AD #2995 – GM May Expand the Corvette Lineup; Ford Teases Bronco Pickup; How to Understand EPA EV Ratings

January 15th, 2021 at 11:55am

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Runtime: 9:34

0:08 GM May Expand the Corvette Lineup
0:48 Ford Teases Bronco Pickup
1:12 ZF Jumps into Lidar Business
1:40 Toyota Wants to Combine Race Skills with Automated Driving
3:20 Kia Continues to Revamp the Brand
4:22 Nissan Unveils Wild Van Concept
4:59 How to Understand EPA EV Ratings
6:35 Palisade A Smart Addition to Hyundai’s Lineup
7:33 Sandy Munro Bullish On 3-Wheel Electric Cars

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54 Comments to “AD #2995 – GM May Expand the Corvette Lineup; Ford Teases Bronco Pickup; How to Understand EPA EV Ratings”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If they start selling electric SUVs called Corvette, they probably will lose me forever. Yes, Porsche sells SUV/CUVs, but they call them Porsche, not 911. Chevrolet is a good name for any CUVs Chevrolet dealers sell, whether ICE or electric, including performance versions with either power source.


    1) I tend to agree. The transition from a vehicle name to a sub-brand will be tricky. Porsche was only successful with adding an SUV because Porsche is a company, not a vehicle name. Ford has done a horrible job transitioning Mustang into a sub-brand by just ripping the Band-Aid off and introducing the Mach-e. Lets see if it pays off for them but I think that they should have introduced a 4 door Mustang first to establish that it is a sub-brand and then go to the SUV.

    To transition, Corvette probably needs to make a sporty 4 passenger coupe/sedan, call it Camaro, that can establish them as a sub-brand. Then go to the SUV. I am sure they will introduce an electric SUV and call it Corvette just like Ford did. GM always follows Ford’s lead. Always.

  3. Lambo2015 Says:

    1 IMO turning the Corvette name into a brand is about as smart as it was for Pontiac to start selling minivans. It was GMs performance division and they diluted the brand for the sake of the quick buck. Took what was a popular vehicle and rebranded it so that the Pontiac dealers had a van at the time, and who cares what it does to the brand.
    Expanding the offerings within a model like I mentioned yesterday and saying that Ford maybe should consider a variety of Mustangs (2 door, 4 door hatch) is different than offering multiple models under that name and we all saw how well the Mach-e name was received.
    GM could do the same with the Camaro but messing with the one vehicle that is an iconic American sportscar is just plain idiotic. They almost ruined the name bad enough with the Chevette.

  4. Buzzerd Says:

    I enjoyed the After Hours show although a bit too much electric vehicle stuff for me. Anyhoo a couple things from the show
    1- he’s going to Minnesota for cold weather testing, well uhhh maybe cool weather testing. I’m north of Minnesota and January has been averaging about 10c warmer than normal.
    2- I find it very hard to believe the masses are going to start buying those 3 wheeled G whizzers. North Americans generally care more about comfort and utility than fuel mileage, why is that going to all of a sudden change? They can barely give away cars that get great mileage now so what’s going to change?

  5. Buzzerd Says:

    @3 – and yet Porsche made it work didn’t they, so if done right it’s quite possible.

  6. Lambo2015 Says:

    Sean I like what you did with the EV range explanation and the EPA should continue with the traditional city and Hwy ratings when it comes to EV range.
    Seems a vehicle like the Mach-e would have a city range of 270 and Hwy of 237.

  7. Lambo2015 Says:

    5 No Porsche didn’t make it work. They just launched a SUV under the Porsche name which is much different than making a 911 SUV like Kit said. Corvette is a model not a make.

  8. Bob Aubertin Says:

    I would like to mention that the Best place to do Cold weather testing for Electric or ICE, is Kapuskasing,Ontario. AS a matter of fact GM has done testing there.You might want to suggest this town to Sandy Munroe.I enjoyed the After Hours show yesterday.You are definitely the Best automotive news (no reference) show online.Thanks.

