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. Sun, 01 Mar 2015 17:02:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 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 is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Cadillac http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com 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 CT6 Revealed On Oscar Night http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/cadillac-ct6-revealed-oscar-night/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/cadillac-ct6-revealed-oscar-night/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 12:13:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1006154 Cadillac’s Oscar night ad revealed a glimpse of the all new CT6 flagship.   While the full reveal will be at this year’s New York Auto Show, a brief preview of the car can be seen above.

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Cadillac’s Oscar night ad revealed a glimpse of the all new CT6 flagship.

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

While the full reveal will be at this year’s New York Auto Show, a brief preview of the car can be seen above.

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Escalade To The Rescue: Cadillac’s Numbers Are Awful Without The Big SUV http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/escalade-rescue-cadillacs-numbers-awful-without-big-suv/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/escalade-rescue-cadillacs-numbers-awful-without-big-suv/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 13:45:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1003938 At this very moment, imagine if you will, Cadillac without the Escalade. It’s not a difficult task. Let’s just do the Cadillac maths as if the Escalade no longer exists. It does, and it surely will, but let’s exclude it for the sake of establishing a different perspective. • Cadillac cars down 7% in January […]

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2015 Cadillac Escalade & ESVAt this very moment, imagine if you will, Cadillac without the Escalade.

It’s not a difficult task. Let’s just do the Cadillac maths as if the Escalade no longer exists. It does, and it surely will, but let’s exclude it for the sake of establishing a different perspective.


• Cadillac cars down 7% in January

• Escalade up 136%; ESV up 189%

• Cadillac brand up 2.6% in January


In the U.S. last month, Cadillac’s car division was down 7%. The ATS slid 8%, the ninth consecutive year-over-year monthly decline for the small Cadillac.

The CTS, which is still a recently introduced model, fell 24%, a loss of 534 units. We knew Cadillac was repositioning this car in a smaller, less affordable corner of the luxury market. But CTS declines are nothing new. After sliding 15% in 2012, CTS volume fell 31% in 2013, then suffered a slight 4% drop in 2014. On a monthly basis, CTS volume has fallen on 30 occasions in the last 37 months.

XTS volume increased in January, however, rising 14% (or 234 units) to 1882 U.S. sales. But that year-over-year comparison takes us back to a month in which XTS sales fell 13%. Compared with January 2013, the XTS didn’t quite make it back to that level. In 2014, the XTS’s second full year on sale, U.S. volume plunged 25%.

Cadillac
January
2015
January
2014
% Change
SRX
3,485 4,446 -21.6%
XTS
1,882 1,648 14.2%
ATS
1,757 1,909 -8.0%
CTS
1,698 2,232 -23.9%
Escalade
1,664 704 136%
Escalade ESV
1,100 381 189%
ELR
92 41 124%
Escalade EXT
2 25 -92.0%
Total
11,680 11,386 2.6%

Cadillac also reported a 124% ELR uptick, but at just 92 units sold, the ELR only forms 1.7% of Cadillac’s passenger car volume.

Thus, in a U.S. car market which climbed 8% in January, Cadillac car volume was down by 401 units to 5429.

In other words, the whole Cadillac car line was outsold by individual nameplates such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Lexus RX, and the BMW 3-Series/4-Series.

As for the SRX, an aging crossover which resides at the heart of the premium utility vehicle market, January volume dropped 22%. After witnessing impressive U.S. SRX sales growth in 2010, 2011, 2012, and the first half of 2014, second-half volume last year tumbled 25%.

Fortunately, the Escalade still exists, and the weak performance of other Cadillac allowed the Escalade family to showcase the Cadillac’s real strength in January. Combined, the Escalade and the SRX – which, while slowing, is not yet an unpopular luxury utility vehicle – accounted for 54% of Cadillac’s January sales.

The regular-wheelbase Escalade jumped 136% to 1664 units, nearly as many sales as the CTS managed. The long-wheelbase Escalade ESV was up 189% to 1100 units. (Cadillac also reported two EXT sales.)

Without Escalade, Cadillac was down 13% to 8914 January sales.

With Escalade, Cadillac was up 3% to 11,680 January sales.

