The History Of Pontiac VIBE
The Pontiac Vibe is a compact hatchback car produced in Fremont, California, in the United States by NUMMI (New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc), a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota, and marketed under General Motors' Pontiac brand. The Toyota Voltz is an identical twin to the vibe (with different badging) that was sold in Japan for a short while before being dropped due to lack of popularity. It is a short and tall hatchback that is being marketed as a trendy, quasi-SUV (or Station Wagon) vehicle for younger buyers. Prototypes were shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2000 and production vehicles came on the market in 2002 for the 2003 model year. The Vibe is the mechanical counterpart of the Toyota Corolla Matrix and is based on the Toyota Corolla's E-platform.
The 2003-2006 Vibe was available in an economical base trim, an all-wheel drive mid-trim, or a "sporty" GT with more power. The 2007 model year only offered the base model.
Powertrains available for this car are a Toyota-built 1.8L straight-4 16-valve engine producing 126hp (94kW) on the base model (manual or automatic transmission), 118hp on the all-wheel drive model (automatic only), or a version with VVTL-i producing 164hp (122kW) for the GT (manual 6-speed only). The Vibe is currently the most fuel efficient vehicle sold by GM in North America, but this will not be the case with the revised United States Environmental Protection Agency testing procedures in 2008.
There have been some minor changes between model years. The Vibe was first produced in 2002 and went on sale as a 2003 model. Power ratings for the first three model years were slightly higher, with the GT up to 180hp (134kW), the base model rated at 130hp (97kW), and the all-wheel drive model rated at 126hp (94kW). Engine power claims were decreased for 2006 as a result of Toyota's re-testing of its engines for the new Society of Automotive Engineers ratings standard. The 2007 model year no longer offered a GT or all-wheel-drive option due to poor sales and new federal emissions standards.
The front fascia was freshened in the 2005 model year. In an attempt to 'converge' the Pontiac look, the front grill was restyled to resemble the look of the Pontiac Solstice, also adopted by other vehicles in the Pontiac line. The 2003-2004 Vibes had a front grill more closely resembling the discontinued Pontiac Aztek. The Vibe is one of the most economical, low-emission cars sold by GM.
Toyota VoltzMain article: Toyota Voltz
The Vibe was made right-hand drive and exported to the Japanese market as the Toyota Voltz from 2002 to 2004.
The Vibe was redesigned, along with the Matrix, for the 2009 model year, and debuted at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show. "The new Vibe's design is sporty yet completely functional," according to Ron Aselton, chief designer. "Clean lines, minimal overhangs and wheels pushed to the corners give the vehicle a muscular stance." The GT trim and AWD options return, and two new I4 engines (Toyota's 2.4L 2AZ-FE used on the Camry for the AWD and GT trims as well as optional on the base trim, and a new 1.8L 2ZR-FE standard on the base trim) are offered.
Second Generation FWD Vibes also offer computerized traction-control and anti-lock brakes. Rear disc brakes are standard on all models. Luggage racks are no longer standard order.
The Vibe offers 91.4 cubic feet of passenger volume (all seats up) and 20.1 cu. ft. of cargo volume, for a total of 111.5 cu. ft. with rear seats that fold completely flat. The cargo area is 30 inches high and 40 inches wide, which is large enough to accommodate a standard-sized, American washing machine or clothes dryer with enough extra room for an appliance dolly.
First deliveries to dealerships were posted on GM's Website in April 2008, with comments that initial sales were brisk. The first units were delivered to buyers in early March.
Cahokia, IL police have added the Pontiac Vibe to their fleet, as a test of its fuel efficiency vs police-ready performance. (news reports)
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