DETROIT -- General Motors is developing a new version of its mid-sized front-wheel-drive Epsilon architecture to add a sport wagon at Saturn and possibly at other GM divisions worldwide.
Company sources say GM will use the architecture, internally known as Epsilon 2, to enter new segments. The current Epsilon is GM's highest-volume global car architecture. Saturn will be the initial North American beneficiary with a new crossover vehicle or a sport wagon by 2009 or 2010, a GM source says. Those Saturn vehicles will be developed jointly with Opel.
"You'll see a crossover vehicle as a variant, a multiactivity vehicle or even a pseudo-wagon," the source says. "Saturn products will be flexible and moveable, and we will continue to move in that direction."
The upgraded architecture will be applied to the next generation of the Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac G6 and Saab 9-3, says Gene Stefanyshyn, Epsilon vehicle line executive.
GM uses the term "architecture" to signify a set of common components, performance characteristics, manufacturing process, connecting points and a range of dimensions for key component systems.
GM's key goal is flexibility. Vehicles developed on the Epsilon 2 architecture will have a greater range in wheelbase and width than current Epsilon products. Overall length likely will stay the same, Stefanyshyn says.