According to a revealing article from Motor Trend, the next-generation Chevy Camaro and Cadillac CTS will use GM’s forthcoming global RWD-based platform as early as 2013. This means the two cars will shed the hailed Zeta and Sigma platforms, respectively. The move is seen as an effort by GM to make its models more global and fuel efficient, something that will help in meeting the forthcoming Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards that will be in full effect by 2012.
Unofficially dubbed Alpha, the platform is GM’s all-new compact RWD architecture that will also underpin the upcoming Cadillac ATS range. The ATS will go head-to-head with luxury C-Segment stalwarts such as the BMW 3-Series and Audi A4. Using a single platform for the ATS, CTS, and Camaro will give GM the ability to build these models under one roof, much like GM’s Oshawa plant is slated to build the Buick Regal and Cadillac XTS – both of which utilize The General’s Epsilon II platform. The move could also give GM increased flexibility in tuning the production of all three models based on demand.
According to Motor Trend, the new ATS is due out in 2014, while the new CTS could come as early as 2013. The all-new Camaro is slated for the ’15 model year.
The versatility of the Alpha platform is also going to be quite impressive. It will have to ability to stretch the CTS nearly six-inches from its current generation model to better size up to the class leaders such as the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The move gives reason to suspect that the segment will grow in length for the future. At the same time it will be compact enough to support the needs of the ATS and rival the numbers of the BMW 3-Series.
As part of the transition, the Camaro will likely be downsized to better spar with its best nemesis in the middleweight Ford Mustang and other models such as the upcoming Toyota FT-86 and Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
In effect, this could spell the end of the Zeta and Sigma platforms for GM. Though both platforms are hailed by many enthusiasts and still fairly new, it doesn’t change the fact that they seem to be too stout to find a place within GM’s future lineup going into the next decade, where efficiency will be the defining factor. The move will also hail the discontinuation of the CTS wagon and coupe variants, but hopefully not permanently.[Source: Motor Trend]