Oldsmobile Alero

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Oldsmobile Alero
Oldsmobile Alero sedan -- 03-16-2012.JPG
Overview
Manufacturer General Motors
Also called Chevrolet Alero
Production 1998–2004
Assembly Lansing, Michigan, U.S.
Body and chassis
Class Compact
Body style 2-door coupe
4-door sedan
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
Platform N-body
Related
Powertrain
Engine 2.2 L Ecotec L61 I4
2.4 L LD9 I4
3.4 L LA1 V6
Transmission 5-Speed Getrag F23 manual
4-speed 4T40-E automatic
4-speed 4T45-E automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 107 in (2,718 mm)
Length 186.7 in (4,742 mm)
Width 70.1 in (1,781 mm)
Height 54.5 in (1,384 mm)
Chronology
Predecessor Oldsmobile Achieva
Oldsmobile Cutlass
Successor Chevrolet Epica (In Europe)
Pontiac G6 (In North America)

The Oldsmobile Alero was a compact car produced by the Oldsmobile division of General Motors from 1998 to 2004. The Alero was introduced in spring 1998 as a 1999 model to replace the Achieva and Cutlass. The Alero went into production on April 6, 1998. All Aleros were built in Lansing, Michigan. The Alero was Oldsmobile's last compact car as well as the last vehicle sold under the brand. Production ended on April 29, 2004.

History[edit]

The design of the Alero was originally previewed in 1997 with the Alero Alpha concept car, a V6-powered sport coupe that featured many design elements seen in the production Alero as well as some that were never meant for production. Its appearance was a revival of "coke bottle styling", popular during the 1960s and 1970s.

Oldsmobile Alero coupe

The Alero was sold either as a 4-door sedan or as a 2-door coupé. It shared its chassis and many parts, including engines, with the Pontiac Grand Am, the other compact N body sedan. All Aleros came in base GX, mid-level GL, or high-end GLS trim; GL trim was split into three levels: 1, 2, and 3.

The Alero experienced minimal changes during its 5-year run. Most of these changes were either in choice of engines or options. In 2003, the Alero's daytime running lights were changed from high-beam to low-beam.

The Alero was also sold in select countries in Europe and in Israel as the Chevrolet Alero, and was only available as a sedan. The car still featured its Oldsmobile badges even though sold under the Chevrolet brand. However, in Israel it featured only the Chevrolet badge. Since most European consumers would not recognize the badging, Chevrolet badges were added to the grille and rear fascia for the 2000 model year. Since the phase-out of the Alero, it was replaced in Europe,Israel and Canada by the GM Daewoo-sourced Chevrolet Evanda/Epica. In the Americas, it was replaced by the Suzuki Verona. The Verona was then replaced by the Kizashi. The Kizashi however continues to be sold.

The Alero's production ended with a special Final 500 Edition. These last 500 Aleros featured custom graphics inspired by vintage Oldsmobile logos, dark cherry metallic paint, and a plate featuring the car's number out of 500.

The final Alero Final 500 Edition (#500 of 500), a GLS 4-door, also happened to be the final Oldsmobile ever built, and was signed under its hood by the employees of the General Motors Lansing plant and then given to the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum.

A preview of the planned replacement for the Alero was seen in 2001 with the unveiling of the Oldsmobile O4 concept, designed by Bertone. The car was an open top 4-seater with European styling but some Oldsmobile traits, and powered by the latest Ecotec I4 engine. The name had multiple meanings, including "Oldsmobile 4-Seater" as well as implying the year 2004 as a planned date for production.

However, the O4 concept was unveiled a few weeks after General Motors announced that they would be phasing out the Oldsmobile brand, meaning that production possibilities of the O4 would never be realized. Because of this, a second generation Alero was never built and the car was phased out with the Oldsmobile brand in 2004.

Engines[edit]

Years Engine Power Torque
2002–2004 2.2 L Ecotec L61 I4 140 hp (104 kW) 150 lb·ft (203 N·m)
1999–2001 2.4 L LD9 I4 150 hp (112 kW) 155 lb·ft (210 N·m)
1999–2004 3.4 L LA1 V6 170 hp (127 kW) 200 lb·ft (271 N·m)

Variant prototypes[edit]

Oldsmobile Alero OSV

General Motors commissioned the construction of Alero prototypes either for testing or to gather public opinion on possible future plans for the Alero. These variants include:

  • Alero OSV - "Oldsmobile Speciality Vehicle", an experiment in an aftermarket parts brand for Oldsmobile. Featured a body kit, supercharged I4, custom interior, and special cherry red paint with ghosted Oldsmobile emblems in the rear quarter panels.
  • Alero OSV II - Another experimental vehicle, this time featuring an LX5 DOHC 3.5 L V6 (used in the Oldsmobile Intrigue and Aurora) and featured custom dark green paint.
  • Alero 442 - A set of show cars based on the Alero coupe fitted with a body kit similar in design to the Oldsmobile 442. Each Alero 442 show car had a unique color, including white with gold stripes and white with pink stripes.
  • Alero California - A custom built version of the Alero coupe featuring parts including a large rear wing, racing seats, sport tires, and custom graphics painted in brown and yellow.
  • Alero Convertible - An experiment in the possibility of creating an Alero with a convertible soft top to help broaden the appeal of the car to young buyers. The Oldsmobile O4 concept also hinted that the next generation Alero could have had a convertible model.
  • Alero Pace Car - Built by General Motors as part of their fleet of Oldsmobile safety cars for the Indy Racing League, featuring custom yellow, blue and white checkered flag graphics.

Safety[edit]

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the 1999-2005 Grand Am (same platform as the 1999-2004 Alero) a Poor rating in its frontal crash test for its marginal structural integrity, a possible head injury, a potential right leg injury, and poor dummy control.[1]

The following are 2003 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Crash Test Ratings.

Coupe[2]

  • Frontal Driver: 4/5 stars
  • Frontal Passenger: 5/5 stars
  • Side Driver: 1/5 stars
  • Side Rear Passenger: 4/5 stars
  • Rollover: 4/5 stars

Sedan[3]

  • Frontal Driver: 4/5 stars
  • Frontal Passenger: 4/5 stars
  • Side Driver: 3/5 stars
  • Side Rear Passenger: 3/5 stars
  • Rollover: 4/5 stars

Sales[edit]

Year Sales
1999 142,242
2000 137,140
2001 129,726
2002 98,979
2003 109,773
2004 79,796

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IIHS-HLDI: Oldsmobile Alero". Iihs.org. Retrieved 2010-10-17. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ [2][dead link]

4. Encyclopedia of American Cars. Oldsmobile: Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International. 2006. p. 666. ISBN 978-1-4127-1354-2. 

External links[edit]