hjulicher
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Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:07 pm

Hey Everyone,

The US just got the Astra, which has already been around a long time in Europe. I'm wondering what people think about it, since it's practically unchanged from the European versions. I really like the quality of the car, the outstanding value for what you pay, and the styling.

European, if you drive or own this car, can you tell me what you like and dislike. The standard engine for the us is the 1.8l ecotec. Also, I test drove the car, but I found that the instrument panel was hard to see through the steering wheel. I'm 6'2", so that could have something to with it.

Also, the Astra's in Europe have a lot of options that aren't available in the US. Does anyone know how difficult it would be to get some of the options, like auto-up windows (US Astra only has auto down). I think it requires just a code to the computer. Can you get an armrest for the two front seats.

I really like the Astra, and it has the coolest sunroof in this segment. Also has automatic windshield wipers. Let me know.

Thanks.
LH 442
 
UTA_flyinghigh
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:33 pm

Euuhhhhh...my '96 Peugeot 406 had automatic wipers...not a big deal.

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Fiatstilojtd
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:44 pm



Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Reply 1):
had automatic wipers

I think he was talking about the window going up and down automatically after pushing the button a little bit longer, not the wipers....
 
AirTranTUS
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:51 pm

I saw an ad on Facebook for the car and thought it wounded familiar to the European models, but didn't look further into it until now.

Quoting Hjulicher (Thread starter):
Does anyone know how difficult it would be to get some of the options, like auto-up windows (US Astra only has auto down).

Do auto-up windows have a safety feature so someone doesn't get a body part stuck while it is going up?
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:57 pm



Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 3):
Do auto-up windows have a safety feature so someone doesn't get a body part stuck while it is going up?

Some do, some don't. The cars that do not have that safety-stop already have severely injured children in the back, but for example some of the Astra models here only have that feature on the driver-window.
 
DAL767400ER
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:57 pm



Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 3):
saw an ad on Facebook for the car and thought it wounded familiar to the European models,

That's pretty much true for Saturn's entire model lineup. Of the 5 models they currently offer, only the Outlook doesn't have an Opel counterpart (Astra=Astra, Vue=Antara, Sky=GT, Aura=Vectra).
 
 
pilotdude09
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:02 pm

Would assume the Vauxhall model will be the exact same as the Holden (Australia) version??

Personally i wouldnt be seen dead in an Astra! let alone drive one......
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Dougloid
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:51 pm



Quoting Hjulicher (Thread starter):
Also, the Astra's in Europe have a lot of options that aren't available in the US. Does anyone know how difficult it would be to get some of the options, like auto-up windows (US Astra only has auto down). I think it requires just a code to the computer. Can you get an armrest for the two front seats.

I really like the Astra, and it has the coolest sunroof in this segment. Also has automatic windshield wipers. Let me know

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As this disheartening news was slowly being internalized, it was discovered that people had plumb forgot that you can wind the windows up and down manually on the many cars that dotted the landscape at that time, and that you can actually tell when it's raining so you can start the frackin wipers.
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hjulicher
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:49 am



Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 6):
By Sunroof, did you mean this?

No, the US version's sunroof is a panorama roof for the front and back, and half of it opens. lot's of light can get through. The model that I test drove seemed to have the pinch lock protector because the window that had the sticker sheet with the details on it, wouldn't go up because of the resistance. Some auto-down windows have two steps when pressing the button, slightly and it goes down, push more and it's automatic. I wish the window would go up automatically too. Shortsighted on GM's part not to include this simple feature.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 8):
As this disheartening news was slowly being internalized, it was discovered that people had plumb forgot that you can wind the windows up and down manually on the many cars that dotted the landscape at that time, and that you can actually tell when it's raining so you can start the frackin wipers.

Why shouldn't windshield wipers be automatic. They aren't simply there to be activated automatically, actually on are volvo they are automatic, but you have to engage them everytime the car starts for them to be automatic. It's good in rainy conditions because they work at different frequencies depending on the amount of rain. Why be resistant to advances in technology? Just because a car can do things for the driver doesn't mean that the driver has is incapable of performing these functions. I guess you could say the same things for autopilot and the fact that planes fly themselves these days.
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:51 am



Quoting Fiatstilojtd (Reply 4):
Some do, some don't. The cars that do not have that safety-stop already have severely injured children in the back, but for example some of the Astra models here only have that feature on the driver-window.

