Last post on Mar 19, 2013 at 11:54 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Impala
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Impala, Sedan
#518 of 13618 Duraflex...some scoop
Jan 07, 2001 (8:31 pm)
Nope, neither one of those Chevrolet "Luminas" or "Caprices" are manufactured in North America. That's one of the many reasons why none of those vehicles are available in Canada, US and Mexico (What is consider to be the market region scope of GM North America)because of the "Not invented here, Not made here and not sold here" mentallity that has been plaguing 'our' GM executives for many years. If a GM car is not made in the US, these clowns either banned them from the American public or mess them up when the try to 'Americanize' them (Example: Cadillac Catera, Saturn L-Series both derivatives from European GM Opel models)
The "Global" Caprice, Lumina, Lumina SS and the like were designed and manufactured primarily by GM's Europe division Adam Opel AG in Germany. These V-8 powered, RWD sedans are spinoffs and derivatives of the European/Latin American markets Luxury/Sports sedan, the Opel Omega.
From the Opel Omega, we Americans get the Cadillac Catera, essentially an 'Americanized' version of the Omega. This is the reason why the current Catera is manufactured in Germany along with its other international siblings. The Omega enjoys a very solid reputation for quality, reliability and performance worldwide; however, The Catera has been a quality flop (No longer, but earlier cars had too many reliability issues)because the idiots at GM North America (Who seem to be totally out of sync when compared to other worldwide GM operating units) when the car was transformed from the solid European sedan to the soft and revised version for American tastes.
Think of the V-8, RWD Chevy cars that you showed in your link of a regular size Cadillac Catera with a V-8 engine (Lumina SS) (instead of the US V-6 spec version) and a stretch "Limo" version of the same car (caprice).
The Cadillac Catera suffered in North America because it was a very heavy RWD sedan powered by a skimpy V-6 engine. Notice that ALL Opel Omega sedan derivatives, boast V-8 powerplants and lower trim version offer larger displacement V-6 engines for other markets).
The regular wheelbase Opel Omega is marketed worldwide as:
* Chevy Lumina SS 6-speed manual (Africa, Middle East)
* Holden Commodore SS 6-speed manual (Australia)
* Vauxhall Omega (United Kingdom)
* Holden Calais (Lower trim version of the Commodore that offers a standard 3.8L Aluminum V-6 engine and a choice of 5-speed or 4-speed auto)
* Cadillac Catera (US/Canada)
Opel Omega "Stretch" wheelbase derivatives:
(Australia/Africa and Middle Eastern markets only):
* Holden Caprice (Australia)
* Holden Caprice Statesman (Australia, top of the line variant)
* Chevrolet Caprice LTZ
* Opel Omega (European)
The same applies for the Station wagon body style Opel Omega derivatives.
Again, none of these GM RWD V-8 sedans were ever designed or manufactured in North America. The last North American only (See... designed here, made here, sold here..gets a YES!)similar platform was the discontinued B-body sedans made from 1991 to 1996 (Caprice, Roadmaster, Cruiser, Fleetwood).
Why can't we get say a Chevy Lumina SS, a Holden Commodore SS or an Opel Omega with European specs????
Simple answer my friend! GM has for its USA/Canada/Mexico large midsize sedan customers the current (But soon to be phased out) W-body V-6 powered FWD that we all are driving here today...The Y2K Impala, Intrigue, Regal, Century, Monte Carlo and Grand Prix. The W-body sedans replace the European Opel Omega derivatives as a midsize and large sedan option for North America (Until the GM large sedan 'world' car platform, Mid-Lux, debuts in our soil beginning in 2003).
See how that GM north America philosophy appplies all over again when you analyze its North American vehicles against its true "Global" vehicles around the world?...Not made here, not invented here; therefore not sold here.
If the W-bodies didn't exist, probably you and I (and the rest of us) would be driving around on European sourced Opel Omegas with V-6 or V-8 engines, 6-speed manuals or 4-speed autos and RWD.
It is evident that GM North America is the main and biggest GM operating unit of the company worldwide as a whole, yet it walks on a completely different path than the rest of the world....that's why we have such lousy cars such as the J-bodies, N-bodies and the Pontiac Aztek for example. Everywhere else in the world, GM has superior cars, superior quality, superior reputation and they seem to listen to their 'global' customers...but they can't or choose not to do so in their own backyard!
Hopefully this "Not invented here, not sold here" syndrome will be history in a couple of years when the first TRUE GM global car platforms will start debuting worldwide, including the US and Canada.
Hope this helps.
