The Truth About Cars » Cadillac http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 29 Jun 2015 14:00:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Cadillac http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/reviews/cadillac/ 2016 Cadillac XT5 Found In Manhattan With CT6 Face http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2016-cadillac-xt5-found-in-manhattan-with-ct6-face/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2016-cadillac-xt5-found-in-manhattan-with-ct6-face/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 12:28:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1100545 Kinja blogger saw930 stumbled upon the new SRX-replacing XT5 in NYC’s trendy SoHo district. The next new model from GM’s premium brand looks to be wearing a copy-and-paste version of the CT6 front fascia design, complete with wreath-less crest sitting front and center. After being confirmed earlier this month in a Cadillac press release, the new SUV looks […]

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2016 Cadillac XT5

Kinja blogger saw930 stumbled upon the new SRX-replacing XT5 in NYC’s trendy SoHo district. The next new model from GM’s premium brand looks to be wearing a copy-and-paste version of the CT6 front fascia design, complete with wreath-less crest sitting front and center.

1313288928280785811After being confirmed earlier this month in a Cadillac press release, the new SUV looks to be gearing up for its auto show reveal as it takes part in a photo shoot.

Not much can be gleaned from the photos here, though many are suggesting the SRX replacement will get a version of the 3.6L V6 seeing duty in many other GM products, sending power to the front or all four wheels through an automatic gearbox.

With this early of a public showing, the Cadillac XT5 could make its first formal debut at the Los Angeles International Auto Show in November. Or Cadillac could forego a typical auto show and do something in conjunction with a non-automotive event in NYC.

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Cadillac Confirms 2016 SRX Replacement Hidden In CarPlay Release http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/cadillac-confirms-2016-srx-replacement-hidden-in-carplay-release/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/cadillac-confirms-2016-srx-replacement-hidden-in-carplay-release/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 17:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1089017 “Apple CarPlay will debut in 2016 Cadillac models featuring CUE’s 8-in multi-touch screen except the SRX Crossover, a model that will move to an all-new generation in early 2016.” Leave it to Cadillac to bury news of their SRX replacement – fully expected to be renamed XT5 – on the second paragraph of a press release […]

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2015 Cadillac SRX

“Apple CarPlay will debut in 2016 Cadillac models featuring CUE’s 8-in multi-touch screen except the SRX Crossover, a model that will move to an all-new generation in early 2016.”

Leave it to Cadillac to bury news of their SRX replacement – fully expected to be renamed XT5 – on the second paragraph of a press release about Apple CarPlay. After all, the SRX isn’t Cadillac’s most popular model or anything.

Oh wait – actually, it is.

Shortly after Apple’s announcement of CarPlay updates at WWDC this week, Cadillac published a release stating CarPlay will officially debut on all 2016 model year Cadillacs – except SRX. That’s because the crossover model will move to a new generation early next year, likely at Cadillac’s new home auto show of NYIAS in April.

The 2016 model year cars will also enjoy updates to CUE, Cadillac’s oft-maligned infotainment system, in an effort to “enhance phone integration and overall system performance.” Those enhancements will include a new processor to handle the heavy software burden, simplified navigation, Surround Vision for CTS and XTS product lines and an expanded offering of driving mode information.

“Android Auto is expected to be phased into 2016 production at a later date,” stated the release.

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NYT: GM’s Barra Declined Meeting with FCA’s Marchionne to Discuss Possible Merger http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/nyt-gms-barra-declined-meeting-with-fcas-marchionne-to-discuss-possible-merger/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/nyt-gms-barra-declined-meeting-with-fcas-marchionne-to-discuss-possible-merger/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 18:21:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1075162 Sergio Marchionne sent Mary Barra a detailed email in the middle of March in an effort to start merger talks. Barra, CEO of General Motors, was uninterested in the offer and rebuffed Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. It was the first time the two executives had ever spoken, but it wouldn’t be the last Barra […]

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Sergio Marchionne sent Mary Barra a detailed email in the middle of March in an effort to start merger talks. Barra, CEO of General Motors, was uninterested in the offer and rebuffed Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

It was the first time the two executives had ever spoken, but it wouldn’t be the last Barra would hear of Marchionne’s merger desires.

That’s the story being told by the New York Times today, detailing the lengths to which Marchionne is going to trigger consolidation within the automotive industry.

During a routine analyst conference call on April 29, Marchionne brought his plea to other executives through the media with a 25-page PowerPoint presentation.

“I think it is absolutely clear that the amount of capital waste that’s going on in this industry is something that certainly requires remedy. A remedy in our view is through consolidation,” Marchionne said.

Marchionne’s overture of a merger with GM includes no less than 14 brands between North America and Europe, not including the many other brands each company markets in China and other emerging regions. But, to date, the overture has been played to an audience wearing earplugs.

Even with the vast number of brands, that isn’t what bothers Marchionne. Instead, it’s the amount of money poured into redundant R&D work that could be shared by multiple automakers.

“It’s fundamentally immoral to allow for that waste to continue unchecked,” he said.

[Source: New York Times]

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2016 Cadillac CTS-V Undercuts BMW M5 by $10,000, On Sale This Summer http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/2016-cadillac-cts-v-undercuts-bmw-m5-10000-sale-summer/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/2016-cadillac-cts-v-undercuts-bmw-m5-10000-sale-summer/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 17:09:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1056466 Cadillac has announced its next V-Series model will sport more than just big horsepower numbers when the third-generation CTS-V arrives to do battle with its German competition. Following the launch of the brand-new ATS-V coupe and sedan this spring, deliveries of the larger CTS-V sedan will begin this summer with a base price of $83,995 before taxes and […]

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2016 Cadillac CTS-V

Cadillac has announced its next V-Series model will sport more than just big horsepower numbers when the third-generation CTS-V arrives to do battle with its German competition.

Following the launch of the brand-new ATS-V coupe and sedan this spring, deliveries of the larger CTS-V sedan will begin this summer with a base price of $83,995 before taxes and destination. Dealers are accepting orders now for the 640 horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged V8-powered full-size Cadillac that’s capable of getting to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 200 mph.

With that price, the new Caddy undercuts the BMW M5 by nearly $10,000 while offering up more horsepower and torque, making it a performance bargain in the segment. Whether its any good versus the M5 is yet to be seen.

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Review: 2015 Cadillac Escalade http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/review-2015-cadillac-escalade/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/review-2015-cadillac-escalade/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:30:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1031241 The first-generation Cadillac Escalade was a breathtaking statement of contempt for the American automobile buyer, differing from the GMC Yukon Denali in only the most minor, British-Leyland-style details, but in the years that followed General Motors has worked steadily to distance this Chevrolet Silverado 1500 derivative from all its other Chevrolet Silverado 1500 derivatives. This […]

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The first-generation Cadillac Escalade was a breathtaking statement of contempt for the American automobile buyer, differing from the GMC Yukon Denali in only the most minor, British-Leyland-style details, but in the years that followed General Motors has worked steadily to distance this Chevrolet Silverado 1500 derivative from all its other Chevrolet Silverado 1500 derivatives. This new-generation ‘Slade, therefore, is much like the Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman that stole my heart a few years ago. It’s the Maximum Cadillac, the only vehicle in the lineup with enough brand equity to escape the latest round of alphabet-souping. As with the Talisman, the MSRP is as obscene as the GWVR, and you just know that some percentage of the markup from the current Denali is just so your neighbors understand you have the ability to spend nearly a hundred grand on a truck, the same way the Talisman’s additional features in no way justified the extra money.

