NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Future Watch: Big Plans for GM's Big RWD Platform

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Future Watch: Big Plans for GM's Big RWD Platform

Date posted: 05-29-2007

Posted Image

courtesy of Edmunds.com

DETROIT — Despite earlier reports that it might have scrapped plans for a new family of rear-wheel-drive vehicles in North America, General Motors to the contrary has now expanded its Zeta architecture to include a variety of new products for Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and Pontiac, Inside Line has learned.

The first of the new Zeta models is the Pontiac G8 sedan, based on the Australian Holden Commodore SS-V and due in Pontiac showrooms in early 2008. It could be joined next spring by a new Buick Park Avenue sedan, based on the Holden Statesman and just introduced in China.

While those two rear-drive four-doors are only mildly revised versions of Australian products, the next wave of Zeta models for the States will boast unique sheet metal. They include the 2009 Chevrolet Camaro, which goes into production in late 2008 and should begin arriving at U.S. dealers in early '09. It will be followed in short order by the replacement for the Pontiac GTO, which is due in fall 2009 as a 2010 model and will continue to be built in Australia.

In mid-2010, Chevy will unveil its new rear-wheel-drive Impala, based on the Zeta platform and built in North America. (The older front-drive sedan may be carried over for a year, aimed primarily at fleet customers and rebadged as the Impala Classic.)

About the same time, the 2011 Impala will be joined by redesigned editions of the G8 and Park Avenue, which will join their Chevy counterpart on the same assembly (probably at GM's Oshawa plant in Ontario). The '11 Park Avenue may nudge the older Lucerne from Buick's lineup as the brand's flagship sedan.

Posted Image

courtesy of edmunds.com

Cadillac had planned to shift the front-drive DTS sedan to the Zeta platform for model year 2011, but instead may drop the car. Now comes word from suppliers that a future CTS will switch to Zeta, in 2013, as Cadillac phases out its current Sigma rear-drive vehicles.

What this means to you: GM's vision for rear-wheel drive appears to be wide-ranging in the post-2010 era.

Posted Image

courtesy of edmunds.com

source:

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=120968

Edited by NINETY EIGHT REGENCY
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That's sad that Sigma has to go..... I've been very happy with mine... but such is globalization and platform efficiency.

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Indeed, Sigma is an excellent albeit short-lived platform if it goes away in 2013.

In that case, I hope Zeta can kick Sigma's ass on the track, all other things equal.

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Their Cadillac info is half-baked.

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This whole RWD/ZETA/SIGMA thing is like a half decade long c*%k tease.

Just F***ing do it, a replacement for the B-bodys should have happened

TEN years ago after they dropped the beloved Impala/RoadMonster/F.B.

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The next few years should be exciting, to say the least. While having some RWD rebadges as a stop gap is good, having vehicles specifically designed for their respective brands and buyers is even better.

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Their Cadillac info is half-baked.

I agree, it is quite conflicting to what we have heard. That will make the DTS and CTS on Zeta. It does not make sense.

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I agree, it is quite conflicting to what we have heard. That will make the DTS and CTS on Zeta. It does not make sense.

It seems possible they could have a smaller and a larger sedan on the same platform..the Sigma '08 CTS is about the same size as the Zeta G8, isn't it? And there is supposed to be a LWB Zeta platform the Impala, and I presume the Zeta Buick..

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From what I understand, and anyone jump in and correct me, the Zeta platform is highly modular. There is a long nose/Short nose piece, a long cabin/medium cabin/short cabin piece, and a long tail/short tail piece and you can use any combination of the each section to piece together the desired car. A CTS may be short/medium/short, while a DTS could be long/long/long, and an STS could be short/long/short.

This doesn't take into account the coupes and caminos.... but the gist is there.

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From what I understand, and anyone jump in and correct me, the Zeta platform is highly modular. There is a long nose/Short nose piece, a long cabin/medium cabin/short cabin piece, and a long tail/short tail piece and you can use any combination of the each section to piece together the desired car. A CTS may be short/medium/short, while a DTS could be long/long/long, and an STS could be short/long/short.

This doesn't take into account the coupes and caminos.... but the gist is there.

that sounds about right from what i remember from the interview with bob about how zeta is the new "fisher body" setup.... i might have paraphrased that just off, but he mentioned something like that.
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This whole RWD/ZETA/SIGMA thing is like a half decade long c*%k tease.

Just F***ing do it, a replacement for the B-bodys should have happened

TEN years ago after they dropped the beloved Impala/RoadMonster/F.B.

SUV's won out in the market over BOF RWD sedans. ouch. I know, I know.

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This article seems half right. I suppose a GTO could be going on in AU, but the Cadillac part (DTS) is wrong and I'm pretty sure the PA date is off slightly.

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no, if the B bodies were selling at a stronger rate, they'd still be around. Also, if there was a 'huge market', the Ford CV and Mo-dog LX cars would be outselling everything.