True, the overall brand’s slight 294-unit increase involves a year-over-year comparison with January 2014, when auto sales were not at their healthiest. In comparison with January 2013, total Cadillac volume was actually down 11% last month. Moreover, Cadillac’s growth was far outpaced by the industry as a whole, which shot up 14% in January 2015.

The fact remains, no imagination is required to realize that the Escalade is the beacon of hope for Cadillac at this moment.

And yet even the Escalade isn’t selling like it did in the glory days of yore. Take your mind back to January 2007, when the Escalade, ESV, and EXT combined for 3710 total U.S. sales.

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’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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Trend Setters and Trackday Drivers, How Cadillac Tries to Appeal to Diverse Customers, An Interview With Cadillac’s Marketing Chief http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/trend-setters-trackday-drivers-cadillac-tries-appeal-diverse-customers-interview-cadillacs-marketing-chief/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/trend-setters-trackday-drivers-cadillac-tries-appeal-diverse-customers-interview-cadillacs-marketing-chief/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 20:23:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=996810 I don’t know if it will help them sell cars are not, but Cadillac’s decision to move it’s business headquarters to the trendy Soho district of New York City has certainly gotten some attention as have Cadillac marketing maven Melody Lee’s comments related to the move and the potential customers they hope to reach by […]

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2016 Cadillac CTS-V. Full gallery here

I don’t know if it will help them sell cars are not, but Cadillac’s decision to move it’s business headquarters to the trendy Soho district of New York City has certainly gotten some attention as have Cadillac marketing maven Melody Lee’s comments related to the move and the potential customers they hope to reach by making Cadillac into a more general luxury brand, not just a car company. When I saw that Lee’s boss, Jim Vurpillat, Global Marketing Director for Cadillac was going to be participating in a press event for the 2015 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, because Cadillac has factory based teams running racing versions of the ATS in the Pirelli World Challenge, it seemed like a good opportunity to ask him how racing and the high performance V cars in Cadillac’s portfolio fit in with appealing to New York’s trendy set, a group not known for their love or horsepower or what they see as environmentally questionable motorsports.

Q. Where do motorsports and performance fit into Cadillac marketing? The people to whom you’re appealing by moving Cadillac HQ to Soho in NYC are not the same people who are drawn to high performance V cars and Motorsports.

A. The move realy isn’t about that. How we look at performance is that racing proves the performance credentials of the V series and the V series provides performance credentials to the overall Cadillac brand. So they’re intrinsically linked together.

Q. So you don’t see a conflict between that and making Cadillac into a fashionable luxury brand?

A. No because luxury by it’s definition is pretty broad. When you look at the luxury landscape you’ve got performance series like [BMW’s] M, [Mercedes-Benz’s] AMG, [Cadillac’s] and V series and you have a group of audience for that. You have things like alternative propulsion, electrification, so there are things like our ELR, [BMW’s] i cars, hybrids. You have to be very diverse and your portfolio has to be diverse.

The key though is that when you do a car, that it has to have really a sense of no compromise. So, with our V cars, especially the new ones that we’re releasing, they’re a great daily driver as a luxury car but then they’re certainly a track capable machine.

What we’ve seen since we’ve gotten back into racing in the last four years is that we’ve grown the enthusiasm for the V brand, not just among our owners, and dealers but there’s more and more people…

Q. Back in the early 1950s after Cadillac introduced the first modern OHV V8, Cadillac was all about performance and competed in the Panamerica races in Mexico.

A. That’s still the case today.

Q. Getting back to the New York move, don’t you think that motorsports and performance might turn off the crowd that’s attracted to the plug in hybrid ELR? Enthusiasts have the impression that New York is not a car friendly city.

A. No, I don’t think so. New York is the single largest market for luxury cars in the United States, it’s also the largest performance market. You have to remember that the greater metropolitan area includes Connecticut, Westchester County, northern New Jersey, down into mid Jersey and Pennsylvania, Long Island, so it’s huge. When you’re there and you drive around you see luxury cars everywhere, so I don’t think there’s a risk at all. With luxury buyers, one of the pillars of building a strong luxury brand is a strong performance element and it’s been an element that we’ve been lacking a little bit, trailing BMW and Mercedes and Audi.