All Opel Vectra do in all windows. This was a feature in my dad's '95 Vectra GLS. I imagine Opel has made this standard across their models...
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sun Feb 03, 2008 5:31 am



Quoting DAL767400ER (Reply 5):
That's pretty much true for Saturn's entire model lineup. Of the 5 models they currently offer, only the Outlook doesn't have an Opel counterpart (Astra=Astra, Vue=Antara, Sky=GT, Aura=Vectra).

Are you sure? While the Aura is built on the same platform as the Vectra and the Saab 9-3, Aura has the same wheelbase as the G6 (roughly 20 cm longer compared to Vectra). It's not the same car. Not to mention that the Sky was here before the GT...
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:44 am



Quoting MD11junkie (Reply 10):
All Opel Vectra do in all windows. This was a feature in my dad's '95 Vectra GLS. I imagine Opel has made this standard across their models...

It really depends on the country where the car gets delivered....there are huge differences within the same model-range.
 
bill142
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:56 am



Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 7):
Would assume the Vauxhall model will be the exact same as the Holden (Australia) version??

Hell no. Australia gets a very basic stripped down version compared to Europe.

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 7):
Personally i wouldnt be seen dead in an Astra! let alone drive one......

I have AH Astra (Current model) and I find it to be a pretty good car.
 
DAL767400ER
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:51 pm



Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 11):
Are you sure? While the Aura is built on the same platform as the Vectra and the Saab 9-3, Aura has the same wheelbase as the G6 (roughly 20 cm longer compared to Vectra). It's not the same car.

All of those models you mentioned are based on GM's Epsilon platform, as is the Chevy Malibu and the Cadillac BLS. They may all look different, but not every car family based on one platform can look as similar as Citroen C1, Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 107.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 11):
Not to mention that the Sky was here before the GT...

And? I never said the GT was there before the Sky. And if you wanna be technical, it was Pontiac's Solstice that was the first version of the Kappa platform to hit the market. Other models offs that platform are the Daewoo GT2, Vauxhall VX Lightning and Saturn Curve, though the 2 latter likely will never see production. Same goes for the proposed new Chevy Nomad, which would probably have been the most estranged Kappa model.
 
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:18 pm



Quoting DAL767400ER (Reply 14):
All of those models you mentioned are based on GM's Epsilon platform, as is the Chevy Malibu and the Cadillac BLS.

And all above mentioned are different cars. So why would you call the Aura America Vectra? Now, let's extend your logic further: Skoda Fabia is the Czech Polo, Octavia is the Czech Golf, the Ibiza is the Spanish Polo etc...

Quoting DAL767400ER (Reply 14):
And if you wanna be technical, it was Pontiac's Solstice that was the first version of the Kappa platform to hit the market.

And? The GT is the Saturn Sky, not the Solstice.
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sv2008
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:21 pm



Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 11):
Are you sure? While the Aura is built on the same platform as the Vectra and the Saab 9-3, Aura has the same wheelbase as the G6 (roughly 20 cm longer compared to Vectra). It's not the same car.

I don't think extending (or reducing) the wheelbase is that difficult, many cars have it.
 
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:29 pm



Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 15):
So why would you call the Aura America Vectra?

Saturn Aura:

Opel Vectra:

Notice something???
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:30 pm



Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 16):
I don't think extending (or reducing) the wheelbase is that difficult, many cars have it.

Sure, but the Aura compared to Vectra is longer, wider, has a larger wheelbase, completely different engines, different basic transmission, yet some call it the American Vectra. Why?
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Dougloid
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:32 pm



Quoting Hjulicher (Reply 9):
Why shouldn't windshield wipers be automatic. They aren't simply there to be activated automatically, actually on are volvo they are automatic, but you have to engage them everytime the car starts for them to be automatic. It's good in rainy conditions because they work at different frequencies depending on the amount of rain. Why be resistant to advances in technology?

An advance in technology? You've got to be kidding, right? I mean, seriously, now. What you're talking about is a very expensive and overly complicated gadget.

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sv2008
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:32 pm

I don't know about the Aura.
 
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:52 pm



Quoting DAL767400ER (Reply 17):
Notice something???

