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]