GM Zeta platform

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GM Zeta platform
2006-2007 Holden WM Caprice 01.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer General Motors
Also called Global RWD Architecture
Production 2006–present
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Body style(s) 2-door coupe
2-door convertible
2-door coupé utility
4-door sedan
5-door Station wagon
Chronology
Predecessor GM B platform ( for the 4th generation Caprice for the police in North America)
GM V platform (RWD)
GM F platform (for the Chevrolet Camaro)

Zeta was the original name for General Motors' full-size rear-wheel drive automobile platform developed by GM's Australian subsidiary company Holden and was most recently referred to as the "Global RWD Architecture". The GM Zeta replaced the V-body and was the basis of the VE Commodore and was considered as the replacement for the North American W, H, and K platforms until plans were cancelled during the financial crisis. Although the future of the Zeta program was in doubt during GM's financial crisis, in May 21, 2009, Holden began the development of an updated, lighter and more economical form of the platform.[1]

The Chevrolet Camaro is the only Zeta platform model to be produced in North America. All other Zeta platform vehicles are manufactured in Australia by Holden.

Australian manufactured models include the Pontiac G8 and Chevrolet SS (exported to North America), and the Vauxhall VXR8 (exported to United Kingdom). The Buick Park Avenue (which is based on the Holden WM Statesman/Caprice) is manufactured in Australia by Holden and exported to China as CKD kits.

The new version of the Zeta platform was introduced with the new Holden VF Commodore and the Chevrolet SS in 2013.[2]


Development[edit]

Development was started in late 1999 by Holden of Australia in order to replace the aging V-body platform underpinning the Commodore VT-VZ models after sister division Opel announced that the Opel Omega (on which the Commodore was based) would be discontinued. Principal development on the VE Commodore was completed by July 2004 at a cost approaching A$1 billion and the first testing mules underwent trials later that year. General Motors global corporate headquarters was impressed by the VE design and began studies on using the underlying architecture (internally christened Zeta by GM engineers) for a range of future products on a global scale. After the cancellation of the plan during GM's financial crisis, the idea of Zeta as a global rear drive platform was officially revived when GM announced the future Camaro coupe (2010) would use the platform.

Features[edit]

The Zeta architecture is designed for great flexibility and can accommodate a wide variety of automotive features such as wheelbase length, ride height, windshield rake and roof line. Zeta's suspension system is all wheel independent and utilizes a MacPherson strut coupled with a dual ball joint lower A-arm for the front and a four link independent setup for the rear wheels. The engine is mounted slightly behind the front axle giving improved weight distribution.

Present developments[edit]

GM imported the long wheelbase zeta to North America as the Chevrolet Caprice Police vehicle in 2011.[3] In May 2009, Holden began the re-engineering of the zeta platform to create a lighter, stronger, more economical and better handling version to replace the first version of the Zeta in its Australian produced cars.[4] In May 2012, GM confirmed that a limited production of a "Chevrolet SS" performance model for civilians, based on the improved zeta platform, would be sold in the US. The Holden produced Chevrolet SS made its debut in the 2013 Daytona Shootout. The Holden VF Commodore, on which the Chevrolet SS is based, went on sale the same day in Australia.[5]

Future developments[edit]

The Zeta platform will be discontinued by the end of 2017, when GM plans to discontinue car production at its subsidiary company Holden in Australia. Sigma-based vehicles that shared design engineering with Zeta have transitioned to the Alpha platform, which used Zeta as its basis. However, not all Zeta-class cars will necessarily move to Alpha. The Epsilon II platform may be used for the Holden Commodore, for example.

The Chevrolet Camaro will transition to the Alpha platform when it is next redesigned.

Vehicles[edit]

Current vehicles using this platform:

References[edit]