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Discussion Starter #1
The Mitsubishi Evo is considered one of the world's premier driver's cars, performing at least as well as a BMW M3. If Pontiac is the GM performance Division, why can't they make a serious performance sedan every bit the Evo's equal?
 

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jimbo said:
The Mitsubishi Evo is considered one of the world's premier driver's cars, performing at least as well as a BMW M3. If Pontiac is the GM performance Division, why can't they make a serious performance sedan every bit the Evo's equal?
I've ranted about this in various threads before because it bugs me also. Technically GM is connected to Subaru and they have the WRX STi which is the Lancer EVO competitor. However I personally don't consider that GM. I think GM in general is missing the type of engine required to create the type of performance Sedan we would like to see jimbo. But what we're really wanting them to produce is a WRC Rally car, because realistically that's what those cars were designed for. However this new Turbocharged ECOTEC engine in development by Opel OPC and rumored to show up as a possible Solstice GT engine could provide GM with the power they need from that type of engine. The other thing GM is lacking to get into this breed of cars is a GOOD AWD small Sedan platform. Personally I'd love to see something like this made, or even a AWD Kappa varient. I think they would make awesome WRC vars.
 

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solsticeman said:
An AWD 2+2 seat platform. No convertible.
Yeah, sorry I didn't mean as like the current Solstice design but some sort of small 2+2 hard top car like you mentioned. Because I really don't think they could get a sedan, even a small one off the Kappa chasis either.
 

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An AWD GTO wouldn't be a bad thing. I know, too big, too heavy, but with enough HP, miracles can be accomplished. I've often wondered how a NASCAR based car (tube frame,etc) with AWD would fair as a WRC Rally car. And the PR would be priceless. It'd be like what Harley Davidson did in NHRA. People said a V Twin could never beat a Japanese bike. Although HD's beating them consistently now, even when they were losing, the fans were rooting for them.
 

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There is a lot of current buzz about using the kappa as a base to be stretched and pulled like taffy into various shapes and sizes that would/could do the above. Big advantage is the already developed IRS with frame mounted diff. Couple that with the FWD engine and tranny from just about anything with the addition of an output shaft to run the rear axle.......or take the Saabaru and put a decent engine in it.....

Didn't I read that GM is going to campaign the Cobalt in European rally?
 

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DreamerDave said:
An AWD GTO wouldn't be a bad thing. I know, too big, too heavy, but with enough HP, miracles can be accomplished. I've often wondered how a NASCAR based car (tube frame,etc) with AWD would fair as a WRC Rally car. And the PR would be priceless. It'd be like what Harley Davidson did in NHRA. People said a V Twin could never beat a Japanese bike. Although HD's beating them consistently now, even when they were losing, the fans were rooting for them.
Dave, the NASCAR won't be smaller than the GTO, being loosley based on the W body (Monte Carlo and previously Grand Prix) Most of the rally cars are one or two sizes smaller. OTOH, an AWD G6, or G8 (or Grand Prix) with enough hp and proper torque split front to rear could be aforce to be reckoned with. And from that we could get AWD "rally" versions of our own. I know my wife wouldn't go for a WRX or evan Legacy sized vehicle adn wonder if she'll be comfortable dropping from "fullsized" Grand Prix 4 door to G6 retractable that I have in mind for her.
 

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The only real notable AWD GM car that I think is worth a damn for the money is the SAAB 9-2x, but err that's actually a Subaru. Darn.
 

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Yeah, I shouldn't have said GTO. What I meant was, WRC Rally cars are as far from street cars as NASCAR. A V8 AWD Grand Prix would be impressive even if it didn't win. And with different badgeing and style tweaks, it could be campaigned as any number of GM cars.
 

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Lancer Evo VII and WRX STi Comarison

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Base Retail Price (MSRP) $30,699 $32,295
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Torque (lb-ft) 286 @ 3500 RPM 300 @ 4000 RPM
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Displacement (cc) 1997 2457
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Do you guys think a WRC type of car from a North American auto maker like Pontiac would be sensible? It'd almost be like Peugeot entering NASCAR - pretty much pointless - no?

And jimbo, your question made me think of something that's been bothering me for a while. Why hasn't GM ever been "benchmarked" by other manufacturers? (That's rhetorical, btw.) You hear about the 3-Series being the target for the CTS, the ES 330 being the target for the LaCrosse, the S2000 being the target for the Solstice. GM will never be on top if it keeps trying to match the competition today while the competition is working on tomorrow.