Anyway, Edmunds is like the 'buff books' or Hollywood Tabloids, 'speculation'.

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Still need a Buick convertible on Zeta.

So, what do we have, according to this latest tease:

Impala

Camaro

G8 (yay on the reskin)

GTO

Buick sedan

Cadillac sedan

Still like to see a Cadillac coupe and a Buick convertible, along with an El Camino with an Impala front clip (like the original).

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I think we will seriously see two new FWD Lucerne and DTS models. That what I have heard. And now this confirms it, I don't think the DTS is going anywhere. If not FWD it will be RWD. The Lucerne might go if the DTS goes RWD and the Park Avenue replaces it. I think GM is being very tight lipped about the next generation of large FWD car that I think there will be. *Sales are just to good fleet or not to ignore!*

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Edit will we be getting the Park Avenue spring of 2008? It won't be coming that soon would it? I guess it is very possible, because it is already on sale in China. Someone said we would have to wait until 2009, but 2008 is a-okay with me.

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Edit will we be getting the Park Avenue spring of 2008? It won't be coming that soon would it? I guess it is very possible, because it is already on sale in China. Someone said we would have to wait until 2009, but 2008 is a-okay with me.

As much as I applaud GM's commitment to mid-size and full-size RWD vehicles, I am most excited by the rumors that a compact RWD is in the works. The so called "Alpha" Platform if you will. Personally, I have no desire for a large car or a car with lots of bells and whistles. I'll like to see a RWD vehicle that is no bigger than a Cobalt and which weighs around 3000 lbs. I'll forgo the V8 or even a V6. Just give me a the LNF 2.0 with RWD and a 6A or a Dualtronic type gearbox. Skip the spoiler, moonroof, skip the softtop, skip leather, skip Navigation, skip power seats or pedals. Give me A/C and power windows/locks, keep it simple, keep it light and build it with high quality materials, and I'll be a happy camper. I'll buy that over a BMW 335 and go on a dozen vacations with the money saved.

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It seems to me that GM sees the market shifting back to large & mid size cars.

I'm glad to see GM expanding and innovating instead of cowering and retrenching.

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As much as I applaud GM's commitment to mid-size and full-size RWD vehicles, I am most excited by the rumors that a compact RWD is in the works. The so called "Alpha" Platform if you will. Personally, I have no desire for a large car or a car with lots of bells and whistles. I'll like to see a RWD vehicle that is no bigger than a Cobalt and which weighs around 3000 lbs. I'll forgo the V8 or even a V6. Just give me a the LNF 2.0 with RWD and a 6A or a Dualtronic type gearbox. Skip the spoiler, moonroof, skip the softtop, skip leather, skip Navigation, skip power seats or pedals. Give me A/C and power windows/locks, keep it simple, keep it light and build it with high quality materials, and I'll be a happy camper. I'll buy that over a BMW 335 and go on a dozen vacations with the money saved.

+1. I personally, do think there is a nascent market for those vehicles yet untapped.

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:idhitit: What a great alternative to what is out there! I would love a car as described above - slap mine with a Diesel that will deliver Prius thumping mileage and is able to run on bio-diesel...and what a commuter that would make. Perhaps even make it a two-door wagon and badge it NOMAD? :smilewide: Just make it simple, big enough that the back seat CAN be used by something larger than a small midget if needed...and RWD.

I think there is a market for cars like this here. I know I would love an alternative to the trucks I have been buying to stay in GM and RWD.

My big problem is going to be choosing which of the new RWD platforms will I buy!

Edited by toesuf94
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Oh, I dream of a Pontiac Tempest with 2.0L Turbo DI Ecotec power, six speed transmission and no spoiler on Alpha.
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Does Oshawa have the capacity to handle all those cars? Or is Zeta production probably going to have to be split with another factory? If it does, it seems logical that Hamtramck would be retooled for it.

Edited by AxelTheRed
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If they want to remain relevant to the rest of the world (and not just North America), Cadillac and Buick are going to have to lose front-drive. If Buick is so scared of losing the elderly or the timid as a customer base, then they can keep selling FWD LaCrosses (aging gracefully, like the old A-body Century of 1982-96) alongside something more contemporary like a new RWD Centurion on the Zeta base.

Similarly, I see absolutely no reason to keep hampering the DTS with front-drive. Again, if they want to keep selling it alongside, say, a new XTS full-sizer with expanded Northstar power and a fully-independent rear-drive chassis, fine with me. But the world, specifically Europe, laughed heartily when GM tried to foist the front-drive Seville STS on Opel/Vauxhall dealers and called it a 5-Series/E-Class competitor.

Now that the CTS and its quality rear-drive platform has proven Cadillac's worth, the world isn't laughing anymore. Bring on more rear-drivers, please!

Edited by Duncan
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