GM Snippets

GM has announced it’s various March incentive programs, though Saab isn’t included in the main set of announcements.

Saab do have some additional stuff going on in the US market in March, however, with the “Jet into Spring” campaign. Under this banner, there’s 0% APR plus an additional $750 off selected vehicles. The vehicles had to be dealer invoiced prior to December 15, 2006 and you have to take delivery by April 3.

As I understand it, this incentive is on top of the current offers available. Saab USA has the low down on those. See you dealer for details on the Jet into Spring bizzo.

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GM asks: “What if cars could talk?”

Mine would say “don’t be such a wuss! Take that corner harder!!!!”

But GM are speculating on more sensible things. They’re hosting a vehicle-to-vehicle technology seminar on March 21 in New Jersey. Some of the rundown:

By way of a computer chip and Global Positioning System ( GPS ) technology, V2V alerts drivers to potentially dangerous situations such as lane changes and abrupt changes in traffic patterns. V2V can instantly warn drivers of potential driving hazards with chimes, visual alerts, or seat vibrations. If the driver doesn’t respond, the vehicle can bring itself to a safe stop, thereby avoiding a collision.

V2V also simplifies instantaneous traffic intelligence by replacing the sensors, radar and camera equipment that are needed today for adaptive cruise control and blind spot detection.

There’s some merit in this and there’s some concerns, too.

Anything within reason that protects lives is a good thing, but what happens if drivers get too relaxed thinking that they’re protected by this technology and they get T-boned by someone in a Barracuda?

Anyway, GM Media are opening up positions, so if someone in the NY/NJ area wants to go as a TS representative, you should get in touch with me and let’s see if we can grab a spot. The presentation is going to be at The Meadowlands in NJ with transport available if required (by luxury coach – ooooooh) from Manhattan.

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Another GM release, this time on smart interiors. This really is future stuff by the sounds of it, but fascinating nonetheless.

In brief, GM are working on shape-memory alloys and polymers that can change shape at the prompt of an appropriate signal (e.g. electrical current).

Freaky and fascinating at the same time. I can’t help but read this and think Terminator 3.

The full release is after the jump…..

GM Achieves Technology Breakthrough with Smart Materials

– Smart Materials will Enable Vehicle Features to Move without Motors

WARREN, Mich. – General Motors scientists demonstrated breakthrough developments in smart materials technology at a media briefing today at GM’s Research and Development Center.

Shape memory alloys and polymers are examples of types of smart materials that GM is developing for use in its products. Smart materials can change their shape, strength, and/or stiffness when heat, stress, a magnetic field or electrical voltage are introduced. Shape memory alloys, and polymers in particular, “remember” their original shape and can return to it, opening new possibilities for many movable vehicle features.

GM is targeting to integrate smart materials technology into its vehicles by 2010.

“Smart materials will change the look and feel of our cars and trucks,” said Larry Burns, GM vice president of Research & Development and Strategic Planning. “With these new materials, functionality can be ‘programmed in’ to enable innovative designs, improved efficiency, and new and improved features that will make our vehicles more exciting to own and operate than the automobiles of the past.”

Actuators and sensors made from these materials have the potential to improve vehicle performance and fuel economy, and enable new comfort and convenience features. These actuators and sensors can provide significant benefits when they are used to replace conventional motorized or hydraulic devices by reducing vehicle mass, component size and complexity and improving design flexibility, functionality and reliability.

A few example applications include:

An adaptive interior grab handle that automatically presents itself from a folded position to make for an easier, more intuitive entry into the vehicle,

Active vehicle surfaces, such as air dams and louvers that adjust to govern airflow, improving aerodynamics and performance, and

Hood, door latch, and glove box releases for more convenient access.

According to Alan Taub, GM executive director of Research & Development, smart materials are building on previous materials advances GM has introduced over the last several years.

“These new smart materials follow a long list of material applications we are already using,” said Alan Taub. “A few examples include novel aluminum forming processes that provide enhanced body panels and lightweighting, polymer nanocomposites that provide superior mechanical properties at lower cost, and magnetorheological fluids for improved chassis systems.

“The properties inherent in shape memory alloys and polymers have the potential to be game-changers in the automotive advanced materials field, eventually leading to vehicle subsystems that can self-heal in the event of damage, or that can be designed to change color or appearance.”

Smart materials are being used in other industries in various applications including medical devices, cell phone antennas, toys and sporting goods.

GM is collaborating with HRL Laboratories and the University of Michigan in developing potential applications. To date, GM has more than 175 U.S. patents issued or pending based on research work and application development in the field of smart materials.

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5 Comments

  1. I don’t believe they’ve made a Barracuda in over 30 years. And the ones that are left are collector cars that don’t leave the garage.

    So the risk of getting T-boned by a Barracuda is probably pretty low.

    🙂

  2. Don’t know whether this is related here, but in South Africa they are now running the Cadilac BLS adverts on TV if the whole existence of GM Southern Africa depended on it.

    In my life, and I have been here in this part of the world since 1969, I am yet to see a Saab advert. Why is GM pushing Cadilac so much in the nose of everyone else to epitomize the luxury concept when they have the Saab 9-3 sport sedan and the 9-5? There is no mention of it at all, and yet these cars have been around here since 1996?

    Also, the new face lifted 9-5 Aero auto retails the same as the 9-3 SS 2.8V6 Turbo (Aero) at South African R356,000!

  3. Well, here we go:

    BLS 2.0T R249,500
    BLS 2.0T AT R263,000
    BLS 2.8T AT R362,000

    As you can see, the 2.8T V6 Turbo BLS is offered only in auto and is priced higher then the equivalent 2.8T V6 9-3 SS Turbo! Would you believe it?

    Prices for the 9-3 SS sedan:

    9-3 2.0T Arc R261,000 (auto R274,500)
    9-3 2.0T Vector R277,000 (auto R290,500)
    9-3 2.8T Aero 6-speed R342,500 and the auto at R356,000!

    I don’t know what GM Southern Africa is smoking, but something obviously not good!

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