The news came from UAW officials who were supposed to keep quiet on the subject. Details of the project, which will begin production in 2011, were released as part of UAW publicity for the new labor agreement with GM.

The car, code-named Alpha, will feature two body styles built on a completely new architecture. The Alpha will be targeted at entry-level luxury buyers, sized bigger than the Gamma platform used by Opel and Vauxhall for the Corsa and Corsavan, but smaller than a full-sized sedan.

No word yet on which of GM's brands will carry the new models, but Pontiac seems an unlikely choice, as GM has hinted that badge to be the choice for more economically-priced rear-drive cars. A smaller, luxurious rear-drive would fit nicely in Chevrolet's lineup, especially alongside the new Camaro. A smaller sibling to the CTS is also not completely out of the question, especially considering Bob Lutz's intimations last year of a coming BMW 1-series rival, and rumors this spring of a new entry-level rear-drive Caddy.