Nice Solstice picture attached to the article
Link:General Motors May Boost Rear-Drive Platform to Chase Chrysler
Date Posted 06-21-2005
DETROIT — The success of the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Magnum, combined with the buzz around the upcoming 2006 Pontiac Solstice, apparently has prompted General Motors to take a new look at its rear-wheel-drive car strategy, Inside Line has learned.
Earlier this year, GM delayed North American cars that had been scheduled to be built on its new Zeta rear-wheel-drive platform, also used for next-generation Holdens in Australia, due to costs. A new "Zeta Lite" platform, if approved by management, could underpin several new rear-wheel-drive sedans, including a premium Buick sedan, a latter-day Chevrolet Caprice and a possible successor to the Australia-built Pontiac GTO coupe, referred to within GM as the G8. None of the models would begin production before 2010.
The Zeta platform is related to the Sigma architecture already used by three Cadillac models — the CTS, STS and SRX — all of which are scheduled for major overhauls starting in model-year 2008. In addition, Cadillac is considering a luxury coupe and an ultraluxury sedan known internally as ULS. Both are based on Sigma and tentatively slated for 2009-'10.
Meantime, the new, low-priced, rear-drive Kappa platform used by the Solstice, on sale later this summer, will be shared with the 2007 Saturn Sky, plus two new two-seaters from Opel in Europe and possibly a Saab, in the vein of the legendary Sonnett.
What this means to you: Rear-wheel drive means more fun for the driver. Enthusiasts could have much to cheer about if GM executes its rear-drive car strategy.
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