By on August 18, 2014

2013 Cadillac Elmiraj Concept

Trailing behind premium powerhouses BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus in annual U.S. sales thus far in 2014, Cadillac is planning a two-pronged counterattack for 2015.

Bloomberg reports chief engineer Dave Leone informed reporters at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance that Cadillac will unveil a top-of-the-line RWD vehicle similar to the 2013 Elmiraj Concept, as well as a redesigned SRX. An ATS-V is also in the works, according to Leone.

Speaking of the ATS, the compact vehicle has been leading the brand’s overall sales decline alongside the behemoth XTS, both falling down 20 percent through the end of July. Meanwhile, the SRX is doing well for itself, with sales climbing 16 percent in the same period for the premium crossover.

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121 Comments on “Cadillac Aiming For RWD Flagship, New SRX In 2015...”


  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    With the front end design like Caddy are using it will be hard to sell these in the greatest possible numbers.

    The front is to radical to be appreciated by the masses. But I suppose the global market isn’t Caddy’s dream. They’ll leave that to the Euro marques.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It has way less to do with the front end, and way more to do with the badge on the front end.

      Cadillac is building the wrong cars by the wrong brand.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I have yet to see a melty-badge Cadillac in the wild. But when I do, I’m not gonna like it.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I meant that its a Cadillac not a BMW/Mercedes/Audi/etc, but yes, the melty badge is terrible. I hate to think of what it will look lik eon the Escalade. The Escalade should have a Cadillac wreath the size of the Christmas wreath on the White House door.

      • 0 avatar

        Bball, to me it looks ok. Cadillac needed a simpler logo. A wreath doesn’t cut it anymore I think.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Cadillac has just always had a crest with a wreath. It’s what they do! Getting rid of such a recognizable icon is, IMO, a big big mistake. What was before something immediately recognizable (and a bit bling with recent size/scale) is now a melted frisbee.

          What once said Cadillac now just says “car.”

          • 0 avatar

            Believe me you, Corey, i get what you are saying, but the badge is gaudy enough as is, a wreath just adds to the visual weight of the thing. Times change, tastes change, a streamlighting of their badge would signal their intended direction. Don’t deny your past, but don’t repeat it either. Remember Marx, history is only repeated as farce or comedy.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I am fine with a more modern logo. I like wreath though, and especially on the Escalade. The Escalade is gaudy. Everyone that buys it knows that going in.

          The Cadillac Executive Diretor said that, “This new Crest matches the lower, longer, leaner mantra of our current car designs.” That sounds ridiculous. It just means that the Chinese focus group didn’t like the old logo and angular styling.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ugh, that quote is stupid. Leaner, why? Because a Cadillac is supposed to be light and sporty? No! Longer, how? Are the cars longer or as long as they were in every decade except the late 80s? Nope. Lower, like the tall Escalade and SRX, as opposed to a past time when you had all sedans and coupes which were very low to the ground, and had fender skirts to make them look even lower? No!

          • 0 avatar

            Bball, as to the Escalade I agree. On that one they should mount the wreath a la Rolls Royce!s wraith-thing. The Escalade lives on for América, maybe when sales really dip, they’ll modernize the thing. I know I am a huge minority, but the current one is a blight in Cadillac’s rather interesting line.

            As to the quote, that’s just marketing babbling. An exec could hardly say in public that the change was due to what you say or because, as I believe, the brand perceived the need to update its presentation.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The brand new Escalade may be the finest Cadillac ever made. If GM has done anything right post bankruptcy, it is the Corvette and Escalade.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Bball, the Corvette really looks promising, but I didn’t really notice when things like that (Escalade) are shown here or elsewhere. Is it still BOF?

        • 0 avatar
          koshchei

          While I agree with you somewhat, there is a fly in the ointment: Historically, the lack of a wreath under the crest has distinguished the top drawer models from the downmarket deVilles.

          Also, I don’t agree that an Escalade has ever been a “real” Cadillac, much less the “finest ever made”. It’s the antithesis of everything that Cadillac has ever represented. It’s akin to a “Cadillac” tractor or “Cadillac” lawnmower.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Escalade is the only modern Cadillac that’s worthy of the brand. Sure the ATS/SRX/XTS are great but if anything is the antithesis, it would be those three.

            If the escalade is a tractor than the RangeRover and the Land Cruiser are hit and miss engined wood saws.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            My knowledge of pre-WWII Cadillacs is slim, so I will modify my statement. However, I always viewed the Escalade as a real Cadillac. The idea of the Escalade is no different than any 50s or 60s high end Caddy.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            The Escalade isn’t a premium vehicle by any stretch of the imagination.

            I would rather have a Rangie, Disco, or even a midspec’d 200 Series Landcruiser. All better vehicles.

            You can’t make a $20k platform into a prestigious vehicle.

            A prestigious vehicle is unique in design from the ground up not a blinged up pickup.

            I do even think the Grand Cherokee is much more prestigious than an Escalade, at least it’s beginnings are with a worthier platform.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Al, I don’t even like GM and I can tell you that the new Escalade is a premium vehicle. I didn’t feel that way about the previous generation, but the new one is fantastic. Don’t let you GM-US hatred cloud reality.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            $20 says Al hasn’t even seen the new escalade in the flesh or better yet driven the new one. (Seeing as how the cadillac Australia site still has XLR, the last gen escalade and the 2012 CTS showcased on the front page (as well as the GMT800 sclade features in the 900 pictures))

            He loves to prejudge anything that Australia doesn’t get.

