bob-lutz –

A few years ago, when General Motors announced its Voltec extended range electric vehicle drivetrain, it showcased it on the Chevrolet Volt and on the Cadillac Converj.

But while the Volt, coupled with its Opel-badged brother, the Ampera, blazed through development as beacons of revival for the old GM, the Cadillac Converj only stayed alive through the statements of GM executive Bob Lutz, who always supported it and said that a production variant will arrive after 2012.

After a February report by Bloomberg deemed the Converj project dead, due to lack of funding, the final nail in the coffin of the electric Caddy has been added by the biggest support of the project, Lutz himself.

Speaking with Automotive News, the VP, who will retire in May, revealed that the death of the Cadillac is due to “priorities and the conviction that the Volt and Ampera will use all available capacity for years to come”.

While it is sad to hear, the Converj only attracted through its looks and design. Perhaps with more research in the ER-EV technology and in the Voltec powertrain in particular might see the car be resurrected in the future.


Post tags: Tags: bob-lutz, Cadillac, cadillac converj, Electric Vehicles, extended range electric vehicles, General Motors, gm

General Motors had a pretty busy Detroit Auto Show, and one of its main executives, Bob Lutz, was giving out statements left and right about various cars, plans and anything in between.

During his talks with reporters, he also admitted that an all-electric Chevrolet Volt will appear in the future, saying that the technology is “trivial” given the expertise GM has acquired with the regular Volt, which can go up to 40 miles on its battery power before a 1.4-liter gasoline engine kicks in.

The GM executive also admitted that weather will be playing a significant part on the amount of charge the batteries will be able to store, as during these recent winter months when temperatures dropped, many Volt test cars saw their range drop to under 30 miles, causing quite a few complaints.

“It varies a lot more than the range variation with a gasoline-powered car depending on your driving style,” Lutz revealed, saying that he got only 28 miles from a Volt in winter conditions.


Post tags: Tags: bob-lutz, Chevrolet, chevrolet-volt, detroit-auto-show, Electric Vehicles, General Motors, gm, Hybrid

In between showing off to journalists at the Detroit Auto Show and sharing his insight on the Cadillac Converj, General Motors executive Bob Lutz talked about Saab, and how while the wind down process of the Swedish brand continues, his company is still analyzing offers.

“The offers we’ve received so far in terms of risk and financing up-front just have been as good as winding it down,” Lutz said. “For years GM has been procrastinating when it comes to Saab. I’m glad to see that for once GM is sticking with a decision to wind something down.”

While I’m sure GM is content with getting rid of a financially troubled brand, I do think that many Saab fans, workers and share holders aren’t that thrilled with GM’s decissions so far. While they may still cling to hope that another company will arrive to save it, things aren’t looking good.


Post tags: Tags: bob-lutz, General Motors, gm, Saab

While General Motors is betting big on the upcoming Chevrolet Volt hybrid, the company is also capitalizing on the technology behind it, the so-called Voltec powertrain, and will implement it in a few other cars as well, like the Opel Ampera.

But one of the most interesting versions of the Voltec might appear in a production version of the Cadillac Converj hybrid concept, which was shown last year at the Detroit Auto Show. During this year’s convention, GM executive Bob Lutz revealed that the Converj will soon enter production, and that “we’ll see it when we see it”, but also said that the whole hybrid and electric trend might be just a fad.

“There are always these waves in the popular media and the public, and right now it’s teensy-weensy cars and electric vehicles,” he said. “And I’m all for it because we’re going to have those, and I hope people buy a lot of them so we can make some money.”

You can just imagine Lutz being the old guy at the convention laughing at the Honda CR-Z or the newly revealed Toyota FT-CH hybrid concept. In all seriousness, the Converj looks pretty good, and with an electric motor developing 161 HP and 273 lb-ft (370 Nm) of torque, helped by a 1.4-liter gasoline engine, it will certainly attract a lot of people when it will be released.


Post tags: Tags: bob-lutz, Cadillac, cadillac converj, detroit-auto-show, General Motors, gm, Hybrid

When thinking about the upcoming Chevrolet Volt all electric car, many things come to mind, if you’re an American tax-payer, things which aren’t so good towards GM, but according to the corporation’s top PR man, Bob Lutz, “performance” might just be another word which will come to mind.

According to the executive, a performance version of the Chevrolet Volt, presumably badged as an SS model, might appear at some point in time: “I would not discount that possibility.”. Lutz also says that such a thing can be easily achieved: “If we want to sacrifice a little bit of fuel efficiency in the interest of performance and still get over 200 miles per gallon, we can do that any time.”

While this shouldn’t mean that people should refrain from buying a Tesla Roadster for example in hopes of the Chevrolet Volt SS, there is hope that GM will cater to the performance electric car market in the future, using the Volt or another car.


Post tags: Tags: bob-lutz, Chevrolet, chevrolet volt ss, chevrolet-volt, generla motors, gm, performance

Just a short time before GM’s board announced that it will keep German automaker Opel, its chairman, Carl-Peter Forster, revealed that it was for the best that the new owner should be Canadian partsmaker Magna.

You can be sure that GM didn’t like that, and after canceling the deal with Magna, proceeded to make a few modifications inside the German company. Forster was, of course, one of the first to go, and his place will be taken by GM’s current vice chairman and head of marketing and communications (also part time racer) Bob Lutz.

