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GM Pumped Up Over Performance


Charter Member
Full Member
Jan 24, 2002
Houston, TX
New unit under Mark Reuss will bolster muscle cars and develop concept vehicles

WARREN -- General Motors Corp. has pulled together all of its high-performance vehicle projects under one roof in a bid to strengthen storied muscle car brands such as Chevrolet's SS and engineer a new performance lineup for Cadillac.

The new GM Performance Division -- a team of about 200 engineers, designers and technicians headed by executive director Mark Reuss -- will also develop and build all future GM concept cars and trucks for future auto shows.

The division's goal is to create concept vehicles and performance variants of existing cars and trucks that GM can easily and quickly put on the market. "We ought to have this dialed in where we're having show cars that we can put into production at a much different level than we've been doing," Reuss said.

Once famous for its high-performance cars, GM over the years let brands such as Chevy's SS (for Super Sport) fade as budgets were crunched and the company moved almost entirely to front-wheel-drive cars.

Meanwhile, competitors have grabbed market share in the performance arena with popular brands such as Ford Motor Co.'s SVT (for Special Vehicle Team) and BMW AG's M series.
"Other than some of the Camaros and Corvettes, we really haven't done a strong job in putting performance with those brands in recent history, although we did a great job of it in the 1960s," said Reuss, a 38-year-old engineer and son of former GM President Lloyd Reuss.

Under a continuing reorganization of GM's design and development group by Vice-Chairman Bob Lutz, Reuss is emerging as one of GM's top vehicle development executives.
A year ago, Reuss was the head of development for the Pontiac Aztek and Buick Rendezvous. Today, Reuss oversees more than 1,000 people at GM's Technical Center in Warren charged with doing the early engineering and development work for all future GM vehicles.

But the most visible part of Reuss' job will be the Performance Division. For the division, Reuss has surrounded himself with fellow car enthusiasts including chief designer Kip Wasenko, who designed the Cadillac Evoq concept roadster; Jon Moss, the man behind the 1994 Chevy Impala SS; and John Heinricy, a GM engineer and race car driver.

Earlier, people like Moss were spread across the giant company, trying to develop performance cars with limited resources and little contact with the other parts of GM.

Reuss believes the new setup will help GM bring out revved-up versions of existing vehicles faster and cheaper. One of the division's first projects is developing a performance lineup for Cadillac, including a turbo-charged version of the new Cadillac CTS.

"The way we were set up, there was no way we could have accomplished that," Reuss said. "It was a bunch of different groups doing different things with different budgets and different priorities."

By Joe Miller
The Detroit News

Could be hope yet ;D
Yeah GM needs to get their butts in gear when it comes to their cars. ?GM's cars really are soooo lame. ?It's almost embarrassing to drive a GM car (excluding the Vette and the V-8 F-body). ?The 94 Impala SS was really a great car and it was just a big Caprice with the LT1, make stuff like that! ?

People spend too much money for BMW's and Audi's that only have marginal performance, if you want to get some good horsepower out of a BMW you have to spend $50,000 or $70,000. ?What if GM could turn out cars with 300-400 horsepower that could compete with the 3 series and 5 series that could seat four or five people. ?The M5 has a very cool interior and a very good suspension/power train but GM (Cadillac) could also produce a non-boat car with 400 horsepower for $20,000 less. ?The Northstar has put out 300+ horses for 4 or 5 years now, 400 shouldn't be too big of a deal. ?

And No, Gas mileage isn't too big of a deal, BMW's get terrible gas mileage, my mom's X5 3.1 straight 6 gets 14-15 miles per gallon around town, people don't care about mileage if it drives well and has some good power. ?If you spend $40K+ on a car what's the big deal with paying an extra $50 for gas each month, hopefully you can afford it. ?

Cadillac produced the best cars in the world during the 40's, 50's and in the 60's let's have them do it again. ?Enough of manufacturing big front wheel drive boats that weigh 6000 pounds, leave the Grandma market to Buick, make some cool cars that people who are younger then 60 would like to buy. ?A '59 Cadillac convertible is a heck of a lot cooler then the new Seville, make cars with that kind of an appeal. ?

Also, enough of front wheel drive, go back to rear wheel drive and put out some good all wheel drive systems to compete with Subaru and Audi's Quattro. ?People spend too much money on lame Audi's and BMW's, I just had a neighbor spend too much on a new A6 and the car looks cool but the performance is really very average. ?That same neighbor also looks down on me for not driving a yuppie car, I'm sick of people labeling me as ?blue-collar because I drive a Chev.

A supercharged CTS and the new GTO would be a good start. ?I think if GM target's German Manufactures and beats them with more horsepower and equal or better build quality then they would pretty much cancel out everyone else out of the equation. ?There's a reason why car magazines always love anything German. ?If Toyota can produce Lexus and be successful GM should be able to dominate the world like they used to. ?Come on!!! :7:
Amen, Bradyb. :cry: That was beautiful. And tell the yuppie, blue collar hating folks out there that this college degreed BSEE owns and drives three Chevys. :p Piss on them "fern" cars anyway. :9:

Ha-ha! >:D ;D >:D ;D

Truckman :B:

I've been a GM fan all my life, but like cheering for sports teams that have long dry spells - it's been hard at times!

Now, with GM's recent financial success, they have the resources to do great things! I'm with you bradyb - there's nothing that the German's have that GM can't do better if they put their mind to it!

Yes, maybe there's money in mediocre - cars for the masses, but what fun is there is that? Here's the opportunity for the General to stand apart - it'll be fun to watch!
I'm not done yet..

That's fine to put a nice straight six or turbo5 or even a good v-6 in the mediocre cars but don't label a car a Monte Carlo SS if it has a 200 Hp v-6, my wife's grandma car 300m has 250 horses!

What about the offset V-8 that I saw in Motor Trend a while ago? That could help.

Anybody know where I can sign up to be a part of GM's design concept team?
Keep the fluff.....give me a domestic V-8 muscle...blowed it...widen the wheel base and now we're talking....

I was truly upset that the Camaro and the Firebird are no more.....Hopefully the GTO, etc...will take us into a new era...... :B:
NJAV said:
I was truly upset that the Camaro and the Firebird are no more.....
Don't worry... they'll be back. It's all about marketing. In the first year of re-introduction, they will probably sell more than they have in any previous year.$$$

helmet said:
Don't worry... they'll be back. ?It's all about marketing. ?In the first year of re-introduction, they will probably sell more than they have in any previous year.$$$


You are truly cynical, but I am not sure I would take the bet. ;D