Yeah, there is a similarity, but the cars are far from identical. Oddly, the lift-back Vectra (because that's what you've posted) is more similar to Aura than the sedan. Now, you want to tell me that liftback equals sedan? Believe me, if the Aura would be a stretch of lift-back Vectra with available EU engines (especially diesel) and manual tranny, I'd be at the Saturn dealership tomorrow.
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hjulicher
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:56 pm



Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 21):
Believe me, if the Aura would be a stretch of lift-back Vectra with available EU engines (especially diesel) and manual tranny, I'd be at the Saturn dealership tomorrow.

This is why I'm all excited about the Astra. Even the key fob is the opel, just with a saturn badge, and in fact, if Saturn could execute all their cars like rebadged opels without really changing them, I'm sure a lot of people would be at the Saturn dealership. Hey, 3 years ago my dad would joke to be that we should go to the saturn dealership at which point I would run away like hell. But their product is much improved from what they had, and although they may not be as fuel effecient as the japanese, they have their own qualities.

I heard that GM is planning to give the Astra next year the 1.4l Turbo to improve fuel efficiency which I must say really isn't great on the Astra, and I drove the 5-speed manual, and at 110km/h or 70mph, the engine was running at 3200 rpm, so that wasn't thrilling either. The gear box is geared incorrectly in my opinion. Despite these facts, I can't decide whether to buy an Astra, Rabbit (VW Golf outside NA) or a Vovlo C30 1.0 with just the basics. The engines in all three cars are quite different, and the price rises a bit. Also I was looking at slightly used A4 2.0T for 20000 as well. It's a hard price point. I want to buy american (I'm from detroit, and I've never had an american car), but at the same time, does the quality of the car counterbalance the weakness of the engine. The rabbit will have 170hp and 170ft/torque. the Volvo is much higher and both these cars come with better warranties.
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UTA_flyinghigh
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:03 pm

Automatic wipers are not a on-touch thingy. They work using a detector behind the windshield which measures the amount of rain and adjusts the wipers accordingly :

http://www.autogazeta.com/g/378/406.jpg

The thingy behiond the windshield.

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Banco
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:08 pm



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 19):
An advance in technology? You've got to be kidding, right? I mean, seriously, now. What you're talking about is a very expensive and overly complicated gadget.



Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Reply 23):
Automatic wipers are not a on-touch thingy. They work using a detector behind the windshield which measures the amount of rain and adjusts the wipers accordingly :

I'm with Dougloid on this. Automatic rain-sensing wipers are solving a problem that doesn't exist. Every single car I've driven with them included suffers the same problems, that they either decide to come on when a single drop of rain has fallen within a 20 mile radius, or that they consider the onset of the Great Flood insufficient grounds to actually turn on.

Then they consider that the mud thrown up from the car in front is some form of rain, and they promptly smear the whole lot across the windscreen, leaving you blind for half a second until you get the washers going.

Can't stand them. If it starts to rain, pull the lever.
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UTA_flyinghigh
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:11 pm

I never said they were the best thing since sliced bread. I merely explained how they (are supposed to) work.

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hjulicher
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:21 pm



Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Reply 23):
Automatic wipers are not a on-touch thingy. They work using a detector behind the windshield which measures the amount of rain and adjusts the wipers accordingly :

On Volvo cars, you need to activate the sensor, at which point they begin to operate. I agree that during winter months, road splash doesn't set them off and they smear, but in real rain conditions, they work very well. I had adjusting the intermittant settings to adjust for the rate of rainfall. Depending on what type of car you, determines how they work. Volvo also use the frequency for the intermittant wipers to adjust the sensitivity of the rainsensor.
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stasisLAX
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:10 am

Big version: Width: 500 Height: 315 File size: 63kb
2008 Saturn Astra 3-door and 5-door


The Saturn version is similar to the Opel version, but it is not identical by any means. It's powered by the same 1.8-liter DOHC four that powers some European Astras. The compression ratio is 10.5:1 and it runs on regular gas. With ratings of 138 horsepower. The 2.5-liter in the VW Rabbit (Golf) makes 170 hp and is offered with a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. The automatic in the Saturn is only a four speed. In Australia, the Holden Astra VXR is powered by a turbocharged 240-hp version of the 1.8 engine, but that version will not be sold in the U.S. due to our tougher new emissions regulations.