I’m on record as being a genuine fan of the Seventies GM sleds from Grand Ville to de Ville, so I approached this monstrous Cadillac in the Hertz lot with unfeigned enthusiasm and cheerfully paid well over a hundred dollars a day to squire it around Salt Lake City for a long weekend.

That enthusiasm didn’t last.


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Let’s start with the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question? Is it better than the revised-for-2015 Lincoln Navigator? The answer is an unqualified affirmative, and that’s part of the reason I really disliked the Escalade despite being rather ambivalent about the big Lincoln. The Navigator is just a relatively pleasant re-skin of a relatively pleasant old truck, sold at about a 20% discount to the equivalent Cadillac. That keeps the expectations at a level that the Lincoln can fulfill. The Escalade, on the other hand, promises more. For the as-tested price of $86,060, you get a brand-new vehicle full of brand-new thinking. It’s loaded head-to-toe with Cadillac-specific details — that just doesn’t work very well. Take the following photo as an example:

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That’s my finger attempting to operate the top row of CUE controls. Normally, you can’t see those controls; they only activate as the system senses your hand in close proximity. So you need to look at the screen a few times: once to get a sense of where your finger needs to approximately arrive, then again to make sure the controls came up (they don’t always, you see, and I have no idea why), then a final time to guide your digit to the PEZ-sized control icon. When you active the control, the screen will vibrate in iPhone-like sympathy, although those of us familiar with Cadillac reliability through the last thirty years will be excused for having a brief moment of unalloyed terror every time the car shakes.

This sequence of events would be merely annoying were it not for the styling touch of a prow above the display that makes it difficult to actually get your finger to the top row. Keep in mind I have relatively delicate hands and wear between a Large and XL men’s glove. Imagine you’re a fiftysomething Phoenix drywall contractor with the frame of a lowland gorilla and the gnarled hands of a dockworker and you’ll see how CUE just ain’t gonna work for some of the intended audience.

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What have we circled here? Why, it’s the same kind of defroster attachment that goes bad on nearly every GMT900 SUV. It’s an utterly loathsome arrangement, being simultaneously fragile and poorly situated. For eighty-three grand, is it possible to do better? You betcha.

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This interior is virtually all unique to the Escalade, with a few exceptions — AWD control and the like. Many of the materials are very nice, but the fit and finish is still problematic. As an example, the exterior doorhandles have some sort of nickel or stainless steel covers, but in my test car none of them lined up correctly.

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With the third row of seats up, luggage space is effectively nonexistent, but the power folders work quickly and without difficulty. I used them immediately so I could get my roller bag in the back. This is really a five-seat car, just like its Blazer ancestors.

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“Upcoming maneuver!” You have to love it. I don’t know if the phraseology is the mistake of an overseas development team or a tacit acknowledgement of the Escalade’s Yamato-class heft, but it made me smile every time I saw it. Less cheer-inducing: the ten-second or longer delay from startup to navigation function. Like it or not, CUE is slow to do everything and it frequently displays the same sort of indecision I associate with my old Galaxy SIII phone. Bluetooth audio from that phone, by the by, stutters and starts in precisely the way it does not in a Ford Fiesta or even a Chevrolet Spark. Nor is the sound quality terribly compelling; vocals and stringed instruments tend to disappear into the mix. The steering-wheel-mounted control buttons are not exactly intuitive, doing different things when you push them straight into the bezel than when you let them wobble up or down from the same push. No sir, I don’t like it.

With that said, I want to make it absolutely plain, if possible, that nothing about the execution of the Escalade smacks of indifference. This isn’t a 1984 deVille. It’s a damn-the-torpedos effort that just happens to come up short. The people who actually buy these things won’t care too much; their checkbooks will be pried open by the outrageously intimidating front end and the wide expanses of metal and iPhone-buzzing glass on the center console. They’ll like the opening animation that makes the three gauges appear to fly onto the full-LCD dashboard and they’ll appreciate the extra USB power ports and most of all they will like the fact that only from the side does this look anything like a $46,300 Tahoe.

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Oh, wait: I’ve forgotten to mention what it’s like to drive. Okay. Let’s go over that. It’s very, very, very quiet. So quiet that you can hear the transmission whining up to the clunky next shift the same way you could hear it in a base-model ’73 Catalina. Super vintage, yo. The suspension has two modes — Tour and Sport. The difference is that Tour somehow lets the nose scrape on driveways when you’re in a hurry, despite the K2-like altitude of said nose.

Compared to the Navigator, the Cadillac feels much more solid and milled-from-a-piece, as you’d expect. The 420/460 V8 can’t match the EcoBoost from a stop but if you let it run you’ll see some serious speeds in short order. The brakes, on the other hand, could use some work; they’re more than capable of locking the 22″-inch wheels (Can’t lose with 22s!) on demand but at sub-ABS pressure levels they are soft and unresponsive. Handling is about what you’d expect from a three-ton vehicle on rubber-band all-season M+S tires. I observed 16.5mpg in mixed use and 20.2mpg in a sustained 85mph freeway run, not much worse than my old Town Car despite having half again the weight and nearly twice the power.

It’s common to portray the Escalade as the last true Cadillac. It has a real name, it is unashamedly V-8-powered (for now, anyway; there’s a V-6 turbo on the way) and more-than-full-sized. It looks the part. It’s a very sensible argument and one I’ve made in the past but after three days with this monster truck I’m no longer convinced. Cadillacs should have style and this sled just doesn’t. It’s just a big Tahoe with a bunch of shiny stuff on it. It’s offensively large and largely offensive, a blatant statement that the driver can’t even be bothered with the appearance of moderation. It’s not just larger and heavier than the 1977 downsized C-body de Ville/Fleetwood that served as a masterclass in large-car design, it’s larger and heavier than the really, really, massive ’76 Talisman. You can’t blame Cadillac for giving the people what they want, but I have no trouble blaming them for their decision to effectively terminate full-sized sedan development in the Carter administration.

If the new CT6 has the same basic features as this truck in a proper sedan form factor, it will deserve some measure of success. Cadillac says they are “daring greatly”, and I hope they are. As it is, there’s nothing daring about this Escalade. And, I would add, nothing great.

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Cadillac CT6 To Receive Turbocharged, Naturally Aspirated V6 Engines http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cadillac-ct6-fitted-pair-v6-engines/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cadillac-ct6-fitted-pair-v6-engines/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 23:14:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1026649 When the Cadillac CT6 hits showrooms later this year, power for the flagship will come in the form of two V6 engines. The mills are a 3.6-liter naturally aspirated unit, and a 3-liter twin-turbo. Both engines are equipped with active fuel management and start-stop, helping to improve fuel economy when compared to the engines they […]

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When the Cadillac CT6 hits showrooms later this year, power for the flagship will come in the form of two V6 engines.

The mills are a 3.6-liter naturally aspirated unit, and a 3-liter twin-turbo. Both engines are equipped with active fuel management and start-stop, helping to improve fuel economy when compared to the engines they will replace in other Cadillac products.

Power figures for the 3.6-liter come to 335 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque, while the twin-turbo engine pumps out 400 horses and 400 lb-ft of torque. Both V6s will be paired with versions of General Motors’ Hydra-Matic eight-speed auto: the 8L90 for the turbocharged unit, the 8L45 for the naturally aspirated engine.

Both engines use aluminum blocks with more structuring in the bulkhead for increased rigidity; forged-steel crankshafts; polymer-coated, high-copper-content cylinder heads; cushioned chain sprockets for greater noise reduction; and a new two-pump oiling system for greater fuel efficiency and quieter operation.

