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A New Chevy Nova

An inexpensive modern muscle car
  (+9, -11)
(+9, -11)
  [vote for,
against]

Chevy should come out with a new Nova. They should make it with only one engine available: a diminutive four-cylinder ECOTEC, set up for rear-wheel-drive. I guess they could use the powertrain from the Saturn SKY or Pontiac Solstice. However, they should design the engine bay to accept, with no modification, a large-displacement V8 engine, such as a Chevy small block or, even better, a big block like the 572. They should design the mounts for the four-cylinder to be somewhat awkward to make the engine transplant even easier for the big engine. Basically, design the engine bay for a big block, and then make an adapter that the four-cylinder sits in. Say nothing about this compatibility in any advertisement and let someone discover it. Word of mouth will spread like wildfire, and it'll hit magazines and everything else. Official GM news releases should deny the whole thing and say that the four-cylinder engine was put there to save the environment, blah blah blah. The aftermarket will be bigger than Scion would ever dream of. Maybe there could be a "base" model and a "standard" model. The "standard" model would include an AM/FM radio and A/C and power steering and stuff, but the "base" model would including nothing of the sort in order to make it as cheap as possible as a starting platform for an inexpensive but serious muscle car.
kevinthenerd, Dec 04 2007

Mallet V8 Solstice http://www.mallettc...tice-conversion.htm
The conversion process is purportedly not terribly difficult. [ed, Dec 04 2007]

Chevy Nova http://en.wikipedia...wiki/Chevrolet_Nova
The real ones, not the later Toyota [Ned_Ludd, Dec 07 2007]

Triumph Herald http://en.wikipedia...wiki/Triumph_Herald
I'd love a V8 in one of these [Ned_Ludd, Dec 07 2007]

Citroën 2CV http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citroen_2cv
The suspension principle that would have got the Herald to work properly [Ned_Ludd, Dec 07 2007]

Ford Falcon http://en.wikipedia...%28North_America%29
'60's competitor [Ned_Ludd, Dec 07 2007]

Plymouth Valiant http://en.wikipedia...ki/Plymouth_Valiant
Another [Ned_Ludd, Dec 07 2007]

Open-Source_20Car_20Design [hippo, Dec 07 2007]

[link]






       Hmm. What aboout the power train ? You're going to have to have agearbox and final drive that can handle all that power. So It's going to be failey heavy and chunky. The transmission losses will be high, soaking up power from the diddy little engine, and the car will be heavy for its size; also, maybe, unstable, as a lot of the mass will be at the rear. To build a car that maintains roadhoalding with either a small or a large powerplant at the front is going to be a touch tricky, methinks.   

       The big engine's going to need a big fuel tank .... another aftermarket mod ?   

       What about braking systems ? You can swap out the small wheels for big ones with big tyres .... but the big brakes are going to have to be there from the start. Big brakes mean a big servo .... more mass to heave around (although not a lot).   

       Not convinced.
8th of 7, Dec 04 2007
  

       A nova Chevy Nova, shirley?
4whom, Dec 04 2007
  

       Well, possibly, but don't call me Shirley ...
8th of 7, Dec 04 2007
  

       Big brakes aren't a problem at all. Cost is usually the only consideration with the size of brakes. Big brakes stop better, and who doesn't love that? It'll hurt unsprung mass, but handling is not what the average buyer will care about.   

       Perhaps some sort of dead weight for "crash purposes" such as some sort of very inefficient bracing could be put up front. The idea would be to simulate the weight of the heavier motor so that handling dynamics don't change appreciably with the engine swap. The problem with this would be that the extra weight would kill efficiency. A better idea would be to design it to accept shocks and springs from a different but very popular car. Maybe a part number could be etched.   

       The whole idea is like an Easter egg hunt. Secretly design the car to be easy to upgrade.   

       I think the SRT-4 has at least one feature like this. The hood has a removable plate for cold air intake.
kevinthenerd, Dec 04 2007
  

       When the Tornados first went into service the Foxhunter radar wasn't ready, so they flew around for ages with big blocks of concrete in the nose as a balance weight. You could do much the same with your design, maybe with a water tank.   

