Sometimes, I wonder if “esteemed automotive journalists” are just “failed ad copywriters.” When every new vehicle launch is met with a cacophony of praise, the legitimacy of an automotive critic certainly fades. I personally preserve unabashedly glowing reviews for well-engineered vehicles that represent something more than a blacker bottom line — vehicles that “give back” to car culture. In hope that I’ll maintain your trust, I present my video review of the Chevy Camaro. Over the course of several months and 2500 miles of testing in five states, I’ve forged lifelong friendships and have the Facebook to prove it. The Camaro has changed my outlook on honking: now, when I hear a blast at a stoplight, I’m sure it’s just another ally eagerly hoping his thumbs-up is well-received. That’s moderately embarassing honesty. That’s not hyperbole.
Blame management, the unions, asymmetrical trade regulations or tough competition — because the blasé love to blame. But no matter where your armchair analysis pins responsibility, the fact is that America’s once-proud R&D and manufacturing powerhouse has been reduced to bankruptcy — a fate that almost no other government has allowed to befall their automakers.
The President is priming the country for a bankruptcy that will affect assembly workers, suppliers, dealerships, and an already economically battered Midwest. We’ll liveblog his comments after the jump.
This morning, GM will reveal “a revolutionary vehicle to help people move through crowded cities and alleviate the significant issues of congestion, safety, parking, affordability, and energy concerns.” This vehicle may be the next evolution of the “Personal Urban Mobility & Accessibility” collaboration with Segway. We’re liveblogging the details as they surface.
This past weekend I had the chance to ride along in the 2010 Chevy Camaro with 3-time Sprint Cup champion, Jimmie Johnson at Texas Motor Speedway. While I didn’t get a chance to drive the Camaro, the experience from the passenger seat was exhilarating to say the least. I chose to ride along with the model range topping SS version, which sports a 6.2-liter V8 engine. Automatic transmission Camaro SS models such as the one I rode are rated at 400-horsepower, while the six-speed manual versions get an extra 26 horsepower on top of that. Whichever one you buy, you can be sure that there won’t be a lack of horsepower.
For those of you waiting to get your hands on a 2010 Camaro of your own, rest easy that the wait is almost over. Based on my quick impressions from the passenger seat, the long wait will be completely worth it.
Last night, news hit the wire that President Obama’s Auto Task Force found GM and Chrysler’s restructuring plans to be insufficient. This morning, Obama will delineate exactly why Rick Wagoner was asked to resign as GM’s CEO, why GM will receive operative funding for 60 days as it races to hack off even more of its limbs, and why Chrysler has 30 days to hook it up with Fiat or face death. Talk about a shotgun wedding. Let’s liveblog.
GM’s press conference on Sunday was not the most depressing of the day’s events (See: Chrysler), but it certainly wasn’t the most inspiring either. Wagoner’s communications team set him up with a healthy four hundred words that had nothing to do with GM’s financial trouble. Now that’s a solid corporate communications strategy when everything is business as usual, but when you’ve just been floated a loan by some 300 million of your peers, a little humility may be in order. (See: Chrysler — sensing a pattern?). But while ChryCo’s conference may have been the most depressing of the bunch, it was the non-event that was Pontiac’s presence at NAIAS that depressed, disturbed, and frankly offended me as both an enthusiast and as “member” of the press. If you’ve ever shown up to a party where you’re surrounded by dozens of people who were your friends just days before and suddenly don’t want to talk to you, look at you, acknowledge you, or even share the same hundred-square foot area of their apartment, then you know what it’s like to be Pontiac. You don’t know what you did (or didn’t do), but suddenly you’re the fattest, pinkest, most foul-smelling elephant ever to be under the table.