Cadillac goes with Alpha & Omega

Cadillac apparently has internally approved development of a modified Zeta platform called Omega.   The Zeta platform is the GM Full-size Rear-wheel Drive platform.  GM platforms lately have received greek letters for their internal references.  The Zeta was originally designed as a replacement for the W, H, and K platforms, but was not used, instead becoming the underpinnings of the Chevrolet Camaro.  The long wheel-base version of Zeta has also arrived in the form of the Chevrolet Caprice police vehicle.

Zeta has an independent suspension utilizing MacPherson struts coupled with a dual ball joint lower A-arm in front and a four link independent setup in back.   Holden is working on a variant of Zeta to make it lighter and more economical.  One would suppose the new Cadillac Omega platform would be lighter and more premium — utilize more expensive components for the same platform in order to save more weight and improve performance.

GM Zeta Rear Wheel Drive Platform

The upcoming Gen V V-8 is the suggested powertrain for the new Top-Cadillac.  This seems a good selection to me as it should give terrific power and relatively good fuel economy for what promises to be a heavier vehicle.

The upcoming ATS will be on the Alpha platform, and the refresh of the CTS will also go onto a long-wheelbase Alpha.  Alpha was originally designed as a small rear-wheel drive program.  The advantage of the new Omega platform perhaps is that it allows for a even longer wheelbase for the upcoming Top-Cadillac.  Also, with the addition of the Omega platform for the larger Top-Cadillac (ULS?) Cadillac will have a nice mix of platforms to develop from.  The upcoming XTS is on the Epsilon II Front-wheel drive platform, although it may be all-wheel drive with rear-wheel drive bias.   It will be interesting to see how the XTS, ATS, CTS, and SRX fare in the showroom.

Eliminating Wheel-hop — 1st Gen Cadillac CTS-V

The 2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V is an excellent performance luxury sedan.  With a 400 hp LS Series V8, Brembo brakes, sport suspension, and Cadillac appointments, the first Generation CTS-V is an intriguing automobile, and a terrific used Sports Sedan value.

One weakness frequently discussed for the 1st Generation CTS-V is wheel hop.  Wheel hop happens when instead of a tire/wheel transmitting power smooth to the car, or spinning, instead literally ‘hops’ in an up and down vertical motion.  This can lead to parts destruction in rapid fashion.

For the 2nd generation CTS-V Cadillac found a solution — by making the left and right rear axles different diameters, wheel-hop was solved.  Under load, both axles have torsional spring rates; this asymmetry decouples any resonance between them, reducing axle hop.

GForce and Hendrix Engineering have come out with retro-fit kits for the 1st Generation CTS-V’s that take a similar approach:

GForce CTS-V Kit

Here is how GForce describes their kit:


The GForce $549 kit includes:

Driver side 300m Axle
Passenger side big diameter 300m axle
CV Boots
CV Clamps
CV Grease

The best solution to eliminating wheel hop is to replace both the drivers side and passenger side axles with our big and little axle kit. We designed our axle kit to provide a properly sized set of axles that will eliminate most all wheel hop in most all conditions. The trick is to have a staggered axle diameter from side to side that will break up the harmonics associated with wheel hop. Several things come into play with our design such as material, heat treating procedures, weight and twisting properties

We make our axles from billet 300m steel, the strongest material available for making drivetrain products, much stronger then chromoly. We only use certified aircraft grade 300m material for our axles.

These axles will work on all 04-07 CTS-V’s.

The best thing about our 300m axles is the fact they are compatible with either the OEM inner and outer stubs or our line of inner and outer billet stubs for the CTS-V. If you ever want to up-grade to billet stubs down the road, you just buy the stubs, swap them in and your good to go for 1000 hp. A totally modular design! This kit is for the auto enthusiast that doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty. Once the half shafts are removed from the car, it is about a one hour job per side to swap the axles out with the OEM axles.

Alternate approach: For 04-05 gets the big passenger side axle; For 06-07 gets the smaller drivers side axle. I recommend you get both as above.

The Hendrix Engineering offer includes the bar and parts for the swap and one can have it swapped locally, or one can send an axle and Hendrix Engineering will  swap it out and shoot it back.  The kit costs $329 plus S&H.  If you have them install the axle it is $379. All of the Hendrix Econo Axles are driver side and they work on all years.  Unfortunately I could not find any information about their system on their website, but they appear to be responsive if contacted directly.

For more information see: