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GM reverses course, says revised version of Zeta rear-drive architecture is back on track


Automotive News

9/12/05

DETROIT - Six months after General Motors halted plans to use its Zeta rear-wheel-drive car architecture in North America, the company has revived the program.

In an interview with Automotive News last week, Jim Queen, GM's vice president of global engineering, said a revised version of Zeta is back on track.

Engineered at GM's Holden subsidiary in Australia, Zeta was expected to be the basis of the next-generation Pontiac Grand Prix and GTO; the Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo and a new version of the Camaro; and other vehicles. Vehicles in the program were expected to debut as early as 2006.

Queen did not discuss vehicles on the new version of Zeta or timing. Some vehicles that could be in the Zeta program include the next-generation Pontiac GTO as well as a Chevrolet coupe and sedans. They could debut by the 2009 or 2010 model year, say one company source and one industry analyst.

Queen said initial plans for Zeta stretched the architecture beyond its limits for some North American vehicles. "We needed to reassess and reconfigure the program," he said.

"As we started counting who was in and who was out of Zeta, we realized too late" that Zeta would not work in North America, Queen said.

Part of GM's reasoning in slowing Zeta's development was to focus on pulling forward its full-sized SUVs and pickups. GM's next-generation SUVs will debut early next year.

At the time, GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz wrote on GM's FastLane blog that GM had "canceled & plans to build rear-wheel-drive vehicles off the Zeta architecture."

"But that does not mean we've canceled plans to build rear-drive vehicles altogether," Lutz wrote. "We are simply reallocating resources (human and financial) to pull some other programs ahead and get other vehicles to market sooner."

The revised Zeta program is being developed in GM's Australian engineering center. The vehicle line executive on the program is Gene Stefanyshyn, the former vehicle line executive for GM's Epsilon, or mid-sized cars, in North America.

A GM spokesman said no product plans have been approved and that GM still is studying design themes, performance characteristics and variants for Zeta vehicles.

GM uses the term "architecture" to signify a common set of components, performance characteristics, a common manufacturing process, a range of dimensions and connecting points for key component systems.


(end of article)

Likely Challenger: Dodge prepping a rear-drive coupe to take on Ford's Mustang


RICK KRANZ | Automotive News

Posted Date: 6/13/05

DETROIT -- Watch out, Ford Mustang. Dodge is preparing a challenger.

In fact, it's likely to be called Challenger.

Chrysler plans to resurrect a respected name from the pony car era for a rear-wheel-drive Mustang fighter, industry sources say. The car is expected in 2009 on the LX platform, the basis of the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Magnum and Charger.

"It is a two-door, essentially a competitor for the Mustang," says Catherine Madden, a production analyst for industry research group Global Insight. "They are really excited about it."

Madden says the sport coupe is planned to debut in 2009, when the next-generation LX vehicles are scheduled to be re-engineered and restyled.

"They would be able to make some additional investment in the platform, make some adjustments for that product" at that time, she says.

"The enthusiasm for that product," Madden says, is "very big."

Chrysler hopes to sell 60,000 to 70,000 of the cars a year, she says. An assembly site was not identified. Production of the 300, Magnum and recently introduced Charger is expected to fill Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario, assembly plant.

Chrysler officials are not talking about the car, but industry analysts say they are familiar with the plans.

Jim Hall, vice president of industry analysis at AutoPacific Inc., says he isn't sure Chrysler can pull it off. "They have a lot of stuff that has to be cleared off the table before they start playing around with that car," he says.

The redesigned 2005 Mustang has exceeded initial sales estimates. Ford expects to build 192,000 Mustangs this year, and most retail units are selling at a price near the sticker.

The 1970-74 Challenger was Dodge's answer to the original Mustang, as well as the Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Firebird, Mercury Cougar, and AMC Javelin.

(end of article)

Here is a 1971 Dodge Challenger convertible for reference (they aren't that common on the roads these days).



This Challenger originally had a 318 cubic inch V-8, but the car was restored and now has a 440 6-Pack, a shaker hood, and a hurst pistol grip.