So racing supports that, we’ve seen that enthusiasm. We like to use the V cars… When we did the first generation, when we did the first CTS-V, it shocked people. Then when we did the next generation CTS, people asked, “are you going to do a V?” Now, with the third generation CTS and the ATS, people are like, “Where are the Vs?” We said they’re going to come and now they’re here.

We’ve seen that progression of V and I think directly, racing, especially this last four years with the Pirelli World Challenge, we’ve seen that interest.

Q. What’s the return on investment? Does Cadillac track sales results from motorsports?

A. We measure all of our events so when we’re at a track, and we activate, like at the Detroit Grand Prix, and we ask for people’s names and information, we track who signs up at the booth and then we measure that in sales. I can tell you that it has a huge ROI. Racing is very strong. We oversell Vs as a percentage to racing fans but the number one vehicle that we sell to people who come to a racetrack is the SRX [crossover], which is our number one selling car in general.

Q. Crossovers are one area where Cadillac’s portfolio is weak.

A. We’re going to see an expansion of that. At the end of the day we see what racing is doing is showcasing to people Cadillac and Cadillac performance and then they’re going into a showroom and picking a Cadillac. And they walk away with something like an SRX or ATS, which is exactly what we want.

Q. Is there going to be a V version of the upcoming CT-6?

A. We’re discussing that. It won’t be a V series. We’re still building a brand, we think that at the core we have to be very tight with what what gets badged a V series. Some of our competitors are far more.. they’re expanding their AMG offerings at Benz. We think that as we build the brand we have to be very focused on what a V is. If the car or the vehicle can’t deliver that.. we get asked all the time “Why can’t we have a V series Escalade?”

Q. Cadillac has had some concept car hits with the Ciel and Elmiraj, and a brand can’t really be considered a luxury marque if it doesn’t compete with the big boys, the S-Class and 7 Series cars. If Cadillac really wanted to assert itself in the luxury field, why not build them? What could they cost, $125,000?

A. As you build a portfolio, you have to have a long term vision and you can’t stretch too far. You can always use this example: When we did the first generation CTS, everyone was like, oh my, a small, little Cadillac. Then five years later, when we introduced the next CTS we got, “When are you going to do a car smaller than the CTS?” and we brought out the ATS. If we had first come out with a car the size of the ATS it would have been too far.

You have to build out from the middle, then to [consider to] do a vehicle like the Elmiraj, to do a vehicle the four door [convertible] Ciel, but is it too far up here? Fill in your main segments first.

It’s no joke, between now and 2020, we’re spending $12 billion on Cadillac, our portfolio will be extremely added to in that time.

Q. You said we will not see an Escalade V, but there are credibly performing luxury SUVs and crossovers like the SRT Grand Cherokee, Audi AQ5, as well as the Porsche Cayenne and Macan. There’s clearly a market subsegment there. Since a lot of the growth in crossover sales are the result of the changing attitudes of female consumers who drive (no pun intended) about 80% of consumer purchases in general, is offering a performance crossover one way of appealing to men.

A. Performance cars are decidedly, when we look at Ms and Vs and AMGs you know it’s 90% male. When we get into the higher performance cars, like the M5, it’s about 98%. Women like the performance when they have it, it’s just different where they put the emphasis.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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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 Strangest Since The Cimarron http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cadillacs-strange-fruit/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cadillacs-strange-fruit/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 16:28:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=974417 In the annals of Cadillac’s history, there is one vehicle that stands above them all as the biggest flop of all time. And it’s not the Cimarron. The Cadillac BLS was based off of the GM Epsilon platform. Essentially a restyled Saab 9-3, the BLS was built in Sweden and never exported to America. Its […]

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In the annals of Cadillac’s history, there is one vehicle that stands above them all as the biggest flop of all time. And it’s not the Cimarron.

The Cadillac BLS was based off of the GM Epsilon platform. Essentially a restyled Saab 9-3, the BLS was built in Sweden and never exported to America. Its sole intention was to give Cadillac a product optimized for the European market. Production averaged around 3,000 units annually, and sales were marginal at best.

But, there was a wagon.

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N.B.: Title changed. I was made aware of the original song – I got the original from reference from a Kanye West song. No malice intended.

