While GM’s new small rear-drive platform has been plagued with setbacks and controversy ever since we first heard about it in 2004the General’s next generation premium platform, has run into a further obstacle in the form of excess weight.
As it stands, the Cadillac ATS, scheduled for a 2012-13 introduction, weighs approximately 4000 lbs, about the same as a full-size Ford Crown Victoria Police Inteceptor. Given the Fed’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy requirements for a 35 mpg across an automaker’s fleet of cars and light trucks, having a small, BMW 1-series size car weighing that much is a big problem.
As a result, new powertrain ideas, weight saving composite materials and a re-think of suspension design are just a few of the options being considered. Whether some of these will work at reducing curb weights by around 500 lbs remains to be seen, but if anything Alpha represents almost the classic symptom of today’s society, a program that was conceived with a pure mission statement (small, hot handling rear-drive car) and deviates to the point that it tries to satisfy everybody (larger cars and larger engines) with the end result of becoming another also ran product, requiring a major shift in focus to get back on track.
[Source: GM Inside News]