Both V6s will be produced at GM’s Romulus Powertrain Operations in Romulus, Mich. — thanks to a $540-million investment to build the new engines — and will be placed under the bonnet of CT6 prior to delivery, which is set to begin between October and December of 2015.

The all-new 3.6L V6 for the upcoming Cadillac CT6 incorporates n 2016-Cadillac-CT6-Powertrain-LGW-V6-007 2016-Cadillac-CT6-Powertrain-LGW-V6-006

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Cadillac CT6 Lighter Than Similar Sedans Via Patent-Pending Construction http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cadillac-ct6-lighter-similar-sedans-via-patent-pending-construction/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cadillac-ct6-lighter-similar-sedans-via-patent-pending-construction/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 12:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1023065 While the Cadillac CT6’s exterior may leave the B&B wanting, its lightweight structure may be more impressive. Cadillac says its upcoming flagship — set to bow March 31 before rolling down the ramp at the 2015 New York Auto Show — uses 13 different materials throughout the chassis and body panels to bring the CT6’s […]

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Cadillac CT6 Structure mit Aluminium und Schteel Jawohl Uber Alles Amerika!

While the Cadillac CT6’s exterior may leave the B&B wanting, its lightweight structure may be more impressive.

Cadillac says its upcoming flagship — set to bow March 31 before rolling down the ramp at the 2015 New York Auto Show — uses 13 different materials throughout the chassis and body panels to bring the CT6’s weight down by 198 pounds when compared to a similar model using “predominantly steel construction.”

Per president Johan de Nysschen:

This is the rocket science of automobile construction and manufacturing today. With the CT6, we used high-strength aluminum and high-strength steels; lightweight chassis components; we integrate aluminum and steel where it makes sense; we eliminate every gram of mass possible, while achieving world-class performance.

Most of the vehicle’s structure — 64 percent — is aluminum, with high-strength steel “used strategically to reinforce” the structure, which has 21 patents pending tied to its existence. Aluminum and steel spot welds, flow drill screws, laser welding et al were used to put the structure together. The results eliminate the need for extensive sound-deadening, and allow the CT6 to be bigger and have more standard equipment “while achieving lower overall mass,” according to executive chief engineer Travis Hester.

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General Motors Cutting Production To Relieve Inventory Glut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/general-motors-cutting-production-relieve-inventory-glut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/general-motors-cutting-production-relieve-inventory-glut/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1008274 Facing growing dealer inventories, General Motors is cutting back production at two of its plants to adjust supply and demand. Automotive News reports Orion Assembly in Detroit and the Flex line at Oshawa Car Assembly in Oshawa, Canada will be idled in March and April, respectively, each plant to idle for four days. Orion is […]

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Facing growing dealer inventories, General Motors is cutting back production at two of its plants to adjust supply and demand.

Automotive News reports Orion Assembly in Detroit and the Flex line at Oshawa Car Assembly in Oshawa, Canada will be idled in March and April, respectively, each plant to idle for four days. Orion is responsible for the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano, while the Flex line handles the Chevrolet Camaro and Impala, Buick Regal, and Cadillac XTS.

The reduction in production comes amid consumer demand for trucks and crossovers over said vehicles, of which the Sonic and Regal hold the highest inventory levels at 216 and 213 days as of February 1, 2015. The Sonic’s inventory level is the highest since the subcompact’s August 2011 debut, while the Regal jumped to its level from just 96 days back on January 1.

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De Nysschen: Cadillac CT6 Likely To Gain Twin-Turbo V8 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/de-nysschen-cadillac-ct6-likely-gain-twin-turbo-v8/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/de-nysschen-cadillac-ct6-likely-gain-twin-turbo-v8/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:00:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1008106 The Cadillac CT6’s looks may not be as “greatly daring” as the B&B had hoped, but the premium sedan might make up for that with twin-turbo V8 power. According to Road & Track, brand president Johan de Nysschen turned up for a Q&A with the commentariat over on Jalopnik, where he gave this response to […]

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The Cadillac CT6’s looks may not be as “greatly daring” as the B&B had hoped, but the premium sedan might make up for that with twin-turbo V8 power.

According to Road & Track, brand president Johan de Nysschen turned up for a Q&A with the commentariat over on Jalopnik, where he gave this response to a question by the blog’s own Michael Ballaban:

CT6 is a car that really sets the standard in many respects with regard to advanced new body construction technology. It’s a Cadillac, so it stands to reason that it’s great to drive, very refined and sophisticated. The lightweight body construction allows us to push the envelope when it comes to powertrain in a way we know that the rest of the industry will follow. This includes a very wide mix of engines, starting with a 2-liter turbo, up to, eventually, a high-performance advanced V-8 turbo.

De Nysschen reaffirmed his statement when another commenter asked about the CT6’s ability to keep up with the likes of the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class, proclaiming the sedan’s “lightweight body structure” would provide the platform for “formidable performance” with a twin-turbo V6, let alone a twin-turbo V8.

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Lincoln ‘Dares Greater’ Than Cadillac In Google SEO Game http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/lincoln-dares-greater-cadillac-google-seo-game/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/lincoln-dares-greater-cadillac-google-seo-game/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 11:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1007698 Oscar viewers who are seeking on Google the Cadillac that “dared greatly” are suddenly hearing Matthew McConaughey’s voice, thanks to Lincoln’s SEO skills. Autoblog reports the first instance of Lincoln’s slogan hijacking appeared less than 24 hours after Cadillac’s “Dare Greatly” adverts aired during the 87th Academy Awards. As seen above, those wanting to know […]

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Lincoln Dares Greater Than Cadillac In The SEO Game

Oscar viewers who are seeking on Google the Cadillac that “dared greatly” are suddenly hearing Matthew McConaughey’s voice, thanks to Lincoln’s SEO skills.

Autoblog reports the first instance of Lincoln’s slogan hijacking appeared less than 24 hours after Cadillac’s “Dare Greatly” adverts aired during the 87th Academy Awards. As seen above, those wanting to know more about Cadillac — and about that mysterious car making a brief appearance in a separate Oscars advert — will find a sponsored link for the brand at the top, followed by Lincoln’s version of the truth in second.

Originally, the second sponsored link — which read, “Dare Greatly – It’s not about making a statement, it’s about doing what you love” — directed consumers to Lincoln’s homepage, greeting them with the sight of the 2015 MKZ Hybrid. Since then, the link directs to the same page, but the image is that of the 2015 MKC. The link’s slogan, meanwhile, changes with every search; for this author, it currently reads, “You don’t have to make a statement when you know who you are,” likely a swipe at brand president Johan de Nysschen’s and brand director Melody Lee’s ambitions and aspirations for Cadillac.

As for the Oscars campaign, AutoTrader said that searches for Cadillac jumped 53 percent within an hour after the first advert aired.

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Cadillac’s Oscars 2015 Adverts Channel Teddy, Shows No Product http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/cadillacs-oscars-2015-adverts-channel-teddy-shows-no-product/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/cadillacs-oscars-2015-adverts-channel-teddy-shows-no-product/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 11:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1003978 Melody Lee may or may not be on the red carpet Sunday, but Teddy Roosevelt’s essence will be felt in one of Cadillac’s Oscars 2015 adverts. Detroit Free Press reports the advert, called “Dare Greatly,” pulls the famous “Man in the Arena” passage from President Theodore Roosevelt’s 35-page “Citizenship in a Republic” speech at the […]

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Melody Lee may or may not be on the red carpet Sunday, but Teddy Roosevelt’s essence will be felt in one of Cadillac’s Oscars 2015 adverts.