While this is definitely a boost in the reputation for Lutz, he will be handling the job as Opel chairman, and with it the role of GM’s European relations, only until the company will find another person qualified for the job. According to some rumors, the US company will choose someone from Germany, in order to save its reputation, which took some massive blows in the last year.


Post tags: Tags: bob-lutz, General Motors, gm, Opel

As you all know, today was General Motors’ Cadillac V-Series Challenge was held at the Monticello Motor Club in New York. This is where GM’s vice president and main PR man, Bob Lutz, put his honor where his words were and challenged any and all to beat the CTS-V in any sedan they could get on the market.

As expected, this interesting marketing stunt brought forward a lot of challengers to the claims of the CTS-V, but among them, a few cars were chosen, the most important being a BMW M3 and an M5 (the latter being driven by Michael from CarGuyDad and a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X driven by Jalopnik‘s Wes Siler.

As expected, the race generated a huge amount of hype and debate, especially on Twitter, where everyone was talking about it (consider GM’s goal accomplished), and you could even follow the live tweets from the people involved (and from our account, so you’d better subscribe for future events).

But now the race is done and the results are in. As much as we rooted for our fellow colleagues in the automotive blogging business, both Wes and Michael were beaten by Lutz, and the M3, which managed a very good time, was beaten by GM’s engineer Aaron Link, which also drove a CTS-V.

The times were as follows: Wes Siler – 3:08; Michael – 3:05; Bob Lutz – 2:58; BMW M3 – 2:54; Cadillac CTS-V, driven by Aaron Link – 2:48; CTS-V driven by John Heinricy – 2:46. It turns out that out of the top 7 lap times, 6 of them were achieved by a CTS-V.

Lutz declared promptly after the race, via Cadillac’s Twitter account, that: “I’m pleased, the car is wonderful, the track is wonderful. I haven’t done this in 30 years. Young whipper-snappers showed me a thing or two. Let’s see them do this when they’re 77. I’m not complaining, the automatic [transmission’s] sport mode helped me a lot.”

Overall, it was an ingenious campaign from GM and one which should definitely be copied by other carmakers. Maybe next time we’ll send someone from our own team to fight them.

Post tags: Tags: bob-lutz, Cadillac, cadillac v-series challenge, cadillac-cts-v, General Motors, gm

You probably heard about this outrageous thing by now, but for those of you not in the know, GM’s vice chairman, Bob Lutz, has challenged anyone who believes they can beat him and his Cadillac CTS-V to a race, being held this Thursday at Monticello Motor Club in New York.

Taking him up on this offer will be a few well known automotive journalists, but also a few regular people with their own cars. Among the competition the Caddy will be up against will be a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, a BMW M5, an Audi RS4 or a BMW M3.

It’s going to be one hell of a competition, but in the end, GM’s Caddy will certainly walk away with the best reputation due to Lutz’s marketing prowess. The full list of participants can be found at this address.

Click the jump to see a video of Lutz and his CTS-V preparing for the race. Thanks Carrie for the tip!

Post tags: Tags: bob-lutz, Cadillac, cadillac-cts-v, General Motors, gm, race

At yesterday’s unveiling of the Chevrolet Volt, Bob Lutz announced what it seems to be one of the coolest features of the new plug-in hybrid. According to GM’s Vice Chairman, the Volt will use the GPS to figure out how far away home is and and it will adjust the system to only run the gas engine long enough to give you enough charge to get you home where you can actually plug it into the wall outlet. You’ve got to admit, that’s awesome and if GM manages to make this system efficient, it will definitely kick ass.

Photo Gallery: Chevrolet Volt Production Version


Post tags: Tags: bob-lutz, Chevrolet, chevrolet-volt, General Motors, gm, Hybrid

Speaking at the New York Auto Show, GM’s Vice Chairman Bob Lutz announced that, as a response to the raising gas prices, General Motors is considering adding a 4-cylinder engine for the upcoming Chevrolet Camaro. The engine he’s talking about is the 260 hp 2.0 liter turbocharge unit that is currently powering the Pontiac Solstice and the Saturn Sky roadster.

When sales will start, the Camaro will be offered with V6 and V8 powerplants and though no extra details were made available, Automotive News reports that the V6 unit used will be the 3.6 liter four-cam that currently powers the Cadillac CTS, but Bob Lutz mentioned that it will develop 260 hp (comparing to the 304 hp developed be the CTS). Also, GM plans to position both the V6 and V8 versions of the Camaro as premium cars compared to the Camaro’s main competitor, the Ford Mustang. Here’s what Lutz said: “We have a very sophisticated suspension system and, frankly, a much nicer interior. We are not going to try and match the Mustang on price. We are going to be premium-priced compared to the Mustang”. The V6 Mustang pricing starts from $20,235, while the V8 GT coupe begins at $26,825, shipping included.

So, a very interesting turn in GM’s strategy, due to the raising gas prices. And while we’re at this part, let’s have some fun and take a look at some comics about the gas prices (click here).


Post tags: Tags: bob-lutz, camaro, Chevrolet, chevrolet-camaro, engine, General Motors, gm, new-york-auto-show