GMI Sources: No Civilian Caprice, Other Zeta Models Possible
The Caprice may not signal the end of RWD in North America.
October 5, 2009
By: Nick Saporito
Today General Motors announced the addition of the 2011 Chevrolet Caprice Police Car to the Chevrolet lineup, but failed to announce anything regarding the chances of a civilian version of the car. The new Caprice is heavily based on the Holden Statesmen, which is a larger car than the Commodore that was the basis for the former Pontiac G8. Like the G8, this new Caprice will be produced by GM Holden in Australia, but may not make the rear-wheel drive fans in North America very happy.
GMI sources have informed us that General Motors currently has no plans to sell a civilian version of the Chevrolet Caprice police car. When the car launches in 2011, it will strictly be for police fleets only, both in V6 and V8 variations. Since the announcement of Pontiac’s death there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the possibility of a return of the Holden Commodore in the United States under a badge of one of GM’s core brands. After a public spat between GM CEO Fritz Henderson and Vice Chairman and notorious product guru Bob Lutz surrounding the possibility of the car returning as a civilian car, GM has not said much on the issue.
Sources did state that the possibility of the Caprice being sold as a civilian car does exist, but chances are low at best. Expect the entire production run of the Caprice to be for police departments only. The Holden VE lineup will be getting a refresh in the 2013 time frame, so perhaps a freshened Caprice could be sold to civilians?
Other Zeta Models
Additionally, GMI sources have confirmed to us that GM is revisiting some of the shelved North American Zeta programs. Back in late 2006 GM shelved all of the Zeta programs for North America in an effort to push up the launch of the GMT-900 trucks and SUV’s. At the time, GM’s finances also played a role in the demise of the Zeta programs.
Back then GM was looking at several Zeta programs, among them: Chevrolet Impala, Pontiac G8, Pontiac GTO, Buick Lucerne and a Cadillac. All of the programs were canceled. GMI is being told that Bob Lutz in particular is looking heavily at having Chevrolet and Cadillac Zeta cars, both sedans. Several people within GM still believe Cadillac needs a true S-Class and 7-Series competitor. The Chevrolet could ultimately be the replacement for the upcoming Caprice police car.
GM is reportedly having designers draft of proposals for the Cadillac, but nothing has been approved or green-lighted for production. Stay tuned as the decisions continue to happen!