Backed by a cadre of his top-ranking execs, General Motors President and CEO Fritz Henderson offered an unprecedented look into what the revitalized automaker plans to bring to market during the course of the next several years. While no photos were permitted at presentations held in GM's Design Center, the vehicles on display and the technology and style they embodied bode well for the now-revitalized General Motors Company. Henderson noted that Chevrolet alone will introduce 10 new models, including the high-profile/high-mileage Volt plug-in hybrid, the eagerly-awaited Camaro Convertible and a fully-redesigned 2012 Malibu. Cadillac is set to bring on five new models, including a new entry-level vehicle for 2012 that would be positioned below the existing CTS. Buick and GMC also are slated to bolster their lineups with 10 new adds, highlighted on the Buick front by the plug-in hybrid compact crossover it teased us with last week and by the new-for-2010 GMC Terrain crossover. Here's a closer look at some of what we saw at GM's Design Center, in various stages of development:
- Spark: Priced below Aveo, the entry-level 2012 Spark is big on personality, small on size. Its hidden rear door handles give it a coupe-like look.
- Aveo: The all-new 2011 hatchback on display sported a boxier design, the same hidden rear door handles as on the Spark, and Volvo-esque front-end styling.
- Cruze: The 2012 Cruze will be motivated by a new 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine and is said to get highway fuel economy in the 40-mpg range. A turbocharged version is in the works.
- Malibu: This mid-sizer gets a whole new attitude thanks to some dramatic styling in 2012. The rear of the vehicle echoes the current Camaro and BMW 5-Series, while the front end sports more curves.
- Orlando: Not quite a minivan but not quite a crossover, Chevy claims that seven adults can fit comfortably in any of its three rows. Look for it in 2011, priced less than the Equinox.
- Camaro Convertible: The drop-top version of this re-born muscle car will hit showrooms in either 2011 or 2012.
- Volt: Scheduled to arrive in late 2010, a few hundred are expected to be built at first, with production ramping up to about 10,000 in 2011. Pricing has yet to be announced, but estimates put it in the $40,000 range.
- Compact sedan: Based on the same platform as the Chevy Cruze, this car will be slightly longer than its bowtie cousin and will have different sheetmetal. Could arrive as a 2012 model.
- Midsize sedan: Will be badged Regal and based on the same platform as the newly-redesigned LaCrosse. Expect it in 2011 with a four-cylinder engine.
- Buick compact crossover: Built on GM's next-gen platform shared with the Aveo, this CUV will be completely different than its plug-in brand-mate. Anticipate it as a 2012 model.
- Buick hybrid plug-in compact crossover: The Saturn VUE, reincarnated with a waterfall grille and more refined interior. Expect a hybrid version first next year, followed by an all-electric plug-in version in 2011.
- Entry-level car: Positioned below the CTS, the tentatively branded "ATS" will be part of a sporty family of vehicles that will come in coupe or sedan form with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.
- Cadillac XTS: This new Caddy flagship sedan will be a replacement for the STS and DTS models, and will come with front- and all-wheel drive. Anticipate a design that echoes the Cadillac Sixteen concept that debuted in 2003.
- Subcompact crossover: GMC is considering a subcompact crossover, although details remain vague at this time.
- Terrain: This compact crossover will have more standard equipment, different styling and a higher price than its Chevy Equinox near-twin.