  9. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Corvette has been rumored that an assisted electric drivetrain will be added to a future Corvette. This will be added to the front wheels, thus creating an all wheel drive vehicle; I think that this has merit. Before we see this though, I’d bet the ZO6 will make its debut. Also rumored is that there will not be a Grand Sport model for this generation and that this is where the electric motors will come in as an additional model (unless, and perhaps, called the Grand Sport-E). And lastly the ZR1, and or the Corvette Zora is reported to have electric assist (taking the front space for motors/batteries) and predicting h/p rating nearing or exceeding 1000. An all electric Vette, maybe; but not before these other renditions come.

    p.s. Most of this is speculation and conjecture from what I’ve heard in and around the internet. And while I may not hit on all items, some of these type models are coming before an all electric Corvette.

  10. joe Says:


    I find it strange how someone would not buy a vehicle just because of it’s name. If for example, it’s the best vehicle in the world for it’s type, would you not buy it?

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 Exactly. Corvette, Mustang, and 911 are iconic models, not brands. Chevrolet, Ford, and Porsche are brands. Turning a model into a sub-brand makes no sense, at least to me. It sort of worked with Prius, for a while, but the name was only ~15 years old, not 55-65 years old like Mustang and Corvette. Also, all three Priuses during the “Prius family” promotion were 5-door hatches, with a lot more “family resemblance” than an electric CUV/hatch is to a Mustang or Corvette.

  12. joe Says:


    I agree with you on the 3 wheel vehicle. For one thing, my thoughts is it would not stop as fast with one missing wheel.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 Part of the Corvette experience is the history, the club fellowship, etc., in addition to the car itself. Turning Corvette, or Mustang into another generic car brand takes some of that away.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 Some of what I’ve heard is that they may, or probably will do hybrid 4wd systems as some of the Italian exotics have done with recent models. It sounds like a lot of complexity for not much, but if people will pay for it, they’d might as well build them.

  15. bradley cross Says:

    3 door vehicles are like manuals & diesels and will not sell in any volume to the public. Maybe in certain local areas or factories/bases/ports they might sell.

    An electric Corvette will sell, just depends on the speed. It will have to match the Taycan at least.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 Going back through history, Pontiac was just another car brand, making 2 and 4 door sedans, convertibles, and wagons. In the early ’50s they were decidedly not high performance. Then, in the ’60s they put a big engine in the Tempest/Lemans and called it a GTO, giving them the performance image. Olds did the same with the 442, and Buick with GS 400. Later, Buick continued as a GM “performance” division with the Grand National with the turbo 3.8.

    I miss Pontiac, Olds, and Plymouth, but selling a Pontiac van was a perfectly reasonable thing to do at the time, if you consider it to have still made sense for GM to have all of those overlapping brands.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 But an electric “Corvette” should be called something other than a Corvette, just as a Taycan is not called a 911.

    Sometime in the future, when more new cars are electric, maybe an electric Corvette would be appropriate, with two doors and two seats.

  18. Drew Says:

    There are two examples in the NA market of model names that morphed into brand names…. one successfully (Ram) and the jury is still out on the other (Genesis).

    When it comes to sports cars, they should either deliver the symphony of an ICE or the instantaneous torque of a BEV… not the added mass of both (Fisker, NSX, and i8 failings). Simply, not many people use sports cars for long distance trips… so the fuel consumption of a power ICE or the range limitations of a BEV are not factors in the vehicle’s appeal. JMHO.

  19. Lambo2015 Says:

    I for one would drive a 3 wheeled vehicle if they made one that was quiet, comfortable and affordable. Which means it would need to have a reasonable amount of comforts on par with any 4 wheeled car. Have a decent amount of storage or room for a passenger and cost 1/4 less than a comparable 4 door car.

  20. JWH Says:

    Three wheel vehicles – Don’t believe that they will become mass market. Even Morgan phased them out in 1952.

    Agree with comments regarding nameplates such as Corvette & Mustang being models. Brand extension does have some pitfalls.

  21. Norm T Says:

    I got 2.66 miles per kilo watt this 42° morning in a 2018 CT6 plug-in over 12 mile commute. That is all while going up a few hundred feet in elevation and is close to 80 mpge. Going down in elevation in thr Returning home in the warmer afternoon I can see 3.5 miles per kilo watt or Tesla Model S killing 105 mpge!

  22. Lambo2015 Says:

    18 Yeah jury is still out on Genesis and Ram although working I’m not sure it can be considered successful, as I still hear many people refer to the Ram truck as a Dodge Ram.

