GM keeps plans for RWD Cadillac and Buick lineup
( Motor Authority )- Impending CAFE regulations may have put some of GM’s RWD sports car programs on hold but for now it looks like some of the General’s plans for a new range of large rear-driving sedans are safe. Long before fuel prices started to skyrocket and only extremists worried about carbon emissions, GM developed plans to revive its RWD heritage and got its Holden division in Australia to engineer a new large car RWD platform in the form of Zeta. Suddenly U.S. and European governments decided it was time to introduce new mileage and emissions standards to help fight global warming and GM, which had just launched its first Zeta product, Holden’s VE Commodore, was left out in the cold wondering what to do with the platform.
Initially there was worry about the Zeta-based Camaro being cut, and while the Camaro is safe for now, several other future cars from GM actually were scrapped and led designers to focus on a new smaller global RWD plan. GM has decided that certain cars being designed for Pontiac, Chevrolet and Buick will have to be scrapped, meaning that the Camaro presents a larger financial cost to the company. This will result in a more expensive Camaro V8 flagship, as well as the possibility of a hybrid Camaro to keep GM’s fuel economy averages up, according to the guys at TheCarConnection. There have been other survivors from the culling apart from the Camaro - including the new Pontiac G8, as well as a single large RWD Cadillac to replace both the STS and DTS and a replacement for the FWD Buick Lucerne.
GM’s new Alpha platform, which we previously reported on here will probably have to bear the brunt of the manufacturer’s new vehicle plans although to reach the CAFE’s 35mpg mandate by 2020 GM will still have to invest heavily in launching a range of new FWD cars and possibly some diesel models as well.
Pictured above is the Buick Park Avenue, a large RWD sedan based on the Holden Statesman and sold in parts of Asia. This was the car GM originally wanted to bring to the U.S. but the new CAFE laws have ended up delaying its arrival.