AutoGuide News Blog
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 nearly one million models sold in six years, the last Chevrolet Cobalt will roll off the production line this week. The Cobalt has been manufactured at GM’s Lordstown assembly plant since its launch in 2004 but was never attained the success of the Cavalier it replaced. An uncompetitive vehicle compared to segment leaders like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, Chevy at least churned out a badass Cobalt SS in 2008 making 260-hp and 260 ft-lbs of torque. That model was rated at 5.5 seconds to 60 mph and could even run a 13.9 second quater mile.
But not even a Car & Driver comparo that proved the Cobalt SS could lap VIR faster than a Mitsubishi EVO, (not to mention a Lexus IS-F, Audi S5, Honda S2000, Subaru WRX STI or Lotus Elise SC) could win the Cobalt any respect.
The Cobalt is set to be replaced by GM’s latest compact car effort, the Cruze, which is larger, considerably more refined and significantly more fuel efficient.
Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com
As a part of GM’s restructuring plan the company has made the drastic decision to “temporarily” close its High Performance Vehicle Operations department.
“All high-performance projects are on indefinite hold,” said spokesman Vince Muniga to Auto News “The engineers are moving into different areas of the organization, and they will work on Cadillacs, Buicks, Chevrolets and Pontiacs.”
GM’s High Performance Vehicle Operations Department is responsible for many of the amazing vehicles that have come out of the company in recent years, including the Chevy Cobalt SS and the V-Series Cadillacs.
Generally the department deals with developing all SS models, including the upcoming Camaro SS. With the exception of that vehicle Muniga said that General Motors has no plans to release high performance versions of any new cars.
I guess we can kiss goodbye any hopes of a V-Series CTS Coupe then…
The decision was made as a part of GM’s viability plan, which strictly states that the company’s focus will be on fuel efficient cars and crossovers. GM has also said it would offer 14 hybrid models by 2012 and 26 hybrid models by 2014.
Muniga did say that the High Performance Vehicle Operations department could be reinstated once GM reaches profitability, however, we’re certain some of the better talent responsible for vehicles as impressive as the new Cadillac CTS-V will be searching for work elsewhere rather than engineering econoboxes. It’s also likely some other manufacturers might be head-hunting those qualified individuals.