            He just named out 4 vehicles that aren’t even in the same class of vehicle or even on the same mission for that matter.

            Pretty sad this supposed 20k platform can outclass everything Range Rover makes, granted Range Rovers don’t tend to last very long anyhow, so if escalades are working off of 20k platforms the RR must be working on 2k platforms, at least they have that cutting edge Buick V8…

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Why would you buy a 4×4??

            The Escalade might have improved panel fit.

            But, it’s still based on a Silverado platform.

            Not what I would like to associate with a true prestige vehicle.

            Sort of like a Ferrari built on a Corolla chassis, then stating it does handle…………….good for a Corolla.

            Off-road capability

            Oh nelly. This is going to be a doozy. The Range Rover, as I’ve said before, is the gold standard by which all off-road vehicles – luxury or otherwise – are judged. The Rangie started life off in 1971 as a luxury off-roader and that legacy has continued through to today.

            Now, though, the Rangie relies on computers and other high-tech bits to traverse the terrain in addition to heavy axles, differentials, and transfer cases.

            It’s also built on a monocoque aluminum chassis. What’s that? It’s essentially an aluminum unibody on top of an aluminum ladder frame. This makes it light and stiff. Where simple mechanics leave off, Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 picks up.

            Terrain Response 2 is a traction control system with five settings: General; Grass/Gravel/Snow; Mud/Ruts; Sand; and Rock Crawl. For a simple explanation, I think Land Rover says it best: “Each setting optimizes driveability and traction by adapting the responses of the car’s engine, transmission, center differential and chassis systems to match the demands of the terrain.”

            Essentially, the Rangie can go anywhere.

            What about the Caddy? Well, it, too, has a ladder frame. The Escalade’s, though, is steel instead of aluminum. Additionally, the Escalade is offered in either two- or four-wheel drive and comes with automatically locking rear differential.

            The Escalade, then, will do fine on some dirt roads. But that’s about it.

            Clearly, the Range Rover wins.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Given how many different models the German manufacturers are now offering Cadillac is way behind.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Cadillac should’ve had the Elmiraj out in 2012, with precise build quality, OCD attention paid to reliability/durability, and a driving experience that truly beats any higher end Daimler products (one must make reference to “higher end” Daimler products now since they are hawking KIA level quality – or less – vehicles in the States now).

    The Elmiraj should have also been priced in a manner to give even the most discerning buyer with even half a financial brain reason to take yet another chance on Cadillac, given the encouraging build quality, attention to detail & ride/handling characteristics.

    Watch the new Elmiraj be built to approximately the same levels of precision, quality and reliability as a 1987 era Cadillac Allante, be priced 1.5x higher than any potential competition, and put up front and center in conspicuous fashion (complete with a giant green inflatable flailing man dancing under HID lighting) at the local GMC/Cadillac/Chevy/Volkswagen/Kia Auto Megaplex.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Cadillac is on the wrong path. The Germans themselves are abandoning their 3/5/7 model. They are all moving downmarket and going niche crazy. Audi and MB are investing heavy into diesel. BMW is ahead of the game witheir i line. And they all have hybrids and compact SUVs. The 7 series segment has been in a steady decline over the last decade or so, with all the models not made by Mercedes off by about half of their peak volume even after the recovery. And for the millionth time, the average luxury buyer doesn’t give a damn about corner carving and Brembo brakes. They’d much rather have things like

    – value (especially from a company with brand equity way lower than those of the Germans)
    – back seat room
    – a well thought out, easy to use ICE interface
    – distinctive looks

    I will go even further and say the Alpha platform was a bad idea. GM excecuted it well and the cars are good, but they are just not what the market wants or what will take Cadillac to that next level. No matter how much people scream about “needing a flagship to compete”, ultimately Caddy is a business, and businesses succeed by setting themselves apart from competition, providing value and building quality products. Caddy has was doing all 3 for the last decades, and now they are just buildign quality… at a price the market is not willing to pay.

    I think Caddy should have gone left and been GM’s test bed for their plug in hybrid tech. A “super Volt” 5 seater/5 door hatchback with styling like the Imaj, marketed as a plug in hybrid and built on their midsize FWD platform would have been a smash hit. And they could retain handling by using the electric motors for torque vectoring. That would have been a much better application of the billions of dollars they have earmarked for the Alpha platform. The time for Caddy to get deep into that game was 10 years ago. The CTS was good, but it should have had an ATS slotted under it. Caddy is 10 years behind the curve.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I disagree with you completely. The competition here (in theory, anyway) is Mercedes and BMW, and if you look at their actual sales figures, the number one and two models for each brand are the equivalents of the Cadillac ATS and CTS lines (3/4 series and 5-series for BMW, C-class and E-class for Mercedes). If I’m not mistaken, the 3/4 class is, in fact, the most popular luxury nameplate in the country. And all these cars have substantial performance cred, built up over DECADES.

      So why wouldn’t Cadillac want to be in that game with similar-sized cars with equivalent or superior performance cred, late to the game or not? I don’t get it.

