In 1999, GM’s Europe-based Opel division announced that it would be discontinuing its popular large sedan, the Omega. This was a problem for engineers halfway around the world in Australia, who based their popular Commodore sedan on the Omega’s old V-platform. This lead to the development of the Zeta platform, a chassis structure that GM hoped would replace a number of its own aging platforms.
13 years later, and now it appears that the Zeta platform is next up on the chopping block. With just two platforms left, Motor Authority asserts that the Zeta platform won’t last past 2017, tops. Even that might be generous.
Though development began in 1999, the first Zeta-based car was the VE Commodore, and it wasn’t launched until 2006. Though GM had hoped to replaced up to three other older platforms with the rear-wheel drive Zeta platform, those plans never materialized.
Instead, only one other GM vehicle utilized the Zeta architecture, America’s own Chevrolet Camaro. GM will also soon introduce the “Chevy SS” sedan based on the latest evolution of the Zeta platform, codenamed ZF, which features a lot of weight loss but still has roots more than a decade old.
GM already has a newer, better rear-wheel drive chassis, and its called Alpha. The Alpha platform underpins the universally-lauded Cadillac ATS, and it seems that the Zeta platform never really panned out as hoped. But there are at least a few years left to enjoy GM’s already-obsolete platform.