Detroit Free Press reports the advert, called “Dare Greatly,” pulls the famous “Man in the Arena” passage from President Theodore Roosevelt’s 35-page “Citizenship in a Republic” speech at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, delivered April 23, 1910, though no credit is given to the historic president:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming … who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Aside from the lack of credit, all versions of the advert to be shown during the Oscars telecast offer plenty of views of the brand’s new home of New York, but none of its products. Representative David Caldwell said two other ads will also air Sunday evening, with at least one featuring a Cadillac. The ads are the first created by Publicis Worldwide for the brand; the agency replaced Detroit-based Lowe Campbell Ewald last year.

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Reader Review: 2014 Cadillac ATS http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/reader-review-2014-cadillac-ats/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/reader-review-2014-cadillac-ats/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 14:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=995178 User carguy gives his take on the Cadillac ATS Few cars have been the subject of so much lively debate among TTAC readers than those made by Cadillac – and no more has been more polarizing than the ATS. As it happens, I have been driving one of these controversial machines for the past 15,000 […]

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User carguy gives his take on the Cadillac ATS

Few cars have been the subject of so much lively debate among TTAC readers than those made by Cadillac – and no more has been more polarizing than the ATS. As it happens, I have been driving one of these controversial machines for the past 15,000 miles and thought I’d pen an objective, non-hyperbolic retrospective about owning this car before I bid farewell to it next month. While it would be easy to argue that the Internet doesn’t need another ATS review (and it really doesn’t) my words here are not really intended to be a traditional review. I promise you that I will not to expose you to my views about the latest iteration of the art and science design school or any musings about track performance numbers. No, today I will break all the automotive press rules and share with you what it was like to actually own this car: what was good, what was OK and what was infuriating. Sounds exciting, right? No? OK I’ll promise to keep it light so hear me out and then feel free to throw rotten tomatoes at my views in the comments section.

So what made a middle age car freak and 4 times BMW owner like me buy an ATS to begin with? Was it the petite 10 cu ft trunk or just the realization that I am now old enough to own one? Neither really. Having found the current F30 3 series to be dead from the waist down and the IS350 with the non-F suspension not much better, I headed to my local Cadillac dealer in the hope of finding a daily driver that was fun in the curves and with an engine slightly more reliable than the N54 in my previous 335. I found a nice-priced Luxury trim ATS with Nav and sunroof to be just the ticket. Fast forward 14 months, here is the good, the OK and the ugly.

The Good
You will not be surprised to hear that the ATS’s party trick is its chassis. In luxury trim it is a delightful blend of responsiveness and comfort that is currently unmatched in this segment. It dances in ways that most German manufacturers can only reminisce about and the steering complements this with precision, feedback and an eager turn in that provides for smiles even during slow speed grocery runs. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the “Brembo” markings on the brakes are any indication of track readiness (it is more of a co-branding exercise) but they are fantastic for street use, providing linear and progressive feel and none of the overly grabby bite that many BMWs exhibit. I will spare you further “this car drives really well” clichés with a note that the sports suspension in the “Performance” trim was too firm for me and that the magnetic suspension in the Premium trim was fabulous but also ridiculously priced.

To my eyes the interior is also better than anything you will get at the high 30s price range that most ATS’s sell for. No materials are fake and, to me, it feels special and luxurious in ways that Acura will never quite understand. No rattles developed in my car nor did I notice any in the abused ATS rentals that I have also driven. Even the controversial retro cluster gauges grew on me. It may lack visual wow factor but it makes up for it with no-BS day and night clarify and an easy to configure 3-part LCD panel. Configure the large center LCD to show the speed and you wonder why heads-up displays are even an option.

Likewise, the outward visibility is a pleasant surprise. When adjusted correctly, the large side mirrors offer an excellent view either side of the car that makes for confident lane changes even in crowded traffic. That may not seem like such a big deal to you but after having to deal with the postage stamp size aerodynamic sports mirrors on my previous BMW it seemed like a magnificent feature. The high trunk line does limit the rear view but it is adequately augmented by a clear wide angle backup camera.

The OK
Out of the three engine choices you’ll find the V6 simply too heavy for the front end and the 2.5 liter entry level mill wheezy and less refined than most agricultural machinery. The 2.0T was the clear choice for me delivering smooth acceleration while maintaining the car’s light feel. It delivers great low RPM torque and makes the car feel quick in town but becomes a little disappointing nearer the top of the rev gauge. The engine is not as good as BMW’s N20 but on par with what Audi is offering in the A3 and A4 much better than the dreadful 1.8T Mercedes used to put in the C250. Fuel economy is average with about 32 MPG at 75 MPH highway speeds and 20 MPG in town (my 15K mile average was 25 MPG). A driveline quirk is the complete absence of any engine braking but a real downer, for anyone with a short commute, is engine efficiency after a cold start. All cars struggle when they are cold but there seems to be no excuse for the 2.0T seems to drink like a V8 for about 5-7 miles of the morning commute.

There is also nothing remarkable about the GM 6-speed auto. It can’t match the ZF 8-speed in the BMW for shift speed and smoothness but it is eager to downshift and never had me really wishing for anything better. It may not be the newest piece of technology but I would choose it over the Mercedes dual clutch setup in the CLA every day of the week. It will also most likely still work well when most dual clutch transmission are already at a metal recycling facility.

You don’t read much about paint quality in auto reviews but I always thought it an essential differentiating factor for cars that claim luxury status. The ATS gets a mixed review here for having a smooth hard clear coat but suffering from thin paint – an undesirable weight saving trend in many modern cars. Expect stone ships to get through to the undercoat which is not a good look on a black car.

Also firmly in the “meh” category is the Nav system. On the upside this option is a bargain price when compared to the European competition and it does have a nice 8” display. However, it is very slow and has a frustrating search function that insists you spell everything 100% correctly or it will simply not find what you’re looking for. The software is also third party so if you want bugs fixed you will have to pony up $150 for a map and software upgrade. In the mid 30k price range this might be barely acceptable but anyone finding this unit in a $70K CTS V-Sport will not be pleased.

The Ugly
He’s going to talk about CUE! Not so fast. The ugly actually starts before you even buy the car and are pondering the options list, which is clearly the product of a near government size bureaucracy. The available top three trims Luxury, Performance & Premium are not so much option packs as different suspensions with ever increasing standard and optional equipment as you move up. So you want HID headlights? You will also need to buy the hard-as-rock suspension as they are only available in Performance trim or higher. Want a heads-up display? Clearly you will also need that firm sports suspension. Whoever thought that bundling common features with arbitrary suspension packages was a good idea needs to lose their “employee of the month” parking spot. Considering how easy it would have been to copy the European brands successful (and profitable) option packages, this craziness really is an unforced error.

So let’s talk about CUE but before we do, let’s get something clear: the disadvantages of having touch-screen only controls are obvious and I knew this when I bought the car. I also knew the system was a little slow. What I didn’t know was just how many glitches were still hiding in every corner of this complex system. Starting with annoying audio system habits like forgetting the track you were on when you restart the car (I have heard way too much of my music collection that starts with an “A”) to outright crashing at random, events such starting or ending a phone call using Bluetooth.

