• Jun 1, 2007
Citing suppliers and loose-lipped employees of General Motors as its source, Inside Line has learned that the rear-wheel drive Alpha platform will be making a big splash in the automaker's product portfolio soon. The Alpha will reportedly underpin a successor to the Pontiac G6 set to arrive in late 2010. Such a vehicle would do much to enhance Pontiac's unsubstaniated claim to build excitement, and would also augment the upcoming Zeta-based, rear-wheel-drive G8 sedan nicely. After that, the Alpha will take up residence beneath the next-generation Cadillac BLS sedan that's currently sold only in Europe. Once it makes the switch, IL expects the BLS to cross the Atlantic and slot in below the CTS in Cadillac's North American lineup. Next up would be a new rear-wheel-drive Alpha-based sedan for Saturn that would be positioned below the front-wheel drive Aura and above the Astra.

The Alpha infusion would occur in GM's lineup just as the aged front-wheel-drive W-body platform is phased out and replaced by the Epsilon II platform. The W-based Buick LaCrosse will make way for an Epsilon II successor that revives the Regal name, while the next-gen Malibu and Aura will move over to the new platform, as well. The Malibu may also be offered in a long-wheelbase version to appease current Impala customers who will still need a large, front-wheel-drive sedan once that car jumps to the rear-wheel-drive Zeta platform.

Regardless of whether any of these plans actually happen (nothing's written in stone in this business), it's clear that GM's push to globalize its platforms is on track.

[Source: Inside Line]



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  • 17 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Talk about brand overkill. Personally I would move all saturn cars and dealers over to Pontiac and then kill the saturn badge altogether. kill buick everywhere apart from china in which they should rebadge Cadillacs for chinese markets and kill hummer completely.

      Sell Saab as soon as possible cos it just don't fit in with GM anywhere.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I guess I would have to buy the BLS. After all how often can you buy a car that comes pre-monogramed for you. Normally you have to take your car to 'Things Remembered' and it is just a giant hassle.
        • 7 Years Ago
        BLS-
        Just be glad your parents didn't name you Cimmaron
          • 7 Years Ago
          Everything else held constant RWD is better for performance. Touring car racing gives a weight disadvantage to RWD cars because of their inherent superiority over FWD: http://www.fiawtcc.com/

          A poorly executed RWD car can be worse than an incredibly well executed FWD car like the Prelude, but whether GM's cars are FWD or RWD they will be executed by GM, so the execution variable is constant. There will be a rigid frame and fully independent suspension, so things look good.

          The G8 is a bit too big for my tastes, so I look forward to the Alpha cars, especially if they come with the brilliant 260HP Ecotech Turbo and a decent 6 speed manual.
      Christopher
      • 7 Years Ago
      a mid size rear driver to replace the current G6 in the model lineup? very nice! i like the G6 GTP coupe cause i think it's a sweet looking sporty coupe. i like the chrome ringed guages on the inside, but something with a bit nicer center stack, evolutionary styling change over the current car, with rear drive offering a mix of 4cyl and 6cyl engines should do really well. sportier trim lines will need a sufficiently sporty feeling suspension for good handling dynamics, and all engine choices need to offer both the new 6spd auto and a 6spd manual transmission.
      room in the engine bay for a V8 would certainly be a plus, but perhaps save that only for a high performance GXP version so as not to compete too directly with it's own big brother G8.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It all hinges on chassis capability, and design. A RWD smaller-than-zeta could be good for weight and modest size. More than two-seats-like-kappa would be a boon for practicality.

      A smart looking, sleek pontiac RWD coupe could be very nice, especially if it is slightly smaller, and significantly lighter than the Zeta platform. V8 power, or at least enough room in the engine bay to stuff a V8 would be nice, too. Who says that a pontiac RWD coupe needs to platform-share with the Camaro?
      • 7 Years Ago
      What about the 6L45, is is DOA? 258ft-lbs max torque?
      GM has plenty of V6s, the 2.8 'high feature' would be nice. [hopefully with direct injection by that time] or a 3.2 version [ala Alfa Romeo]
      or a nice diesel perhaps.

      http://media.gm.com/division/2004_prodinfo/tech_displays/powertrain/rwd_6speed.pdf
      Ben K.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM is on the right track with the Delta, Epsilon, Sigma, Zeta and now the Alpha. FWD for smaller to midsize cars and RWD for midsize to fullsize cars. Giving buyers more choices, the variety of models is paramount. Example the new 2008 Cadillac CTS will offer sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon models. The 2011 rear wheel drive G6 should be an improvement over the current model. Execution is a must, Bob Lutz will see to that!
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM is hitting.
      with Toyota losing due to poor quality and recalls.these all gives GM a chance to win back consumers.
      they are making some great moves.Pontiac should have the RWD and Saturn should get a RWD couple based off GTC concept ofcourse with updates.
      as for Buick, Caddy should get AWD or some kind of dual mode.
      what about Saab?are they left out again?
      i thought gm wanted Saab a step from Saturn.
      they aren't Saab enough to fit that role.
      i would like to buy a Saturn Corsa now, and down the road progress to Saab maybe Buick if gm were to bring Park ave,and Saab diesel hatch.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "with Toyota losing due to poor quality and recalls"

        Have you been in a comma for a while or just expressing your wishful thinking? Gm can't win back what they didn't have. GM.s poor quality and recalls didn't get them the customers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      A G-6 sized car with rwd and a similar price would be awesome. I would buy it. Really, I would.

      Use the same platform for Saturn? That's kinda a dumb idea. Saturn should be more import orinted toward fwd. I would use it for a new Regal, but not a Saturn.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I see no need for a RWD platform for SATURN or BUICK for that matter........unless Saturn is looking to build a serious, high performance coupe much like that OPEL concept that I fell in lust with. They would be better off with AWD in any event.


      As for a RWD Cadilac BLS, frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.
      • 7 Years Ago
      wow, this could be a really good line up (if all this comes to fruition).

      Solstice - RWD roadster starting at 20k.
      Drop the G5
      G6 - RWD mid-size sedan and coupé, something that no other brand in it's class offers.
      Trans Am - based of of Zeta RWD platform and automatically given more hp and more performance oriented than Camaro.
      G8 - large, RWD sedan that throws it down against the 300C.
      G7 - RWD 4 door coupé positioned above the G8, ala CLS to E - Class.
      Drop the Torrent, and replace it w/ a small, but very good looking RWD crossover (think Mazda CX-7 size) using either Alpha or Zeta platform.
      • 7 Years Ago
      [From the post] "Such a vehicle would do much to enhance Pontiac's unsubstaniated claim to build excitement"

      Perhaps. But RWD doesn't automatically make for a great chassis. The execution of a car is just as, if not more important, than its layout. Drive a last-generation Prelude and you'll see what I mean.

      I hope for good things from GM, but RWD is not a magic bullet.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wouldn't it make sense to put the Camaro on this platform rather than the larger one? After all, pony cars aren't supposed to be milk cows, right?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes, it probably would a more suitable platform. However you'll recall earlier this year when Maximum Bob announced the "pause" in GM's full-size RWD development, he also said the Camaro was too far into development to stop, which means it's also too late to switch it to another platform.
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