      Cadillac’s biggest problem isn’t that it’s building the wrong kind of cars – it’s that it’s comparatively new to the game. Its’ cred in this class is limited, at best. BMW has been the undisputed king of compact sports sedans (i.e., the 3/4 series) since the 1960s, and Mercedes has been making them since the 1980’s (remember the 190?). Both brands have been making midsize luxury sedans since the 1960’s, with Mercedes being the clear leader. Both brands have staked out very solid market positions with these products. Meanwhile, Cadillac’s been in the Euro-style sedan game for about 10 years. It’s going to take them time to build market presence. But if you’re going to do that, particularly against the equivalent BMW and Mercedes models they’re targeting, performance is definitely the way to go.

      Yes, the pricing and marketing have been iffy, and yes, there have been design mistakes (CUE, interior space, etc), but I don’t see how Cadillac’s NOT on the right track here.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        The 3 series and E class have brand equity almost on the level of something like a 911 or Mustang. You can’t look at their success without factoring that in, and Caddy has to factor in NOT having that competitive advantage for these cars. You look at a brand like Jaguar for example; their 5 & 7 fighters have like 1/10th the sales volume of their German counterparts, despite, IMO, being better cars. It’s like comparing a new band to an established super famous band past its prime. That old band, even past its age of glory, will fill out stadiums just off the strength of their existing fanbase and established brand. A new band can make much better music in the same vein and work 100x as hard and never catch up.

        Not to mention, you look at a brand like Lexus for example… their two biggest sellers are outside the 3/5/7 realm. When you ask the average person what they think of when they hear Lexus, they will probably say “that SUV all the rich moms drive”. As good as the IS/GS/LS are the RX and ES are really where their bread gets buttered.

        So IMO Caddy needs to find its “RX”. And I think that brand establishing game changer will establishing value by differentiating itself and drawing on GM’s strengths. They would be downright stupid to not draw on the potential of & develop the plug in tech of the Volt, for example. That is way more relevant and self-marketable than “Brembo brakes” to the typical luxury buyer and consumer. Not only is Caddy not building cars people want (the missed sales forecasts and growing incentives they are putting on the hoods of these cars speaks to that), they are building them with attributes nobody cares about, while skimping on things they do.

        Caddy missed its chance to get in on the Euro-style sedan game, just like Jaguar, Acura and Lincoln. I think the brand has a ton of potential and can establish itself as a serious player, but just not by aping the Germans, who themselves are adopting other strategies.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Caddy did find its RX – it’s called the SRX.

          And I don’t think the small/medium sport sedan segment is even remotely closed off.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            You missed the point completely. The RX literally created a segment. When it came out it had no competition. The SRX was, like the ATS, ~10 yrs late to the party. Whatever cars Caddy makes at this point have to position themselves like the RX, not the SRX. And there are definitely very obvious opportunities well within GM’s abilities to do so, if they stop trying to be like the Germans and actually innovate.

            And the small/medium sport sedan segment is definitely closed off. The ATS was supposed to sell 60K cars a year… it’s nowhere near that. CTS is also well below forecasts. Volvo is barely in the market. The IS is down to about 1/2 the volume it had at its peak. Etc. The sport sedan market reached saturation, and will only continue to shrink as folks switch over more and more to CUVs. And there is a huge underserved untapped market for luxury hybrids and plug in cars. Caddy is going south when it needs to go north.

  • avatar

    Cadillac will never be able to compete with the S-class.

    Until they hire me to force them to make better cars, they’ll always be number 6.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Don’t overprice it like everything else they sell. High quality, twin-turbo 6.2l minimum engine is a must.

    Most importantly, it needs presence, the Taurus is a good example of a car chasing numbers, its not fullsize to a fullsize buyer, call it a midsize few would even notice.

    A 1992 Lincoln town car should be the goal in making a car with presence, no one wants to pull out in front of one of those, the Taurus? Who cares, it looks like a small midsize if your not looking at the dimensions.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Excuse you, any large Cadillac is suitably powered with a 3.6 turbo. It’s very premium and very luxurious. Everyone knows this.

      -Cadillac Marketing Dept.

    • 0 avatar
      cargogh

      Hummer, I think you are spot on about the importance of presence. So often I see where the designers have blacked out, pulled up, tucked under, etc. to reduce apparent mass. Give it a huge comfortable interior and let it show. Passing next to a Rolls instantly brings luxury to mind just because of the space. Quality of leather and wood and installation differ wildly, but it’s now.common. Presence isn’t. No one seems scared to drive or buy a gargantuan SUV.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Exactly, everyone worries about the wrong thing when making modern fullsizes. Modern cars seem to be created with a check sheet of dimension numbers to be designed in.

        Build a car that people notice and heed, good dimensions will naturally follow. Rolls example is great, its not afraid of its size, and thats what is needed.
        The XTS however is another poorly done car, I have a hard time seeing how that’s fullsize to anyone.

    • 0 avatar

      Hummer, honest question. The 6.2 you mention is from a truck, right? How can that work on a luxury car?

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        There is a 6.2L in the Camaro, Corvette, and other GM cars.

        • 0 avatar

          Camaro, Corvette, ok. Except for the speciall packages, made to just roar down the straightaway and is part. of the American heritage (thinking Viper and its RAM engine) and that’s fine and fun. However, GM has been signalling its intention to take Cadillac to the next level, so a truck engine would probably not make it. From my perch I remeber lots of the criticismo laid on the Viper derived from its “truck engine”.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            No one who is a decent human will criticize anything powered by the current crop of GM V8s.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I meant no one who is a decent human will criticize THE ENGINE of anything powered by the current crop of GM V8s.