For further info, go to:
#519 of 13618 Xenon Headlamps
Jan 07, 2001 (8:35 pm)
Here is a source if you wish to pay the price!! They are for a C5 Corvette but I assume that GM lamps are similar. I would check with local/State/Provincial authorities on these as they are very bright and there may be some question as to their legality!!
#520 of 13618 Teo - So are they any good?
Jan 08, 2001 (4:43 am)
Those big cars look great but are they any good?
How long have they been around?
If they're much like the Catera, I would not be interested.
Sat in a couple of those at an auto show - ugh!
The only thing Cadillac about then was the nameplate.
Reminded me of the Cadillac Cimarron of days gone by.
Nothing but a Cadillac-wannabe, but not even close.
The only Opels I knew anything about were the
"Buick" Opel compacts of many years ago and they
were terrible. They were in the same loser class as
Italian Fiats of the same vintage. Undependable rust
buckets - of course that's way before your time.
Even today's expensive Audis and recent Jaguars (pre-Ford)
are not very dependable even though they look great.
#521 of 13618 Teo - Great synopsis
Jan 08, 2001 (7:18 am)
Thanks for that inciteful and informative posting. It is encouraging to think that a new RWD platform is on the horizon and that it has the potential to be the basis for a number of highly desirable autombiles. Keep fingers crossed that the general doesn't screw up the American version!
Have you seen any conceptions of the new platform - any idea of wheelbase,etc? I would hope for an Impala version on 112 inches and perhaps see Buick bring out a new Park Ave and LeSabre on 116 or so.
I have always enjoyed the ride of my RWD cars (Caddies, Buicks, Grand Marquis) and would love to see them return to broader scale availability. It has been suggested in the Maxima forum that that car will go RWD in its next generation.
BTW, it was I who discovered the libertyautos link while searching for Chevy dealers - a real eye opener to see what is available elsewhere. I got a good laugh when I opened the Cadillac window and saw their illustration for the night vision feature - a CAMEL on the road! Can you imagine hitting one of those beasts?
#523 of 13618 Duraflex/Tpkn
Jan 08, 2001 (8:51 am)
Most critics would have agreed with you that the current Cadillac Catera would have been a 'Great Chevrolet' but is not, however, a full fledged Cadillac sedan. I personally like the current Catera sedans....RWD, built like a tank, European flavor...too bad the V-6 in them still has a hard time propelling these heavy cars and that its past reliability (Introductory '97 and 98 models) hasn't been nothing to rave about according to Consumer Reports.
Remember the silly Cindy Crawford/duck cartoon commercials when the Catera was launched back in '97? That was strike one against the image of this car as the Caddy that 'Zigs' for young buyers that prefer Lexus, BMW, Acura, etc...it didn't 'Zig' with them as GM would have hoped for.
Strike two came with the myrad of electrical and other quality issues early Cateras experienced....and Strike three the car's V-6 was not enough to generate any enthusiasm or interest in the model. The Catera should have been a 5.7L V-8 powered car (Like its overseas counterparts are)offered a 6-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic, traction control, PCS (Stability system), etc.
The current 2000 and 2001 Cateras are very good cars, reliability wise, but they can no longer make any waves in the luxury class, so GM will bring next year (2002) an all new Catera, built in North America (Production will be moved out of Germany), with RWD, V-8 a rocket. Styling cues will be taken from the Imaj show cars...let's wait and see.
To answer your question, Dura, the current Opel Omega derivatives have been on sale in the European/Australian markets since the early to mid 1990's. These cars are sold as upscale models on GM's overseas divisions Opel (Germany, European Union, Asia), Vauxhall (A rebadged Opel for the British market)and Holden (A rebadged Opel for the Australian market). In countries were neither one of these brands are sold, these sedans are marketed as Chevrolets, hence the middle east only Caprice and Lumina ss cars.
Notice that these vehicles are sold in countries with far more harsh driving environment conditions...Australia, Middle East...etc. For example the Omega sedan is sold in Brazil as the Chevy Omega and the car enjoys rock solid reliability in that South American nation. Most of them are also used on local police duty as well as Taxi cabs in large metropolitan cities such as Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia. Others are sold in Argentina and Chile as well. The Holden Omegas, Commodores are used in Sydney as police cruisers (5.7L V-8, 6-speed manuals, RWD)and a bunch of them cruise the harsh Australian Outback highways everyday. Others are driven in Israel, Egypt, United Arab Emmirates on desert highways. The South African Lumina SS is driven in Cape Town as well as Johanesburg.....the Cateras are driven in the streets of Manhattan as well as the Florida's Turnpike..