Ford should build the Australian Ford Falcon here.

check this link for FPV (Ford Performance Vehicles)

http://fpv.com.au/

The vehicle shown is a Ford FPV GT-P. The stripes can be deleted.

 

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I HATE the new muscle cars comming out of Detroit, they look nothing like their 60's and 70's parent. Take the new Charger, it's a 4 DOOR SEDAN FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!! It has NOTHING, ZERO, ZIP, ZILCH IN COMMON with the REAL Charger!

The GTO also looks NOTHING like the infamous GTO of the 60's, my fathers GTO measured gas by gallons a mile, the ride was as refined as that of a Horse, and the interior was as about as plush as a 1 Star Hotel, but damn that was faster than any other car our there.

I want a REAL MUSCLE CAR WITH REAL LINES, and not just a Charger or GTO emblem on a Grand Am or a Nissan!!!!!!!
 

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The GTO also looks NOTHING like the infamous GTO of the 60's, my fathers GTO measured gas by gallons a mile, the ride was as refined as that of a Horse, and the interior was as about as plush as a 1 Star Hotel, but damn that was faster than any other car our there.
Are you serious? The original GTO wasn't exactly going to win a beauty contest, if I remember correctly is was one of the uglier muscle cars. So I get so pissed off when people say the new is so much uglier than the old one. As for power, it has a 400 HP V8! for $30,000! How much more power do you want? Pontiac has moven upscale, so it only makes sense that the new GTO is more refined than the old one.

If you want a cheap, unrefined, power loaded muscle car, wait for Chevy to drop the new Camaro/Chevelle or whatever they're going to call it...
 

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01 frontier , 89 Shelby CSX vnt
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the original GTO was based off , what today (ok 6 months ago) is called a grand am ...the tempest was a ho hum car , they dropped a big engine in it and went ...

few years later , GM wont bring Aussie vehicles here , some guy that was also a bit of a "cowboy" like delorean named lutz went behind GMs rules and dicated that a compact with a big engine would be brought to america , to replace a Front wheel drive GTO that was essentally a grand am with a 3.8 , that car almost saw the light of day .....we got the beatter gto , and one that in my book is a damn good decendent of the origianl .....

now ...if your talking 1969 GTO vs 2005 GTO , yah i can see why people are bleeding over it , the 69-70 were killer looking cars ....and went like stink too ...

and i can also see how the purists wouldnt want a modern GTO that did anything beatter than the old ones , these new ones will actually stop , turn and blow the doors of the other cars ....the old ones just went stright really fast ...

as for the charger ......its certianly more representive of the charger name then the 87 Charger ......

what the problem really is for the people that cry when the old names are used on new cars is how ford did such a damn good job on the new mustang ....we got spoiled and expect everyone to do as good of a job as ford did on the stang ...and thats pretty hard becuse for the first time in A LONG TIME ford did something perfectly ...the last time ford did something this well ? 1964
 

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Pontiac has moven upscale, so it only makes sense that the new GTO is more refined than the old one.
Your kidding right?? Ha....Ha......Ha

The new GTO has no lines of a real GTO, basically they threw a big engine in a Grand Am and slapped a GTO badge on the side and expected a lot of hype surrounding it, and they got it (maybe not the kind they wanted)!

GTO was one of the greatest muscle cars of all time, but Pontiac disgraced the nameplate by shoving this POS in our face and telling us that it's a GTO.

Ford's new Mustang is EXACTLY what a new muscle car should look like, Ford went above and beyond with the styling and taking cues from the old Mustangs.

If you want a cheap, unrefined, power loaded muscle car, wait for Chevy to drop the new Camaro/Chevelle or whatever they're going to call it...
This is EXACTLY what I want, a pure, brawny muscle car that would blow the doors off my Eldorado! I want a car that "goes like stink", and sounds like a 747 taking off!
 

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SpeedyArizona said:
Your kidding right?? Ha....Ha......Ha

The new GTO has no lines of a real GTO, basically they threw a big engine in a Grand Am and slapped a GTO badge on the side and expected a lot of hype surrounding it, and they got it (maybe not the kind they wanted)!

