Oracle of Delphi

Lightened Next-Gen Zeta Platform Also Will Underpin Caddy, Buick

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General Motors' next-generation Zeta rear-drive platform will be heavily updated from its current form, with lots of high-strength steel to bring down weight. The price point of the cars that will use the platform makes this possible. They will include a new Chevrolet sport sedan on the shorter of two Zeta wheelbases. Think of it conceptually as a kind of four-door Camaro, even as the '14 Camaro moves to the new, smaller Alpha platform.

GM is still working on a flagship for the brand, a Sixteen-inspired low-volume car, likely with a small-block V-8, designed to give Cadillac street cred in Europe and Asia as the resurgent Standard of the World. With post-bankruptcy GM ramping up and adjusting product development at a rapid rate, future product plans are changing monthly, and mostly for the better.

Latest word is that a Zeta-based large Cadillac sedan is back on. It's separate from the flagship in the way a garden-variety Mercedes-Benz S-Class/BMW 7 Series is separate from a Maybach or Rolls-Royce. The goal for the Cadillac flagship is said to be $125,000 to $140,000, still well under the price of a Roller or Maybach, and closer to the Bentley Continental.

The flagship will buoy the mainstream Cadillac lineup, including the larger 2014 CTS and a new Zeta sedan. Don't be misled by the Zeta platform name. GM is developing an all-new, next-generation Zeta to be much lighter than the overweight architecture developed for the Camaro, Pontiac G8, and large Holdens. Because Zeta is a platform for premium models, GM can use a lot of high-strength steel in the new line, which includes a next-generation Holden Statesman.

The mainstream version of the Commodore, which is currently a family of large RWD Holdens, will switch to the Epsilon II platform (possibly with a name change), while the Statesman and more premium Commodore models will go on the new Zeta. The Chevy sedan, a cushier Buick, and the rear-drive Commodore variant will run on the shorter of two Zeta wheelbases, while a long-wheelbase version will underpin the Cadillac, the Holden Statesman, and possibly a Chinese-market Buick. As Cadillac's S-Class, the long-wheelbase Zeta sedan will be priced and positioned above the coming '12 XTS on the Epsilon II platform and the '14 CTS, which grows slightly to be about the same size as the BMW 5 Series.

Link: http://www.motortrend.com/features/auto_news/1011_rear_drive_chevy_sport_sedan_is_back_on/index.html

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Wow...Zeta Evo. That the source is Motor Trend gives me cause for concern, as they tend to be less accurate w/ the rumours than other mags..but it should be interesting.

Hard to believe GM has both Alpha and an NG Zeta platform planned...I had assumed they would work towards 100% FWD cars...

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Okay, so basically?

  • The "mainstream Commodores" the article mentions are the Omega and Berlina trims, possibly the Calais as well. I would expect to see these models replaced by a Holden-tweaked Chevrolet Malibu that will adopt, if I had to guess, the Omega nameplate.
  • The Chevrolet Zeta will be aligned with the NG Holden Commodore on SWB Zeta II. The Commodore will be reduced down to re-named equivalents of the SV6 and SS trims. I do believe this is what a certain someone's signature has been indicating. If so, the police-spec Caprice will also be replaced by this car here in the States. As for design differences, if we do see any, the rear fascias, door skins, front quarter panels, front fascias, and hoods could be the target areas.
  • The NG Buick Park Avenue and NG Holden Statesman will share the same relationship they share currently, especially regarding luxury content over the short-wheelbase versions. Design changes, if there are any, may be akin to what has been described above.
  • The Cadillac "ZTS" or LWB Hi-Lux Zeta Cadillac will sit above all of these models, having very impressive content in luxury, safety, and performance. No other brand will share in this particular Zeta car.

Edited by whiteknight

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GM is still working on a flagship for the brand, a Sixteen-inspired low-volume car, likely with a small-block V-8, designed to give Cadillac street cred in Europe and Asia as the resurgent Standard of the World.

The goal for the Cadillac flagship is said to be $125,000 to $140,000, still well under the price of a Roller or Maybach, and closer to the Bentley Continental.

Right, because Europe wants pushrod V8s, and that builds street cred there. Europeans will laugh at it, and say Cadillac took the engine out of a Chevy pickup truck.

That is some pretty ambitious pricing as well, nearing the price of an S600. If they are going after the S600, Cadillac better bring it like they have never brought it before. The R&D budget to make a car like this is huge, I am skeptical of GM giving Cadillac that much money for a low volume product.

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Right, because Europe wants pushrod V8s, and that builds street cred there. Europeans will laugh at it, and say Cadillac took the engine out of a Chevy pickup truck.

