G8, Camaro to be the last Zeta-based cars sold in U.S.

The upcoming Chevrolet Camaro will be the last car to ride on GM's Zeta platform in the U.S., with future derivatives likely canceled, meaning that General Motors' promising full-size rear-drive revolution has come to a dramatic close. The Australian-developed Zeta platform was intended to be the automaker's global rear-drive platform, but recent changes have forced the company to abandon the performance-oriented platform.

GM's Zeta platform underpins the Pontiac G8 and the upcoming Chevrolet Camaro, but the sporty muscle car will be the last we see of the Zeta architecture - in any form -- in the U.S. Before the recent financial crisis hit, GM was planning to spin off its Zeta and Sigma II (Cadillac CTS) architectures into a new Alpha platform, giving the company a base for next-generation small and mid-size rear-drivers, but the future of that platform is unknown.

"The strategy we had a few years ago of basically deriving a whole sweeping global portfolio off the Australian Zeta architecture ... frankly, we have had to abandon that dream," GM vice chairman Bob Lutz told GoAuto.

GM's Alpha platform was earmarked to underpin several future models, including the Cadillac CTS sedan and Pontiac Solstice. The Alpha platform would have likely underpinned a smaller Cadillac sedan as well.