General Motors' product plan for 2005 was supposed to be relatively uncomplicated. GM would overhaul some key volume products -- the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac DTS (formerly DeVille) -- and replace the Buick LeSabre with the Lucerne. And it would introduce interesting entries, such as the Pontiac Torrent sport wagon, Chevrolet HHR wagon and two-seat Pontiac Solstice.
It would be a transition year, setting the stage for GM's next-generation full-sized SUVs. A year later, the first of GM's premium rear-wheel-drive cars would roll out.
But plans have changed, to put it mildly.
Serious financial issues led GM to cancel its Zeta program -- the architecture for those premium rwd cars -- for North America. The automaker is pulling ahead its mid- and full-sized SUVs and re-scheduling other product programs.
Some vehicle programs have been dropped or moved. Product timing is tentative.
So much has changed, but one thing is constant: GM believes it can't get its 2007 full-sized SUVs to market fast enough. They will debut at the Detroit auto show in January.
In the meantime, the company also needs this year's mainstream cars to be hits.
Here are GM's vehicle plans for the 2006 to 2009 model years, compiled from supplier and company sources.
|Lucerne sedan debuts||Rendezvous redesigned|
|DTS sedan debuts||Escalade, ESV, EXT restyled, re-engineered||CTS restyled, re-engineered||BRX sport wagon debuts|
|Malibu, Malibu Maxx freshened||Equinox freshened||Aveo redesigned||Small sport wagon debuts|
|Impala restyled, re-engineered||Tahoe restyled, re-engineered||Cobalt freshened||Colorado restyled, re-engineered|
|Monte Carlo reskinned||Suburban restyled, re-engineered||Malibu restyled, re-engineered||Uplander redesigned|
|Corvette Z06 returns||Silverado 1500, 2500, 3500 restyled, re-engineered||TrailBlazer, EXT restyled, re-engineered|
|Avalanche restyled, re-engineered|
|Envoy, XL freshened||Yukon, XL restyled, re-engineered||Sport wagon debuts||Small sport wagon debuts|
|Sierra 1500, 2500, 3500 restyled, re-engineered||Envoy restyled, re-engineered||Canyon restyled, re-engineered|
|H3 debuts||H2 restyled, re-engineered||H1 re-engineered|
|H3 SUT expected||H3 pickup expected|
|G6 coupe, hardtop convertible debut||Grand Prix freshened||Solstice hardtop debuts||Montana SV6 redesigned|
|Solstice roadster debuts||Vibe restyled, re-engineered|
|Torrent sport wagon debuts|
|Vue reskinned||Sky roadster debuts||Ion restyled, re-engineered||Relay redesigned|
|Aura sedan debuts||Vue restyled, re-engineered|
|Outlook sport wagon debuts|
LaCrosse: The LaCrosse debuted for the 2005 model year; no major changes are coming soon. The car may be redesigned for the 2010 model year on GM's Epsilon 2 front-wheel-drive platform.
All vehicles developed on Epsilon 2 will be engineered by GM Europe in Ruesselsheim, Germany. U.S. operations will provide styling input.
GM adds a V-8 option to the Buick LeSabre replacement, the 2006 Lucerne.
Lucerne: For the 2006 model year, Buick has re-engineered, restyled and renamed the LeSabre, delivering Buick's third new vehicle in just over 12 months -- the others being the LaCrosse and Terraza minivan.
Two engines are available initially on the fwd Lucerne: a 197-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 and a 275-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 -- the first Buick eight-cylinder in a car since 1996. The base price for the V-6 model is expected to be $28,000 to $30,000.
Flagship sedan: With the demise of the Park Avenue in the 2005 model year, Buick lacks a premium sedan. GM is considering such a vehicle, but nothing is certain.
GM was developing a Buick vehicle, code-named the Roadmaster, on the Zeta architecture for the 2007 model year. But after Zeta was canceled for North America in March, GM began studying other rwd options including a less-costly version of Zeta.
Buick's flagship sedan could arrive for the 2010 model year at the earliest.
Coupe, convertible: Buick is still considering a halo vehicle based on the rwd Velite convertible concept that was shown at the New York auto show in 2004.