That is some pretty ambitious pricing as well, nearing the price of an S600. If they are going after the S600, Cadillac better bring it like they have never brought it before. The R&D budget to make a car like this is huge, I am skeptical of GM giving Cadillac that much money for a low volume product.

I knew I should have put down some newspaper. Leave it up to you to piss all over the party. That's fine. You're going to have your nose rubbed in it anyway.

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I knew I should have put down some newspaper. Leave it up to you to piss all over the party. That's fine. You're going to have your nose rubbed in it anyway.

I'd like to see Cadillac do it, I've been saying for years they need to go up market and forget about the old geezers and forget about volume leaders and make high dollar, high profit cars. But this is territory GM has never been in, and isn't yet equipped to build cars for. Does Cadillac realize twin-turbo V12s is pretty much the norm in this class? They don't have one. Do they realize it takes 120 hours to make the headliner for a Bentley? I'd love to see Cadillac do it and put American cars back on the map, but I am not going to get my hopes up. This is the brand that made the XTS.

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Cadlliac doesn't compete with Bentley, they compete with BMW. BMW doesn't take 120 hours to make a headliners.

V12s are great unless you know, they get outpowered by V8's.

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I'd like to see Cadillac do it, I've been saying for years they need to go up market and forget about the old geezers and forget about volume leaders and make high dollar, high profit cars.

Well, they've pretty much been doing just that lately.

Remembering what I know about the XTS, I'm going to stop looking at it as a DTS replacement from here on out. It's obviously too high-brow for the blue-hairs. Hopefully the production car will serve, in spirit, as a sort of four-door Eldorado replacement, a Cadillac that marches to the beat of a different drum.

But this is territory GM has never been in, and isn't yet equipped to build cars for.

GM's built luxury cars before with high-tech gizmos. I'm not going to waste my time with examples because you're too lazy to educate yourself.

As for GM not being equipped for not building such a Cadillac, things change. Good job for bringing up a real moot point.

Does Cadillac realize twin-turbo V12s is pretty much the norm in this class? They don't have one. Do they realize it takes 120 hours to make the headliner for a Bentley? I'd love to see Cadillac do it and put American cars back on the map, but I am not going to get my hopes up.

Christ. :facepalm:

Dodgefan already put a lid on this load of crap:

Cadlliac doesn't compete with Bentley, they compete with BMW. BMW doesn't take 120 hours to make a headliners.

And V-12s? Ha. I think we're going to be lucky to see the NG Viper carry on with a V-10.

BTW, Lamborghini isn't going to use a V-12 in the Murcielago replacement. They've decided that they can live without two extra cylinders. I suppose they're now uncompetitive versus their competition too, huh?

This is the brand that made the XTS.

FYI, this is a brand that made the first 16-cylinder engine back in the 1930s. The Veyron's two glued-together V8s can go screw themselves.

Now, don't make me swat at you with a rolled up newspaper.

Edited by whiteknight
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Cadlliac doesn't compete with Bentley, they compete with BMW. BMW doesn't take 120 hours to make a headliners.

V12s are great unless you know, they get outpowered by V8's.

And what V8 is out powering the AMG V12's 738 lb-ft of torque? And it is 738 only because that is the max the transmission can handle, Mercedes has a new transmission in the works and plans to increase torque to 850 lb-ft. Note also that a car like this has to be very quiet, and something like a ZR-1 engine is not quiet. And it doesn't matter the power output, a V12 is still a V12 and that gives you status and people will pay for that.

This price point is all about status, and you can't find status on the stat sheet, that is what Cadillac's biggest challenge will be. Look at the Rolls-Royce Phantom for example, on a stat sheet, it doesn't stack up well to any other uber sedan, yet in status, it crushes them all.

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Well, they've pretty much been doing just that lately.

Remembering what I know about the XTS, I'm going to stop looking at it as a DTS replacement from here on out. It's obviously too high-brow for the blue-hairs. Hopefully the production car will serve, in spirit, as a sort of four-door Eldorado replacement, a Cadillac that marches to the beat of a different drum.

GM's built luxury cars before with high-tech gizmos. I'm not going to waste my time with examples because you're too lazy to educate yourself.

Cadillac has not been going up market lately, they have gone down, the SRX is $10,000 less than the model it replaces. The XTS is a DTS on a LaCrosse platform, yawn.

Cadillac built high dollar cars in the 1930s, but that is a long time ago, today no Cadillac sedan carries a base price of $50,000 or more, and the only two priced over $40,000 are set to end production in a year.

