Many happy returns

10-20-2005, 10:15 PM
I have been wondering what the new Dodge Challenger and Pontiac Trans AM will look like. If you have any photochops, links to web sites, or input relating to their return let me know!

Jaguar D-Type
10-22-2005, 02:19 AM
I voted for the Challenger as I like the new Dodge Magnum since it reminds me of a hot rod.

Pontiac should use styling from new 2006 Solstice with the new rwd coupe.

Here is the news...

GM reverses course, says revised version of Zeta rear-drive architecture is back on track

Automotive News


DETROIT - Six months after General Motors halted plans to use its Zeta rear-wheel-drive car architecture in North America, the company has revived the program.

In an interview with Automotive News last week, Jim Queen, GM's vice president of global engineering, said a revised version of Zeta is back on track.

Engineered at GM's Holden subsidiary in Australia, Zeta was expected to be the basis of the next-generation Pontiac Grand Prix and GTO; the Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo and a new version of the Camaro; and other vehicles. Vehicles in the program were expected to debut as early as 2006.

Queen did not discuss vehicles on the new version of Zeta or timing. Some vehicles that could be in the Zeta program include the next-generation Pontiac GTO as well as a Chevrolet coupe and sedans. They could debut by the 2009 or 2010 model year, say one company source and one industry analyst.

Queen said initial plans for Zeta stretched the architecture beyond its limits for some North American vehicles. "We needed to reassess and reconfigure the program," he said.

"As we started counting who was in and who was out of Zeta, we realized too late" that Zeta would not work in North America, Queen said.

Part of GM's reasoning in slowing Zeta's development was to focus on pulling forward its full-sized SUVs and pickups. GM's next-generation SUVs will debut early next year.

At the time, GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz wrote on GM's FastLane blog that GM had "canceled … plans to build rear-wheel-drive vehicles off the Zeta architecture."

"But that does not mean we've canceled plans to build rear-drive vehicles altogether," Lutz wrote. "We are simply reallocating resources (human and financial) to pull some other programs ahead and get other vehicles to market sooner."

The revised Zeta program is being developed in GM's Australian engineering center. The vehicle line executive on the program is Gene Stefanyshyn, the former vehicle line executive for GM's Epsilon, or mid-sized cars, in North America.

A GM spokesman said no product plans have been approved and that GM still is studying design themes, performance characteristics and variants for Zeta vehicles.

GM uses the term "architecture" to signify a common set of components, performance characteristics, a common manufacturing process, a range of dimensions and connecting points for key component systems.

(end of article)

Likely Challenger: Dodge prepping a rear-drive coupe to take on Ford's Mustang

RICK KRANZ | Automotive News

Posted Date: 6/13/05

DETROIT -- Watch out, Ford Mustang. Dodge is preparing a challenger.

In fact, it's likely to be called Challenger.

Chrysler plans to resurrect a respected name from the pony car era for a rear-wheel-drive Mustang fighter, industry sources say. The car is expected in 2009 on the LX platform, the basis of the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Magnum and Charger.

"It is a two-door, essentially a competitor for the Mustang," says Catherine Madden, a production analyst for industry research group Global Insight. "They are really excited about it."

Madden says the sport coupe is planned to debut in 2009, when the next-generation LX vehicles are scheduled to be re-engineered and restyled.

"They would be able to make some additional investment in the platform, make some adjustments for that product" at that time, she says.

"The enthusiasm for that product," Madden says, is "very big."

Chrysler hopes to sell 60,000 to 70,000 of the cars a year, she says. An assembly site was not identified. Production of the 300, Magnum and recently introduced Charger is expected to fill Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario, assembly plant.

Chrysler officials are not talking about the car, but industry analysts say they are familiar with the plans.

Jim Hall, vice president of industry analysis at AutoPacific Inc., says he isn't sure Chrysler can pull it off. "They have a lot of stuff that has to be cleared off the table before they start playing around with that car," he says.

The redesigned 2005 Mustang has exceeded initial sales estimates. Ford expects to build 192,000 Mustangs this year, and most retail units are selling at a price near the sticker.

The 1970-74 Challenger was Dodge's answer to the original Mustang, as well as the Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Firebird, Mercury Cougar and AMC Javelin.

Jaguar D-Type
11-22-2005, 01:09 AM
The picture below is from Dodge

"Leaked pictures"

and yet this is the same Dodge that makes this...

a modern-looking Magnum R/T that will age well

Hot Magnum SRT8

Twenty inch forged aluminum wheels hide four-piston Brembo calipers clamping on 14.2 inch front rotors (13.8 inch at the rear wheels).

Jaguar D-Type
12-13-2005, 03:57 AM
Chevy will have a Camaro concept at the 2006 Detroit auto show.

12-14-2005, 12:18 AM
:eek: love it

Jaguar D-Type
12-16-2005, 04:37 PM
:eek: love it

Do you think it is too retro?

12-17-2005, 12:02 AM
Do you think it is too retro?

no.. i think it looks great... imo its a much better attempt at retro cars than gm's ssr, and hhr... i honestly hate them.. not to mention the ssr has a pretty much useless bed and imo is over priced...

Jaguar D-Type
12-21-2005, 07:26 PM
check the link for new pictures

Jaguar D-Type
12-23-2005, 01:03 AM

1970 Dodge Challenger from the Trans-Am Series

01-03-2006, 12:06 PM
Nice pics of the Dodge Challenger. Brings tears to my eyes. Looks like Chrysler may be onto something and it is one of the best retros I have seen. Hopefully the bean counters don't ruin it. :bigthumb:

BTW - I had a '70 Dodge Challenger R/T with 440 Magnum back in 1974.

