There’s been so much news surrounding GM’s upcoming RWD models that you’d think developers were no longer focusing on building FWD cars anymore. We’ve heard plenty about the new Zeta-based Pontiac G8 and Camaro plus a new RWD small sedan for Cadillac and, until recently, it was thought GM would also make the replacement for the Chevrolet Impala a powerful rear-driver. However, latest reports claim the next Impala could be spawned from a new mid-sized FWD platform.

This new platform will feature a modular design, meaning it can be used for vehicles smaller than the current Chevrolet Malibu and Opel Vectra. It will eventually be used for the replacement for the Chevy Malibu and Pontiac G6, and now Automotive News claims it will also be used for the next Impala and Buick LaCrosse.

“Some vehicles will border on large-car market segments,” while others “will be the tightest, smallest mid-sized models,” said GM exec Jim Federico, when questioned about the new platform.

Federico also revealed that the first cars based on the architecture will be the next-gen Opel and Vauxhall Vectra, and the first North American models will be the Saturn Aura and Buick LaCrosse in 2009.

GM originally planned to build more RWD cars, including the Impala, but concerns about stricter fleet average fuel consumption standards have likely changed those plans. “The large RWD sedan is always on the bubble, depending on what the government does,” Lutz said during a recent interview.

“A lot of the product lineups are up in the air right now and very flexible.”