Making the impossible, possible

I haven’t found a link to a story online, but Autocar had an interesting tidbit in their review of the Cadillac CTS. Ferdinand Piech (ex CEO of VW, head engineer of the 911, 914, 917 and first Audi Quattro) was carefully examining the CTS front fender at its European debut. He was overheard saying, “They can’t make that”.

Credit goes to GM, for a change, for stumping one of the world’s best. Cheers GM.

I think he ment shouldnt, not can’t :laughing:

Could someone elaborate, as to why it could not be made? I think I missed the point on this one.

A big styling ornamentation trend these days on autos to make them look more sporty. with wheels pushed so far to the corners they feel the need to fill the space. I must say they look better on the CTS coupe. Also, more praise for the taillights on that couple.

Maybe you are putting the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLABle…

By saying “They can’t make this” he might not have been saying that it could not be done, just that he was surprised the THEY could do it. I assume he might have been talking about the crisp forms that line up panel to panel (as on BMWs) or maybe the fact that it looks like they are double stamping the panel, something typically only European manufactures do because it cost more, but you get better form definition… something I believe AMerican auto manufacturers pioneered in the late 50’s early 60’s to get those crazy shapes, but costed out in the 80’s.

Some one in cars can clarify, I’m sure I have about 40 facts wrong above. GM was plagued with AES (American Engineering Standards) for years. They just started flush mounting their radios in Cadillacs a few years ago… something you could see in a Civic.

They have been consistently upping the ante and their new cars are becoming very competitive. Lets see if they can weather the economic crunch to continue those strides and start making cars that are more than just competitive, but ahead of the competition (the way BMW does… nobody wanted that flame surfacing when it came out, and now look)

Also, having a bunch of friends at GM, I know they have the design talent to do this, they always have had some of the best designers anywhere at GM, Chrysler and Ford… they just can’t seem to listen to them or stay out of their way.

I was assuming he was referring to the gills: ornamentation for ornamentation’s sake.

Why would that be hard?

Often comments like that are in relation to the minutia of manufacturing limitations and the heartaches they cause designers.

Assuming that’s the impetus for “They can’t make that”, then maybe the geometry in the region of the small grill, the diamond shape creased pocket going up to the A pillar is something he’s been beat up on before. It may not be hard to stamp, but the 3d edge rolling may be problematic.

But, like Yo, I may have 140 things wrong with the above.

Not hard, just trendy

Ok, that what I though he meant, that is quite a gnarly surface and I am trying to imagine stamping that, and yes the flange that comes back into the body to bolt the fender to the frame must be under quite some stress. It sure does look great though. The “Z” it creates looks as though every other car is wrong and this is the correct way to address that spot.

I have no clue why this is so difficult to make. I’m just impressed that GM accepted what their designers wanted and demanded that engineering take care of it. You can see this all over their cars right now, both for good and bad.

I’d like to see them make these 2 imposabilities:
The Cien and the 16, if Dodge could do the Viper in the middle of a financial crunch, why not. Or VW with the Beetle, and Audi with the TT. These companies where not flush with cash when they made these happen.

Like I said, plenty of awesome designers at GM, and the above is proof, just make the stuff! The CTS is cool, but the 16 is cool and a Cadillac. The way the 300 is a Chrysler and the Challenger is a Dodge.

I drove a V-Spec CTS, thing drove awesome, I loved tossing it around, I just couldn’t see myself in it. One of the VP’s here drives an Audi RS-4 and when that thing roars by me in the parking deck I just want it!

Caddy is one of the strongest American brands, don’t Euro out. Give me a road eating American machine, maybe powered with Hydrogen, be the “standard of the world”. Something with a real set of balls that not just anyone can drive but people will flock to.

i saw one of these yesterday…my guess is that he was referring to the manufacturability of the fender…there is some ‘undercut’ geom trickery on it.

Not that I’m an expert either, but I think that this is what makes the distinction between a good design and a great design. A great design can be beautiful in concept form and also feasible for production. Otherwise you’re just stroking egos.
Maybe he was referring to Chevy’s inability to capitalize on their concepts, as illustrated by this massive letdown:

:unamused: This thing looks like a bad kit car version of itself.

Is that the new Chevy Cobalt? I think I just saw 30 of those at Hertz.

No, that is the Volt.
The car that was supposed to be (finally) a demonstration that Chevy could compete in the future market of flex fuels and high tech (cringe).
Autoblog had a couple of galleries up to compare the concept to the production ready version.
Look here: Hot or Not? 2011 Chevy Volt | Autoblog
“They can’t make that” indeed!
I think I’d rather just drive a bus with a photo of a sports car on the side.

Sorry Robin, I was practicing my East Coast sarcasm! I was just shocked to see that is the production car after so many teasers.

I thought so.
Just wanted to re-up the Volt photos, its just so unbelievably mediocre after so much chest thumping all this time.
Its a good thing that their most loyal customers are in complete denial. If Chevy drivers were half as discerning as the rest of us, they’d be done.

caught the new (actual) volt today on the interwebs. all i can say, is, FAIL.

The concept Volt was something that would have made me actually look at a domestic brand (I highly doubt i’d buy it, im all euro snob), but still, it had a unique performance aspect (the battery system), unique looks that weren’t derivative, and still fit well in the brand’s portfolio of cars. the new one is a mashed up camy/cobalt/acuraTSX, and bit’s of other stuff not even nice enough to recognize.

and those PR pics with the execs in front of the car? what were they thinking? not at all a flattering angle/pic/color for the car, and the who really wants to see a bunch of overpaid balding excu-guys?

and some people wonder why they are losing money faster than a boat made out of fishnet stockings can sink…