can't tell you much about that one.

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
5. FWD cars don't hold the road at high speeds (they like to "float").

I sure felt pretty connected to the road when I had my Accord up to 130MPH whereas I felt like I was getting ready to lift off when I had my old Cutlass Supreme at 85MPH.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineAC777LR From Canada, joined Apr 2006, 487 posts, RR: 40
Reply 9, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1703 times:

Thank god the LX Chryslers have Benzs for transmissions. I think Chrysler has the right idea about RWD, look at their lineup. I think they are doing the right thing.


Member since April 2000
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1701 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 8):
Please explain that to my too-light Honda Accord (on my second one now) that runs off-road through my family vineyard, over curbs many times, and could brake like nobody's business.

All Honda Accords since 1985 use a double-wishbone front suspension, similar in design to American police cars like Ford Crown Victorias and Chevrolet Caprices. This type of front suspension has vastly superior geometry to the MacPherson strut setup used on most FWD and many modern RWD vehicles, plus it is more durable because the control elements and the spring/damper elements are separate pieces.
MacPherson strut front suspensions have only two benefits: 1. They take up very little room laterally, which can be important for a transverse-engine layout; 2. They are very cheap to produce because they use far fewer parts than double-wishbone setups.



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User currently offlineMolykote From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1342 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1693 times:
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Quoting TSS (Reply 10):
All Honda Accords since 1985 use a double-wishbone front suspension, similar in design to American police cars like Ford Crown Victorias and Chevrolet Caprices. This type of front suspension has vastly superior geometry to the MacPherson strut setup used on most FWD and many modern RWD vehicles, plus it is more durable because the control elements and the spring/damper elements are separate pieces.
MacPherson strut front suspensions have only two benefits: 1. They take up very little room laterally, which can be important for a transverse-engine layout; 2. They are very cheap to produce because they use far fewer parts than double-wishbone setups.

I cannot disagree with your generalized statement. Comparing like cars, I've always been impressed with the relative handling of Accords. The Honda feels like it actually digs in and grips when pushed to its modest limits with less understeer than the other bland sedans.

However, I remain impressed at how many cars the 3 series BMW (particuarly the M) can outhandle with its modest MacPherson strut front suspension. As always, it pays to look at the design execution as a whole rather than get hung up on the bits and pieces (and I am not accusing TSS of doing so).



Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1681 times:

Quoting Molykote (Reply 11):
However, I remain impressed at how many cars the 3 series BMW (particuarly the M) can outhandle with its modest MacPherson strut front suspension. As always, it pays to look at the design execution as a whole rather than get hung up on the bits and pieces (and I am not accusing TSS of doing so).

I agree with you. BMW has spent the last 40-odd years refining the somewhat handicapped MacPherson strut suspension to an exceptionally high handling standard (on RWD cars), and they should be praised for it. I can only surmise BMW chose to do this rather than adopt a more expensive suspension design because of very hard lessons learned during their near-bankruptcy during the early sixties...to wit: Why spend more per unit on a new suspension design when you can order the engineering staff that's already on salary to make the cheap one got you've got work better?



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8508 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1675 times:

Quoting TSS (Reply 10):
MacPherson strut front suspensions have only two benefits: 1. They take up very little room laterally, which can be important for a transverse-engine layout; 2. They are very cheap to produce because they use far fewer parts than double-wishbone setups.



Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 8):
I sure felt pretty connected to the road when I had my Accord up to 130MPH whereas I felt like I was getting ready to lift off when I had my old Cutlass Supreme at 85MPH.

There is something about those fully-independent Honda suspensions that just feel very stable and planted. When my mom was considering buying an Accord, she preferred it over the Maxima (a used 2000 Max) because she said it felt more stable. I'm driving a 97 Civic right now, and there is something very settled-down and solid about that very light little car.


Why not RWD? Because I don't think GM can make cars that people will buy that get 33.2 mpg without even trying like the last tank of gas in my Civic.


User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1640 times:

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
FWD has no V8 engine.

I could swear the Cadilliacs did

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
FWD transmissions are crap.

I dis agree, if you want to talk about CV joints in the equation,  yes  but take the CV's out of the equation, and I have ever had a problem with a FWD transmission

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
FWD cars are too small.

Interesting The altamonte Springs po po's use the Dodge Intrepid, just like I do  Wink I bet the pax space is VERY comparable to a Crown vic.

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
FWD cars are too light-duty for off-road

I have to say it depends. My intrepid, NEVER. But I too had a Honda that LOVED to go off roading.

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
curb climbing

At what speed?

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
fast turns

I take a '25 mph' rated turn (270 degree highway entrance ramp) @ 60 MPH, is that fast enough?

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
hard braking

I can't see what you are talking about here. Seeing as all the weight shifts to the front anyways under braking this comes down to car brake setup quality period.

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
pursuits

I have easily left a lot of people in my Dodge's wake turbulence  Wink

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
FWD cars don't hold the road at high speeds (they like to "float").

Not my Intrepid, it's wedge shape helps keep it firmly on the pavement to the point where I almost fall asleep @ 90.