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And what V8 is out powering the AMG V12's 738 lb-ft of torque? And it is 738 only because that is the max the transmission can handle, Mercedes has a new transmission in the works and plans to increase torque to 850 lb-ft. Note also that a car like this has to be very quiet, and something like a ZR-1 engine is not quiet. And it doesn't matter the power output, a V12 is still a V12 and that gives you status and people will pay for that.

This price point is all about status, and you can't find status on the stat sheet, that is what Cadillac's biggest challenge will be. Look at the Rolls-Royce Phantom for example, on a stat sheet, it doesn't stack up well to any other uber sedan, yet in status, it crushes them all.

Good lord, can you just shut up for once? We know zero about this car (two thirds of the article are guesses), and you've already declared it a loser. Why are you even on this site when you are a perpetual pessimist and GM basher? I'm all for dealing with some harsh truth about the downsides of vehicles, but you are so utterly consistent about crapping all over everything that you just consistently piss of the majority of the site. Take a hint & tone it down.

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And what V8 is out powering the AMG V12's 738 lb-ft of torque? And it is 738 only because that is the max the transmission can handle, Mercedes has a new transmission in the works and plans to increase torque to 850 lb-ft. Note also that a car like this has to be very quiet, and something like a ZR-1 engine is not quiet. And it doesn't matter the power output, a V12 is still a V12 and that gives you status and people will pay for that.

This price point is all about status, and you can't find status on the stat sheet, that is what Cadillac's biggest challenge will be. Look at the Rolls-Royce Phantom for example, on a stat sheet, it doesn't stack up well to any other uber sedan, yet in status, it crushes them all.

So someone stomps on your misconception about where this possible new Cadillac would stand, so you instead go on bitching about V-12s vs. V8s.

Your little torque rating there doesn't equal up to anything. The AMG V12 can only motive a car as large as the CL from 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds. Pretty slow compared to other cars out there in this segment. The Merc's downfall is its heavy weight.

Which, if you will, note that a key point in the article posted is that GM is significantly reducing weight of the NG Zeta platform. Currently, the Holden Statesman rings up at 4,100 pounds, so if the NG car is a good few-hundred pounds lighter than that, I think something like a twin-turbo, direct-injected, high-tech small-block V8 will be more than sufficient at allowing this potential new Cadillac to play with its intended competition. Going further, the current Statesman-based HSV Grange, which again weighs 4,100 pounds, can go from 0 to 60 in about 5 seconds, just a few fractions of a second away from making the AMG crew look like a bunch of incompetent morons.

I'd also count on a V-Series version of a hi-lux Cadillac, too.

Are you finally seeing the forest and not just the trees? No, probably not. It wasn't even worth a try.

Edited by whiteknight

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Cadillac has not been going up market lately, they have gone down, the SRX is $10,000 less than the model it replaces. The XTS is a DTS on a LaCrosse platform, yawn.

Were you saying something? You know? Something intelligent? No. I didn't think so.

Cadillac built high dollar cars in the 1930s, but that is a long time ago,

So? It's still part of Cadillac's history. If Cadillac did it once, they can do it again.

today no Cadillac sedan carries a base price of $50,000 or more, and the only two priced over $40,000 are set to end production in a year.

Were you saying something?

Edited by whiteknight

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I hope Cadillac builds a flagship car and it's the best car in the world. I'd love to see Cadillac get back to being the standard of the world, and not become another Lincoln. All I am saying is I am not going to get my hopes up until I see the car. We've seen numerous attempts by other car companies to dethrone the S-class over the past 25 years and all came up short. Cadillac may be no different than all the others, hopefully they get it right.

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Great news! Brings some hope back amidst the rubble.

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with lots of high-strength steel to bring down weight. The price point of the cars that will use the platform makes this possible.

Sorry for the frankness but this is complete bull$h!. Mazda used 'lots of high-strength steel' when they last redesigned both the Mazda 2 and the Mazda 6, and the price points of those 2 cars have nothing to do with the ones we're talking here (top-of-the-line Cadillac).

That said, hope this lightened NG Zeta becomes reality. And it's good to see you postng again, B! I'm not a Twitter fan, so I lost track of you after you went silent on MSN.

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Three things come to mind.

1. The new CTS has proven Cadillac can build world class product and win in the market place.

2. The Escalade does sell for over $75,000. It also happens to be a strong seller for them. If nothing else it got people to notice Cadillac, which is what a halo car is supposed to do.

3. Being environmental stewards has become important even for the wealthy. If Cadillac can get a V-8 to have the horsepower of a V-12, that can use alternative fuel and get the gas mileage of a V-6, the wealthy will buy it in droves, just like people have with the Equinox.

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