          • 0 avatar

            Bball, I’ll take your word for it. V8s should probably be a part of Cadillac’s line, even in the rest of the world. But they should really strive to keep improving their smaller engines. That’ where the real volume is, even in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Marcelo-

            I agree. The LS/LT V8 isn’t particularly well suited for places outside of the US. The the global world of expensive fuel, displacement taxes, and not needing 400 HP, there needs to be other solutions.

            I like the 2.0T is the ATS. It, and the manual transmission may be a bit less refined than the BMW, but the powertrain has nothing to do with the ATS sales woes.

            On a flagship however, none of those little people problems need apply.

          • 0 avatar

            Agree, Bball! The top Cadillacs should never be for the likes of me much like top Mercedes and BMWs aren’t. But top Cadillacs should strive to take heat to the Germans wherever they are. Combined sales in places like Brazil, Rússia, China, Índia, and others less mentioned like Turkey or Indonesia of things like the S Class are probably not minor. The thing is that in the US realtively afluent people had a shot at top Cadillacs. That probably is not a good thing as the temptation to lower the bar would be great.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Why does the concept of a V8 have to spell out ‘pulling a horse trailer’ or drag racing? When I jump into a luxury car and start it up, hearing a cheesy engine ruins it for me. Like nails to the chalkboard.

          • 0 avatar

            DenverMike, the traditional sound of an American V8 speaks of power to me, but not necessarily luxury. There is a difference in european V8s and traditional American ones. Both in noise and how they feel to the driver. european ones do sound and feel more luxurious to me.

            But we come from different worlds and that’s ok. To me there are plenty of I4s I really appreciate the sound of, even very small ones. Italians, Fords, even French one when accelerating sound sweet (though for some reason French engines don’t really sound só nice at idlle). To me there is nothing inherently non luxurious in an I4.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Hey Marcelo! A V8 just speaks of luxury to me, but also strength, quality, reliability, if not longevity. So if you like the car, you can keep it forever with the original V8 untouched. Traditionally, V8s outlasted whatever they came wrapped in. They went on to another life in a Mustang or Nova that came original with a 6 cylinder. It could be why we keep loving fullsize pickups so much. But V8s have always been better than little engines, without much penalty at the pump. Except now we’re asking a lot more work from small engines. No real reason for them in cars that keep getting heavier, aside from the Euro influence.

      • 0 avatar
        Compaq Deskpro

        American cars are at there best when powered by truck motors.

        • 0 avatar

          Why?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I think there’s a disconnect on trucks from America and the rest of the world, which is no ones fault for not knowing.
            But V8s in American trucks are buttery smooth and are absolutely better (in my opinion) to any purpose built luxury V8 from Europe or even Asia.
            Our Best V8s may be OHV which in countries not used to them may seem ancient, but its more of necessity.
            These V8s are lightweight aluminum construction, in some cases are as compact or even smaller than OHC engines with less cyclinders, breath better than comparable OHC engines. Most importantly are more efficient than OHC engines.

            I mean once this corvette gets the 8 speed, that 6.2, very similar to 6.2s in trucks, will be getting 30+ mpg on the highway.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I mean honest question, I mean no disrespect, but how do you picture these engines or imagine they run?

          • 0 avatar

            I always think of them as very powerful, very torquey, but very thirsty, and relatively lazy and short of breath. I have not driven the latest crop of American truck v8 engines and i bet they are much improved, but the ones i know are what we Brazilians call “square”. They don’t have a wide power band and are not necessarily that responsive to driver input. And the sound should be different in a car.

            Again, no preconception or hate either, and i respect the awesome power and durability, but my question came from the view above.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Ahh, completely understand

            For good or for bad most modern American V8s have lost a bit of that down low torque, but replaced with a fairly high torque curve throughout the range.

            And although I’m not completely sold on the longevity of the parts, the cyclinder deactivation and other engine tricks is probably creating one of the biggest gains of MPG in any segment of the market now. I’m sure were within a decade of seeing city MPG above 20, and highway above 25. Of course by then they’ll probably all have diesel 6s pushing that over 30.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I see…so we get rid of modern styling in favor of…something like a ’92 Town Car.

      I’m sure GM styling is listening intently to that suggestion…

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Mike,
        I don’t mean cadillac needs to debut a 30 year old Ford platform, but they should take cues from what Ford did that gave it its presence.

        You could cut a foot of width and a foot of length off of that old Lincoln an it would still have a healthy presence that people would heed.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          OK, but the “presence” that the ’92 Town Car would announce was “you are in the presence of an old dude.” I mean, even back then they were retirement-mobiles, and the styling was basically a refined, cleaner interpretation of the ’70s and ’80s pimp / bling mobiles. I don’t know why anyone would dial the clock back to THAT.

          That kind of look doesn’t sell anymore, and besides, the new pimp / bling mobiles are all SUVs (the Escalade is the prime example, as a matter of fact).

          I agree a luxury car needs presence, but I’d hope it’s more contemporary. And I do think Cadillac’s cars DO have some styling attitude to them.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            How do you know that doesn’t sell?

            We’re left to base that on a single car, the panther platform that died on a 30 year old platform. There hasn’t been anything since maybe the last RWD impala that could remotely be considered to have presence, and it wasn’t a secret even that car was outdated.

