Click above for high-res gallery of the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT

After our sampling of General Motors' rear-wheel-drive Zeta platform in the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT, we must admit that we're smitten with the platform. Its future in GM's North America car lineup, however, remains in question thanks to stricter CAFE standards that start going into effect by 2011. While the G8, G8 Sport Truck (actual name still pending) and Camaro are all guaranteed a spot on the Zeta platform, other vehicles like large RWD sedans for Chevy and Buick are likely dead in the water, according to Motor Trend. Hopes for a RWD Impala are all but gone thanks to strong sales of the current front-wheel-drive model, which continue despite the success of the now similarly sized Malibu.

Motor Trend also notes that GM plans to merge its current Sigma RWD platform with the Zeta around 2011. At that time, the Zeta/Sigma platform will be built in three sizes – coupe, midsize with 114.8-inch wheelbase and large with 118.5-inch wheelbase – and offer a premium version of each with forged aluminum suspension components. See the list below for a breakdown of how MT thinks things will look by 2011.

Zeta/Sigma variants:

  • Coupe – Camaro, maybe Holden Monaro and Pontiac G8 Coupe
  • Coupe Premium – Cadillac CTS Coupe
  • Midsize – Pontiac G8 and Holden Monaro, maybe Chevy sedan (not Impala)
  • Midsize Premium – Cadillac CTS Sedan
  • Large – Holden Statesmen/Buick Park Avenue (China), Holden Ute/Pontiac GT ST, maybe Buick Lucerne replacement
  • Large Premium – Cadillac STS/DTS replacement
Finally, MT also speculates that GM is working on a small rear-drive platform for Cadillac in Europe. The resulting 3-Series fighter would give Caddy more cachet in the old country, though MT does not specify is this would be an all-new platform or a larger variant of the Kappa platform that underpins the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky.

Related GalleryReview: 2008 Pontiac G8 GT

[Source: Motor Trend]