The vehicle was planned for the 2007 or 2008 model year on Zeta. Other rwd options are possible, but nothing has been approved.
Rendezvous: For the 2006 model year, Buick replaces the standard 185-hp, 3.4-liter V-6 with a 201-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 and adds the brand's quiet tuning package as standard equipment. The grille is freshened.
The Rendezvous will be redesigned for the 2008 model year. It will be developed on GM's new fwd Lambda architecture, and awd will be offered. A lower, sleeker sport wagon is expected.
The vehicle will be offered with a six-speed automatic transmission and a V-8 that has cylinder deactivation.
A name change, possibly to Centieme, is likely.
Production starts early in 2007.
The Lambda architecture is being developed at GM's technical center in Warren, Mich.
Rainier: The 2007 model year will be the Rainier's last.
Terraza: The Terraza minivan gets GM's 240-hp, 3.9-liter V-6 for the 2006 model year. It replaces the 200-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. The vehicle also gets dual-stage, driver and passenger airbags plus side-impact airbags for first- and second-row outboard passengers.
The Terraza's future beyond the 2008 model year is unclear.
BLS: The next-generation of the small Cadillac BLS announced for Europe may come to the United States as an entry-level convertible and coupe, positioned below the CTS.
The BLS will be sold in Europe beginning in 2006, developed on GM's fwd Epsilon platform.
If approved, U.S. sales would not begin until about 2010. The vehicle for the United States would be developed on the awd Epsilon 2 architecture.
CTS: The CTS is scheduled to be restyled and re-engineered for the 2008 model year on the GM's next-generation rwd Sigma architecture.
Early indications are that the CTS will carry softer exterior styling. All-wheel drive will be offered.
All Sigma vehicles will be engineered and styled at the technical center in Warren.
DTS: The DeVille's G-body architecture is re-engineered, the front and rear are reskinned, and the sedan is given a new name: DTS. The 2006 DTS is Cadillac's sole fwd car.
STS: Cadillac's answer to the Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG debuts this fall.
The 2006 STS-V sedan packs a supercharged 469-hp, 4.4-liter double overhead cam V-8, producing 439 pounds-feet of torque.
By comparison, the 2006 E55 AMG has 469 hp and 516 pounds-feet of torque.
The STS will have GM's new six-speed automatic transmission.
A restyling and re-engineering is planned for the 2010 model year, when GM may introduce a higher horsepower STS-V, possibly using a version of the Corvette Z06's 7.0-liter V-8.
Flagship sedan/coupe: GM is considering an ultra-luxury, rwd sedan or coupe for Cadillac with a price of about $100,000. Some internal documents indicate a launch in the 2010 model year.
XLR: Adaptive headlights are added for the 2006 model year. The headlights turn in the same direction as the car.
An XLR-V series model also is added. That car shares the STS-V's supercharged engine. Cadillac says the XLR-V will deliver 0-to-60 mph acceleration in under five seconds.
BRX: Cadillac plans a small, premium sport wagon built on a shorter version of GM's Theta architecture used in the Chevrolet Equinox. An awd model is expected. The five-passenger vehicle will debut for the 2009 model year and offer the choice of a 2.8-liter or 3.5-liter V-6 engine.
SRX: GM has delayed re-engineering and restyling the SRX until the 2010 model year. The SRX was to be re-engineered for the 2008 model year. An interior freshening for the 2007 model year remains on schedule.
Escalade, Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT: Cadillac's big move happens at the Detroit auto show where GM's next generation, full-sized SUVs will debut as 2007 models. The trucks are developed on GM's GMT900 architecture.
The trio of Escalade models will be restyled and re-engineered. The vehicles will be styled to further differentiate them from sister vehicles at Chevrolet and GMC. Richer-looking interiors are planned.
Aveo: The 2008 Aveo will be redesigned. It will be based on a fwd car developed in Korea by GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. with assistance from the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center in Shanghai. The current Aveo is based on the Daewoo Kalos.
Cobalt: The 2006 model year is big for performance at Chevrolet, with the SS badge added to a wide range of high-horsepower vehicles. Cobalt SS coupe and sedan models feature a 171-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine as well as suspension and styling enhancements.
