Bob made a 6/2 blog entry. Looks like Bob is testing one for us
(Almost) Summer Driving
By Bob Lutz
GM Vice Chairman
It’s been great to read all the Solstice comments in response to Lori Queen’s posts. I’ll just say that Lori and I appreciate your patience. You won’t be sorry you waited once you have one. I also noticed that amid the Solstice discussion, that issue of rear-wheel drive arose again, so I’d like to take the opportunity to address that one more time, along with a couple other questions I was asked previously.
About potential GM rear-wheel-drive products: First of all, for those who say GM is overcommitted to front-wheel-drive, I’d say that’s not quite true. We have the small rear-wheel drive architecture that will spawn the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. We have the Cadillac CTS, STS and SRX, three excellent rear-drive vehicles. And of course we have the Chevrolet Corvette and the Cadillac XLR. And the rear-wheel drive 2005 Pontiac GTO is practically sold out, despite initial worries of whether it would ever reach its targeted volume of 18,000 a year. Right now on the West Coast they just don’t have enough of them to go around, because it’s such a great car to drive. So there’s a whole host of rear-wheel-drive cars that we have already.
We’re fully cognizant of the advantages and disadvantages of rear-wheel drive versus front-wheel drive. We know that rear-wheel drive for the enthusiast driver produces a greater and more visceral sense of control. That isn’t to say that you can’t do a great front-wheel-drive car, and we certainly do a lot of those, with great vehicle dynamics.
But there is something very appealing about a rear-wheel-drive car, and it’s not lost on us. We have not at all abandoned our hopes and dreams for rear-wheel-drive passenger cars — we’ve just stopped work on one particular program. Does that mean there won’t be another and a better program to follow that one? No. Has the current trend toward nostalgia vehicles escaped us? No. Are we studying this phenomenon? Yes. That’s all there is to say about it at this time.
Also, someone asked me if I had to buy any car under $30,000, what would it be? I think, and I’m not just being a homer, I would go with the Pontiac Grand Prix GXP, which is just south of $30,000, and a terrific vehicle to drive. I would also give strong consideration to the new Chevy Impala SS V8.
Finally, I was also asked what I’m driving currently… Right now I’m driving a test-fleet preproduction Solstice, a Hummer H3 and a preproduction Pontiac G6 coupe with the 3.9-liter V6. I’m sort of rotating through these vehicles, and enjoying myself very much. We get stopped a lot, both with the G6 coupe, and especially with the Solstice. People really like the looks of that G6 coupe — it does stand out. With the H3, it’s interesting, because people do a double-take. At first they think it’s an H2, but then suddenly it dawns on them that it’s smaller than that. It’s fun to watch.
It’s probably more fun to watch than to read about. But the H3 is doing very well right out of the gate right now, so I’m confident that you’ll have a chance to witness the phenomenon in person soon. Let me know what you think.