Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It Turns Out GM Really will be Great when Pigs Fly

Anybody remember when GM’s “Mark of Excellence” was a great ad slogan?

Sure, many of the best and brightest worked and work at General Motors, but all the world knows that the “excellence” was and remains hit-and-miss at the company Capitalism built and broke. 

Maybe the culling of schlocky plasti-clad Pontiacs and old fogey Oldsmobiles, not to mention most business-as-usual, has helped calm and focus the Motown Monster lately.  Save for cleaning up more dreck from the Business as Usual Boys, GM Chair and Fall Gal Mary Barra has an awful lot of hits on her hands these days.

Witness the new Camaro Z/28.  Faster around a race track than a Porsche 911 Turbo S or Nissan GT-R Track Edition, according to the folks at Motor Trend.  A punch in the face to stratospherically-priced super cars the world-over for a mere 75k.

Except 75k is more dear than mere.  A base Corvette will be better in every way on the street, and you’ll have 20k leftover to give to your kids for bus fare.

So what sort of beast is this new 2015 Camaro Z/28?

It’s the same kind as the original: built to race on tracks for real, not just in marketing copy.  Not very practical for the street, judging by the speed-hump-catching enormity of the chin spoiler alone.  An instant collectible if you can afford to buy one and store it for a few decades.

Yet this car most represents engineering brilliance in the face of adversity, as in two tons of adversity.  This latest Camaro platform, borrowed from the Aussie Holden program, gained 600 pounds over the Gen IV Camaro, and all the thin glass and no radio in the world could shave no more than 300 pounds off the lump.

So if the new Cadillac and recent Corvette lines aren’t hint enough, this thoroughbred-out-of-the-whole-sow might drive the point home:  GM is back, and it’s world-class for real, not just in marketing copy.

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