It was reported last week that GM has killed plans to produce a rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet Impala and a Buick based on the large Zeta platform – not so quick. According to Motor Trend, the Impala will definitely stay front-wheel-drive, but a rear-wheel-drive Buick Lucerne may still be safe.
For some background history on the large rear-wheel-drive Zeta platform; the 2011 Buick Lucerne, along with the next-generation Impala and the replacement for the Cadillac STS/DTS were all going to get rear-wheel-drive. However with the new fuel-economy standards set by the Bush administration, the platform just didn’t seem fuel-efficient and green enough for GM.
Motor Trend now says that designers are working to make the Buick Lucerne smaller and lighter. Instead of a 118.5-inch-wheelbase, the next-generation Lucerne will be built on the 0.8 inches shorter midsize Zeta platform as seen on the Pontiac G8 sedan.
Adding direct-injection or hybrid power mated to the rear-wheel-drive midsized Zeta platform should yield in a higher fuel-economy for the next-generation Buick Lucerne.
No idea why they wouldn’t do the same for Impala since everyone is headed towards smaller cars anyway.
Source: Motor Trend