Barely a month after threating to kill a bunch of future rear wheel drive programs, Bob Lutz says they will likely move ahead but the drivetrain mix will probably change. In the wake of new fuel economy proposals moving through congress, Lutz previously said the Zeta platform replacements for the cars like the Chevy Impala and Buick Lucerne would probably not be viable. Lutz was being interviewed for a Detroit Public TV interview that will air this Sunday.
During the introduction of the hybrid Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon earlier this week, GM showed two additional two-mode hybrid transmissions, one a transaxle for vehicles like the Saturn Vue and the other a longitudinal passenger car configuration. This latter model would be ideal for the Zeta vehicles as would the new diesel V-6 announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March. What do you say to a 406 lb-ft diesel hybrid Impala that gets 40mpg combined? The similarly powerful BMW 530d gets 35 mpg without a hybrid system so this is definitely viable.
[Source: Detroit News]