       I'd like to see the effect on power-to-weight ratio for a "clean" version against the "adaptable" one. I imagine the performance of the pre-adapted version would be so poor as to be unacceptable.   

       What's in it for the manufacturer when they could sell a performance car at a premium price ? You might as well go into busines selling rolling chassis for enthusiasts to drop their own engien into.
8th of 7, Dec 04 2007
  

       GM sells crate engines. Once somebody gets hooked on upgrading their car, money is the limit. Plus, because of EPA requirements, you'll never see a Chevy 572 in a street car. The fuel mileage and emissions are terrible. You have to do this where there aren't emissions tests. Again, the company officially opposes such modification for street vehicles.
kevinthenerd, Dec 04 2007
  

       To say that GM can't turn a profit on this is to say that Factory Five can't turn a profit selling their kit cars. Maybe some sort of buyback program can be put into place when all the ECOTECs show up on the market. GM will get a double profit opportunity. They'll sell ECOTECs in the Novas. Then they can buy them back for pennies on the dollar. Then they can be effectively resold in used factory-authorized SKY and Solstice vehicles with very low miles, marketed as nearly new engines. Who wouldn't want to buy a car with a used price and a nearly new engine?   

       Everbody wins. GM would sell more ECOTECs and crate engines. The dealers would sell the Novas and the used SKYs/Solstices. The SKY and Solstice customers would have cheap almost-new engines to replace their old ones, and the Nova customers would get the muscle car of their dreams.
kevinthenerd, Dec 04 2007
  

       "Secretly design the car to be easy to upgrade." You say this almost as if it's a new idea.
4whom, Dec 04 2007
  

       <sings>   

       I met her in a club down in old soho
Where you drink champagne and it tastes
just like cherry-cola
Coca-cola C-o-l-a cola
She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice
she said lola
a new chevy nova
L-o-l-a lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola
po, Dec 04 2007
  

       Last time Chevy tried to sell a Nova it was a rebadged Corolla.   

       Sorry, this is fully baked by the riceboys in their compact cars. I won't say what they're doing is "easy," but there's a strong and enthusiastic market dedicated to taking unremarkable inexpensive cars and making them into edgy performance vehicles.
elhigh, Dec 04 2007
  

       Bun to [po] for the song! I've heard that song before and I found it's the kind that kind of grows on you the more you hear it.
acurafan07, Dec 04 2007
  

       <sings>   

       Well I'm not the worlds most physical guy
But when she squeezed me tight
she nearly broke my spine
a-cura-fanoooh, seven
Oh, my lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola
Well, I'm not dumb but I can't understand
Why she walked like a woman and talked like a man
a-cura-fanoooh, seven
Oh my lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola
po, Dec 04 2007
  

       Even with everything else working, one thing will kill this, emissions. That is why you need to buy old cars and build them up, because they only need to pass old emissions standards. Are you really going to take a new car with it's 100000 mile SS exhaust, catalytic converter, and toss most on the expensive bits away? No, if you want a Nova, buy an old Nova. Junk yards are littered with them, as better cars to put nice V8s in such as the Porsche 914 or a small pickup. Pickups also have the advantage that they may already have oversize brakes, etc.
MisterQED, Dec 05 2007
  

       I can't believe the bones on this one. This would be a great car. Imagine the potential market, young men buying their first new car. This car would be fun to drive stock, with its rear wheel drive, and the potential for easy upgrade would be sexy...   

       Bun [+]
evilpenguin, Dec 05 2007
  

       Ditto [+].   

       All it needs is its own legislative and industrial environments!   

       The brake thing is a mass issue, not a power issue. This is definitely doable.
Ned_Ludd, Dec 05 2007
  

       I think this should be called: "A New Chevy NoNo". It's not more shite box, climate wrecking cars we need - it's less.
xenzag, Dec 06 2007
  

       Perhaps you'd be interested in the turbo Redline model?
RayfordSteele, Dec 06 2007
  

       That's be like New Nova 2.0? The New New Nova?   