But getting back on track, I wholeheartedly agree that Pontiac needs a serious shot of vitamin P! And I think Pontiac knows this too. It'll just take time. I'm expecting results in 5 years, Pontiac, you hear??? :)
 

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I think with the Solstice one it's a little different then your other two examples. The other two GM was trying to match cars in their class. With the Solstice matching the S2000 is matching the ability of a car that costs base more then 50% more then the cost of the Solstice. I feel that GM is aiming above their class in order to trounce the current class (Miata).
 

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ho2go said:
Do you guys think a WRC type of car from a North American auto maker like Pontiac would be sensible? It'd almost be like Peugeot entering NASCAR - pretty much pointless - no?
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that Ford was running in WRC with Focuses. They don't market that participation over here, but I could have sworn they did run them.

I think it could make sense. The Japanese companies didn't think WRC participation would have helped them in NA either, and then Subaru decided to give it a try with the WRX. What they found was a very strong market for AWD rally based vehicles.

I think it could work for Pontiac, but they are going to need the right car to do it. I wonder if they couldn't use a Delta platform based car with an AWD system if not a stretched Kappa. Delta would be comparable to the other WRC cars, and instead of just getting a clone of the Cobalt, POntiac could come up with some more interesting sheetmetal for it, and bolt AWD under it.

Or... this could end up at Saturn too. Replace the Ion with a steel body Delta AWD car and send it to WRC. The AWD would benefit Saturn's new "upscale" market position GM wants it to have for production cars. It would also make a great vehicle for the Redline performance lineup.
 

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Fformula88 said:
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that Ford was running in WRC with Focuses. They don't market that participation over here, but I could have sworn they did run them.

I think it could make sense. The Japanese companies didn't think WRC participation would have helped them in NA either, and then Subaru decided to give it a try with the WRX. What they found was a very strong market for AWD rally based vehicles.

I think it could work for Pontiac, but they are going to need the right car to do it. I wonder if they couldn't use a Delta platform based car with an AWD system if not a stretched Kappa. Delta would be comparable to the other WRC cars, and instead of just getting a clone of the Cobalt, POntiac could come up with some more interesting sheetmetal for it, and bolt AWD under it.

Or... this could end up at Saturn too. Replace the Ion with a steel body Delta AWD car and send it to WRC. The AWD would benefit Saturn's new "upscale" market position GM wants it to have for production cars. It would also make a great vehicle for the Redline performance lineup.
Good points, Fformula88. Yes, Ford definitely races their Focus in WRC. But like you alluded to it seems their involvement in WRC is to benefit only their European sales/image/products. (Somewhat off-topic, but have you seen some of Ford Europe's recent concepts? They're gorgeous! And Ford's scratching its collective head wondering how to be competitive in NA... :brentil: )

And yeah, you're totally right that the NA response to Subie's WRX has been phenomenal. But keep in mind that they had a rich history and reputation in WRC and we kept hearing about how great the European and Japanese WRXs were before they were released here in NA. Pontiac wouldn't have this luxury, being the new kid on the block.

Don't get me wrong, I would *love* a WRC Pontiac, but I'd be worried the cost/benefit of it wouldn't match up (seems a bit niche).

One way I could see this working, however, is for one of GM's European divisions/affiliates to enter a car in WRC, dominate, and then sell that car over here as a Pontiac (or Saturn, take your pick).
 

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ho2go said:
Don't get me wrong, I would *love* a WRC Pontiac, but I'd be worried the cost/benefit of it wouldn't match up (seems a bit niche).

One way I could see this working, however, is for one of GM's European divisions/affiliates to enter a car in WRC, dominate, and then sell that car over here as a Pontiac (or Saturn, take your pick).
I agree, it certainly is a niche. Subaru is happy with their WRX sales. However, I think they are in the neighborhood of 25,000 units a year. For Subaru that is a good volume. For GM it may not seem like much.

It would certainly take a winning record for GM to get mileage out of WRC participation. They cannot show up and get stomped on all the time. No one will take them seriously. However, I bet it would help them just as much as competing Solstices in SCCA and Grand Am.

At any rate, if they could use an existing platform, and they have 2.0L 4 banger /I engines in use already, the initial cost outlay shouldn't be too bad. The benefits could be very lucrative!
 
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