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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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De Nysschen Back Tracks As Cadillac CTS Gets $3,000 Price Cut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/de-nysschen-back-tracks-cadillac-cts-gets-3000-price-cut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/de-nysschen-back-tracks-cadillac-cts-gets-3000-price-cut/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 20:43:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=973321 “That’s not going to happen…Either you have to bring your volume aspirations into alignment with reality and accept that you will sell fewer cars. Or you have to drop the price and continue to transact at the prices where you were historically. I think the logical conclusion is that it’s better to build off a […]

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Click here to view the embedded video.

“That’s not going to happen…Either you have to bring your volume aspirations into alignment with reality and accept that you will sell fewer cars. Or you have to drop the price and continue to transact at the prices where you were historically. I think the logical conclusion is that it’s better to build off a very solid base in terms of [product] credibility, charge a fair price for the car and realize you have to wait until the volume comes.”

That quote was from Cadillac boss John De Nysschen in response to questions about cutting the prices of Cadillac models, which some dealers complained has risen too quickly. How quickly that’s changed.

Automotive News reports that the 2015 Cadillac CTS models with a V6 engine will get a $3,000 price cut. Select models equipped with a 4-cylinder engine will get a $2,000 cut. The base price of $46,340 remains unchanged, while the top trim V-Sport with a twin turbo V6 engine will stay at $71,880.

A Cadillac memo described the move as “a more compelling price point for our returning CTS loyalists when moving up into a new, more sophisticated 2015 CTS.” Inventories of the CTS remained bloated through much of the year, with many Cadillac dealers complaining that prices of the CTS had risen sharply, alienating existing customers. Despite a brand new model, CTS sales were down 4 percent year over year in 2014.

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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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DTGFP Bush - 005.jpg  George W Bush Britain Visit

 

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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2015 ATS Grille

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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Chart Of The Day: How The Last Cadillac CTS-V Fared http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/chart-day-last-cadillac-cts-v-fared/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/chart-day-last-cadillac-cts-v-fared/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:49:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=964106   From the Twitter page of Juan Barnett comes a breakdown of sales of the last-gen Cadillac CTS. Including the CTS-V. As expected, wagons were a bit player in the CTS lineup. The V wagon made up just half a percent of the total sales, while making up around 8 percent of V sales. But given […]

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From the Twitter page of Juan Barnett comes a breakdown of sales of the last-gen Cadillac CTS. Including the CTS-V.

As expected, wagons were a bit player in the CTS lineup. The V wagon made up just half a percent of the total sales, while making up around 8 percent of V sales. But given the marginal costs required to build a CTS-V wagon, it presumably ended up making money for GM.

This time around, there will only be a sedan with an automatic gearbox. The Coupe and stick shift has gone to the ATS-V, while the wagon was lost to Cadillac’s aborted European foray, which necessitated the CTS wagon experiment.

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2016 Cadillac CTS-V Ditches Manual Gearbox, Multiple Bodystyles http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/2016-cadillac-cts-v-ditches-manual-gearbox-multiple-bodystyles/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/2016-cadillac-cts-v-ditches-manual-gearbox-multiple-bodystyles/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 14:52:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=963938 There will be no manual transmission for the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V, but that’s ok. If you’d like a coupe, or a stick shift, there’s always the ATS-V. On the other hand, the CTS-V is the only place to get a supercharged V8. In this case, it’s a variant of the Corvette Z06’s LT4 engine, making […]

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There will be no manual transmission for the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V, but that’s ok. If you’d like a coupe, or a stick shift, there’s always the ATS-V.

On the other hand, the CTS-V is the only place to get a supercharged V8. In this case, it’s a variant of the Corvette Z06’s LT4 engine, making 640 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque.

Backed by an 8-speed automatic transmission, the CTS-V also features a limited slip differential, magnetic ride shocks and launch control. Recaro sport seats are optional.

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Detroit 2015: Next-Gen Chevy Volt To Gain Corvette Styling Cues http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/detroit-2015-next-gen-chevy-volt-gain-corvette-styling-cues/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/detroit-2015-next-gen-chevy-volt-gain-corvette-styling-cues/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:00:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=963834 Can you see a C7-era Chevrolet Corvette in that new Volt’s face? There’s a reason for that. Autoblog reports the second-gen PHEV will be taking some styling cues from the Corvette Stingray, including the latter’s taut hood lines and hexagonal tail lamps, as part of a new design strategy to link Chevrolet’s next-gen models — […]

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Chevy-Volt-Teaser

Can you see a C7-era Chevrolet Corvette in that new Volt’s face? There’s a reason for that.