    20 I don’t see 3 wheeled vehicles being mass market either but I cant help but on my way to work (which is about a 48 mile drive each way) look at the vehicles around me 3 to 6 thousand pounds with a single occupant. I rarely ever have anyone else in my car and I do own a second vehicle that I can use when I need to take more than myself anywhere.
    When I lived in California I rode my motorcycle everywhere almost everyday. 1) because it was easier to get around. 2)Because it was easier to park. 3)cheaper on fuel. So I would do the same here in Ohio but it could rain any-day and winter driving isn’t fun on a motorcycle. So a fully enclosed 2 or 3 wheeled bike would be fine by me.

  23. Charles F Says:

    Could the Bronco pickup on the storyboard actually be the new Maverick “pickup” I’ve been seeing pictures of lately?

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 The Ram name as a brand has worked out pretty well for the company, but I still call them Dodge.

    I’ve taken 4 long trips in my 2016 Corvette, and as long as I don’t need to carry much stuff, the main down side is that the car is kind of noisy. At constant highway speed, it seems to be mainly road noise. The seats are comfortable, and most interstates are smooth enough that the stiff ride doesn’t matter. It gets almost 30 mpg on the highway, giving a 450+ mile safe range. I’ve used the Camry for most highway trips, though, mainly because it is quieter.


    18,22,24) I think it works for RAM mainly because they are still selling pick up trucks and staying true to their core. It would not work out for RAM if they suddenly started selling a Viper.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My experience with 3 wheeled vehicles is a Can Am Spyder. It’s, basically, a 3 wheeled motorcycle. It’s a fun, fair weather vehicle, but not a replacement for a car. The one I rode in a demo-class cost about $22K.

    If fully enclosed 3 wheelers with heat and A/C come to market for about that price, I can see them selling reasonably well, to motorcyclists, who are willing to take a little more risk than the millions who drive huge trucks and SUVs for the extra “crash protection” they provide.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25 …or Viper pickup trucks, back when they still made Vipers.

  28. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Buzzerd – What’s going to change? I think there could be a potential market for these 3-wheelers for a time. The average price of a new vehicle has climbed high enough that more young people can’t afford one (and put off the purchase) and/or don’t see the value in something that sits around most of the time. Remember when people were saying that kids just don’t want to drive anymore? I don’t really believe that to be true, I think my previous statement has more to do with young people putting off driving. So, that brings us back to 3-wheelers. They’ll be cheaper and easy to use. And I think they’re going to be aimed at a much younger demographic. There’s potential to get a foot in the market. However, I think 3-wheelers will have stiff competition in the form of cheaper EVs, like the ones Chinese automaker Kandi wants to sell in the U.S. Just look how well the Wuling MINI EV is doing in China. Many think that will be repeated in Europe and it could (to an extent) here too. I think the question for 3-wheelers will be, can they establish themselves before cheaper EVs start hitting the market?

  29. veh Says:

    All this talk of 3 wheelers and no mention of Elio? Their main page still features that they were a top automotive startup…in 2015

  30. merv Says:

    great show

  31. Buzzerd Says:

    The price Sandy was talking about for the 3 wheeler was about the same as a midsize car, so why would someone buy it? easier to use….. maybe. in certain situations. Cheaper ? doesn’t seem like it. Young people can’t afford it?? Calling bullshit. Take a drive around a college or university parking lot, hell take a drive around a high school parking lot. When I went to high school there really wasn’t a student parking lot because so few of us had cars. I work with a lot of 20 something people and the majority have a new truck and a new house, they aren’t scared of payments at all.
    Now I would think there are differences in small and big city, and geographical outlooks, where I live on of those 3 wheel things this time of year would not be much fun and given the amount of AWD vehicles on the market I’m not the only one.
    time will tell of course.

  32. Lambo2015 Says:

    29 Yeah good old Elio.. Its too bad as I think they had a decent product. The car was good looking had decent features and best of all was priced super low. If they had gone electric from the start they might have made it but gas prices dropped to less than $3 and so their big selling point a 80mpg didn’t matter much.
    Somewhat surprised some EV start up hasn’t snatched them up as the chassis was a perfect start and size. Maybe the changes required to make it an EV are too extensive. Weird how they have left the web page up without any action in years.

