CAFE takes another bite out of GM product plan as RWD programs fall away

A year ago the Zeta rear-wheel-drive architecture developed at General Motors Holden division in Australia looked set to spawn a host of new North American models. The platform that under-pins the new Pontiac G8 and the upcoming Chevrolet Camaro now looks like it will have much more limited application. The next generation of the Chevy Impala was due to be built on this platform alongside the Camaro but now will likely stay on an updated version of the current front-wheel-drive chassis.

The fact that the company needs to move aggressively to meet new 35mpg fuel economy standards will likely mean that higher-volume applications like the Impala go to smaller, lighter platforms instead. The fate of the rumored Alpha compact rear-drive platform is still up in the air at this point. Whether a new Zeta-based Pontiac GTO ever sees the light of day is unknown as well. The 2.9L Cadillac turbodiesel V-6 mated with the two-mode hybrid system would probably get a GTO or Impala in the ballpark of 35mpg. However, that combination would probably be too expensive to get the desired volumes on the Impala and might not appeal to prospective GTO buyers.

[Source: GoAuto via Autoblog]

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