The wagon version and the convertible Astra won't make it to America because they will not easily meet U.S. crash test standards. The U.S. only gets the three-door and five-door hatchbacks. Saturn Astra prices starts at $15,995 for the basic five-door XE, $17,545 for the five-door XR and $18,495 for the top of the line XR three-door hatchback.

Competition in this price range with the Korean car makers (Hyundai Accent and Kia Spectra/Rio), Honda Fit/Civic, and the Toyota Yaris/Corolla will be very tough for Saturn, especially against the superior quality ratings and higher resale value of the Honda and Toyota models.
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Banco
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:19 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 27):
In Australia, the Holden Astra VXR is powered by a turbocharged 240-hp version of the 1.8 engine, but that version will not be sold in the U.S. due to our tougher new emissions regulations.

The Vauxhall Astra VXR in the UK is a 2 litre, not a 1.8. I'd be surprised if the Holden version is different. And given the 6 litre monsters available in the US, to not permit it in America for emissions reasons seem to me to be a bit peculiar, don't you think?
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cornish
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:28 am



Quoting Banco (Reply 28):
And given the 6 litre monsters available in the US, to not permit it in America for emissions reasons seem to me to be a bit peculiar, don't you think?

This being the country that voted a hybrid 6l V8 SUV US Green car of the Year  rotfl 


Mind you the Saturn Aura was voted US Car of the Year, when the European Vectra has always been a class also-ran.

Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 27):
he wagon version and the convertible Astra won't make it to America because they will not easily meet U.S. crash test standards. The U.S. only gets the three-door and five-door hatchbacks.

This I find very odd - surely the other models are engineered to the same standard as the hatchbacks. I certainly would be surprised if their crash-worthiness is considered less than some of the small Kias and Korean Chevys sold in the US.
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Banco
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:46 am



Quoting Cornish (Reply 29):

Mind you the Saturn Aura was voted US Car of the Year, when the European Vectra has always been a class also-ran.

Good Lord, was it really? The latest Vectra is a lot better than previous versions, but it isn't even close to being a class leader. It isn't even the best US brand car, the Mondeo being streets ahead.

Quoting Cornish (Reply 29):
This being the country that voted a hybrid 6l V8 SUV US Green car of the Year

Well it's just weird. A 2 litre turbo not allowed, but an 8.3 litre truck engine in a Viper is OK (not that I'd ever want such a gloriously ludicrous machine ever stopped)? And incidentally, the CO2 emissions on the VXR are lower than on the S2000, happily sold in the US and also a 2 litre.
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stasisLAX
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:33 am



Quoting Cornish (Reply 29):
he wagon version and the convertible Astra won't make it to America because they will not easily meet U.S. crash test standards. The U.S. only gets the three-door and five-door hatchbacks.

This I find very odd - surely the other models are engineered to the same standard as the hatchbacks. I certainly would be surprised if their crash-worthiness is considered less than some of the small Kias and Korean Chevys sold in the US.

TheCarConnection.com stated that the Astra convertible and wagon would not be sold in the U.S. due to the costs of re-engineering them to meet U.S. safety standards in an interview with Bob Lutz, GM's vice-chairman. Also, the turbo VXR won't be in the U.S. due to the costs of meeting tighter emission standards, meaning the new California emission standards that have been adopted by several other states including New York.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
Banco
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RE: Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra

Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:11 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 31):
TheCarConnection.com stated that the Astra convertible and wagon would not be sold in the U.S. due to the costs of re-engineering them to meet U.S. safety standards in an interview with Bob Lutz, GM's vice-chairman

Still sounds unlikely. EuroNCap is not exactly easy to get through - and incidentally a number of American cars have flopped it, relatively speaking, the Voyager gets 2/5, the PT Cruiser 3/5.

Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 31):
Also, the turbo VXR won't be in the U.S. due to the costs of meeting tighter emission standards, meaning the new California emission standards that have been adopted by several other states including New York.

And that still sounds like nonsense. My S2000, with higher emissions and a 2 litre engine still meets the new California emissions standard. And as mentioned, how can every V8 7 cylinder engine apparently pass but this one not? Emissions from the 2 litre turbo are 210g/cm. Hardly outrageous.

It sounds more like an excuse to me.
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