General Motors A platform (1982)

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GM A platform
1987 Chevrolet Celebrity
ManufacturerGeneral Motors
Body and chassis
LayoutFront engine, front-wheel drive/all-wheel drive (Pontiac 6000 only)
Body style(s)2-door coupe
4-door sedan
4-door station wagon
VehiclesBuick Century
Chevrolet Celebrity
Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera/Cruiser
Pontiac 6000
122 I4
Iron Duke I4
60° V6
Buick V6
Oldsmobile V6
Transmission(s)3-speed 3T40 automatic
4-speed 4T60 automatic
4-speed 4T60-E automatic
5-speed Getrag manual
Wheelbase104.5 in (2,654 mm)
104.9 in (2,664 mm)
PredecessorGM A platform (1936)
SuccessorGM W platform GM N platform


The General Motors A platform (commonly called the A-body) was a mid-size car automobile platform designation used from 1982 to 1996. Previously the A body designation had been used for rear wheel drive mid-sized cars. They were initially offered alongside, but eventually supplanted rear-drive nameplates such as the Malibu for the intermediate niche.[1] Due to the strong popularity of the older rear wheel drive design, General Motors continued production as the G-Body until 1988.

Introduced for the 1982 model year, the A-Body cars were essentially similar in mechanical design and interior space to the troubled X-car compacts upon which they were derived. One key difference between the two platforms is that the A-Body cars are long enough to be classified as intermediate cars due to their more traditional styling. Initially all four lines offered two and four door sedans for 1982. In 1984, they added a wagon body style, which replaced the rear wheel drive G-Body wagons, which were discontinued after 1983.

Platform updatesEdit

The A-body eventually consisted of a 4-door sedan, 2-door coupé and a 4-door station wagon.

  • 1982: The Chevrolet Celebrity, Pontiac 6000, Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera and Buick Century two and four door models are introduced.
  • 1983: Pontiac introduces the sporty STE variant of their 6000. Oldsmobile introduces the ES performance package for their Cutlass Ciera four door models.
  • 1984: All four divisions now offered the new wagon body style. Oldsmobile introduces the Holiday Coupe package on their Cutlass Ciera Brougham coupes.
  • 1985: Oldsmobile introduces an updated Cutlass Ciera with more aerodynamic front and rear styling, an updated interior and a new GT coupe model. The Oldsmobile 4.3 liter diesel engine was dropped after this model year.
  • 1986: Mid year, the Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera gets a unique roofline. The Buick Century is restyled.
  • 1988: Pontiac offers all wheel drive on exclusively on their 6000 STE. All models moved to composite headlamps. Oldsmobile dropped the Brougham nameplate from their Ciera line.
  • 1989: the Celebrity drops its two door models. The Cutlass Ciera, Century and 6000 receive major updates.
  • 1990: the Celebrity drops its four door models, leaving only the station wagon.
  • 1991: The Pontiac 6000 (all models), Chevrolet Celebrity wagon and Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera coupe are dropped.
  • 1992: Buick dropped the Century coupe.
  • 1996: For the final year of the A-Body, Oldsmobile drops the Cutlass name, simply calling their sedan the Oldsmobile Ciera.

It was updated in 1989 with a slightly longer wheelbase and a more rounded roofline (except for the Celebrity whose roofline remained unchanged as it was to be phased out in 1990). It also briefly saw duty as an all wheel drive platform for the Pontiac 6000.

Later GM platforms (specifically transaxle based, i.e. four-wheel drive and mid-engine rear-wheel drive) benefited from components and systems developed with the A-Body. Additionally the first generation U-body minivan (1990–1996) was constructed utilizing a lightly modified version of the A-body chassis.

The A-body began to be phased out in favor of the GM W platform beginning in 1990, although production did not end for the platform until 1996 due to popularity of the remaining models.

Vehicles underpinnedEdit

External linksEdit