Tag Archives: iaa

GM IAA Announcements

http://live.pirillo.com – here’s a front row seat to GM’s product announcements at IAA 2007 in Frankfurt, Germany. If you look real close, you can see a few industry superstars sitting in the audience (when I turn the camera away from the stage to point it at Ponzi for a moment).

In essence, the environmental strategy of General Motors Europe is to reduce CO2 emissions in the short term and introduce new propulsion technologies in the long term. The goal is to offer customers vehicles that can operate on many different energy sources. “The multi-tiered approach includes accelerating the development of electrically powered vehicles, stepping up efforts to replace fossil fuels and increasing the efficiency of gasoline and diesel engines,” explains Carl-Peter Forster, GME President. GM Europe will invest 700 million euros in new engines and transmissions in the next five years alone, with the first models already at the IAA.

Carl-Peter Forster continues: “Opel’s surprise for this year’s IAA also symbolizes the versatility of our extensive environmental initiative. A concept car which combines electric propulsion and a turbo diesel engine in a way that is fundamentally different to previous hybrid propulsion designs.”

NOTE: General Motors helped cover travel expenses for our trip to Germany. Without their direct support, this remote coverage would not have been possible. They allowed us to explore and cover as much as we possibly could, not just GM’s product line.

How to Fit a Segway into a Car

http://live.pirillo.com – We live-streamed the unveiling of GM’s newest electric car concept fully at a substantially lower bitrate, but here’s the Segway segment from Ponzi’s perspective. Again, our position was not fully ideal – but at least we were able to capture the energy.

NOTE: General Motors helped cover travel expenses for our trip to Germany. Without their direct support, this remote coverage would not have been possible. They allowed us to explore and cover as much as we possibly could, not just GM’s product line.

Hydrogen Car Information Interview

http://live.pirillo.com – Ponzi and I had a rare opportunity to learn more about hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles with one of the automobile industry’s leading minds, Dr. Lars Peter Thiesen.

The GM HydroGen4 is the European version of the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell. In fall 2007, the first of these fuel cell cars — a global fleet of more than 100 vehicles is planned — will be on the roads in the USA.

The HydroGen4’s fuel cell stack consists of 440 series-connected cells. The entire system produces an electrical output of up to 93 kW. With help from a 73 kW/100 hp synchronous electric motor, acceleration from zero to 100 km/h takes around 12 seconds. The front-wheel drive vehicle’s top speed is around 160 km/h.

NOTE: General Motors helped cover travel expenses for our trip to Germany. Without their direct support, this remote coverage would not have been possible. They allowed us to explore and cover as much as we possibly could, not just GM’s product line.

Germany Blogger/Youtube Meetup

http://live.pirillo.com – Ponzi and I are still in Frankfurt, and we’d love to meet our virtual friends in real life!

I may need help with translating this all-call to German, BTW. 🙂

NOTE: General Motors helped cover travel expenses for our trip to Germany. Without their direct support, this remote coverage would not have been possible. They allowed us to explore and cover as much as we possibly could, not just GM’s product line.

Bob Lutz Interview

http://live.pirillo.com – Bob Lutz is an industry legend, and I was more than a little tongue-tied when given the opportunity to sit down with him for a few minutes at the unveiling of GM’s new electric concept car in Frankfurt, Germany.

Can you believe he’s a blogger, too!?

NOTE: General Motors helped cover travel expenses for our trip to Germany. Without their direct support, this remote coverage would not have been possible. They allowed us to explore and cover as much as we possibly could, not just GM’s product line.

Saturn Astra Test Drive

http://live.pirillo.com – The audio / video quality is questionable, but we were doing something that nobody else has done before: streaming live from GM’s super private test track in Dudenhofen, Germany.

My wife and I were invited to take a Saturn Astra out for a test drive. This car is not yet available in the United States – or, at least, not at the time of this live recording. The car handles very nicely, according to Ponzi.

40,000 kilometers are clocked every day on this track – and now the Pirillos have left their tire marks on there as well. Ponzi completes the perfect circle every couple of minutes, as the road is 5km around and she’s traveling at a speed of 200kmph (~128mph). She did take the higher lane at one point, which is steeped at 37 degrees – but you can only get in that lane if you’re traveling over 200kmph.

NOTE: General Motors helped cover travel expenses for our trip to Germany. Without their direct support, this remote coverage would not have been possible. They allowed us to explore and cover as much as we possibly could, not just GM’s product line.

Hot Women Drive Fast Cars

http://live.pirillo.com – My wife and I were invited to take a Saturn Astra out for a test drive. This car is not yet available in the United States – or, at least, not at the time of this live recording. The car handles very nicely, according to Ponzi. We took it around GM’s super private test track in Dudenhofen, Germany.

40,000 kilometers are clocked every day on this track – and now the Pirillos have left their tire marks on there as well. Ponzi completes the perfect circle every couple of minutes, as the road is 5km around and she’s traveling at a speed of 200kmph (~128mph). She did take the higher lane at one point, which is steeped at 37 degrees – but you can only get in that lane if you’re traveling over 200kmph.

NOTE: General Motors helped cover travel expenses for our trip to Germany. Without their direct support, this remote coverage would not have been possible. They allowed us to explore and cover as much as we possibly could, not just GM’s product line.

Why We're Going to Germany

So, a few people have been asking why Ponzi and I are heading to Germany for the next week or so – and the answer, while perfectly sound, may surprise you.

GM (yes, General Motors) is hosting us for the International Automotive Ausstellung (IAA) – the Frankfurt Motor Show 2007. They saw how much fun we were having with live video and YouTube and thought it’d be nice to share the expo and a few semi-exclusive interviews with the rest of the galaxy.

Even though my car has Bluetooth, XM, OnStar, etc. – I’m not a true car geek. That said, I’m quite interested in learning about efforts in “green tech” for international and domestic markets. GM gave me a running list of top initiatives for their company:

  • New HydroGen4 fuel cell vehicle, Volt electric car
  • More than 700 million euros for new engines and transmissions until 2012
  • Opel / Vauxhall: Electric car concept, ecoFLEX initiative, new Agila
  • Chevrolet: New Aveo generation, distinctively designed HHR
  • Saab: New 9-3 generation with top-of-the-line Turbo X model
  • Cadillac: BLS Wagon, new generation of Cadillac CTS luxury sedan
  • Corvette: More power for Coupé and Cabrio
  • HUMMER: H2 is film star in “Transformers”

So, looks like they’re not killing the electric car after all…? 🙂

As noted before, I’ll have my camera, laptop, microphone, etc. We hope to stream whatever we can stream live to everyone (thanks to a Vodaphone modem with my MacBook Pro). There will be plenty of stills and videos to share with you as well. I’m quite excited, as you can imagine.

This will be my first time in Europe altogether. I don’t speak a lick of German – beyond hallo, bitte, danke, and sprechen zie English. We’ll have free time from the 13th through the 16th, I believe – so if any informal blogger meetup was to happen, it would likely be within that space (in Frankfurt or not, so long as Ponzi and I could get to the destination with relative ease and minimal frustration).