• Jul 18, 2008

Click any image for a slightly larger shot.

Earlier in the week, a handful of tiny images from General Motor's presentation to employees leaked onto the Web, providing a glimpse into the future of Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and Saab. As the General's spinmeisters try to console both Wall Street investors and tepid consumers after Black Tuesday's depressing announcements, they've finally released these all-too-small pics into the wild images began surfacing on other sites, sourced from GM's own media portal where the video of Wagoner's presentation was posted.

Aside from GM's plans to reduce white collar expenditures by 20 percent, eliminate salaried employees' health care after age 65 and a cut its way to liquidity to the tune of $15 billion by the end of 2009, Bob Lutz dropped the bomb that the current iteration of the Beat isn't coming to the U.S. and that the 40+ mpg Chevrolet Cruze won't be immediately available to North American consumers after it debuts at the Paris Motor Show.

Regardless, the images give us a sneak peak at the stillborn (Stateside) Cobalt replacement, which features tautly drawn headlamps, deep swage lines and a grille that apes its big brother the Malibu. The Cadillac CTS Sportwagon features a massive D-pillar reminiscent of that found on the CTS coupe concept and taillights that stretch from the edge of the roof to the lower fascia. The Caddy SRX's design is precisely what's been predicted, while both the Buick sedan and Saab 9-4X – a supposed competitor to the BMW X3 – are hardly compelling.

Check the images in the gallery below and give us your own opinion about GM's supposed saviors.


[Source: AutoObserver]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 96 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Too many people here are defending these designs as the "right size" and more fuel efficient than their predecessors.

      This is the thinking that got GM where it is today.

      GM needs to start designing cars as if gas prices are at $6.00/gallon. That is where gas prices will be when these new models arrive.

      The cruze is the only thing that looks like it might be small enough - maybe.

      I see people here justifying 26-28 MPG. That's a joke. My mother's (large) Toyota Avalon got 28 MPG 4 years ago when she bought it.

      GM needs to accept that the "American sized" car is going away. Cars the size of the MINI and Yaris will be the new norm. GM should be targeting OVER 30 MPG for every new design...small, powerful engines, small size, and LOW WEIGHT.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Dear Ted,

        Your thinking has no place in American corporate culture, you are not allowed to consider what will happen beyond the end of the quarter.

        Gasoline will soon be $6/gallon or higher as you say, but if you plan for the future, that means you don't support the president, and you're on the side of the terrorists and Dixie Chicks.

        If people in GM think like you, the company will not go bankrupt, and that would upset many people on this board as well as in the White House.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Exactly so, GM should look to tomorrow and not yesterday

        This is why its so painful to watch it thrash about
        • 6 Years Ago
        shethj

        Judging from what I see in the NorthEast, people are moving away from SUVs (and crossovers) to sedans. This trend could account for the Camry stat you mentioned.

        At $6.00/gallon those same people will move from larger sedans to compact cars. It's strictly a matter of finances.

        I'd hardly call the Corolla a large car. Sure, it's bigger than the Yaris, but it is still a small sedan.

        As for all those new crossovers you mentioned. I don't see as many of them as I saw just a couple of years ago. Maybe someone is buying them, but I'm seeing more new sedans than crossovers on the roads here. If crossovers aren't selling the North East where it snows, who is buying them?

        MINI is capturing the "premium - compact" market and is a large contributor to BMW's record setting year. The "premium-compact" market barely existed until MINI. It will become a large market for those with cash, and wanting to "feel better" about the vehicle they drive.

        GM should be building "premium" compact cars. Small, fun to drive, fuel-efficient cars with leather, NAV, soft-touch plastics, high-end audio, bluetooth and heated seats. These types of high-end small cars will become popular - it's only a matter of time.

        GM isn't even thinking about that market, and again, GM will be caught flat-footed when the market, once again, bites them in the ass.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "GM needs to accept that the "American sized" car is going away. Cars the size of the MINI and Yaris will be the new norm. GM should be targeting OVER 30 MPG for every new design...small, powerful engines, small size, and LOW WEIGHT."

        If you are going to be critical you could at least make sense. Subcompacts are NOT going to replace midsize vehicles as the #1 choice of American buyers. What evidence do you have that Americans are shunning midsize cars and SUvs for Minis? BMW sold about 5k minis last month. The Tahoe outsold the mini. Meanwhile the Camry is moving over 40k units a month and the Corolla is trouncing the Yaris in sales.

        GMs new compact SUvs are designed to go head to head with everything from the RAV4 to the GLK to the RDX. I'm sure their mileage will be right where they need to be. No other manufacturer is backing off the small/midsize SUV market so why would GM? Didnt Nissan just launch the Rogue and Murano? Didnt Infiniti just launch the EX35?

        BTW, it should be noted that the 2009 Malibu/Aura get 33mpg on the highway (one less than camry hybrid) and the Cobalt XFE gets 37mpg on the highway even though its has more power than Civic or Corolla. GM is addressing fuel efficiency and their midsize cars get better mileage than Accord and Camry.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I guess the one pic really shows where GM's direction is going. One small, efficient car and 3 more big, stupid "crossovers."
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, you're stupid if you believe those crossovers are large. These new crossovers are substantially lighter and smaller than the lambdas. These new models will be about the size of the Equinox or Sant Fe and should be good for 27-29mpgs on the highway. The average V6 family sedan gets about 27mpg on the highway so these crossovers should be no less efficient than the average family sedan.