Then there is the HVAC system. Built on the premise that its automatic mode will take care of everything from temperature to humidity, clearly the designers saw no need for much in the way of manual controls. However, if you don’t like what the automatic system has decided to do then you are in for a frustrating time. For example, if you have the audacity to want to turn off the AC compressor when it is cold out it will blast you with hot air until you sweat even though the temperature is set to 70. Why not just turn off the fans you say? Unless you put the system in recycle it will still let air through the vents by air forced in from the outside when you’re doing more than 60 MPH even when the fans are off. Other HVAC highlights feature a de-misting function which, in humid Florida, will fog up your windscreen in seconds by blasting it with super cold air. And just to drive home the folly of “automatic or nothing” systems, things then went into comedy overdrive when an HVAC temperature sensor failed late last year and the system acted like it was possessed. I will spare you the sweaty details of the mobile sauna that this fault turned my car into, but it suffices to say that I was thankful for small mercies as it was winter and the electric windows worked just fine.

The story of the rest of the electronics unfortunately doesn’t get much better. Sometimes the door handle lock buttons refuse to work until you either us the fob or open and close the door again. Once the system got so confused it would lock from either the fob or the door buttons. I had to park the car outside my office window and wait for the ECU to go to sleep until normal locking functionality returned. Then there are minor fails like placing the outside temperature sensor clearly way too close to parts of the car that get hot during normal use, resulting in hilariously inflated readings. If you don’t believe in global warming now, you will after owning an ATS.

Then there was the ugliest of glitches that prevented the electronics from entering sleep mode when the car is turned off and completely draining the battery overnight. Fortunately that only happed a few times but, like most of its glitches, was also impossible to reproduce for diagnostic purposes. However, once you find yourself having to share your 10 cu ft trunk of your new car with a jump start batter pack, you know it’s time to cut your losses.

So by now you may have figured out that I did have few visits to the dealer and may be wondering how that experience was. You dealer mileage may vary but mine was extremely friendly and helpful and always fixed what they could. Unfortunately dealers simply can’t do much to fix broken computer code or poor design. They were also not helped the fact that the pace of software updates seems to have slowed to a trickle. I am guessing those GM developers are busy working on new system.

So where does that leave my feelings about owning the ATS? Part of me is encouraged that GM has the engineering prowess to turn out a new platform that, in its first iteration, is better than most of what European premium brands can manage. The other feeling is dismay in that they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by cursing this car with a crazy half-baked set of electrics. It’s an old-school RWD sports sedan – all it needed was the old-school reliable system from the Impala or Malibu and it would have been the best compact sport sedan you could buy. Instead I am left pondering an expensive mistake while I wait for my BMW 2-series to arrive.

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De Nysschen: Small Cadillac CUV Due In Four Years’ Time http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/de-nysschen-small-cadillac-cuv-due-four-years-time/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/de-nysschen-small-cadillac-cuv-due-four-years-time/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:00:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=988490 Ballers looking for a much smaller Cadillac Escalade may need to wait four years before such a beast arrives, per president Johan de Nysschen. Reuters reports the small crossover will be priced under the Escalade’s current $72,970 base price, and will be part of the brand’s overall $12 billion lineup expansion plan that will see […]

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Ballers looking for a much smaller Cadillac Escalade may need to wait four years before such a beast arrives, per president Johan de Nysschen.

Reuters reports the small crossover will be priced under the Escalade’s current $72,970 base price, and will be part of the brand’s overall $12 billion lineup expansion plan that will see eight vehicles introduced between now and the end of the decade.

Also coming in 2019: diesel-power for both cars and crossovers/SUVs. De Nysschen said he wants to start pushing for market share in Europe during the 2020s, explaining that “if you want to play in Europe, you better have some diesels.” Said diesels would also be sold in the U.S. market.

Meanwhile, he expects sales to remain flat for 2015, linked to the lack of new product beyond the upcoming CT6 flagship until late into 2017. De Nysschen adds that the strengthening U.S. dollar would leave a dent in his brand and those of his U.S.-based competitors, while Asian and European automakers use the currency challenge to cut prices on their respective offerings.

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Cadillac Gaining 700 Boutiques To Augment Flagship Stores http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cadillac-gaining-700-boutiques-augment-flagship-stores/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cadillac-gaining-700-boutiques-augment-flagship-stores/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 11:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=987730 Want to go boutiquing for your next Cadillac? Brand CEO Johan de Nysschen has plans to make that a reality. At present, Cadillac has over 900 dealerships in the United States, 200 of which are flagships. De Nysschen’s plan would be to complement the flagship dealers with 700 smaller boutiques that would feature “exclusive Cadillac […]

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Cadillac Model Dealership Interior

Want to go boutiquing for your next Cadillac? Brand CEO Johan de Nysschen has plans to make that a reality.

At present, Cadillac has over 900 dealerships in the United States, 200 of which are flagships. De Nysschen’s plan would be to complement the flagship dealers with 700 smaller boutiques that would feature “exclusive Cadillac consumer touch points, highly trained sales and service staff and luxury amenities.”

Additionally, showroom visitors would be able to pick their new CT or XT from a virtual display, including the possibility for holograms a la Tupac and Liberace to help see what the real thing would look like in a given configuration.

De Nysschen says that all dealerships present and future, as well as those who sell Volts, Regals and Yukon XLs alongside ELRs, “should strive to create a premium showroom atmosphere and the sophisticated brand experience that luxury consumers expect.” There are no plans to reduce the number of current dealerships.

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NAIAS 2015: Cadillac Unveils 2016 CTS-V, Plans For CLA-Fighter http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-cadillac-unveils-2016-cts-v-plans-cla-fighter/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-cadillac-unveils-2016-cts-v-plans-cla-fighter/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 18:50:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=981417 Cadillac finally revealed its 2016 CTS-V performance sedan at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, but the brand also let it be known that it’s considering taking on the Mercedes-Benz CLA in the entry-level premium game, as well [Live photos now available – CA]. The CTS-V derives its power from a 640-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with […]

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Cadillac finally revealed its 2016 CTS-V performance sedan at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, but the brand also let it be known that it’s considering taking on the Mercedes-Benz CLA in the entry-level premium game, as well [Live photos now available – CA].

The CTS-V derives its power from a 640-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with a 1.7-liter supercharger, direct injection, and GM’s Active Fuel Management system onboard. Torque is 630 lb-ft, top speed is 200 mph, and zero to 60 comes in 3.7 seconds. A paddle-shifted eight-speed automatic with launch control and Performance Algorithm Shifting directs the power to the back.

Suspension is comprised of a revised multi-link double-pivot MacPherson-strut up front, five-link rear out back. Stiffer front and rear stabilizers reduce body roll by 20 percent, electronic limited-slip differential and 19-inch forged aluminum wheels shod in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires maintain grip on the road and track, and two-piece 15.3-inch front rotors with 6-piston calipers — 14.3-inch discs with 4-piston calipers in the back — help bring everything to a stop.

Other features include: Magnetic Ride Control with four selectable driving modes; enhanced aero; carbon fiber hood with air-extracting vent for reduced lift and heat; 20-way heated and vented front seats; OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi; 12.3-inch instrument cluster display; and wireless inductive phone charging.

As for the CLA fighter, Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen admits entry-level premium offerings like the CLA and Audi A3 have put a dent in ATS sales. However, Cadillac’s entry-level model will be RWD, underpinned by the same platform that the ATS rides upon.

The CTS-V is expected to enter showrooms later this summer.