!
technicly not a grand am ...and if one traces the roots far enough this gto can trace its roots to the 70s Chevy Nova that was sent to austrailia for holden to produce...its been refined and evlolved over the years , so really we got a pontiac ventura GTO.....

we damn near got a grand am with a 3.8 and front wheel drive called GTO.....so it could be worse......at least the one we got is rear drive , with a vette engine , and will suck the doors off that eldo of yours ....
 

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SpeedyArizona said:
Your kidding right?? Ha....Ha......Ha

The new GTO has no lines of a real GTO, basically they threw a big engine in a Grand Am and slapped a GTO badge on the side and expected a lot of hype surrounding it, and they got it (maybe not the kind they wanted)!
Isnt that how the GTO started....they took a tempist and stuffed a big ass engine in it and said hey lets call it a GTO? And the new charger does have some of the lines of the original charger, the 66. Remember they didnt just start making chargers and GTOs in 69 or 70. The 66 charger could have been a 4 door to if you just cut the doors in half. It seems like you just cant win, the big three try to give us back our "muscle cars"(and btw the Stang was never a muscle car) and people get mad becuase they dont look exactly like the old ones....well duh theres a reason for that....its not the 60s anymore. Be happy we have 340hp hemi chargers and 400hp GTOs, and in a few years a new Challenger is said to come out. If you want a car that looks like a 69 GTO, get a 69 GTO.
 

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It was a Lemans. There's a reason they're called the poor man's GTO. And let's be honest here. What is a muscle car? A muscle car is a mid-sized platform with a larger engine and improved suspension. Nothing more. Why does it surprise then that the GTO is a re-badged Grand-Am? After all, a Chevelle is just a faster Malibu. Back in the 60s and 70s, people were exactly right. The GTO was one fugly mucle-car. However, it's the fact that the GTO was the first true muscle car (the Mustang was a pony car) and the Judge was something to be feared. It's the history of 40 years surrounding the vehicle that makes it one of the most beautiful muscle cars today. Instead of blasting the way today's muscle cars look, ask how people will see today's muscle cars in 40 years?

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have high hopes for the new Camaro and Firebird as the new Solstice looks sweet.

The new Mustang is awesome, but what is the next one going to look like? A 73 Mustang?







 

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the original GTO was based of a TEMPEST , later GTOs came from the lemans ....

the new GTO shares NOTHING with a grand am , outside the little arrowhead symbol on the nose ....and even thats specific to the gto ...Grand Ams are FRONT WHEEL DRIVE , GTOs have rear wheel drive and a 400hp V8 (more than any GTO before it)....im getting real tired of everyone bound and deterimed there the same car , there not , not even close
 

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Probability over absolution. Most people that see a GTO are just gonna ask, "gee, that looks like a Grand-Am." Yes, they're different vehicles, but it's what the average joe thinks when he sees one driving down the street. And a Tempest, or Lemans couldn't run 13-second ETs either without a little help.

Brian
 

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90Brougham350 said:
Probability over absolution. Most people that see a GTO are just gonna ask, "gee, that looks like a Grand-Am." Yes, they're different vehicles, but it's what the average joe thinks when he sees one driving down the street.
I saw one of the new goats around here, image wise it didnt impress me, but the looks of most of todays cars do nothing for me, it sounded great and maybe one day I'll try one out.


90Brougham350 said:
And a Tempest, or Lemans couldn't run 13-second ETs either without a little help.
maybe, maybe not, but they sure were pretty.....

http://www.pontiacowners.com/pontiac/showthread.php?t=20

K
 

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Your kidding right?? Ha....Ha......Ha

The new GTO has no lines of a real GTO, basically they threw a big engine in a Grand Am and slapped a GTO badge on the side and expected a lot of hype surrounding it, and they got it (maybe not the kind they wanted)!
No I'm not kidding, Pontiac HAS moved upscale. Look at the Solstice, G6, and new GTO.

And by the way, the new GTO isn't a Grand Am with a vette engine in it, its a Holden Monaro with a vette engine in it:lildevil::

GTO:


Monaro:


Maybe you will like the '08 GTO???
 
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