        In addition, a new Aveo is coming out in 2010 and Saturn will get a version of the new Astra around the same time. Get your facts straight.
      • 6 Years Ago
      hmmmm, i dont like any of the designs except for the cruze...Its super nice, but i do agree with Zane, it does belong with Saturn and not Chevy.....
      • 6 Years Ago
      Much as I love my Hummer, I may get out of it for the SRX. I love the Cadillac design, but that staionm wagon cross over looking thing they have now is for some reason fugly to me.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That D-pillar everybody is talking about is too far from the driver to make any real difference. My '95 Roadmaster Wagon has glass all over the rearend, and, from the driver's seat, you never, ever see out of it. You have to use the outside mirrors to look at stuff in the rear and to the side of the car. Besides, the dog always stands in the way of the rear window, anyway!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I still don't understand why Lutz and the other igmos ofer at GM say the Cruze may come here someday, but that HOT COBALT will remain on sale into the forseeable future.... UHHHHH what crap is Lutz smoking and let me stay away! I can't believe they are not trying to rush this car out here. The current Cobalt is horrid, "plasticy", and all around a complete yawn that is far behind competition like Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and the VW Rabbit. This Cruze looks really good even in the blurry photo and the spy shots I have seen of the car. I guess maybe they are not prepared to retool the manufacturing facilities just yet since cash flow is tight, but that is still a cop out since they can tool factories that will build it. GM needs to step it up in the small car field.

      Cadillac looks good. These 2 vehicles plus the CTS coupe, yeah they are going for a good future, and I am glad. I have always been a European car lover when it comes to styling of larger luxury cars. Cadillac finally competes in my book head to head and its about damn time.

      The Saab.... uhhh.... not sure about it yet. I think Saab needs to be GM's green company maybe. Using biodiesels, hybrids, etc. Saab needs a SMALL CAR! And cars with styling that say Saab when you see it drive by, like the Saabs of yore. I don't think SUVs or CUVs are the answer to their sales woes. When I look at Saabs, I think they are plain just like anything else. Nothing makes them stand out like the old ones did.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Are you kidding me? In what world is the Corolla interior not plasticky?

        I think this:

        http://www.chevrolet.com/i/pic/cobalt/2008/photogallery/int_gallery02.jpg

        Is acceptable given the price range the car is in. It's better than the Corolla, and about as good as the Civic (but in a totally different way given that this doesn't look like a space ship).

        I do like the VW Rabbit (or at least Jetta, I haven't been in a Rabbit in a while) interior better, but that car costs a fair bit more (almost 20%), so it's not surprising.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well the Rabbit starts around $15K and is loaded around $19K so about the same price. Every Cobalt I sat in "looked" nice. Until I felt the plastics used on lower and upper dash. I can understand skimping out some on lower dash, all manufacturers do this, but the upper half scratched when I accidentally turned the air vent and it was just my finger nail that tore into the cheap plastic. I have seen Tonka trucks use better plastics. I was disappointed. Yes I think both the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla have better interiors. Feel wise they are miles ahead of the Cobalt. The looks of the inside of the Cobalt are fine. Shame on the materials used. VW's Rabbit is definitely at the head of the competition though in terms of interior feel fit, and finish which is why I bought one over a year ago.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I guess people need to stop buying the Cobalt. Maximum Bob says that the Cobalt is just coming into its own. Stop buying it and the Cruze have to be brought here sooner, right?

      Hopefully this thing has a good interior, and can be enough fun to drive that it picks up some of the market share that Honda, Toyota and Mazda have.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is it just me, or do these grainy images look altered, checkout the license plate alignment and headlamps on the Saab.
      • 6 Years Ago

      I'm suspicious. This is less convincing than shuffling deck chairs. It's as if Lutz has just requested the ship's band to play "Happy Days are Here Again".

      I so much want GM, Ford and Chrysler to succeed that I'm planning on purchasing a U.S. branded, & domestically produced, vehicle for the first time in twenty years.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What's "supposed competitor to the BMW X3" mean?

      The X3 is a POS. You can't compete with a car that has almost no merit. The X3 selling on badge only and as good or bad as the Saab may be, it's never going to have a roundel on it, so it isn't going to steal X3 sales.

      BTW, I think the Buick sedan looks okay. Not great, just okay. And it better have headroom in the back.
      • 6 Years Ago
      OMG I NEED THE CRUZE.


      SAAB IS STILL UGLY, BUT OMG I LOVE THE CRUZE.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If the Cobalt looked like that, I would have bought one.
        • 6 Years Ago
        the tall tail lights remind me of the older SRX, and possibly the CIEN.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree, that Cruze is hot. I could do without the others but that Cruze takes the cake.
        • 6 Years Ago
        BOB LUTZ, YOU ARE THE MAN!!!!

        See those designs.....their all getting green lighted by Lutz.

        This guy is the Midas of the auto industry.

        I just hope it's not too late for GM.
          • 6 Years Ago
          The man? Well the man ISN'T bringing the Beat here and the man ISN'T bring the Cruze here right away and the man just released a new Hummer model.

          'The man' isn't how I would refer to him.
        • 6 Years Ago
        One website even shows the new Chevy Equinox.... so I guess they are replacing it as well. Plus there is a rear shot of the Cruze on one site as well.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "OMG I NEED THE CRUZE"

        Actually none of these vehicles are NEEDED, they published these photographs in their press conf the other day just to impress the press.

        Most of these vehicles will not see light of the day and none of them can compete with Honda fit, Toyota Prius,
        Escape Hybrid, Civic, Corolla, Mazda3, Yaris etc. and thus will not help GM bottom line.

        I repeat my call to fire GM leadership, billions of dollars in losses year over year and they still pay millions of dollars to these morons.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Cruze is awesome! GM what are you waiting for....bankruptcy?!? We need these cars in our market yesterday not 2 years from now!
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