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Cadillac’s New Brand Identity To Grace Oscars’ Red Carpet http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cadillacs-new-brand-identity-grace-oscars-red-carpet/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cadillacs-new-brand-identity-grace-oscars-red-carpet/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 15:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=974377 Want a selfie with Melody Lee at this year’s Oscars? While that may or may not happen due to a number of factors, Cadillac will grace the B&B’s viewing parties with its presence. Forbes reports the premium brand will walk the red carpet in an all-new advertising campaign gown, showing off both its revamped brand […]

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Jennifer Lawrence at the 2014 Oscars

Want a selfie with Melody Lee at this year’s Oscars? While that may or may not happen due to a number of factors, Cadillac will grace the B&B’s viewing parties with its presence.

Forbes reports the premium brand will walk the red carpet in an all-new advertising campaign gown, showing off both its revamped brand positioning and new tagline during the telecast of the annual awards ceremony February 22, followed by the debut of the CT6 at the 2015 New York Auto Show in April.

Cadillac’s goal with the campaign, per CMO Uwe Ellinghaus, is to “disrupt” how everyone views the brand, hopefully doing a better job than the time Kimmy K tried to break the Internet with her backside. Parent company General Motors became the exclusive automobile advertiser in 2014 after Hyundai stepped away, with both Chevrolet and Cadillac airing spots during the pre-show and main event.

As for New York, the brand will debut a new auto-show display design at the show, with the aim of differentiating itself from other premium, more Teutonic marquees. Ellinghaus explains the motive:

As an American brand, Cadillac can be bolder, more expressive and use more of a human touch, because we are not German. We need to get to one “look-and-see” the world over.

Meanwhile, Cadillac’s presence at next week’s 2015 Detroit Auto Show will be more subdued, focusing upon the 640-horsepower, 200-mph 2016 CTS-V premium performance sedan.

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Last Remaining United Kingdom Cadillac Dealer Closes http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/last-remaining-united-kingdom-cadillac-dealer-closes/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/last-remaining-united-kingdom-cadillac-dealer-closes/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 19:44:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=973201   In a move that that will be mourned by…well, I am not sure by who, the lone surviving Cadillac retailer in England has closed its doors. English trade journal Car Dealer Magazine reports that dealership Bauer Millett in Manchester shut down just before Christmas. Citing the high cost of doing business and increased competition, owner Mitch Millet also gave […]

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In a move that that will be mourned by…well, I am not sure by who, the lone surviving Cadillac retailer in England has closed its doors. English trade journal Car Dealer Magazine reports that dealership Bauer Millett in Manchester shut down just before Christmas. Citing the high cost of doing business and increased competition, owner Mitch Millet also gave up his Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Jeep and Chrysler franchises.

Millet did not say, but we imagine selling large left-hand drive American vehicles would be quite a challenge in the UK.

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen has previously announced that Caddy will return to England in 2019, complete with diesel models. No word if the automaker is going to open an office on Savile Row.

Paging DeadWeight, paging DeadWeight…

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BMW Takes US Luxury Sales Crown Back From Mercedes http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/bmw-takes-us-luxury-sales-crown-back-mercedes/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/bmw-takes-us-luxury-sales-crown-back-mercedes/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 12:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=972809 After a year-long battle for the top position on the U.S. luxury sales podium, BMW takes back the crown Mercedes-Benz won in 2013. Reuters reports the Bavarians moved over 9,000 more units by the end of 2014 over the wonder boys back in Stuttgart, coming out to a total of 339,738 for BMW, 330,391 for […]

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After a year-long battle for the top position on the U.S. luxury sales podium, BMW takes back the crown Mercedes-Benz won in 2013.

Reuters reports the Bavarians moved over 9,000 more units by the end of 2014 over the wonder boys back in Stuttgart, coming out to a total of 339,738 for BMW, 330,391 for Mercedes. Both automakers also experienced growth in U.S. sales during the last year, though BMW’s 9.8 percent boost over 2013’s numbers raced past Mercedes’ 5.7 percent increase.

Taking third on the podium was Lexus with 311,389 units sold in 2014, though its rate of growth bested the top two finishers at 13.7 percent over 2013.

Rounding out the rest of the U.S. mainstream luxury pack, Audi took fourth from Cadillac, the latter to be the only make to see a decline in growth in 2014, falling 6.5 percent to 170,750 units; Audi sold 182,011 over the same period, 15.2 percent more than it did in 2013.

Acura and Infiniti took sixth and seventh respectively, with 167,843 to 117,300 units moved. Both also experienced the lowest rates of growth in sales in the outgoing year: 1.5 percent in Acura’s favor, 0.8 percent for Infiniti.

Lincoln finished dead last with 94,474 units sold, but had the biggest rate of growth out of its fellow competitors compared to 2013 at 15.6 percent.

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Aluminum The Metal Of Choice For The 2016 Cadillac CT6 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/aluminum-metal-choice-2016-cadillac-ct6/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/aluminum-metal-choice-2016-cadillac-ct6/#comments Fri, 26 Dec 2014 13:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=968090 The Ford F-150 won’t be the only new model sporting an aluminum body: the Cadillac CT6 — which won’t look much like the Elmiraj concept, alas — will enter production with the metal, as well. Automobile reports the body will keep the CT6 — slotted above the CTS but below the Mercedes S-Class in size […]

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The Ford F-150 won’t be the only new model sporting an aluminum body: the Cadillac CT6 — which won’t look much like the Elmiraj concept, alas — will enter production with the metal, as well.

Automobile reports the body will keep the CT6 — slotted above the CTS but below the Mercedes S-Class in size — around 3,700 to 4,100 pounds in weight. The strategy would put the upcoming sedan in the same weight class as the Mercedes CLS-Class, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe and Audi A7.

As for power, the CT6 will be motivated by a new overhead-cam family back in development by General Motors, with four- and six-cylinder models expected to join the planned V8 variant that was shelved around the time of the 2009 bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, the future flagship — until the CT9 turns up later down the road, anyway — won’t be attending the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, and will likely take the ramp at Geneva, New York or Frankfurt later in the year. The CT6 is expected in showrooms just after the start of the 2016 model year.

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Detroit 2015: New Cadillac CTS-V Debuting January 13 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/detroit-2015-new-cadillac-cts-v-debuting-january-13/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/detroit-2015-new-cadillac-cts-v-debuting-january-13/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=962009 It’s been a long time coming: Cadillac’s third-gen CTS-V will hit the ramp at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Autoblog reports the high-performance premium sedan will bow January 13, though little else was mentioned at this time. The previous CTS-V threw down against the likes of the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63, thanks to a […]

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2009 Cadillac CTS-V

It’s been a long time coming: Cadillac’s third-gen CTS-V will hit the ramp at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

Autoblog reports the high-performance premium sedan will bow January 13, though little else was mentioned at this time.

The previous CTS-V threw down against the likes of the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63, thanks to a detuned 6.2-liter V8 lifted from the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. The publication speculates Cadillac could use that play again, with the assist coming from the 650-horsepower supercharged V8 under the hood of the Corvette Stingray Z06.

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Capsule Review: 2015 Cadillac XTS Vsport http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/capsule-review-2015-cadillac-xts-vsport/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/capsule-review-2015-cadillac-xts-vsport/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 13:30:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=957466 GM delivered the Epsilon II platform to the company’s most upmarket division to produce a car with, among other things, more flamboyant styling. Later on, Cadillac added all-wheel-drive, threw in enough equipment to call it a Platinum edition, and by replacing the 3.6L V6 with a twin-turbocharged 3.6L V6, yielded enough straight-line performance to justify […]

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2015 Cadillac XTS VsportGM delivered the Epsilon II platform to the company’s most upmarket division to produce a car with, among other things, more flamboyant styling. Later on, Cadillac added all-wheel-drive, threw in enough equipment to call it a Platinum edition, and by replacing the 3.6L V6 with a twin-turbocharged 3.6L V6, yielded enough straight-line performance to justify the Vsport label.