Autoblog reports the second-gen PHEV will be taking some styling cues from the Corvette Stingray, including the latter’s taut hood lines and hexagonal tail lamps, as part of a new design strategy to link Chevrolet’s next-gen models — including the Cruze and Malibu — to the seventh-generation Corvette.

Returning to the Volt, the PHEV will also sport the regenerative-braking system currently generating power for the Cadillac ELR. The system allows the driver to adjust the amount of energy recovered as the situation calls for it.

Other expected changes for the new Volt include a 1.5-liter four-pot, longer electric-only range, more power — thanks to the addition of a second electric motor — and a larger battery.

The PHEV — sans dancing hipsters — will roll down the ramp January 12, 2015 during the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

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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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Junkyard Find: 1976 Cadillac Sixty Special Fleetwood Brougham http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/junkyard-find-1976-cadillac-sixty-special-fleetwood-brougham/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/junkyard-find-1976-cadillac-sixty-special-fleetwood-brougham/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 14:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=957130 Once the price of crude oil quadrupled in 1973, even your Cadillac-buying demographic felt some pain when contemplating the thirst of a Fleetwood. Still, the biggest Cadillac (not intended for chauffeur operation) projected the sort of majesty that rich (if elderly) car shoppers sought during the Middle Malaise Era. I spotted this battered example of […]

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12 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinOnce the price of crude oil quadrupled in 1973, even your Cadillac-buying demographic felt some pain when contemplating the thirst of a Fleetwood. Still, the biggest Cadillac (not intended for chauffeur operation) projected the sort of majesty that rich (if elderly) car shoppers sought during the Middle Malaise Era. I spotted this battered example of the breed yesterday in Northern California.
10 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhile the quarter-panels, floors, and fenders are rust-free, the areas of the hood where rainwater (or maybe ocean spray, if the car lived within a couple of blocks of the Pacific) collected picked up some rot.
06 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinFisher and Fleetwood, working together.
01 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car would have been perfect for Spec Land Yacht racing.
09 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin500 cubic inches, 190 horsepower. Let’s not dwell on that.

01 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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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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Cadillac’s Director of Brand & Reputation Strategy: “We Don’t Want To Be An Automotive Brand” http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/cadillacs-director-brand-reputation-strategy-dont-want-automotive-brand/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/cadillacs-director-brand-reputation-strategy-dont-want-automotive-brand/#comments Sun, 30 Nov 2014 17:41:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=953897   In an interview held at Cadillac’s new business headquarters in New York City’s trendy SoHo district with Fortune, Melody Lee, ‘director of brand and reputation strategy’ for General Motors’ luxury brand, had some interesting things to say about the move to NYC, about the brand, and about herself. Other than to say that it’s […]

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Photo courtesy of General Motors

Photo courtesy of General Motors

In an interview held at Cadillac’s new business headquarters in New York City’s trendy SoHo district with Fortune, Melody Lee, ‘director of brand and reputation strategy’ for General Motors’ luxury brand, had some interesting things to say about the move to NYC, about the brand, and about herself. Other than to say that it’s just quite possible that outstanding product is a little bit more important to a company’s success than Ms. Lee seems to think, I’m not going to comment on her remarks because I think they speak for themselves and, frankly, I think they don’t bode well for the brand. You can read them and offer your own commentary after the jump. The engineers and designers at GM have given Cadillac the best products that it has had in decades, but automotive history has many examples of fine vehicles that were crippled in the marketplace by the very people trying to market them.

Thus spake Melody Lee:

“I’ll often say, ‘Well, do you want a millennial’s perspective?’ You have one right here.”

“Everyone in New York is always just a little bit ahead of everyone else and we need to be the brand that stands for that.”

“I don’t buy products, I buy brands. I don’t use Apple computers because they are the best computers, I use them because Apple is cool. We need to show drivers what the Cadillac lifestyle is all about.”

“We want to be a global luxury brand that happens to sell cars. We don’t want to be an automotive brand.”

Hat tip to Pete DeLorenzo for spotting the interview with Lee.

The floor is open for your discussion now.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

 

 

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