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01-05-2006, 08:08 PM
How long does it take the big-3 to realize retro styling is not too appealing to the young people that will begin build up a brand loyalty for the rest of their life?

Jaguar D-Type
01-09-2006, 12:52 AM
How long does it take the big-3 to realize retro styling is not too appealing to the young people that will begin build up a brand loyalty for the rest of their life?

How is the new Mustang's styling not too appealing to young people? Sales were up in 2005 vs 2004 by around 30,000 and the new Shelby GT500 won't go on sale until this summer.

New 475 hp Shelby GT500

01-15-2006, 12:54 AM
i love the challenger concept, it looks so much like the old one, just modernised. hopefully it doesn't get ruined in the process of becoming a road car. they deffinately don't need another "charger" catastrophe.

02-12-2006, 09:20 PM
How is the new Mustang's styling not too appealing to young people? Sales were up in 2005 vs 2004 by around 30,000 and the new Shelby GT500 won't go on sale until this summer.

New 475 hp Shelby GT500
I really do want to know the statistics about the first year sales of the 94 redesign and the 99 redesign, please, if you can help me finding them out.

Jaguar D-Type
03-02-2006, 05:16 PM
General Motors plans a follow-up to today’s GTO, and a high Australian dollar means it will likely be built in North America


The Pontiac GTO lives! It will be replaced in late 2008 by an all-new model underpinned by General Motors’ latest rear-wheel-drive Zeta platform, with a strong likelihood of it being built on the same production line as the Chevrolet Camaro in North America.

That’s the message from General Motors vice president for global product development, Bob Lutz, at this week’s Geneva motor show.

The replacement for today’s slowish-selling GTO was canceled last year when General Motors announced it was reorganizing its North American operations and was set to focus its efforts on creating a new line of sport/utility vehicles, pickups and crossovers.

But Lutz has told AutoWeek that reports of the rear-wheel-drive coupe’s death were premature and the next-generation GTO’s development program was only really placed on hold, and—after some internal reorganization to ensure profitability targets can be met—it is now back on.

“The reason we said it was canceled is because that way our people would put their pencils down,” Lutz said. “In GM if you say something is deferred, then people keep working on it. We really needed to get that message through to everybody.” GM’s 74-year-old product guru said the program into which the GTO is incorporated was ‘getting out of control’ and running up costs that would have made it unworkable.

“It was my fault that it got out of control in the first place,” he added. “It was going to be the world’s greatest car and apparently cost nothing to make. So we’ve started over now. The program is back on and it’s going full tilt.”

Lutz confirmed that the GTO was “only ever off for two months, but that break has enabled us to get a more feasible program up.” The program he points to is General Motors’ Zeta rear-wheel-drive platform, which is being developed by Holden in Australia and set to underpin the new-generation Commodore due to be launched in August.

Besides Camaro and GTO, other models set to be based on the Zeta platform are upcoming replacements for the Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo, and a new car called the Buick Statesman, according to Lutz.

Contrary to rumors, however, Lutz said General Motors is not planning to revive the Pontiac Firebird. “No, that’s not something we are planning. We are not going to do that car,” he said.

When pushed on whether GM was thinking about bringing back the El Camino off the Zeta platform, Lutz beamed with enthusiasm. “The kids in the company, myself included, would love to do another El Camino, but the grown-ups amongst us don’t share that way of thinking,” he said. “It would be fairly simple. We’d only have to put a Chevrolet face on the Holden Ute [a car-like pickup sold in Australia]. The building blocks are there.”

Less sophisticated than the existing rear-wheel-drive Sigma platform found beneath the Cadillac STS and other high-end GM models, the Zeta architecture is said to be considerably cheaper to produce, owing to a simplified rear-suspension arrangement and other features.

Lutz suggests the individual character of GM models would not be compromised by basing them around one platform. “We have developed different dash-to-front-axle lengths for various models,” he said. “It [the Zeta platform] is a really flexible platform.”

Along with Australia and North America, Zeta-based rear-wheel-drive models are also being developed for sale in the Middle East and China. Details remain scarce, though GM’s business case for the new GTO is rumored to be based around sales of between 15,000 and 20,000 per year in North America. After a promising start, today’s model has failed to live up to initial estimates recording 13,569 sales in 2004 and just 11,590 in 2005.

Lutz confirmed that GM’s Australian subsidiary, Holden, would play a leading role in the engineering of the GTO [where it is sold as the Monaro] and its sister car, the Camaro. “Holden is responsible for the large rear-drive architecture that these cars are based on. If it happens, Holden will do the development on the Camaro as well as the GTO,” he told AutoWeek.

Despite being developed in Australia, however, there are strong indications the next GTO will be built in North America. “Whether the GTO will be built in Australia [as the current Pontiac GTO is] will largely depend on the [U.S. vs. Australian dollar] exchange rate at the time,” said Lutz. He added, “With the current strength of the Australian dollar and the recent Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the U.S., it would be more feasible to build the GTO in North America. This raises the possibility of both the new-generation GTO and Camaro being imported to Australia in right-hand-drive guise.

Production of today’s Pontiac GTO is planned to end in September, leaving GM with two years before the new Zeta-based model arrives in North American showrooms. As with the recently unveiled Chevrolet Camaro, it is expected to carry a more retro-inspired design with cues from earlier GTO models. Today’s model started life as the Holden Monaro and was never envisaged to carry the GTO badge, leading to complaints from North American buyers that it lacks any visual connection with the original.

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