A freshening is planned for the 2008 model year.
GM is exploring an awd Cobalt variant that likely would be aimed at the Mitsubishi Evolution and Subaru WRX.
Malibu, Malibu Maxx: The 2006 Malibu and Malibu Maxx receive a freshening. SS models are added, with a 3.9-liter, 240-hp V-6 four-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode, sport-tuned suspension and exterior styling enhancements. The Maxx will be dropped at the end of the 2007 model year.
The Malibu will be restyled and re-engineered for the 2008 model year, developed on Epsilon 2 architecture being created by GM Europe.
The 2008 Malibu will introduce Chevrolet's new design theme. Insiders say it will be a dramatic styling departure, with an upscale look. A key styling element will be Chevrolet's new horizontally split grille. A hybrid powertrain will be optional.
The restyled and re-engineered 2006 Chevrolet Impala has a V-8 option.
Impala: The restyled and re-engineered 2006 Impala debuts this fall with three new engines. There are two new V-6 engines: a 211-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 and a 242-hp, 3.9-liter V-6. The Impala SS is equipped with a small-block V-8 -- a 303-hp, 5.3-liter engine with displacement on demand. Side-curtain airbags are standard for front and rear passengers. The suspension is retuned with a wider track.
The interior receives a major overhaul.
Monte Carlo: While the Impala's sheet metal is all new, the 2006 Monte Carlo's exterior is changed less dramatically. Essentially, only the front-end styling is altered.
The Monte Carlo has the same engine family as the Impala.
Plans for the Monte Carlo beyond the 2009 model year have not been determined.
Sporty rwd car: GM wants to offer a sporty, four-passenger car. But the automaker is still looking for a feasible, low-cost, rwd architecture. The Beta platform is under consideration. GM Daewoo is involved in the research.
The car would be targeted at the Ford Mustang. The timing is unclear, but insiders say GM is mulling unveiling a concept Camaro at the Detroit auto show.
Corvette: The Z06 re-enters the Corvette lineup this fall after a one-year absence. The Z06 is engineered as a street-legal race car, packed with a 505-hp, 7.0-liter V-8. That is a 100-hp increase over the previous engine.
The Corvette will add a six-speed, paddle-shift automatic transmission.
Chevrolet's 2006 HHR evokes the 1949 Suburban.
HHR: Rather than create a Cobalt wagon, GM decided to develop a small, versatile wagon that draws styling cues from the 1949 Suburban. The 2006 HHR is developed on the fwd Delta architecture shared with the Cobalt and Saturn Ion.
Two four-cylinder engines are available: a 143-hp, 2.2-liter and a 172-hp, 2.4-liter.
Chevy will emphasize the HHR's flexibility for carrying items such as a kayak or an 8-foot ladder. The wagon has a fold-flat front passenger seat and a split, fold-flat rear seat.
Sport wagon: Chevrolet will receive a small sport wagon built on a shorter version of the Theta architecture used on the Equinox. The 2009 model will target the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.
Equinox: Chevy's compact, Theta-based sport wagon will receive a freshening for the 2007 model year. A third-row seat designed for children may be added.
TrailBlazer, EXT: The 2006 TrailBlazer line adds an SS model, equipped with GM's 395-hp, 6.0-liter V-8. Chevrolet promises 0-to-60 mph performance in less than six seconds.
The SS suspension is tweaked and vehicle height is lowered.
The 2006 TrailBlazer LT receives a freshened exterior with new front and rear fascias.
The 2008 TrailBlazer and TrailBlazer EXT will be restyled and re-engineered; the vehicles will be larger.
Tahoe, Suburban: GM's four-wheel-drive steering option, marketed as Quadrasteer, is dropped for the 2006 model year.
All of GM's full-sized SUVs, including the Tahoe and Suburban, will be re-engineered and restyled for the 2007 model year.
Styling is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. The vehicles will receive a family of engines that have cylinder deactivation. GM's new six-speed automatic transmission will be offered.
A hybrid system will be offered for the 2008 model year. The two-mode system uses a pair of electric motors to drive the vehicle.
