Pictured is the Zeta-based powertrain found in the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro

Pictured is the Zeta-based powertrain found in the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro

There have been all manner of reports about General Motors’ future RWD plans over the past 12 months, with everything from the carmaker merging its Zeta and Sigma architectures for a new super platform to the introduction of a new compact RWD design to be called Alpha. According to latest reports, GM has halted its future development of its Zeta platform and any new vehicles that would have been spawned from it.

The information came directly from vice-chairman Bob Lutz, who revealed to Australian media at this week’s Detroit Auto Show that tougher fuel-economy standards and GM’s current financial crisis were the reasons behind the move.

“The strategy we had a few years ago of basically deriving a whole sweeping global portfolio off the Australian Zeta architecture ... frankly, we have had to abandon that dream,” Lutz said.

This means that GM will likely continuing using its ageing Sigma platform, which debuted back in 2002 in the first-generation CTS, for any future RWD large cars, reports GoAuto. However, there is also a chance that GM will start to adopt more FWD designs. This is a strategy that Ford will also follow, revealing that it too has killed its future RWD ambitions.

Other vehicles affected by GM’s financial problems include a right-drive version of the Camaro as well as the Camaro convertible, which Lutz said will now arrive sometime in 2011 – two years after the launch of the coupe. As for the future of the current Zeta-based Pontiac G8, Lutz said that “it all depends on what we are going to do with the Pontiac brand,” explaining that it was one of the brands currently under review. The others being Saturn, Hummer and Saab.

Finally, Lutz hinted that he would like GM to work with its Holden subsidiary on a new compact RWD platform – Alpha – but admitted that it was “not even in the plan at this point.”