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 8):
Honda Accord (on my second one now) that runs off-road through my family vineyard

 checkmark  I had a 1980 and and 1981 civic..

Quoting TSS (Reply 10):
MacPherson strut setup

With the MacP setups, and they LOVED to go off road. I beat those things like re-headed step children, and they kept comming back for more time and time again. Now I certainly wouldn't be wanting to try to pit a box truck with a Honda, but I'd gladly go offroad in a honda to maintain visual with a box truck anytime.


User currently offlineGalapagapop From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 910 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1625 times:

Quoting TSS (Reply 2):
To say nothing of good, durable taxicabs.

They just with they could bring back the prestige that was taxi's during the days of Checker Cabs, now the market is fragmented and just a mess overall in terms of standardized equipment and passenger comfort.


User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13168 posts, RR: 15
Reply 16, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1590 times:

At last GM is finally planning ahead a little so not to put themselves in trouble in the future by excessive investment into vehicles with limited return on investment due to changes in fuel costs and potential decline in demand for large engined RWD cars.
Many police forces in the USA are now moving toward SUV based vehicles and away from RWD passenger cars for a number or reasons. SUV's offer much more room for the officers, their equipment, people they arrest, that most have AWD so can be used in bad weather or off-road, and with tougher suspensions, drive trains and structures that means they can last longer. The large engines and better suspensions on many SUV's today make those vehicle safe for almost all driving use by police, including operations above the speed limit. Yes, police will continue to need a traditional RWD passenger car for high speed pursuit and response to emergencies, but that market will be very limited.


User currently offlineCharger From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 273 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1558 times:

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
1. FWD has no V8 engine.

What about the Cadillac Eldorado's, Buick Rivieras, Olds Toronados, And even the Ford Taurus SHO had a V-8 and front wheel drive. I am sure there are more.

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
2. FWD transmissions are crap

Not all. I had 4 Ford Taurus' (Taurii) All bought brand new and retired with over 150,000 miles on all of them. Never had a transmission problem.

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
3. FWD cars are too small.

Is this an opinion? Again Ford Taurus, Ford 500, Dodge Intrepid, Chrysler 300, Just to name a few, are not to small IMHO.

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
4. FWD cars are too light-duty for off-road, curb climbing, fast turns, hard braking, pursuits, etc.

Beat the hell out of any car, front wheel drive or rear wheel drive and your asking for problems.

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
5. FWD cars don't hold the road at high speeds (they like to "float").

I will agree with you here to a point. I just don't like the way front wheel drive cars "feel"

Quoting AC777LR (Reply 9):
I think Chrysler has the right idea about RWD, look at their lineup. I think they are doing the right thing.

Totally agree with you. I just wish they put Rear wheel drive in all there cars. Then they really would be "Different".


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26691 posts, RR: 75
Reply 18, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 1502 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 3):
I don't get why the po po's are so hot for RWD.

Because it is inherently superior for handling and durability.

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
1. FWD has no V8 engine.

At one point, the entire Cadilac line not used for limos was FWD, so that sure isn't true.

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
3. FWD cars are too small.

An Impala is small? A Deville is small?

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
4. FWD cars are too light-duty for off-road, curb climbing, fast turns, hard braking, pursuits, etc.

I agree and disagree. FWD is superior to pure RWD for inclement weather conditions and can be made to handle very well (see the Acura TL/CL).

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4):
5. FWD cars don't hold the road at high speeds (they like to "float").

Ever drive a FWD Audi?

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 6):
Why Chrysler can't learn this lesson with regards to their minivans is beyond me.

FWD in their minivans makes sense. The point of those things isn't hardcore handling, it is simplicity, light weight and fitting things into compact spaces so as to maximize interior space. It also helps that they exhibit far more neutral handling, making them easier to drive.

I don't see why GM has an issue with RWD v. FWD from a fuel economy POV. My RWD car gets better mileage than most FWD cars with similar sized engines. What they need to do is build a better engine.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineVonRichtofen From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 4633 posts, RR: 36
Reply 19, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1485 times:

Quoting Charger (Reply 17):
Not all. I had 4 Ford Taurus' (Taurii) All bought brand new and retired with over 150,000 miles on all of them. Never had a transmission problem.

Yeah but that's Ford, we're talking GM here  Wink

Kris



Word
User currently offlineBill142 From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 8462 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1473 times:

The management of these big car companies seem to have completely lost touch with reality. FWD and RWD both the pros and cons towards their use. Thus, you can't really claim one is better then the other, unless you're talking application specific. I think Ford and GM need to look outside their box to come up with solutions to their problems. Cutting line ups and deffering development, which results in a poor line up being bettered by your foreign rivals. Look at the hiding GM and Ford are getting from Toyota

User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7553 posts, RR: 23
Reply 21, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1461 times:

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 16):
Yes, police will continue to need a traditional RWD passenger car for high speed pursuit and response to emergencies, but that market will be very limited.