Colorado: Restyling and re-engineering is planned for the 2009 model year.
Silverado: GM's full-sized pickup loses Quadrasteer; Silverado grilles are freshened for the 2006 model year.
The Silverado 1500 will be restyled and re-engineered late in 2006. New powertrains will be offered and a hybrid system will be available.
Some internal documents indicate the Silverado 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty pickups will be re-engineered and restyled as 2007 models rather than 2008 as originally expected.
Avalanche: Chevrolet's multi-functional pickup will be restyled and re-engineered for the 2007 model year. Rather than having a uniquely styled front end, the 2007 model will share the 2007 Tahoe's styling.
A hybrid model is planned for the 2007 model year.
SSR: The SSR is slated to die at the end of the 2006 model year. Meanwhile, the horsepower on 2006 models equipped with the six-speed manual transmission is boosted to 400 hp.
Uplander: The 2009 Uplander will be redesigned when it moves to the Lambda architecture. Fold-flat seating will be offered.
An extended wheelbase model may be offered for the 2010 model year.
Express: GM adds a Duramax 6.6-liter turbo diesel V-8 as an option for the 2006 model year. The engine improves fuel economy, creates less diesel-engine clatter and allows for quicker starts.
Small sport wagon: Like Chevrolet and Cadillac, GMC will receive a sport wagon on a shorter version of the Theta architecture used in the Equinox. The vehicle is expected for the 2009 model year.
Sport wagon: For the 2008 model year, GMC will get a sport wagon based on the new fwd Lambda architecture; awd will be offered. Aggressive styling is expected.
Envoy, XL: The 2006 Envoy and Envoy XL gain standard stability control and cylinder deactivation on the 5.3-liter V-8 engine. Both models have a freshened exterior with chrome accents and chrome body molding.
The Envoy XUV, which featured an electrically operated sliding roof over the cargo area, has been dropped.
The Envoy will be restyled and re-engineered for the 2008 model year. At that time, the XL will be dropped.
Yukon/Yukon XL: A 5.3-liter flex-fuel V-8 engine that can operate on a combination of gasoline and ethanol debuts for the 2006 model year. Quadrasteer is no longer available.
The 2007 Yukon and Yukon XL will be restyled and re-engineered on the GMT900 architecture. New powertrains and a six-speed automatic transmission will be offered.
A two-mode hybrid will be offered for the 2008 model year.
Canyon: Restyling and re-engineering are planned for the 2009 model year.
Sierra: Quadrasteer will be dropped for the 2006 model year. A performance package and an optional 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V-8 will be added.
The Sierra 1500 will be restyled and re-engineered for the 2007 model year. New powertrains will be offered and a hybrid system will be available.
Some internal documents indicate the Sierra 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty pickups will be re-engineered and restyled as 2007 models rather than 2008 as originally expected.
Savana: GM adds a Duramax 6.6-liter turbo diesel for the 2006 model year.
H1: As the first entry in what GM is calling Hummer's "performance series," the 2006 H1 Alpha offers a 300-hp, 6.6-liter V-8 turbo diesel and a five-speed automatic.
The H1 will be re-engineered for the 2009 model year.
H2, H2 SUT: The plan to lengthen the H2's front end for the 2007 model year to accommodate a diesel engine has been canceled.
The H2 will be restyled and re-engineered for the 2008 model year. It will be developed on the GMT900, full-sized truck architecture. A smaller, lighter-weight vehicle is expected.
H3: Hummer's smallest SUV went on sale this year. Built on GM's compact pickup architecture, the 2006 H3 is powered by GM's 220-hp, 3.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine. A turbo version is likely for the 2007 model year.
An SUT is likely for the 2008 model year, and a regular cab pickup is expected for the 2009 model year.
H4: The likelihood of a compact, Jeep Wrangler-like vehicle is remote.
G6: A coupe and a hardtop convertible are added to the G6 line for the 2006 model year. The G6 line also adds a performance range for the 2006 model year, known as the GTP; coupe and hardtop convertible GTP models are available. The standard GTP engine is a 240-hp, 3.9-liter V-6.
