GM Epsilon platform

GM Epsilon platform

Infobox Automobile
name=GM Epsilon platform
manufacturer=General Motors
production=2003–present
class=Mid-size (C/D) platform
predecessor=GM N platform
GM2900 platform
similar=Nissan D platform
Ford EUCD platform
Ford CD3 platform

Epsilon is General Motors' new mid-size front-wheel drive automobile platform. The architecture debuted in the 2002 Opel Vectra and 2003 Saab 9-3. Since this platform falls squarely in the center of the worldwide automobile market, GM plans to produce a great many Epsilon vehicles with over a dozen variations. As of 2005, it is GM's highest volume worldwide platform (or "architecture" in GM-speak). Even after the dissolution of the GM/Fiat partnership, both companies retain the rights to continue developing Epsilon-derived models.

Features

GM's Epsilon platform replaced the N platform in the US, and replaced the GM2900 platform elsewhere. Vehicles of this platform generally carry the symbol "Z" in the fourth digit of their VINs.

When the platform debuted, there was talk of an "Epsilon Wide" derivative, which was supposed to have provided the underpinnings for the Buick LaCrosse and Saab 9-5. However, the program was cancelled and the LaCrosse was put on the W platform, and the 9-5 was given a quick refresh for the 2006 model year.

Many of the Epsilon vehicles use the Ecotec Family II I4 engines and both the High Value and High Feature V6 engines.

Control of the Epsilon platform has passed, as of 2005, to GM Europe. Headquartered with Opel in Rüsselsheim, Germany, GM Europe will be responsible for all future Epsilon product decisions other than Saab and Cadillac models.

The refreshed 2008 SAAB 9-3 debuted with an advanced version of all-wheel-drive it dubbed XWD, finally giving a definitive answer to rumors about the platform's ability to support AWD, which had been around since the debut of the platform.

Vehicles

Current vehicles based on this platform:
* Regular
** 2002 Opel Vectra
** 2003 Saab 9-3
** 2004 Chevrolet Malibu
** 2006 Cadillac BLS

* Extended
** 2003 Opel Signum
** 2004 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx
** 2005 Pontiac G6
** 2005 Fiat Croma
** 2007 Saturn Aura
** 2008 Chevrolet Malibu

Cancelled vehicles which would have used this platform:
* 2006 Alfa Romeo Spider replacement (AWD, eventually used the GM/Fiat Premium platform)
* 2006 small Buick

Criticism

Jeremy Clarkson, whilst driving a Vauxhall Vectra built with this chassis, described it as "one of the worst chassis I've ever come across", due to the way the Vectra with the 2.8 V6 turbo torque steered and was unable to handle its power. Improvements to the Vectra have been made, and the 9-3 with this engine was much better in regards to power management. [ cite video
people =Jeremy Clarkson
year =
title ="Top Gear" 2006-07-16
accessdate =2007-02-05
medium =TV
location = London
publisher =BBC
]

Epsilon II

A new version of the Epsilon, dubbed Epsilon II, will debut in 2008. It will be adaptable for front and all-wheel drive applications.

Concept vehicles built on Epsilon II:
* 2007 Opel GTC

The Epsilon II will be used in the following vehicles:

* 2009 Opel Insignia
* 2010 Buick LaCrosse
* 2010 Saab 9-5
* 2011 Saturn Aura
* 2012 Chevy Malibu

Footnotes

References

*


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