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More Fun, Less Cost

GM's global rwd approach promises savings


AutoWeek | Updated: 02/20/07, 9:29 am et

General Motors has shouted about the upcoming rear-drive Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac G8, but those are just two on a long list of cars that GM is producing on its new global vehicle architecture.

GM has been hyping the geographical reach and cost savings. Executives say:

Models are on sale or will be sold in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America.

Global annual volume will be "around 500,0000 to 700,000, somewhere in that range," Gene Stefanyshyn, vehicle line executive for the architecture, told Automotive News.

Product development savings will be an estimated $500 to $1,000 per vehicle compared with different regions developing separate architectures -- savings that would total $250 million to $750 million.

Most GM vehicle architectures now are engineered for global applications. Regional engineering centers are given responsibility for developing architectures, guided by headquarters in Detroit.

For example, on the global rwd architecture, GM gave Australia's Holden Commodore mid-sized sedan new front-end styling to create the 2008 Pontiac G8, which will be exported to North America. GM North America expects 30,000 annual U.S. sales.

Highlights from the article:

Overall length for a mid-sized rwd car would be around 194 inches," Stefanyshyn said. "The long rwd would be around 201, 203, maybe a bit bigger if we want to put more rear overhang, a bigger trunk, make it more formal."

Such a car would be 2 or 3 inches longer than today's Impala.

Six- and eight-cylinder engines are offered; a four-cylinder engine is being studied.

Bottom line

Stefanyshyn said global architectures offer savings in four keys areas:

1. Engineering

2. Material costs

3. Plant tooling

4. Vendor tooling.

Here are GM's global rwd models.


Holden Commodore sedan

Chevrolet Lumina sedan

Chevrolet Omega sedan

Vauxhall VXR sedan

Holden Statesman sedan

Chevrolet Caprice sedan


Buick Royaum sedan

Pontiac G8 sedan

Chevrolet Camaro coupe, convertible

Chevrolet Impala sedan

More here:



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After reading that article. This is my question.

DTS is 207 inches long. Lucerne is 203. That means Zeta will be stretched to accommodate them?

What about Holden UTE? I wonder if they were hesitant about mentioning that because it is not confirmed.

That means that photo I posted of the new Buick is accurate and correct too.

Posted Image


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Nice to see RWD come back into the mix in a big way.

Lets hope the FWD platforms are just as good, and almost as fun to drive.

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So far the Camaro has been the best of the Zetas in terms of styling... I of course

love that (dissapearing B-pillar) hardtop greenhouse but I think it's an absolute A+

in every styling category, even though it is not as retro as I had hoped.

But you know what? even these more boring Zetas (like the above mentioned G8)

are absolute home runs in my opinion. Sure some of them are a bit conservative

but hell... they're miles better than today's average cars, they are clean and

purposeful in their design and in terms of their mechanical's they are absolutely

the best bang for the buck that we're going to see in the next decade!!!

You can NOT even approach the awsomeness of a well built sedan with power of

an LS* motor coupled with RWD, a IRS and all other modern suspension

requirements as well as clean, serios styling.

Pick you battles people. I love the WILD and over the top styling of my parent's

Grand Am & the last of the muscular Firebird/TA 4th gens. but the public seems

to love the clean, rib-less countours of the G6, that having been said I think the

G8 looks fantastic and it is more appealing to me than ANY sedan made since

the 1996 B-bodys.

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That Buick does look good...as long as they improve the interior and put a nice Northstar under the hood. I remember when everyone thought the old Royaum looked so good. Sorry, it was crap compared to even the above.

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The buttoned-down Holden styling lends itself much easier to the Buick name than Pontiac. Heck, with an American interior, portholes and horizontal taillamps, that picture Ninety-Eight posted would make a fine Lucerne for the USA.

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Yeah.... good point, give it some offset-oval portholes. :wub:

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