DETROIT - Chevrolet's next Camaro will switch to the global Alpha platform that General Motors is developing for Cadillac's new BMW 3 Series fighter. The new Camaro is scheduled for the 2014 calendar year according to consultancy firm Grant Thornton LLP and analysis firm CSM Worldwide.
Grant Thornton director James Ricci outlined GM's rear-wheel-drive model plans in a presentation to the Automotive Press Association Thursday afternoon, on the subject of major automakers' move to more common, global platforms. He included some information GM probably would prefer hadn't gone public.
Along with the 2015 Camaro, the Alpha platform would replace the Sigma platform under Cadillac's CTS sedan a year earlier, in calendar '13 as the '14 model. Ricci says the CTS coupe and wagon would then be discontinued. As we've reported in the past, the next CTS is to grow in size, solidifying its position as Cadillac's mainstream luxury car.
The Alpha-based 3 Series fighter, codenamed ATS, would be the global-market luxury model slotted below the CTS in price. GM already has previewed a coupe version of the ATS. There will also be a sedan and possibly a wagon. The ATS is due in calendar '14, about the same time as the next Camaro.
Keep in mind that in Grant Thornton's world, "global platform" refers to manufacturing processes and the ability to build several related models in one factory. This would allow GM to adjust production between Camaro, ATS and CTS depending on demand.
So with Alpha handling two different-sized Cadillacs and the Camaro, it would have to be a very flexible RWD platform. We expect the CTS sedan to grow about half a foot in overall length from its current 191.8 inches. Alpha will thus accommodate at least two wheelbases; the current CTS has a 113.4-inch wheelbase and the Camaro's is 112.3.
We expect the next Camaro to be lighter, to GM North American President Mark Reuss' liking, and somewhat smaller, with a supercharged or turbocharged version of the gas direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6 the SS performance engine. Less heft will enable GM's entry in the muscle car battle to better challenge the more nimble Mustang. All cars will have to be more fuel efficient to meet 2012-16 Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, and the move in general will be to shorter overhangs and larger or unchanged wheelbases, in order to take advantage of the CAFE "footprint" formula.
GM had been considering a next-generation Camaro on the Alpha platform since before the latest model launched on the Zeta platform last year. Designed for Cadillac, though, it was considered too expensive for a sub-$30,000 (base price) sport coupe. The Grant Thornton revelation suggests that various levels of, for example, aluminum and other lightweight materials will be used, depending on whether it's a Chevy or a Cadillac.
Source: MotorTrend WOT