            If you would like a modern example of presence I’ll just go up to the 300k Rolls Royce. Are you going to tell me Rolls customers are put off by the size and presence?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “I’m sure GM styling is listening intently to that suggestion…”

        Taking a page from history wouldn’t be the worst thing, most of their styling choices have been “me’h” at best.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks Hummer.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    “a US/ China country class car”

    That *is* the world for Cadillac. Europe will remain impenetrable and then it becomes a caliphate.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Cadillacs are the wrong sort of “feel” for most of Europe, and are generally too large. I don’t think they should bother trying to do well there.

      • 0 avatar

        I remember some Top Gears really prasing the dynamics of the latest Cadillacs. Most criticism is on the inefficient , unrefined and wasteful engines and the low quality and badly assembled interiors.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I’ve seen NO low quality or badly assembled interiors on recent Cadillac sedans. In fact, I’d say they’re notably good in this respect now.

          Not that the haters care…LOL

          • 0 avatar

            They don’t look that bad to me either, but then again I always think interiors in German cars is so unappealling (never understood the praise). Yes, by now I think many in Europe are just, probably, nitpicking.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Once Cadillac can get rid of the cheap plastics and Saab parts in all of their cars, they’ll have an easier time. To see a bad interior, one must only look to the 2011 DTS or the 2012 STS. Or the current interior of the ATS and gauge cluster.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            The 2011 DTS and STS are both out of production. And if you want to beef on the lack of quality in out-of-production cars, I’d say the interior in YOUR car was way below the bar set by the competition as well…and yet you bought it.

            And aside from the gauges, what specifically is wrong with the materials and quality of the interior of the ATS, based on your hands-on evaluation of the product? My hands-on experience with that car left me VERY impressed with the quality of the interior, and the exterior build quality as well.

            What are your specific beefs?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Yeah, crickets chirping from Corey. So I figured…troll on, my man…

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I don’t respond to any of your comments, since about two weeks ago. You’re one of two people I ignore on here. Hence, you won’t see anything further from me. You manage to turn every comment into an ad hominem attack, and you just aren’t worth responding to. Neither is the other guy who’s lumped in with you.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            I didn’t see anything ad hominem in mike’s questioning. You often trash certain cars’ interiors in your comments with little justification. That’s what mike was asking for.

            The quality of the interior in the ATS is quite nice, easily as nice as the competition. The look of the gauges is subjective. What I gather is people don’t like how they are all blacked out when the cluster is off. Boo-hoo, they look pretty good lit-up when you’re actually using them rather than parked with the ignition off fondling the interior appointments.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    The Escalade and SRX have been the only real positives for Cadillac in the past 2 decades. But they only have 2 SUV/CUV entries. BMW and Mercedes each have 5.

    So while a flagship wows the internet, Cadillac versions of the Enclave and Encore, built to world class quality standards are what would actually sell.

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      The best selling Cadillacs, the SRX and Escalades, are more true to Cadillac’s brand image of big, gaudy, blingy vehicles. Cadillac’s attempt to clone BMW sedans is why it is faltering in the market right now. If I want an overpriced German sports sedan, I’ll buy a BMW/Mercedes/Audi, not a pretender like Cadillac. They have lost their brand direction. Maybe the new guy they hired from Audi/Infiniti will set the course right.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Even the current gen SRX (based on the Equinox) is from from luxurious in terms of ride quality; to be fair,it is hushed and does have decent fit & finish, and many similarly priced segment competitors from zee Germans and Japanese are no more luxurious in terms of ride quality.

        I’ll go a radical, opinionated step forward – few segment competitors to the SRX are luxurious in the way that coddles and comforts passengers, and many $21,000 CamCordFusionbus have a more comfortable ride than the stiffly sprung “luxury” / “sport” CUV premium class of vehicles that cost 2x to 3x as much.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Well, you could make CUVs like the SRX ride “cushy”, but then again, you’d have to introduce a lot of “wallow” into their suspensions, and that may not be the best idea given their higher ride height and center of gravity.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “top-of-the-line RWD vehicle similar to the 2013 Elmiraj Concept”

    And by this, he meant an Impala/XTS based further-stretched FWD platform, which shares many components with the Impala, and also has Verano interior door handles. AWD optional! Option up to a new variant of the 3.6 found in the LaCrosse. Luxury and prestige! $89,500 + tax.

    “alongside the behemoth XTS”

    “alongside the midsize placeholder XTS”

    There, I fix.

  • avatar

    I am a banner waver for US domestic vehicles but Cadillac just isn’t selling a desirable car IMO. People strive to own a 3 series, and so a 7 series is a nice flagship. This does look like a nice car, but flagships need to lead a worthy fleet, not just pretend you can win with a single battleship.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Americans that want German, just want German for the sake of German.

    A Cadillac should be a Cadillac, above all else.

    Its standard engine should be the 5.3 V8, manual trans and no looking back. High output, but normally aspirated. Then an optional 2.0 twin/triple turbo for whoever else, where ever else. Plus a 6.2 option and SRX-V. The focus should be the home market 1st.

    Try some self respect.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      No way, Cadillacs should never have a manual transmission.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Maybe the Cadillac you’re not serious about buying “should never have a manual”, but don’t speak for the rest of us. Even if we’re a minority of the general pop, that assumes Cadillac can’t build a car with mass appeal. They’re always on the verge of it though. Either way, it’s the wrong thinking.

        And a V8 base would be a start. Same with a manual trans options across the brand. Unless it’s a “manual only” limited edition.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Nobody wants this. If you want a Corvette, buy a Corvette. But don’t try to force a Corvette onto people who don’t want one.

