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GM Rear-Drive Plan Includes Big Cadillac, Big Buick

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While Ford bails on big rear-wheel-drive cars entirely and Chrysler reskins its existing 300/Charger lineup in 2011, General Motors is pushing ahead with an abbreviated version of its rear-drive plans.

As TheCarConnection.com reported a few weeks ago, the Chevrolet Camaro is still in GM’s production plan. But GM's decision not to proceed with a range of rear-drive vehicles for Pontiac, Chevrolet and Buick has changed the financial case for the car, meaning the Camaro V-8s will probably be more expensive, and meaning a hybrid Camaro has become a distinct possibility, to keep GM’s fuel-economy averages from getting too far out of line.

But there are survivors in the GM rear-drive plan other than the Camaro. TheCarConnection.com has confirmed that at least two other vehicles still will be spun from GM’s global rear-drive platform that will also underpin the new Pontiac G8.

The two divisions that will get versions of the new Australian-designed rear-drive architecture are Cadillac and Buick. TheCarConnection.com reported last year that a big rear-drive Cadillac would be spun from the new rear-drive architecture, and that the Camaro had been delayed significantly so that the new architecture would be flexible enough to support more vehicles. That big Cadillac initially had been planned to replace the STS, but sources now report that the STS and the DTS could be replaced by a single vehicle engineered in Australia.

The other vehicle, a Buick, will likely replace the big Lucerne front-drive sedan, which shares its running gear today with the DTS. The Buick version would likely spawn a version that would let GM soak up the various commercial businesses that Ford will leave behind when it exits the rear-drive market sometime before 2010. That’s when the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis/Town Car lineup is retired and replaced with a Chicago-built, all-wheel-drive car.
 
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