  33. GM Veteran Says:

    Both Elio and Aptiv are companies that have been trying to raise enough money to start production for years, with very poor results. Why? The investment community does not believe its a good investment, and they are right. There are many good reasons that 3-wheel cars have never caught on, despite the efforts of quite a few manufacturers over the full history of the auto industry.

    I have a lot of respect for Sandy, but he is wrong about the 3-wheel design being the key to making EVs more affordable. The cost of the battery is the big difference, and that has been coming down steadily for the last 6 years. There are already some commercial EV vehicles that offer a retail price on par with their comparable size and capacity gas or diesel competitors. This will happen in passenger vehicles soon too. This is why you are seeing all these new EVs coming to market over the next several years. The car companies can now offer a competitively priced EV with medium to high levels of range.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 Companies can get good money for low volume “fun” three wheelers, like Spyder and Slingshot, but it might be hard to get the extra several thousand dollars it would cost to make a properly done enclosed, all-weather three wheeler.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A downside of three wheelers not mentioned, is that the three tire tracks make it harder to avoid potholes and road debris.

  36. Drew Says:

    The Polaris Slingshot is not cheap…. price is as much or more than a mid-size sedan, yet still lack basic comforts of A/C, power windows, and protection from the environment. Any effort to make 3-wheel vehicles desirable in volume will require the added costs of climate control/protection, the addition of enough cargo space for a Costco or Home Depot trip, and the major communication challenge to convince Americans (and Canadians) that it can safely coexist on roads filled with 2-3 ton SUVs/pickups and a plethora of distracted drivers. Collision avoidance technologies and demonstration of deft/stable emergency maneuvers will be a start.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    36 The cheapest version of Slingshot is $20K, less than I expected. The top version is $33K People are willing to pay more relative to what you get for toys like Slingshot, than for basic transportation. For the price of the cheapest Slingshot, you can get a new Nissan Sentra with power steering, power brakes, heater, A/C, etc., a lot more value than the Slingshot.

    When looking up the Slingshot prices, I learned something. They have apparently used up all of the left over Solstice/Sky engines, and have a new 2.0 liter engine.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe it’s old news, but I just heard that the average new car price is now $40K.

  39. Sean Wagner Says:

    Just giving a nod to Sean McElroy [28] and GM Veteran [33].

    Sandy is always interesting, but even for cheap little metroscape EVs the tradeoffs of 4 viz 3 wheels favor the former, be it just about hauling a couple of cases of beverages.

    I followed the original Aptera’s evolution and looked into the latest one too, though it’s nothing practical or rational that attracts me to the concept. At least batteries help lower the center of gravity.

    Regarding the Corvette, I do think Porsche’s shift into SUVs was a momentous break for the brand, and certainly bold “back then”.

    Maybe gm could grab another ship category’s designation. How about, um:

    AFSB Afloat Forward Staging Base Interim
    SLWT Side Loading Warping Tug

    No? Cruiser, maybe?

  40. XA351GT Says:

    11 You know the funny is they did this back in the 60s and 70s Where they offered a model with many different variants , but they didn’t call them a sub brand . Remember when you went to a dealer and could choose a coupe, a fast back, a sedan, a station wagon and in some cases even a pick up ( Ranchero/El Camino) . They didn’t call those a sub brand they called it choice. My guess is bean counters told the powers to be that they should only offer the most popular versions of those models and blame it on no one wanting them. That is what they did with coupes, Station wagons ,Utes and now even sedans. It’s hard to buy what someone won’t offer. That is why Ford’s decision to kill all their car line off is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. Let me take you back . Say to the 70s . If you went to a Ford dealership and wanted a 2 door , You could CHOOSE between , A Mustang, Torino,LTD, Pinto,Maverick, Thunderbird, and you also many of the same choices over at Mercury with different styling if you didn’t care for the look of the Ford or wanted a little more upscale. You could configure these cars with anything you liked individually not 3 option groups that have more things you don’t want or need . Now fast forward to today or even 5 years ago. Want a 2 door Ford , okay you have the Mustang take it or leave it. Then when people don’t buy it bean counters say see no one wants a 2 door any more.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    39 Dreadnought would be good for what they now call Suburban.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40 Yep, almost no 2 door cars, and not even one RWD wagon. Almost no regular wagons of any kind. Mercedes E-Class wagon has been sold only with 4wd in the US for years, and for 2021, they turned it into a very expensive Subaru Outback. To me, the ultimate case of “you can’t buy what they don’t offer” is car-height wagons. You can buy them everywhere in the world, except the US, and maybe Canada.

