When the current generation of General Motors' Zeta platform was conceived and developed by the company's Holden division in Australia, we lived in a very different world when it came to life. Gas was still cheap, and GM was planning to revive a range of rear wheel drive performance cars for Pontiac, Buick and Chevrolet. Ultimately, the Pontiac G8 and Chevrolet Camaro were the only North American models to come to fruition, with every other variant canceled as GM teeters on the brink of bankruptcy. Now the crew at Holden is looking at what to do next and smaller and lighter are the order of the day. The Holden Commodore is expected to get an updated version of the Zeta architecture with mass reductions and smaller engines coming in 2013. That platform should run through the end of the decade.
Direct injected V6s and and turbocharged fours will likely supplant V8s with transmissions getting six ratios across the board. Meanwhile hybrid and diesel powertrains may be put on ice due to cost reasons.