Tag - Chevrolet

Future Shock, Part One: A Quick Spin In the 2011 Chevrolet Volt

“I Speak for the Trees” contributor Charlie Lawton has returned to S:S:L with a review of the Chevy Volt. Part II to follow.


by Charlie Lawton

Every once in a while, as I get older, something about our everyday world circa 2011 just blows my mind.  It’s as if my inner twelve year old, who’s permanently stuck in 1990, peeks out into 2011 through my adult eyes, sees what the future has brought us, and just totally geeks out.  For example, not long ago, I took a picture of a Tesla Roadster with my iPhone.  It was a pretty ordinary thing to do, but I thought, “Holy damn.  I just took a picture of an electric sports car with a phone that has a camera, an internet connection, a processor five times faster than the one in my first computer, and a navigation system.  This is the future.”  And I think it blew my mind precisely because it was such an ordinary, commonplace thing, because in 2011, tiny pocket-size supercomputers are everywhere.  It’s a mild flavor of future shock, the disorientation people feel in the face of rapid technological and social change.

I started feeling a similar mix of emotions as I stood in line one warm March afternoon outside the Denver Convention Center, waiting to drive a 2011 Chevrolet Volt.   The Denver Auto Show was in full swing, and many of the manufacturers had test-drive events to show off the latest metal.   Over at the GM tent, they had Equinoxes, Camaros, Cruzes, and Volts to drive.  I’d been reading about the Volt for months, so I immediately went over to check it out.

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S:S:L Guest Drive: Driving the All-New Chevrolet Volt

Friend of S:S:L, Christina DesMarais, sends us this report of her  drive of the Chevrolet Volt in Chicago.

I recently made the eight-hour drive from Minneapolis to Chicago to drive the all-new Chevrolet Volt, the extended range electric vehicle about to start appearing in select cities by the end of the year. Why did I go to all that trouble? First, tickets to the Windy City, usually less than $200 from here, were more than $300 for some reason. Since gas would only cost a little more than $100 I grabbed by husband, got a sitter and we took off for an adventure. The Volt, named car of the year by several magazines, is arguably the most-hyped car around.

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Lord Byron — The deeper meaning

by Byron Hurd

The pilot episode of “The Wire” opens with a scene between Baltimore City homicide detective Jimmy McNulty and a young eyewitness sitting on a stoop, overlooking a murder scene. The victim was shot after running away with the pot from a dice game. The witness explains that the victim, “Snot Boogie,” would come to the game every week and let the pot get thick, then pull a snatch and grab. Normally, the other players would chase him down and kick his ass for trying to make off with the cash, but this week somebody got tired of the routine and shot poor Snot Boogie dead. McNulty is puzzled, and asks the witness why they continued to allow Snot Boogie to play if he always ran off with the money. The witness looks at McNulty and then back at the body, then says, matter-of-factly, “You got to. This is America, man.”

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Chicago 2010: And the brands played on.

The good people of the Midwest Automotive Media Association absolutely refuse to have yours truly as a member. I’m not a “general-purpose auto journalist”, whatever that means. Based on the people who do make the cut, I think “general-purpose auto journalist” means “polyester-and-denim-encrusted lard-butt who would PAX dead last in a regional autocross.” Despite this heart-breaking snub, I continue to attend their self-congratulatory annual breakfast at the Chicago Auto Show. The complimentary bacon is outstanding.

The mantra of the MAMA breakfast, repeated by each of the first three or four speakers every year, is this: “The Chicago Auto Show sells cars.” Presumably this is in opposition to the Los Angeles Auto Show, which sells tofu, the Tokyo Auto Show, which sells the panties of schoolgirls from a vending machine, and the Detroit Auto Show, which sells rape. I think it’s a convenient way to distract attention from the inconvenient truth that most manufacturers don’t bother to display new product at the show. With that said, it’s worth noting that the dirty business of actually selling cars was very relevant to the new products on offer. Let’s discuss.

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2009 LA Auto Show – 2011 Mustang V-6 Performance Package: The Camaro isn’t the only competitor who should worry.

2011 Ford Mustang V-6

For many ponycar fans, the most compelling variant of Chevrolet’s reanimated Camaro isn’t the big-money, nose-heavy SS model. The lighter, more efficient “high-feature” V-6 base car has captured a lot of hearts and minds since being released earlier this year, and although Ford’s revised 2010 Mustang meets or beats the Chevy in many areas, it was severely hampered by its thrashy, understrength four-liter V-6. With this morning’s announcement of a Duratec-powered V-6 2011 Mustang and a track-oriented Performance Package to match, Ford has made it plain that they intend to match the Camaro pony for pony — a stance that we can only hope they back up further with a new high-performance “Coyote” V-8 announcement in weeks to come.

The new 2011 Mustang has 305 horsepower from a thoroughly revised 3.7L Duratec V-6, allowing it to challenge competitors as diverse as the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Infiniti G37, and the aforementioned “Jodie Foster Special” Camaro. More details, including specs on the long-awaited V-6 Performance Package, after the jump.
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SEMA 2009 General Motors Gallery – Camaro Extravaganza

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The 2009 SEMA show kicks off in Las Vegas today and while we can’t be there, we’ll throw up some high-res galleries of the cool stuff that the manufacturers are showing off this year.  First up, General Motors and their Camaro Extravaganza.  Chevrolet has brought 5 different Camaro concepts including the badass Jay Leno Camaro shown above.  In addition, the Chevrolet Trucks team has brought a Silverado ZR2 Concept to the party.  Check out the galleries and descriptions of each after the jump. 

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