    1960 was kind of the start of “sub brands” from the US-based companies with Falcon, Corvair, and Valiant. Valiant started out as its own brand, but soon because a Plymouth. Then, in ’61, everyone had a “compact” car, Tempest, F-85, Lancer, Comet, etc. Then, a couple years later, the “intermediates” with their own names came along, and Mustang, Barracuda, Camaro, etc.

    I, too, miss being able to order cars with options, and color. I ordered a 1974 Plymouth Duster. There about 5 different engines, multiple axle ratios, 3 transmissions, different seat types and colors, all as individual options. My Duster was green with white vinyl bucket seats, 225cid slant 6, 3-speed manual with Hurst floor shifter, fold down rear seat, non-power front disk brakes, and a few other small options I’ve forgotten about. Now, there is almost no choice at all of individual options. There are about 300 different tall body lifted wagons of various sizes, though, in 5 shades of grey, with black grey, or in some cases, tan interior.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

  44. ChuckGrenci Says:

    It sounds as Ford just wants to make sure their launch is as smooth as can be; Corvette did much the same with the C8 launch.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44 Yeah, they want to set themselves apart from Tesla in a good way, avoiding quality glitches.

    Chuck, what do you know about Corvette production? Is it “up to speed”? So far, I’ve seen only one C8, and I’d like to see them in different colors, while I can still change my order. The only one I’ve actually seen would be about my last color choice, dark metallic grey, whatever they call it.

  46. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Kit, C8 production is pretty much up to speed; both shifts are running at the plant and between coupes and HTCs (hard top convertibles) they are making Vettes and delivering at projected rates. 2021′s are already being delivered though most of the first ones are from the 2020 orders that didn’t get initially fulfilled. Ordering one now might already be built as a 2022 (and you’d have to fine a dealer that had allocation).

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    46 Thanks for info. You are up on this stuff a lot more than I am, and I have one ordered. I’ll call my dealer in the next few days to see what they know about my order, placed in early October. I’m hoping it will be built in May, about the time I normally head north. I’d really like to see some colors before anything is locked in, but I probably have a few months. For now, it’s Elkhart Lake Blue with black interior.

  48. ChuckGrenci Says:

    @47 There have been some production constraints on certain options, wheels, accessories; as you generally order a less optioned car, you should be fine. I did see that the computer chip scarcity may eventually be a slowdown (but not yet). Here’s an 8 minute video I just saw that might give you an idea (of what’s going on or potentially going on). Link:

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    48 Interesting. Yep, no constraints on my order, unless it’s the IC chips which would, presumably, affect all orders.

  50. Lambo2015 Says:

    Cadillac did a nice job with the CTS and offering it in a 2 door coupe, 4 door sedan and a wagon all with 2 different V6 engine choices and in Vee version with a V8 option. The V6 versions could be had in 2WD or AWD. They even offered a manual in the first generation for the V6 or V8s. I don’t believe they have as many choices now as the wagon and manual options are gone.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    50 Yep, not nearly as many choices with no coupe, no wagon, no naturally aspirated V6, and no manual transmission. Given sales numbers, though, I understand all of it, except for not offering the N/A V6 in CT4 and CT5.

  52. ChuckGrenci Says:

    A manual will be offered in the CT5 Blackwing (and CT4 Blackwing) edition(s) which hasn’t been released yet. I believe the V-8 (an LT, don’t know what number will be assigned) will be offered with a six speed manual. May be on hold but Cadillac website says late summer ’21. No wagon but they just don’t sell so that part makes sense. And I agree that a V-6 (the 3.6 is a honey of an engine) naturally aspirated CT4/5 makes some sense too.

  53. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The 3.6 works great in my friend’s Camaro, and works pretty well, even in the big, heavy Traverse et. al. To me, it would be the ideal engine for a “base” CT4 and CT5. I would have gotten a V6 instead of a turbo 4 in my ’89 Caravan, had a manual transmission been available with the V6.

  54. Lambo2015 Says:

    Kit have you bought historical plates for that van.