This all-wheel-drive Cadillac XTS is not an outright Cadillac V car, not like the XLR-V, the STS-V, and what will soon be the third-generation CTS-V. Instead, the Vsport tag, first seen on the third-gen CTS, is a midway point. Except in the XTS’s case, there will be no V, presumably because upping the ante would just be silly, given that the 410-horsepower XTS Vsport already manifests torque steer despite its AWD configuration.

This, therefore, is Maximum XTS, the latest, flashiest, fastest car in a long line of big Cadillacs stretching back to your grandfather’s Fleetwood Brougham and his boss’s post-war Sixty Special.

In the United States, a base front-wheel-drive XTS starts at $45,655, destination fees included. $51,995 is the starting point for the all-wheel-drive XTS. The Vsport model begins at $63,730, but the Vsport Platinum ($70,780) can be optioned up beyond $72,000 with rear seat DVD. The XTS Vsport is rated by the EPA at 16 mpg in the city; 24 on the highway. Our XTS Vsport Platinum, supplied for the week by GM Canada, averaged 16 mpg over the course of the week and was priced at (CAD) $77,565 with fees and options, including $1295 for the lustrous crystal red tintcoat.

2015 Cadillac XTS Vsport rearThe sense of high quality is deeper than the paint. Moving inside, the XTS’s headliner and pillars are slathered in alcantara. There’s real wood sourced from real trees. Four of the 14 Bose speakers are perched just above the front occupants’ shoulders for impressive surround sound audio. CUE, though sluggish and frustrating when in use, makes for a stylishly minimalistic flip-up centre panel. The XTS Vsport’s gauge cluster is light years beyond the setup so often decried in the ATS.

Moreover, if “premium” and “luxury” and “upscale” still go hand in hand with acreage, the XTS is a winner regardless of equipment levels and material quality. It’s 19.2 inches longer than the ATS, 6.5 inches longer than the CTS, with a cabin that’s 7.4% larger than the CTS’s. If you want bigger luxury, long-wheelbase Germans are the way to go. The Audi A8L is 5.4 inches longer with 2.9 inches of extra rear legroom and a cabin that’s 17% larger. But the A8L, like most cars, can’t beat the XTS’s 18 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

(Compared with the final version of its DTS successor, the XTS is 5.6 inches shorter and nearly two inches narrower with marginally less rear legroom and 2.4 fewer inches of rear hiproom. The trunk and the overall cabin size are both slightly smaller than they were a generation ago, as well.)

2015 Cadillac XTS Vsport frontFortunately, once on the move the XTS doesn’t feel as immense as its dimensions suggest. Visibility is far better than in the smaller CTS and the XTS’s steering is more than light enough to ease slow-speed maneuvering. Naturally, there’s a lot of weight (4215 pounds) to toss around a corner. That avoirdupois, combined with slow and feathery steering and braking response that’s not up to the standards of modern performance cars, discourages the truly aggressive driving which the CTS Vsport constantly invites. Yet at the same time, the XTS performs the trick of driving like a somewhat (and only somewhat) smaller car, which becomes its most encouraging dynamic trait.

Still, the general lack of any feeling or connection causes you to question the legitimacy of the V badge on the XTS’s trunklid, if you haven’t already. But the road will open up, and when it does, you’ll be taken aback by the instant-on torque (369 lb-ft at just 1900 rpm) and the seemingly endless wave of power. As the speedometer’s readout climbs higher and you anticipate an ocean’s worth of disconcerting float, Magnetic Ride Control keeps body motions in check. The XTS Vsport’s ride quality isolates road imperfections to the extent that passengers were never aware of the imperfections. And though wind noise, more noticeable because of the otherwise hushed interior, barely creeps in around the A-pillars, passengers are not aware of the actual rate of speed.

2015 Cadillac XTS Vsport interiorRemembering the potency of this engine, you didn’t reach such speeds quite as quickly as you expected. The 3.6L twin-turbo makes 10 more horsepower and 61 more lb-ft of torque when placed under the hood of the CTS Vsport, which weighs less than 4000 pounds and sends power to the rear wheels with an 8-speed automatic. By the standards of that car’s transmission, the XTS Vsport’s 6-speed automatic is sluggish, but its all-around smoothness will be appreciated by the XTS’s dwindling clientele.

U.S. XTS sales are down 26% to just 22,059 units through the first eleven months of 2014. Thus, it may not have mattered if the XTS Vsport was equipped with a Hellcat-like V8 and ZF’s famed 8-speed automatic, as this still wouldn’t be a vehicle in which the typical car buyer of today has any interest. (And does the typical buyer of yesterday have any interest in battling the Cadillac User Interface on a daily basis?) Though relatively fleet-friendly, the XTS sells less often than the far pricier and recently redesigned Mercedes-Benz S-Class; more often than the Audi A6, Buick Regal, and Lexus GS. Cadillac sold more than 80,000 Devilles as recently as 2003, a year in which Lincoln sold more than 56,000 Town Cars.

2015 Cadillac XTS Vsport frontThe market has moved away from traditional full-size sedans and is moving away from Cadillac’s car division, too. The brand’s passenger cars are down 15% to 79,139 units with one month remaining in 2014 as Cadillac reportedly pursues a premium image not in keeping with price cuts.

Indeed, ever since the as-tested price was mentioned, you’ve been wanting to pipe in with the names of countless other cars available at a similar price point: BMW 550i xDrive, Lexus LS460, Audi A7 TDI, and Jaguar XJ, cars with reputations for athleticism, refinement, technological prowess, and panache which Cadillac can’t match. That might be missing the point. The XTS Vsport won’t be the car you buy because of how well it stacks up against the competition. It’s the XTS you buy because you were going to buy an XTS anyway, and this is the maximized XTS.

Of course, I wasn’t going to buy a regular 304-horsepower XTS. Sales figures suggest you weren’t going to either. But I won’t deny that for the prospective XTS buyer, this Vsport provides the kind of accelerative experience that makes the conventional XTS feel dreadfully pedestrian.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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Cadillac Exec: “No Petrolheads Need Apply” http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/cadillac-exec-petrolheads-need-apply/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/cadillac-exec-petrolheads-need-apply/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 13:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=954809 It is not our intention to pile on poor Cadillac after our recent discussion, but comments made last week by the automaker’s marketing manager Ewe Ellinghaus must be noted. Speaking to Advertising Age, he repeated the new company mantra about the carmaker becoming a “the first luxury brand that happens to make cars,” and then added: “When I recruit new people, I don’t […]

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Casa-de-Cadillac-_Christmas-1955 Courtesy curbsideclassic.com

It is not our intention to pile on poor Cadillac after our recent discussion, but comments made last week by the automaker’s marketing manager Ewe Ellinghaus must be noted. Speaking to Advertising Age, he repeated the new company mantra about the carmaker becoming a “the first luxury brand that happens to make cars,” and then added:

“When I recruit new people, I don’t need petrolheads. We have more than enough petrolheads and we will still. I need people with experiences in other industries, but with luxury brands.”