      Cadillac used to tout itself the “standard of the world”. The future of cars lies in hybrids and alternative fuels. GM already has a great platform in the Volt. They need to use Cadillac to promote and develop that tech. Instead of V8s, every car (besides the Escalade) in Cadillac’s lineup should be a plug in hybrid. A risky move but no less risky than the money they wasted on the Alpha platform nobody cares about (besides car magazines and internet comment boards), and a move into technologies that actually matter that people actually care abotu and want to buy.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Very few care about or want to buy hybrids or PHEVs. Few make any money whatsoever for the companies that make them. Going exclusively down that route would make Cadillac a perpetual money pit.

        If Cadillac is going to ask 70-90k for a car, they might as well try and make money on it as opposed to the ELR. If their new flagship turns out to be everthing they say it will be, it won’t be bad for the brand.

  • avatar
    mjz

    I read that they might call it LTS. Ugh. Another boring alphabet soup name. Can’t the B&B come up with something better than LTS? If they have to use letters, LTS has to be the dullest combo they could have selected. Maybe RTS would be better? I vote for Fleetwood (but not the Brougham part). Any other suggestions?

  • avatar
    stingray65

    BMW’s flagship is the 7 series, which shares a platform with the 5 series (sedan, wagon, and GT), 6 series, X5, and Rolls Royce Ghost, which are all sold in substantial numbers in North America, Europe, and Asia, and thus provide substantial economies of scale. They are powered by proprietary and high tech gasoline and diesel motors that are among the smoothest, highest output, and most economical of their size in the world. What would Cadillac use to compete? An upsized CTS, XTS, or Escalade platform powered by a V-6 shared with Chevy and Buick, or a pushrod gasoline or diesel V-8 shared with a Silverado pickup? Who would sell it and buy it in Europe, Japan, or Korea? Would such a flagship Cadillac sedan even be attractive to the US or China markets? My guess is it would be seen as a joke, even if nicely styled and not overpriced. Furthermore, all the luxury brands are moving to SUV/crossovers for volume while Cadillac brings out coupes and a flagship large sedan? I just don’t see this working, and I certainly don’t see how it could possibly be profitable.

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      Agreed, I think Cadillac’s basic strategy is flawed, they are trying to out gun BMW in the performance sedan arena at a time when BMW is becoming more “Cadillac” like, ironically. Over HALF of Cadillac’s sales in July were the SRX and Escalade (including ESV). Instead of wasting big development $’s for what will probably be a very limited seller (ELR anyone?), they should be introducing a Cadillac version of the Enclave/Acadia (rumored to have been canceled at the last minute) and a sub-SRX size CUV. This is where the big sales are going to come from.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “they should be introducing a Cadillac version of the Enclave/Acadia (rumored to have been canceled at the last minute) and a sub-SRX size CUV. This is where the big sales are going to come from.”

        This seems to be one of the popular armchair marketing opinions, second to the opinion that Cadiallacs must have V8s and manual transmissions.

        I disagree with both. GM already has several brands to cater to the compact CUV and V8/manual transmission crowd. IMO, Cadillac should be exclusively upmarket. They should position themselves to eventually limit their volume and demand high margins rather than move toward eating Chevy and Buick’s lunch.

        Cadillac should shoot for the moon. If they can’t do it, fold Buick and move Cadillac into that position.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    I like it! It’s the first Cadillac that looks like a Cadillac in years. Unfortunately GM is renowned for penny-pinching. Substandard quality, unacceptable customer care and cliff-face depreciation will be concerns.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Ironic…Cadillac now arguably makes the best-handling compact and midsize luxury sedan you can buy. And this enthusiast website does nothing but hate on them. Geez….

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed, though not the website per se, but most of the commenters.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        FreedMike,
        You make a good point. I think the source of the pushback on Cadillac is that the brand qualities are unclear. Yes, the ATS and CTS are great handling cars. But is that what Cadillac stands for? I suspect most of the B&B look to Cadillac to be more of a cushy, large engined boulevard cruiser than a canyon carver. You can’t have it both ways.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Right, but the days of cushy boulevard cruisers is done, and has been done for a long time. I’m surprised that people who think of themselves as car enthusiasts haven’t figured that out, and aren’t celebrating the new direction the brand’s heading in. But I’m getting off topic…

          Eventually the brand has to change if it wants to continue to exist. I think they’ve made the direction of the brand pretty clear, personally, but as you say, it’s a matter of what the market perceives, and that’ll take time.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        True, Marcelo, I should have qualified that comment. But even when the website does a positive review, you have the inevitable hating from the B and B. I don’t get it.

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      The problem is that people don’t buy Cadillacs to get the best handling compact and midsize luxury sedans. That has been never been part of the Cadillac brand image, and that’s why these new sedans are floundering in the market.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        You’re right, but if the brand is to survive, it has to go after buyers who value performance in their luxury cars, because DeVille-style float-mobiles don’t sell anymore. The best evidence of this is that Cadillac’s own DTS and the Lincoln Town Car. The DTS’ best year was 2007, the Town Car’s was 2000, and they both slid dramatically in sales after that.

        Even the modern-day float-mobiles – Lexuses, and even Buicks – are becoming more performance oriented.

        The whole market is shifting towards a more Mercedes/BMW driving dynamic. And that’s why both of those brands are succeeding. So is Audi, which hews to the same kind of driving-flavor philosophy.