Which is why many SUV vehicles wearing police liveries are actually designated as 'Special Service' packages and not bonafide police packages. As far as departments moving from cars to SUVs is concerned; I beg to differ. In my area, I see a lot more PIs (Crown Vics.), Chargers and even FWD Impalas in police gear than I see Explorers, Trailblazers & Durangos; especially among state police agengies.

If nothing else, the reason why more police cars are purchased than police SUVs is due to PRICE. If a department is upgrading its fleet en masse; the price difference between a large car vs. a SUV may be enough to increase the total number of vehicles (example: 4 police cars vs. 3 police SUVs) purchased. Do keep in mind that these vehicles are bought w/taxpayer money.

Back to the topic on hand:
It's unfortunate that GM is holding off on making more RWD vehicles (keep in mind that Ford hasn't done much better because they've let the Crown Vic/PI/Grand Marquis/Town Car languish without a restyle/upgrade in recent years); however, I've said it before on numerous past threads and I'll say it again,Don't underestimate the power of those CAFE laws! Those laws were the main reasons why the SUV came into fruition in the first place; it allowed manufacturers to offer a large vehicle w/a capable towing capacity without getting nailed with a gas guzzler tax. Example: if Ford or Mercury revived the Country Squire/Colony Park wagons (something I would love to see) and stuffed a 5.4L V8 (something that state cops have been begging Ford to offer on its PIs) under the hood; it probably would get hit with a gas guzzler tax. In contrast, a Ford Expedition w/the same engine, because its classified as a truck, doens't have a gas guzzler tax even though its mileage ratings would be equal or worse than a 5.4L Country Squire.

The threat of these CAFE increases could impact production of the Dodge Challenger as well.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineUnited_Fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7519 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 1445 times:

Don't forget about the Caddy XLR,based on the Y-bodied Corvette!


'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26691 posts, RR: 75
Reply 23, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 1428 times:

Quoting Charger (Reply 17):
Not all. I had 4 Ford Taurus' (Taurii) All bought brand new and retired with over 150,000 miles on all of them. Never had a transmission problem.

Then you got damn lucky.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40005 posts, RR: 74
Reply 24, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 1424 times:

Shame on GM for doing this.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 18):
An Impala is small? A Deville is small?

I think so. Big grin


PHLBOS:
How is Chrysler/Dodge able to get around the CAFE laws with the Hemi powered sedans & wagans?



Bring back the Concorde
25 Post contains images United_Fan : They must have been AX4N's,not AX4S' The AX4N's are almost bulletproof...
26 Superfly : I never understood the popularity of the Taurus/Sable. As much as I love Ford/Mercury/Lincoln, I never liked the Taurus. Everyone I know has had trans
27 N1120A : You think a Roadmaster is small With the V6 powered versions of them. It is Corporate Average Fuel Economy, so they can have cars that guzzle as long
28 Superfly : So could Ford slap there emblem on a little $h!tbox Mazda or something from South Korea to bring up there CAFE numbers and drop in there 5.4s in the
29 N1120A : Have you seen the cars Mazda has made lately? Remember the Ford Aspire?
30 Post contains images Cfalk : Can you name a single FWD car that races against RWD cars? F1, Le Mans, Nascar, etc? When you need handling, you need RWD simply for the weight distr
31 Charger : I don't think so. All 4 were fine cars. It's an average over the entire line of cars. So when the 6 cylinder cars are factored in they meet the requi
32 Post contains images Superfly : Cfalk: The Cadillac Does it matter how many vehicles produced or models availible? Would slapping the Ford emblem on a disposable car from South Korea
33 PHLBOS : Actually, GM's first FWD car was the '66 Olds Tornado; which did have a V8 engine (though longitudinally-mounted). The '70 through '76 Eldorados had
34 Post contains images Superfly : Let's hope. Wow, that is new information to me. However the "penalties" were transfered to the owners who bought these K-cars. My LeBaraon engine cau
35 N1120A : Ever watch rally racing? Though most of the cars are actually AWD, they are actually front biased. Well, given all the great diesel engines used in E
36 Cfalk : AWD is a completely different animal.
37 N1120A : Not completely different when it is front to rear and the car is operating on a default of front drive, because the handling bias still tends to rese
38 NWA742 : I've currently got an 06 Taurus and it's been a nice car. The 3.0 V6 is nothing special but it moves fine. The 1994-2002ish? Tauruses with the AX4S t
39 AsstChiefMark : Do you guys realize I wasn't talking about 40 year old FWD cars? I was talking about modern FWD cars. They suck as hard-driven police vehicles. My cou
40 Post contains images Checkraiser : Right. Huge FWD cars. They handled for shit. Won't happen. Our diesel emission laws as of 1-1-07 are way too stiff to make them economically viable.
41 PHLBOS : In the northeastern part of the country; many L-M dealers will usually sell a new Grand Marquis GS (base model) for about the price of most new mid-s
42 Superfly : Wow I didn't know that. ANCFLyer has one of those. I am sure he'd be thrilled to know this. Used diesels are climbing in price. Even the older diesel
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