We must assume that Ellinghaus, most recently with Montblanc pens and formerly with BMW, was using the European term equivalent to what we call a “car guy” or “car gal.” If so, Cadillac’s future is as bleak as the B&B thinks it is, and not just because of products.Ellinghaus and new Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen are assembling a team of perfectly-diverse and social-media savvy managers from non-automotive luxury companies who probably know all the right restaurants in their new home in New York City. That is fine but choosing not to hire proven car industry folks is just plain dumb. A car guy or gal is someone who has succeeded because they understand that sales only comes from great cars, great marketing and great dealers.  Bob Lutz is a car guy. Soichiro Honda was a car guy. Lee Iaccoca was a car guy. Ellinghaus says Cadillac has cars guys on staff but we can’t think of any; either way he insulted them all by saying, “we have more than enough petrolheads.”

Ford Motor Company has a true car guy on the rise by the name of Henry Ford III. The great-great grandson of the company’s founder actually spent a summer at Galpin Ford in Los Angeles selling cars to better understand the retail side of the business. We doubt you will ever see de Nysschen or Melody Lee, their “Director of Brand and Reputation Strategy” talking to Cadillac shoppers on a showroom floor, let alone ever setting foot in one of their retailers. Speaking of dealers, Cadillac needs a major overhaul of their dealer body, one that is lagging behind other luxury brands in customer handling. Whoever will be in charge of dealer relations needs to be a major car person, not Amber from Tiffany’s.

One issue not discussed by our commentariat in our last Caddy story was the impending move of their sales and marketing team from Detroit to Manhattan. One good thing about being in New York is the chance to hire managers away from the US headquarters of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Subaru in northern New Jersey. (Oh, wait, they are not hiring petrolheads.) Separating themselves geographically from the rest of GM might be a good idea, but they went the wrong direction: they should have gone west to car-crazy Los Angeles. Lee recently said that people in New York City are a “little bit ahead of everyone else,” another insult to GM’s Michigan workforce. That may be, but people in Los Angeles are ten steps ahead when it comes to knowing great cars.

At least Ford was visionary enough to open an Orange County, CA office in 1999 as headquarters for its former “Premier Auto Group” brands, Range Rover, Volvo, Jaguar, Aston Martin, and Lincoln. Cadillac should have done the same. Ford was thus smack in the middle of the market where import luxury brands sell upwards of 20% of their cars and where Mercedes-Benz sells 50% of its AMG hot rods. Automotive trends start in Los Angeles, not New York.

Ford's old SOCAL luxury brand building; Caddy should have done the same

Ford’s former LA luxury brand building; Cadillac should have moved to SoCal rather than SoHo

Ford execs could walk downstairs on a Saturday morning and meet hundreds of knowledgeable car folks at the premiere “Cars and Coffee” gathering in the country. When the Caddy crew walks out of their Soho high-rise, what car folks will they be able to meet and greet other than limo and taxi drivers?

Cadillac has massive product issues and their sales are tanking this year. Industry insiders wonder how long de Nysschen and his crew will last at Caddy. We think his next move should be to Acura so he can say he worked for the trifecta of Muddled Brand Image, Nutty Nomenclature Automakers: Infiniti, Cadillac and Acura. At least he will be in Southern California, surrounded by petrolheads.

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De Nysschen: $250K Cadillac Flagship Ready By 2029 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/de-nysschen-250k-cadillac-flagship-ready-2029/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/de-nysschen-250k-cadillac-flagship-ready-2029/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=949177 The upcoming Cadillac CT6 may be the premium brand’s flagship for now, but president Johan de Nysschen has a grander flagship in mind for the next decade. Reuters reports the future flagship would likely arrive in 2029 with a price of $250,000, bringing Cadillac up to par against the likes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley. This […]

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Cadillac President de Nysschen poses with the Cadillac ATS-V during the model's world debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles

The upcoming Cadillac CT6 may be the premium brand’s flagship for now, but president Johan de Nysschen has a grander flagship in mind for the next decade.

Reuters reports the future flagship would likely arrive in 2029 with a price of $250,000, bringing Cadillac up to par against the likes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley. This would supercede not only the CT6, but a planned range-topping flagship due to arrive by 2020 per de Nysschen’s roadmap for his brand.

In the meantime, the CT6 is expected to be priced “in the 70s,” just above the current XTS. De Nysschen is also eyeing a vehicle below the ATS that would go up against the Mercedes-Benz CLA, as well as pondering additional crossovers to lend aid to the SRX, citing the Germans’ wide array of crossovers for inspiration.

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GM To Lay Off 510 Employees In Two Separate Actions http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/gm-lay-510-employees-two-separate-actions/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/gm-lay-510-employees-two-separate-actions/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=944513 A total of 510 employees will be laid-off beginning in January, the result of two separate actions linked to production and inventory concerns. According to Automotive News, the majority — 350 employees — come from the Lansing Grand River Assembly plant in Lansing, Mich., where the Cadillac ATS and CTS are assembled. The cut comes […]

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2015 Cadillac ATSs at Lansing Grand River Assembly

A total of 510 employees will be laid-off beginning in January, the result of two separate actions linked to production and inventory concerns.

According to Automotive News, the majority — 350 employees — come from the Lansing Grand River Assembly plant in Lansing, Mich., where the Cadillac ATS and CTS are assembled. The cut comes from the loss of a second shift at the plant, a planned cut in production as part of Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen’s promise to make his brand more exclusive, and to allow excess inventory to be sold off.

A second shift is expected to return when GM begins production of the next-gen Chevrolet Camaro — based upon the same platform underpinning the two Cadillacs — between the end of 2015 and the start of 2016. In the meantime, GM plans to relocate some of the 350 to one of its two nearby plants.

Closer to Detroit, Detroit Free Press says the remaining 160 employees at Lake Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Mich. will have their positions permanently phased-out starting in January. The plant is slowing down production of the Buick Verano and Chevrolet Sonic to meet projected sales. Representative Chris Bonelli says the process will conclude by the end of 2015, but the number of workers ultimately laid-off “could be reduced by planned retirements and general attrition.”

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Cadillac Dealers Prepare To Step Up, Or Leave, Sales Game Under De Nysschen http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/cadillac-dealers-prepare-step-leave-sales-game-de-nysschen/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/cadillac-dealers-prepare-step-leave-sales-game-de-nysschen/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=934202 Facebook commenters and the automotive press aren’t the only ones feeling the lash from Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen, as dealers themselves are feeling the pressure to step up their game. Automotive News reports that while some Cadillac dealerships have nothing to worry about, and are, in fact, completely on-board with de Nysschen’s alphanumeric global […]

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cadillac-dealer-inside

Facebook commenters and the automotive press aren’t the only ones feeling the lash from Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen, as dealers themselves are feeling the pressure to step up their game.

Automotive News reports that while some Cadillac dealerships have nothing to worry about, and are, in fact, completely on-board with de Nysschen’s alphanumeric global vision, those on the low end of the totem pole fear they may be selling something else if they can’t compete on the level their new boss expects of them.

Specifically, de Nysschen may want to consolidate the brand’s network of 924 dealerships into a more BMW/Mercedes-esque number — hovering in the 330 – 370 range — with a similar focus on urban markets. Though neither he nor anyone representing Cadillac have stated such plans were on the table, dealers like Claude Burns and an unnamed dealer in the Midwest are going on the offensive to maintain their spots: a new expanded floorplan for the former, lawyering-up with an attorney who represented dealers during General Motors’ bankruptcy for the latter.

As for the boss himself, de Nysschen had this to say about the future of his dealerships after his meeting with them last month in Las Vegas, where he outlined his vision for the brand and their role in it:

It’s very clear to me that many, many dealers already have risen to the challenge. On the other hand, when those customers engage us in our dealerships, we cannot afford that the experience is anything other than confirming that this is a first-class brand. And not all of our dealers are there.

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