So yes you can say that these cars have racked up a lot of miles/kilometers and have seen quite a bit of the world. In contrast, the W-body sedans have never been offered outside of the US/Canada or Mexico, yet they are a very good and reliable platform.
The "stretch" wheel version of these cars are not sold in Europe. The standard wheelbase Omega sedan is already a big car by European standards, so the larger Caprice models were developed exclusively for the Australian/Middle Eastern markets. Those suckers are gorgeous inside and out...would give any lexus/Acura a good run for their money..too bad they are off limits for us.
Current Opels are excellent cars. The Opel Corsa/Astra/Vectra are world class award winning automobiles. I have seen them in Europe and they are gorgeous GM products. I would take an Opel Corsa or Astra over a comparable Chevy Cavalier or Chevy Malibu any day of the year. Look for the 'Opel' invasion within the next couple of years when the gorgeous, Lotus Elise based, Opel Speedster will be sold in Pontiac dealers as a replacement for the Firebird/Trans Am models
See it here.... www.opel.com
and check out the article made by Motor Trend on the Speedster www.motortrend.com
Pontiac is getting pretty impressive cars....the upcoming Vibe and the Speedster!
This 'Not invented here, not made here and not sold here' nonsense will finally end when GM introduce their 'Global' platform cars beginning in 2002:
* Delta (Next generation cavalier and Saturn S sedans.. german handling and engineering at a
* Sigma (Next generation RWD catera, Malibu, Grand AM and Saturn L series...also the Saab 9-3 will be based on the Sigma)
* Epsilon (Slightly larger version of the Sigma cars)
* Midlux: Next generation 2005 RWD Impala, Monte Carlo, Regal and Grand Prix.
These platforms have been developed in Germany and here in the US. The first W-body cars to join the Mid-Lux family will be the 2003 Buick Regal and Pontiac Grand Prix...so keep your eyes open for those. The Impala will switch from the W-body platform in 2005 along with the Monte carlo.
You can't compare 1970's Opel products to current 2001 Opel products....totally irrelevant. The problem lies in that you can never turn an European tuned car into an American posh cruiser. That has caused big headaches to the main 3 domestic automakers. prime examples...the Cadillac Catera and the Saturn L series. The Saturn L series is an Opel Vectra sedan spin-off. I have seen the Opel vectra and it is 1000 times better than the American Saturn sibling. These cars lost a lot of their good qualities and character when they made the jump over the atlantic...GM should have left them as they were designed and intended to be..European tuned road cars.
In constrast, some Europeans long to have pure American cars available in their countries. Some of them would wish to be able to own one of our 3800 V-6 Impalas or a supercharged Pontiac Grand Prix GTP sedan. Do you know that the world's biggest Buick fan is not an American but an Italian national??
Its hard to keep everyone happy, that's for sure!
#525 of 13618 one more word on speed...
Jan 08, 2001 (2:00 pm)
Dura's facts on traffic deaths can be seen in several different ways, but to look at the global issue, of all the things you can do to yourself and endanger your life (drinking, smoking, drugs, a variety of "partners", fighting, jumping off cliffs, etc,) nothing (besides maybe smoking) puts others in direct danger more than crappy driving.
I enjoy the "pick up" of my V6, what a thrill and convience when I'm out on the road. No matter what the speed, bad driving puts not only YOU and your passengers in danger, but everyone else on your roads as well. Teens have bad driving statistics, not always due to high speed, but just because they're not paying attention. Same with older drivers, or "impared" drivers.
Drive smart. Doing 100 on the interstate usually isn't smart. If it's 2 a.m. on a Wednesday and it's straight as an arrow and there's no one around, you're not going to hurt anyone but yourself if you blow a tire or hit a deer. When it's 5:30 Friday afternoon and 100 of your close personal friends are heading home, even a "quickly moving" freeway is dangerous at 55.
Right Dura? You can't get people to drive slower if they enjoy the speed. But you might be able to get them to think about where and when they gun it!
#526 of 13618 radio nobs/McDill
Jan 08, 2001 (2:01 pm)
Matt, the buttons on my radio are fine, but like others, I have steering wheel mounted controls and use them almost exclusively.
Here's an idea. Re-program your favorite stations to the upper numbers (5-6) so you use them more often and not those first two. Might help them last a bit longer.
#527 of 13618 Still crazy after all three gears...
Jan 08, 2001 (2:25 pm)
I tried driving in D3, but alas...I still find the accelerator to be a bit touchy to
provide a smooth ride when speed changes are frequent (especially low speeds 0 - 30mph).
Any other technical inputs are greatly appreciated.