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GM Expands Rear-Drive Plans


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THE CAR CONNECTION.COM

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General Motors' plans for new rear-wheel-drive cars are continuing to grow and could be stretched to include the revival of the GTO coupe.

Not all the programs have been approved by GM's board of directors, but the outlines of the plan are already coming into sharper focus and will go beyond just the new Chevrolet Camaro and a new rear-drive Cadillac powered by a V-12 engine.

Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman for product development, told TheCarConnection.com back in February that the rear-wheel-drive platform, carrying the upcoming Chevrolet Camaro, could be "stretched."

"If…we wanted to do a very large rear-wheel-drive Cadillac with more than eight cylinders you could do [it]," Lutz told TheCarConnection.com.

Last week, other media outlets reported that Cadillac has begun working on that Cadillac and a V-12 engine to power it. There is a possibility GM will show a Cadillac V-12 concept at next week's New York auto show.

GM's plans for rear-wheel-drive cars may go even further. Steve Shannon, Buick's general manager, told TheCarConnection.com last week that a rear-wheel-drive Lucerne or Lucerne replacement was a distinct possibility by the end of the decade. GM is already working on a rear-wheel-drive Buick in China from basically the same stretchable platform that is expected to carry the Camaro and the future Cadillac.

GM insiders, in fact, said recently that GM has already initiated discussion with UAW Local 22, which represents workers at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant where the new Cadillac and Buick would be built. GM wants an understanding with the union before moving forward with the project.

However, in addition to the new rear-wheel-drive Cadillac, which is likely to come in V-8 and V-12 versions, and a plush new rear-drive Buick, GM also has a couple of additional variants planned to help polish up the Pontiac division's performance credentials, including the already announced G8 sedan and possibly, a new GTO coupe, sources have told TheCarConnection.com.

The addition of G8 and GTO to the rear-drive lineup means GM now has six rear-drive models in preparation for the U.S. market, if the V-8 and V-12 Cadillacs are counted as separate cars. The number could grow to seven if GM pulls the trigger on a rear-wheel-drive Firebird, which also has been rumored.

In the old days, GM might have been content to do the Camaro and move on to the next project. The world, however, has changed and the only way GM could make the Camaro plan work was to stretch the program and spread its cost over several new models.

Getting more models from one platform simply makes good business sense. Ford and Mazda have already done it with a couple of platforms and carmakers are even talking about sharing their platforms with rivals to help cover development expenses.

source:

http://www.thecarconnection.com/Auto_News/...173.A12113.html

Edited by NINETY EIGHT REGENCY
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Interesting, though I hope they don't show a V12 concept... it's way too far away from production. I really doubt we're getting a GTO and Firebird, if either. Certainly not both though.

Agreed, both won't happen, I think Lutz has come right out and said that at some point. However, I'd bet my left nut that we'll see another GTO. There is no point to having Pontiac if they don't do a vehicle like this.

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GM insiders, in fact, said recently that GM has already initiated discussion with UAW Local 22, which represents workers at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant where the new Cadillac and Buick would be built. GM wants an understanding with the union before moving forward with the project.

YES! YES! YES! YES! Mystery solved! Woo hoo! I'm thrilled to finally hear of future plans for Hamtramck. It built my current car, and can build my next one too. :cheering:

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GM insiders, in fact, said recently that GM has already initiated discussion with UAW Local 22, which represents workers at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant where the new Cadillac and Buick would be built. GM wants an understanding with the union before moving forward with the project.

YES! YES! YES! YES! Mystery solved! Woo hoo!

Hopefully they mean "if there *IS* a union." By the time this product line is being built, the September negotiations will be over.

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If Pontiac is going to move to a quasi niche division and pump up it's performance aspect, there is room for a GTO and a Firebird together. Bring 'em on!

i know that other's may not share my same thoughts but i agree with your statement BUT only if the firebird is the chevy twin and the gto is something completely different. i would like to see the gto become what it was to begin with, a small car with a big engine! i would love to see gm replace the fwd g6 with a rwd car and offer a v8 version with a lot of performance and styling upgrades and changes to make it a gto.

if they don't do something like this then i would suggest just the gto as the zeta twin but it has to look like a pontiac not like a retro car but it should have some obvious gto cues.

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From another board posted by a member there:

Macphisto:

Yes. The Firebird would replace the G6 coupe in the lineup. Currently GM has no intention of putting Camaro and Firebird on the same platform again. They're trying to prevent overlap. The only case where this might be so is with the GTO where they do not want to slap a GTO badge on a V6 coupe yet they do think a larger V6 RWD coupe could sell. They're not sure they want to bring back the Monte Carlo or resurrect the Chevelle nameplate for Chevy because of dilution of product - they don't want to rob those nameplates of a V8 if they are brought back. There's been talk of resurrecting the Pontiac Tempest nameplate and making the V8 versions upgraded and badged as GTO, similar to what originally happened with the GTO.

Camaro will stay on Zeta and will be the larger of the two former F-bodies IF Firebird does get built. Chances are we would also see the Firebird convertible maintain Pontiac's hardtop entry the the G6 created. The Firebird would end up being about 8-10 inches shorter than Camaro in length.