       <repeats false "doesn't go" meme>
Noexit, Dec 06 2007
  

       I have great sympathy with this idea.   

       It could have worked in the '60's; it can work now if there is a place in the world that is not in Big Auto's pocket; or it might work in the future should people ever wake up and realise that saving the climate is not about what sort of cars but about how many of them are made, and that intensifying industrial roundaboutness to support rarefied R&D has only made the problem worse.   

       But what about incorporating the best features of various variously-partly-virtuous cars? How about a new Chevy Nova/Triumph Herald/Citroën 2CV/plus? That is, something that has the almost infinite upgradability of the Nova that you seem to be after, plus the 2CV's simplicity and cleverness especially in the suspension department; the Herald's service accessibility, configurable body-on-chassis construction, and orientation to non-capital-intensive manufacture; and a few new ideas to let the whole lot work just a bit better.   

       Now, posit the eventual demise of GM, and consider "Chevrolet Nova" as a public-domain concept that exists by usage in the broader community. Then, conceive the new Nova as a published work to be copied by all and sundry - which means that the design must be suitable for manufacture in extremely small volumes by a very large variety of independent manufacturers.   

       That would be in line with a non-overproductive economic system, and therefore ecologically vastly superior to any cynically mass-produced hybrid; and you can have your V8.
Ned_Ludd, Dec 07 2007
  

       I tried to come up with something around Wildebeest Not Chevrolet but it's almost knocking-off time and I need a glass of shiraz.
Ned_Ludd, Dec 07 2007
  

       //I tried to come up with something around Wildebeest Not Chevrolet// - try belted stonewort vehicle (anagram)
xenzag, Dec 07 2007
  

       [xenzag] Ooh, that was quick!   

       I like it.
Ned_Ludd, Dec 07 2007
  

       Look, I know the newest Nova sucks. There's nothing wrong with a rebirth from the roots of the concept. This new "Nova" will be nothing like the crap that the name has become. Why do you think the name died? A car that sucks won't sell. Trust me... plenty of people have plenty of good memories back when GM's cars had a better reputation, and capitalizing on that is what's best for the company in my opinion.
kevinthenerd, Dec 08 2007
  

       The thing about putting a V8 in a Nova was that it was never all that good. All of the components were designed for lower power and lower weight. V8 Novas often flexed so much from the extra torque that the windows would break and pop out.   

       I'm all for putting big V8 engines in small light cars, but if you go way overboard (500+ cubic inches is WAY too much), you will run into all kinds of problems. But if the engine you're installing is about the same weight and power output, or if you do a good job reinforcing and upgrading everything, then you should be fine.   

       Having said that, have a bun!
discontinuuity, Dec 08 2007
  

       Maybe this idea could work using a modular trike design? Start with a stiff two seat passenger "egg" and bolt everything on. Make it a trike to qualify as a motorcycle and avoid all the emissions mess. Get the power from a small motorcycle drive train and the front suspension from an old torsion bar VW. This is an old idea for a kit called the Magnum and many like it, except the kits had no passenger safety egg. Make the rest of the body bolt on panels like the Psion. Since the engine is modular, it would be a good base for a hybrid or small diesel, or for your purpose it could get a large engine and replace the front suspension with a double A-arm type with big brakes. The key is to start with a good unibody egg with electric windows, sealed windshield w/wipers, etc. Basically the center of a Smart car.
MisterQED, Dec 08 2007
  

       Well I left home just the week before
and I'd only had cars that had four doors
But when the Nova started up just as planned
I said "Hey [po], where is [acurafan] ?"
normzone, Feb 12 2011
  

       Well I am the 'Bakery's acurafan   

       But there are still ideas that I don't understand   

       Like this Nova no-no-no-no-nova no-no-no-no-nova   

       Nova no-no-no-no nova no-no-no-no-nova   

       *music fades   

       Anyways, this idea has basically been baked this year anyways with the introduction of the new Camaro. The Camaro, however, requires no modification.
acurafan07, Feb 13 2011
  
      
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