        Cadillac’s going to have problems because it waited too long to switch over, not because it’s building cars that appeal to people who like to drive.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I don’t believe for one second there isn’t enough room for a floaty luxury brand, that’s what Cadillac stands for. I know of very few (read none) 65+ year old luxury car buyers looking for a stiff canyon carver that only gets turned into the Bingo parking lot and the garage.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Believe it, Hummer. The market you’re talking about exists, but it’s turned to trucks and large SUVs now. No one was buying DeVilles or Town Cars by the time they got discontinued. That’s why they’re not made anymore. Even their replacements – Cadillac XTS and Lincoln MKS – are a HUGE change in terms of driving dynamics – you might not confuse them with a M5, but they’re not float-mobiles anymore, not by a long shot.

            The reason is demographics. If you’re 55-60 – the target buyer of a car like the MKS – you came of age economically in the late ’60s and early 1970s, and the car market changed fundamentally during that time. Road boats were starting to go out of style even then, even though it took another 10-15 years for it to happen. And most likely, the luxury car you aspired to wasn’t a huge, pimped-out Caddy – it was probably a Mercedes.

            The next generation of older buyers is going to be people my age (fifty-ish), and when we entered the car buying market in the mid-’80s, the road boat era was pretty much coming to a close. We weren’t buying full size Impalas or LTDs, and dreaming of the day we could buy a Caddy or Lincoln – we were driving Accords, Civics, Camrys and Tauruses, and dreaming of a BMW or Benz (and maybe even an Acura or Lexus).

            Those are the buyers brands like Cadillac has to target if it wants to survive. The floatmobile buyers are either dead, or will be before too long.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Mercedes has never been about “dynamics”. The current C Class’ abandomnent of trying to be a Benz 3 series and switching to a mini S Class (like the original 190E) is a shrewd move. The 3 series has blunted its dynamic edge to broaden its appeal. Both MB and BMW, but moreso BMW, are making serious investments in plug in hybrid tech. And I dont even have to talk about niches. MB and BMW have their core cars (3 series, E class, S class) but for the most part they are pushing boundaries and looking beyond their core.

          The IS and GS are getting sportier, but Lexus is also comign into the small premium CUV game and bolstering its hybrid offerings. Infiniti dialed back the sportiness and turned up the tech on its G replacement, and it also is bolstering its hybrid offerings. Audi is in the SPCUV game, and is ALSO bolstering its hybrid offerings as well as building an association of its brand with diesel.

          For every 335i BMW probably sells 5 CUVs. For every F Sport IS or GS Lexus probably sells 20 ES350s. Etc. Sportiness does not drive volume and isn’t the core of any luxury car brand, which is why Caddy’s focus on handling is a huge mistake. The people who care about handling, for the most part, don’t buy luxury cars, and don’t drive volume. And outside of handling the ATS/CTS bring nothing to the table other marques don’t.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      The cars are good, but they are not relevant to the direction the marketplace is headed. Caddy is building sport sedans at a time when everybody is buying CUVs, cheap lil pretender sedans, hybrids, diesels etc. A good car can still be the wrong car, and the ATS/CTS are the wrong cars for today’s climate, period.

      Again, GM could have scrapped the Alpha platform, given the CTS a “half-model change”, and instead put the Alpha money towards a more serious, more mainstream luxury plug in hybrid based on the Malibu platform and a small premium CUV based on the little Buick CUV. Car companies succeed and survive buy building cars people want and will buy, not catering to some antiquated standard demanded by internet comment board armchair executives with no plans to help the company’s bottom line. Sport sedan segment is at full saturation and is shrinking, losing growth to the segments Caddy has nothing to offer in. ATS/CTS are good executions of bad ideas.

  • avatar
    carguy

    While Cadillac sales have been falling this year, the piling on from TTAC has been somewhat misleading. Here are some facts to ponder about Cadillac sales:

    1. The ATS outsold the Audi A4 in 2013 and is still selling around the same numbers now.

    2. The ATS is also outselling both the much hyped A3 and the Mercedes CLA.

    3. 70% of ATS customers are new to the brand.

    4. The CTS is also outselling the Audi A6.

    5. The SRX is also outselling the Audi Q5

    I am sure that Cadillac is not happy with their sales numbers but, if they are in trouble, then what does that say about Audi?

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Carguy,
      If you are truly a carguy, then you know that the targets are BMW, Mercedes and Lexus. Not Audi.

      Call me when the ATS outsells the 3/4 and C-class. Or when the CTS outsells the 5 or E-class.

      • 0 avatar

        Audi is constantlly growing só they are yes a target. Lexus and Mercedes buyers are quite older than Audi or Cadillac buyers, which does not bode well for them.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        VoGo, the ancestry of the 3-series goes right back to the mid-’60s 2002, and the C-class can be traced directly back to the mid-’80s. That’s something like 75 years COMBINED that both lines have been on the market, versus a few months for the ATS (or 10 years or so, if you want to include the CTS).

        Even Lexus has taken a good 10 years or so to make the inroads it has on these nameplates with the IS and GS lines, and they’re not even in the same galaxy as the 3 or C-class sales-wise…and they don’t have the negative baggage Cadillac carries.

        I think Cadillac will eventually pose a greater threat to Mercedes and BMW, and the fact that they’re trying to go after them with cars that are genuinely driver-oriented (versus the old approach, which was “Euro” styling touches and maybe a bit stiffer suspension), tells me they have the right idea.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Mike,
          Today’s 428 has as much in common with a 2002 as today’s ATS does with a Cimmaron. I hold Cadillac to a higher standard in the US than beating Audi, which is growing quickly, but off a tiny base.

