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Old 12-21-2001, 12:37 PM   #1
Pete93SL1M
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Dazed GM's Lutz kills Buick Bengal

Ok I for one thought the sneering grill was comical, but not nearly as ugly as the Aztek from any angle.
Full info here...
http://just-auto.com/news_detail.asp?art=36670&dm=yes

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Old 12-21-2001, 12:40 PM   #2
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I never thought the Sky had much of a chance but I wonder, does this announcement about the Bengal mean there is less or more chance that the Sky will be built? I suspect less of a chance.

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Old 12-21-2001, 12:52 PM   #3
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Other than the Korean makes, Subraru, Izusu, and Nissan, I think every car manufacturer that has a broad product line has a convertible in its lot. As big as GM is and the soon to be dismiss of the Camaro/Firebird ponies, GM will soon won't have a convertible in its line.

The Sky was a foo foo anywas. It was a mocked up disguised hand me down Olds O4 concept that was based on the Opel Astra coupe. The Sky was never introduced as a real physical car, just some CGI to hide the Oldsmobile concept skin. I never thought GM would build it for Saturn, and if they did, sounded like they're aiming it as a VW Cabriot competitor with the soft name, design, and colour.

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Old 12-21-2001, 01:12 PM   #4
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I remember reading that earlier in the week, I was going to post a blurb about that.

Ding dong, the SKY is dead. Right?

Sky is toast folks. The only way that the SKy would have gotten built is if the Bengal got built, and GM wanted to get some more mileage out of the four doored convertible chassis. Another reason right there not to support the SKY. IMHO, SKY had symbolized everything that was wrong with Saturn's "new mission".

Besides, the Bengal would have been another flop, just like the REATTA, or the PROWLER, an image car for a dowdy car company. I wish GM had axed BUICK, I can't say ive ever had any interest in a Buick. At least Olds had some competent cars.

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Old 12-21-2001, 01:18 PM   #5
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You know...one of the most beautiful GM car of recent (no more now) was the last Buick Riviera. Not commenting on it's reliability, which is relatively poor, but those curves are pretty nice up front. The back may have needed some more work, but it was tolerable.

Now, another potent GM car is the Buick Regal GS. I wouldn't mind that either. Everything else in Buick is blah to me.

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Old 12-21-2001, 01:22 PM   #6
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Default Misc News & Rumors

Last I heard the Sky had not yet been cut from GM's 2002 concept car lineup. Lutz did request that the car be reworked to make a series of changes, and right now it does not look like it will debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit next month. Hopefully we'll see it in Chicago or NY. Whether or not a production version of the car is a viable option remains to be seen. As an aside, Pontiac will have a new small roadster concept that's at the NAIAS. It will be interesting to see how the two cars compare, since I didn't think that Pontiac was originally slated to get a Delta-based small car.

Some other news of interest... Lutz has apparently shelved the proposed Saturn minivan that was to be built in Spring Hill. It hasn't been cancelled yet, but the project has been put on hold. However, he's accelerated plans for the extended VUE with a third row of seats. I'll have more details about that online soon.

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Old 12-21-2001, 01:32 PM   #7
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I take that back...GM will have a convertible after the pony cars go away. The Chevy SSR, the modern day El-Camino :-)

Quote:
As an aside, Pontiac will have a new small roadster concept that's at the NAIAS.
Any bets that it might be based off the Opel Speedster?

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Old 12-21-2001, 04:02 PM   #8
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I read that both Saturn and Pontiac had a chance to build a verison of the Speedster. Saturn declined(surprise? Not.)

Pontiac is interested, perhaps reviving the Fiero name. Not a bad idea guys.

Frankly, you could use it as is, and even leave the opel Z on the front and it would be perfect.

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Old 12-21-2001, 04:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by DBLW1
Other than the Korean makes, Subraru, Izusu, and Nissan, I think every car manufacturer that has a broad product line has a convertible in its lot. As big as GM is and the soon to be dismiss of the Camaro/Firebird ponies, GM will soon won't have a convertible in its line.

Isn't the Corvette still offered in convertible form?



-=Chris

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Old 12-21-2001, 04:22 PM   #10
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Doh...! that's right, but I was mostly focusing on the < $40,000 pricepoints.

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Old 12-21-2001, 05:00 PM   #11
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The sneering front end is the only part of the Bengal look that I didn't like. Much of the rest of it reminded me of the 1950's Corvettes and some of the old front engined European roadsters. I don't know exactly what Lutz has in mind but the success of the BMW two seaters makes me think that there are people who would buy something like a Bengal. As to which GM division should build it; it is hard to say. Buick seems to normally target moderately wealthy older people who like bigger cars but I don't see a lot of current Saturn customers eager to part with $30,000+ for a high end two seater either.

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Old 12-21-2001, 06:18 PM   #12
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I don't follow Sunbirds and the Cav too closely - do they still make the ragtop versions of those? I see enough of them down here in the rental fleets.

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Old 12-21-2001, 06:29 PM   #13
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I believe 2000 was the last model year for the convertible J bodies (Cav & Sunfire).

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Old 12-22-2001, 07:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: Misc News & Rumors

Quote:
Originally posted by Charlie

Some other news of interest... Lutz has apparently shelved the proposed Saturn minivan that was to be built in Spring Hill. It hasn't been cancelled yet, but the project has been put on hold. However, he's accelerated plans for the extended VUE with a third row of seats. I'll have more details about that online soon.

Charlie
Interesting, Charlie. I guess I'm not that surprised that they don't want to add a third totally new model at Spring Hill so soon. A stretched Vue sounds much easier to get into production.

Assuming that this new vehicle will use the Honda V6 engines, GM and Saturn may have to hurry a little bit since the Honda Odyssey plant in Alabama went on line 6 months early. I just took an Amtrak ride through Alabama and got to see the outside of the Honda plant. I think it is just east of Birmingham before you get to Anniston.

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Old 12-22-2001, 08:07 PM   #15
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Speaking of that, Honda will offer the rebadge Isuzu Passport replacement with their own next summer of 2002. Basically a Honda version of the Odyssey based MDX in that new plant. It with have three row seating also and will be named "Pilot".

Here's some pics of the prototype:
[img]http://hondanews.com/forms/images/*PV_1745[/img][img]http://hondanews.com/forms/images/*PV_1746[/img]
[img]http://hondanews.com/forms/images/*PV_1743[/img][img]http://hondanews.com/forms/images/*PV_1744[/img]

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