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.
Motor Trend has an interesting Cadillac ATS article up: Next-Gen Camaro, CTS to Join Small Cadillac ATS on New Rear-Drive Platform – Wide Open Throttle – Motor Trend Magazine
Fun Cadillac ATS Details from the article:
- ATS is in fact on a new RWD Alpha platform
- ATS is due in calendar year 2014 (as a 2015 model?)
- Next Generation CTS will also move to the Alpha platform and grow 6 inches in 2013 as a 2014 model
- CTS Coupe and CTS Wagon will be discontinued in favor of ATS Coupe and ATS Wagon
- Platform will be lighter than the current Cadillac CTS Sigma platform
- Next generation Chevrolet Camaro will share the same Alpha platform
- Supercharged or turbocharged version of the gas direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6 should be available (!)
- Cars will be more fuel efficient than the current models
See our other Cadillac ATS coverage
All good news except for the 2014 arrival date; I was hoping for 2012 as a 2013 model. Love that Cadillac recognizes they need to get some weight out, and bring a bit more power to the sport sedan mix. Putting the CTS on Alpha makes a lot of sense if it is flexible enough to support the range of wheelbases needed.
Edmund’s InsideLine has an interesting news mention here: 2012 Cadillac ATS Still in the Works. They show a picture of the BLS, but at least they put in a Cadillac pic.
The Cadillac ATS of course is the ‘Smaller-than-a-CTS’ BMW 3-Series Killer we are waiting for. Hearing that it might come along as a 2012 model is startling, and seems unlikely, but would be exciting if it does. A 2012 model of course would arrive in 2011. Surely we would have a Concept car or rolling examples now if the ATS were really coming out next year.
Although the title of the Article mentions 2012 ATS, the text actually says “debut” in 2012, which might mean a 2013 model, or might mean a 2014 model (the XTS ‘debuted’ this year but is at least 2 years out).
No news on what chassis the ATS will arrive on. My favorite is still the Alpha, which was to be an extended Kappa platform, or a mix of Kappa and Sigma.
Also possible is that the ATS will arrive as an AWD vehicle on the shortest Epsilon II platform.
ATS fast facts:
- Alpha / ATS internally informally referred to as the “BMW fighter” [good]
- small, rear-wheel drive luxury car for the Cadillac division [confirmed, good]
- Compete head-on with the German carmaker’s 3-series sedan [yes]
- “This car has to speak for itself,” Reuss said in a recent interview. “Before, it was all about playing defense instead of offense.” [good]
- Now, the engineering and purchasing executives are meeting together with important suppliers to stress that GM will pay top dollar if it gets the most advanced technology before other automakers. [good; not sure what they have in mind for the ATS here, but interesting]
In terms of the debate between a folding soft-top or a folding hardtop (as found on the XLR), I would need to hear more about how much the folding hardtop compromises in terms of lost trunk space. I assume the Cadillac Engineers are comparing how quiet they can make the soft top (a hard top would give more isolation) versus how much more compact the soft top is than the hard top. The folding hard tops add complication, but they are becoming more and more standard on convertibles. Convertible sales across the market as a whole are down somewhat, but I would like to see the ATS convertible arrive on schedule.
Great news that Cadillac is still planning Sedan, Coupe, and Convertible variants. This car need to sell 100K + cars per year in order to compete with 3-Series Sales.
Read more about the Cadillac ATS in our ATS Category.