          If Cadillac isn’t going to even try to compete with the 3 leaders, then why bother? Just stay content to compare yourself to Volvo and Acura. Like Lincoln does. And then sit back and enjoy all the success that goes to a player that strives to be mediocre.

          But don’t ever use the phrase “Standard of the World” again.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        Not so VoGo. Audi is the emerging luxury maker that has been on an upward trajectory for the past 25 years.

        The Cadillac turnaround is in its infancy but they are making good progress in a notoriously difficult segment.

        The point of the post was to interrupt the group-think that was taking hold on these pages with some perspective.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Carguy,
          How is Cadillac in a turnaround in its infancy? They have been making luxury cars in the US for a century, and are in the midst of turmoil for 40 years.

          Sometimes this business is very simple. Define your brand strategy. Align products around it. Sell them.

          Cadillac has failed on all counts for decades. There is no turnaround, because there is no brand strategy. If you want canyon carvers, great, then drop the Escalade. If you want to go bling, then stop wasting $Billions on the ATS/CTS. If you want to be a big bruiser/cruiser, then why the ELR?

          Until Cadillac figures out what it wants to be when it grows up, you’ll move from comparing them to Audi, then Volvo, then Lincoln, then SAAB.

          This is a dead brand.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Escalade makes too much money for GM to kill it. Even if it doesn’t fit the brand’s current values, it pays for the brand to exist.

          • 0 avatar
            carguy

            VoGo – the post bankruptcy turnaround is in its infancy. Saying that the brand is old would be like writing BMW off in the 70s as they had been in business since the First World War and we’re nearly bankrupt.

            You clearly value strategy which is undeniably important – so please share with me what you think the BMW strategy is? Sporty driving? Not anymore. Reliability? I was joking. Luxurious interiors? Not for less than $70k. Maybe it’s filling every product niche that they can dream of? Front wheel drive minivans? Yes they have one of those now.

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      That Audi doesn’t put cash on the hood?

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed, have read elsewhere that Buick and Cadillac have amongs the industry’s leading indexes in conquest sales and decrease of buyers’ age. Those two show that GM is doing it exactly as they should. On the other hand, the relative high ages of Toyota and Mercedes buyers is what has turned on the yellow light in those companies

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      The fact that Cadillac is the 4th best selling luxury car brand in the USA is a very sad commentary on the state of the brand – 40 years ago they were selling more than all the luxury imports combined. Yet Cadillac’s problem in competing with BMW, Mercedes, and Audi is not in the USA, but in the rest of the world. They sell virtually nothing in Europe, while the Germans sell hundreds of thousands of units. The Germans also sell very well in major car markets all over the world, which gives them economies of scale and profits that Cadillac (and Lincoln, Acura, Lexus, Volvo, Jaguar) can only dream about. This is also what funds the German technology and proliferation of new models, which no other luxury brands are capable of following because they lack the global sales. And if the market preferences shift to hybrids or electric, or hydrogen, the Germans are well positioned to do well there as well. I hate to say this, but I do not see how Cadillac has any chance to be a global luxury leader in the short or long term – GM just does not have the management talent or resources to compete.

  • avatar

    I think they should do what they did best, and make a real American fullsize car again, one that will fit big Americans who don’t necessarily want an Escalade but want the room.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Bloomberg reports chief engineer Dave Leone informed reporters at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance that Cadillac will unveil a top-of-the-line RWD vehicle similar to the 2013 Elmiraj Concept”

    I’ll believe it when I see it. Here’s hoping if it does happen they don’t screw it up.

    “Speaking of the ATS, the compact vehicle has been leading the brand’s overall sales decline”

    Big surprise. Didn’t Jack call this last year?

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Jack did, very shrewdly.

      The ATS and to a lesser but still troublesome degree the CTS, suffer from the following problems…

      – not enough back seat space compared to competition
      – CUE
      – not American enough (“where are the V8s,” asked Jack)
      – not enough content per dollar (these cars are priced exactly the same as their German counterparts and MORE than their Japanese counterparts while bringing no added content, and nowhere near the brand equity that matters in this segment)

      Cadillac in general suffers from a lack of brand direction/identity, and zero presence in segments of growth (small CUVs, hybrids etc). The LTS will be in the same no-man’s land as the Jag XJ, but worse, without any credibility in Europe and zero ability to pull folks from S Classes and such for a car with the same money and no brand. The Equus is barely hanging in there at a steep discount to the Ss and 7s… Caddy is crazy if they think they will get anyone to buy a Cadillac Equus for S550 money.

  • avatar
    stanczyk

    ‘The front is to radical to be appreciated by the masses.’ – new Cadillac fronts(faces) are messy design-excersize .. but maybe they are attractive for chinesse nouveau-riche ‘focus group’ :) ..

    Best designs from modern Cadillac are previous CTS(especially extravagant Coupe), and XLR .. and oryginal ‘sharp & edgy’ Art&Science is the way to go..
    and that concept on the picture(future flagship) is not very attractive design either ..
    Right now, they’ve got good tech:(engines, magnetic-ride..) so they need to support it with elegant design..

    Caddy should preserve it’s ‘american character’ and not try to ‘chase germans’..


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  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
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