The 2006 G6 hardtop convertible is scheduled to debut early next year. It features what GM says is the longest retractable hard top in the industry.
The G6 will be re-engineered and restyled for the 2010 model year, using the Epsilon 2 architecture.
Grand Prix: A V-8 engine is offered again in the Grand Prix; the 2006 GXP model features a 303-hp, 5.3-liter V-8 with cylinder deactivation to improve fuel economy. The V-6 powered GTP model is no longer offered.
After a freshening for the 2007 model year, the Grand Prix's next step is undecided. GM has targeted the 2010 model year for a major change. The successor might move to an rwd platform that GM is considering, or it could be based on a re-engineered fwd architecture, code-named Chi.
Solstice: Production and engineering issues hampered the launch of the two-passenger roadster, GM's first vehicle on its new rwd Kappa architecture. Vehicles are being shipped to dealers this month. Production will slowly ramp up.
A 177-hp, 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine is available at launch, along with a five-speed manual and five-speed automatic transmission. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder GT version with a restyled front fascia is in the works for the 2007 model year. A hardtop model will debut in the 2008 model year.
GTO: No immediate changes are planned for the GTO. Plans for the next-generation GTO are up in the air, given GM's indecision on rwd.
Vibe: The Vibe is scheduled to be restyled and re-engineered for the 2007 model year. It will continue on a Toyota platform.
Torrent: Pontiac's compact, fwd sport wagon will launch this fall. The Torrent is developed on the Theta architecture, which is shared by the Chevrolet Equinox. A 185-hp, 3.4-liter V-6 is the only engine offered. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard.
Montana SV6: The 2006 Montana SV6 minivan receives GM's 240-hp, 3.9-liter V-6 as well as second-row side-impact airbags. The minivan will be redesigned for the 2009 model year and move to the Lambda architecture.
The 2007 Saturn Sky roadster is a sibling of the Pontiac Solstice.
Sky: The small rwd roadster debuts early next year as a 2007 model. Developed on GM's Kappa architecture, the two-passenger car will be built in Wilmington, Del., next to the Pontiac Solstice and an Opel model.
The Sky is equipped with a 2.4-liter, 170-hp four-cylinder engine that has variable valve timing. A five-speed automatic will be optional.
While the Sky, Solstice and Opel models share the Kappa platform and mechanicals, the Sky's price will be higher than the Solstice because it has more standard equipment. The Sky's starting price is expected to be less than $25,000.
A high-performance model with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will be available late in the model year. A supercharged model will follow in the 2008 model year.
Ion: The 2008 Ion will be re-engineered and restyled, adopting Opel styling. Grille and fascia changes will differentiate Ion and Opel styling.
The 2008 Ion will be built at GM's Lordstown, Ohio, plant, moving from the Saturn car plant in Spring Hill, Tenn.
High-performance and awd models may be produced for the 2008 or 2009 model year.
Aura: The Aura will share Opel sheet metal and be assembled in the United States.
Saturn's mid-sized 2007 Aura sedan will resemble the concept car shown at the Detroit auto show in January. The car will offer three engine choices: 2.4-liter, four-cylinder; a 3.4-liter V-6; and a 3.6-liter V-6. A 300-hp version of the 3.6-liter V-6 is planned for the 2008 model year.
Vue: The Vue is reskinned for the 2006 model year with changes to the hood, grille and headlamps as well as updated interior, radio, center stack and door trim.
Saturn will offer a hybrid powertrain for the 2007 model year.
For the 2008 model year, the Vue will be re-engineered and restyled by GM Daewoo.
Outlook: For the 2007 model year, Saturn will receive a Lamba-based sport wagon. The vehicle is about the size of a Honda Pilot.
Relay: Saturn's first minivan, which debuted a year ago, will add an optional 240-hp, 3.9-liter V-6 for the 2006 model year. It also will get second-row, side-impact airbags.
For the 2009 model year, the Relay will be redesigned and switch to the Lambda platform. It will offer dramatic styling and fold-flat seats.
Rick Kranz contributed to this report
You may e-mail Jason Stein at [email protected]