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From another board posted by a member there:

Macphisto:

Yes. The Firebird would replace the G6 coupe in the lineup. Currently GM has no intention of putting Camaro and Firebird on the same platform again. They're trying to prevent overlap. The only case where this might be so is with the GTO where they do not want to slap a GTO badge on a V6 coupe yet they do think a larger V6 RWD coupe could sell. They're not sure they want to bring back the Monte Carlo or resurrect the Chevelle nameplate for Chevy because of dilution of product - they don't want to rob those nameplates of a V8 if they are brought back. There's been talk of resurrecting the Pontiac Tempest nameplate and making the V8 versions upgraded and badged as GTO, similar to what originally happened with the GTO.

Camaro will stay on Zeta and will be the larger of the two former F-bodies IF Firebird does get built. Chances are we would also see the Firebird convertible maintain Pontiac's hardtop entry the the G6 created. The Firebird would end up being about 8-10 inches shorter than Camaro in length.

I agree the Firebird would have to be a different car from the Camaro and smaller. But this brings the question would the Firebird name be a liability if it is anything other than a Camaro clone. Pontiac does not need another car where all the whinners say it does not look like a Firebird.

In the end I would be shocked if we see a Bird anytime soon.

I feel they should either keep with G6 name or go with a new name like Banshee or some other Pontiac name that has not been used before in production. It really is time for Pontiac to move into the future and build a new reputation. If Pontiac had used Super Chief on the 64 GTO would it have lasted?

Also before we get too hog wild on 2 door coupes keep in mind they just don't sell in numbers like they did in the past, it is a limited market. I would be shocked if Chevy get any other coupes over the Camaro and Cobalt.

I expect most of the new RWD will be reserved for Pontiac, Buick and Caddy as the price range they are climbing into RWD is expected and required.

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I didn't even realize there was any doubt that the next Lucerne would be on Zeta... it definitely is.

My doubt wasn't about Lucerne's replacement, but about Hamtramck. I've been waiting to hear what happens to Hamtramck once the G-Platform ends production. Now we know. :)

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I don't understand why they would build the Lucerne and DTS at Hamtramck if they had more than enough space at Oshawa, and they will. There must be a TON of Zetas coming that we don't know about if they're going to have a HUGE plant (Oshawa) and another one (Hamtramck) both produce Zetas, but I don't see where all these units are coming from.

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Bring 'em on, baybee!!! I am salivating over the thought of a G6 replacement with RWD and a REAL NAME like Tempest... with a mild mannered coupe with a 2.8L DI and a hairy 3.6L DI turbocharged 6 speed GTO.... but it HAS to be styled in the USA.
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Tempest would make for a perfectly acceptable Pontiac coupe, IMO. I don't know why they didn't call the V-body GTO that to begin with...not as many "expectations" to shatter. An HFV6-powered, RWD, manual transmissioned, compact/smaller sized car(s) with a real name sounds like just what the doctor ordered for Pontiac.

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I don't understand why they would build the Lucerne and DTS at Hamtramck if they had more than enough space at Oshawa, and they will. There must be a TON of Zetas coming that we don't know about if they're going to have a HUGE plant (Oshawa) and another one (Hamtramck) both produce Zetas, but I don't see where all these units are coming from.

Perhaps Zeta-based Eldorado/Riviera-inspired coupes for Cadillac & Buick? :smilewide:

Maybe Saturn will be getting a sedan &/or coupe also?

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I'm going to pull a 68 here and say that Riviera should be FWD.

I'll take that and raise you two more wheels - how about AWD instead? Rear-wheel-biased, though, with a Torsen diff or something to transfer power when needed. Give Audi something to worry about.

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I was just about to contradict Oldsmoboi... but then I realized, Riviera was RWD from the time it was its own unique model in '63, up until '78, then it went FWD from '79-'99... so it was FWD for most of its life. By a good margin, my favourite FWD Riv was the '79-'85 without vinyl top. The T-Type in silver with black trim is especially sweet, too bad they didn't have the hotter, later turbo 3.8 back then.
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I was just about to contradict Oldsmoboi... but then I realized, Riviera was RWD from the time it was its own unique model in '63, up until '78, then it went FWD from '79-'99... so it was FWD for most of its life. By a good margin, my favourite FWD Riv was the '79-'85 without vinyl top. The T-Type in silver with black trim is especially sweet, too bad they didn't have the hotter, later turbo 3.8 back then.

I saw a goregous black '65 Riv today. My favorite FWD Riv was the last one--love the styling, and the '79-85 in second place...it was a crisp and clean design. I like the Eldos of that generation also, and the bustleback Seville.

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>>"By a good margin, my favourite FWD Riv was the '79-'85 without vinyl top. The T-Type in silver with black trim is especially sweet, too bad they didn't have the hotter, later turbo 3.8 back then."<<

My fav of the FWDs too; very classy yet still athletic. So, ocn, you are making a distinction between the early carb'd turbo 3.8 available starting with the '79 Riv and the later injected ones, I assume. It would be hella easy to swap a GN-spec motor in a '79-85 Riv T-Type... that would be a killer tire smoker.

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