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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
With a new Impala not set to debut for several more years, the already stale model is in serious danger of becoming as relevant as an ’80s music montage. To help combat the car’s sinking appeal, Chevrolet will debut a restyled version for 2012 with some important changes that are more than skin deep.
With a new front and rear fascia, as well as an upgraded interior with a new woodgrain trim, the biggest update comes under the hood with the addition of a new 3.6-liter V6 engine. The same powerplant found in cars like the Chevy Camaro, the engine gets variable valve timing and will replace both the old base 3.5 and the optional 3.9-liter V6.
Power is estimated to be rated at 287-hp, with 258 lb-ft of torque available from 4400 rpm. That is a significant jump from the current base car’s 211-hp output, and is also a leap forward from the LTZ’s 224-hp. In addition, that engine will come mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, (the current car still relies on a 4-speed auto-box), which is certain to deliver much-improved fuel economy.
Concept model foreshadows new 2011 Aveo to compete directly with Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit
Ahead of it’s debut at the Detroit Auto Show next week, Chevrolet is giving us a good look at the Aveo RS Show Car, which foreshadows the production 2011 Aveo. And we have to say: Bravo GM!
The sub-compact segment is heating up and while Ford has garnered a lot of publicity with the upcoming Fiesta, if the production Aveo is anything close to this concept, GM may just have hit a home run. Along with aggressive styling and an all-new chassis that is longer, wider and with more interior room than the current model, the Aveo RS Show Car is powered by the 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec motor as found in the new Chevy Cruze. That being said, it makes 138-hp (plenty for a sub-compact and far more than any current production sub-compact offers). GM hasn’t released fuel economy numbers, but with the Cruze capable of 40 mpg on the highway, the Aveo should be able to match that. Better still, enthusiasts will appreciate the six-speed manual transmission.
Inside there’s plenty in the way of high-tech goodies and the interior is simply stunning in both its design and use of materials.
We’ll be sure to bring you more details on the Aveo RS Show Car, as well as news about the production model, with live coverage of the Detroit Auto Show starting January 11th. The all-new Aveo will go into production at GM’s Orion, Michigan plant in late 2010 as a 2011 model.
GALLERY: Chevrolet Aveo RS Show Car
More on the Aveo RS Show Car after the jump:
When the new Camaro came out, General Motors explained the very careful two-pronged approach for the car, with the high-volume V6 models appealing to lifestyle consumers, while the high-powered and more expensive V8 version selling to the limited enthusiast crowd. So imagine the surprise in the marketing and product planning departments upon learning that two out of three Camaros sold come equipped with a V8 engine.
GM even went to great lengths to make the V6 models attractive, equipping them with a 29 mpg highway rating, more than 300-hp and a starting price of just $23,530.
This news is a bit of a double-edged-sword for GM. The down side is that high sales of V8-powered SS models will hurt the company’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rating. The up-side, however, is that with V6 an V8 models costing almost the same to produce, the profit margins on SS models is much higher.
As unlikely as it seems, Cadillac may be preparing to launch a high-performance V version of the CTS SportWagon.
The rumors of a 556hp CTS wagon re-emerged when an Autoblog reader reportedly had an email exchange with GM’s product boss Bob Lutz where he asked Lutz if a manual transmission version of a CTS-V wagon were to be built, then he would buy one. Lutz is reported to have responded saying, “Since we do market the V with a 6-speed manual, and since the V-wagon is in the plan, we’ll be selling you a car in one year!”
When asked about this conversation, Cadillac spokesperson David Caldwell responded that, “There’s not been an ‘official’ or announced change in the status of this car. It’s certainly a car we’re thinking of, and one we know how to do. I can’t really speak to what’s inside your reader’s email account. I don’t doubt him… not would I doubt Bob Lutz.”
We still have our doubts about the V-Wagon, and after Lutz’s comments about the Pontiac G8 living on turned out to be false, we’ll take his comments with a grain of salt.
There is still hope, however, as the arguments for why most European automakers don’t bring over their high-powered wagons doesn’t hold up with GM. BMW has never offered its M5 wagon here and neither has Audi offered its RS6 Avant. The issue with those cars, however, is their price. Already extremely expensive overseas, cars like the RS6 are prohibitively priced for the U.S. market, with the twin-turbo V10 wagon commanding 110,000 Euros, or $160,000. With the CTS-V and CTS SportWagon already both existing, and priced significantly less than European competitors, the price issue wouldn’t be nearly as big a factor. Demand for the car still remains a big question mark.