Wednesday, January 16, 2008

GM's Departure from new V8 Platforms

While researching power plants for the Local Motors performance vehicle today, I came across an interesting article on the Car and Driver website; an article that I found both very insightful and inspiring. So inspiring, I thought, "What better way to introduce myself to the Local Motors Vehicle Engineering Blog, and what we Vehicle Engineers at Local Motors are setting out to accomplish!" However, I have to admit that as an undying devotee of the LSx (particularly the LS7 which my team and I at Factory Five Racing used to pilot our GTM to a 0-60 mph time of 3.0 seconds!) series of engines, that my heart did drop a bit when I read the title! After reading the article, my fears were thankfully quelled.

The article written by Alisa Priddle, titled "Bye-Bye to GM's V-8's" (www.caranddriver.com/carnews/14532/bye-bye-to-gms-v-8s.html) discusses the movement that GM is making to meet the newly imposed 35 mpg fuel legislation, enacting the cancellation of the popular Northstar V8, thus eliminating hopes for any new V8 platforms from the world's largest automaker.

The inspiring part of the article (parts actually) come from the commentary of GM Vice Chairman, Bob Lutz who weighs in on the issue by saying things like,


“I would predict pickup trucks in the future, and full-size SUVs, will have a lot of diesel engines and unquestionably the mix will shift to V-6 engines in full-size sport utilities,” he says. “You can make a small V-6 behave just like a V-8. All it takes is money.”

As we at Local Motors look closely at designing and manufacturing a performance on/off road vehicle on the scale of a truck or SUV and the possibility of using V6 diesel power, I personally find foresight into what the Big Three see as the next step into solving our dependence on foreign oil as a useful tool in the quest we at Local Motors have embarked on in delivering game changing vehicles that are not only fuel efficient, but invoke the passion and inspiration that has disappeared from American automotive manufacturing!


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