Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen isn’t known for sitting back and letting armchair analysts pontificate on General Motors’ luxury brand.
In reply to The Detroit Bureau’s August 25th piece about Cadillac’s future product plans — which includes details on Cadillac’s aboutface on a planned flagship sedan — de Nysschen jumped into the comments and set the record straight.
It’s been almost two decades since BMW unleashed the E39 M5 on the motoring public, and the sport sedan segment has chased its ghost ever since. Not long after the BMW was crowned mythic perfection, Cadillac made a substantial shift in its development focus to court younger, more performance-minded buyers.
Since then, Cadillac has generously pilfered the Corvette program parts bin to move the brand away from the retirement home and onto America’s non-existent Autobahn. In the meantime, BMW’s M Division has set its playbook on fire and begun heaping content onto its performance models.
When the second generation CTS-V broke the production sedan lap record at the Nurburgring in 2008, it became clear that the conversation was really starting to change.
The response to yesterday’s Digestible Collectible was perhaps the most one-sided I’ve seen since I started this series. It’s been made quite clear that an older BMW is not a good idea, even though I’d be likely to do my own work on the car.
Still, I love the idea of a performance car that I can use to haul the family through the week and head out for a long road trip or a track day on the weekend.
Sadly, my kids are getting too tall to ride in the back seat of a 911, and I doubt I could fit four mounted Hoosiers inside either.
Cadillac owners entering showrooms in 2017 will find that their new ride will be capable of more than they might like, as V2V and semi-autonomous systems will become available on the CTS and a Cadillac to be named later.
This is not a luxury sedan. It is not an upscale family sedan. The Cadillac CTS V Sport is a performance car sheathed in an overtly Cadillac body.
Lightweight body parts. Brembo brakes with optional performance linings. Two turbos. Two driven wheels out back. Staggered tires with 275s out back.
It’s not the numbers – 420 horsepower, 430 lb-ft of torque, 0-100 mph in 10.5 seconds according to Car & Driver, braking from 60 to rest in 103 feet according to Edmunds – that turn the CTS from an indirect successor of the Fleetwood into the most dynamic car in its class. No, the sensation of athleticism in the CTS V Sport is not entirely quantifiable. (Read More…)
In today’s General Motors digest: GM recalls a recall; the automaker gains market share in spite of itself; its bankruptcy judge believes it may have committed fraud; the U.S. Senate gets ready for a second February 2014 recall hearing; and Anthony Foxx vows to keep the heat turned up on GM.
It’s been decades since Cadillac produced the “Cadillac” of anything. However, when car buffs dismiss the only American luxury brand left, they fail to see Cadillac’s march forward. 2002 brought the first RWD Cadillac since the Fleetwoood. A year later the XLR roadster hit, followed in 2004 by Cadillac’s first 5-Series fighter, the STS. Not everything was rosy. The original CTS drove like a BMW but lacked charm and luxury fittings. The XLR was based on a Corvette, which made for excellent road manners, but the Northstar engine didn’t have the oomph. The STS sounded like a good idea, but the half-step CTS wasn’t much smaller and ultimately shoppers weren’t interested in a bargain option. That brings us to the new ATS and CTS. Ditching the “more car for less money” mantra, the ATS has been created to fight the C/3/IS leaving the CTS free to battle the E/5/GS head-on. Can Caddy’s sensible new strategy deliver the one-two punch fans have hoped for? I snagged a CTS 2.0T for a week to find out.
Ok, you asked for input and I’ve got a question about my 2003 Cadillac CTS. I figure I’m more likely to get a reliable answer from you and the best & brightest of TTAC than the goof balls at Car Talk (this letter is from February-SM), so I’ll ask. (Read More…)
“Two questions.” Our European contributor, Mirko Reinhardt, wants to test my knowledge. “First question: Last month was a pretty big month for Cadillac in Germany, relatively speaking. How many Cadillacs did GM sell? And second question: Which model sold best?”
A few years after I left Detroit, doing my best to forget my heart-wrenching decision to give up on car design, a similarly disheartened automaker named Saturn made something called an Ion. I saw it at the Houston Auto Show circa 2002. Wounds from Detroit still fresh on my mind, I had absolutely no problem with the Saturn Ion shown behind a velvet rope. I honestly thought it was a design study commissioned by Playskool, not a production ready vehicle from General Motors.
I mean, it was that awful. So imagine my surprise when the General’s peeps come up with something nearly as ugly…and this time it’s a Cadillac. (Read More…)
Damn that Jack Baruth and his uncanny ability to awaken the latent spiritual needs and carnal passions sorely missing in my life. I’m talking about the love of owning a 99-cent Caddy Limo from a strong bloodline, sporting a nearly perfect black leather interior. With 25 years of historical flaws in full sight, this 3800lb lightweight is still a charmer in the Cadillac Tradition. The designation as “The Cadillac of Tomorrow” holds true, have you driven the latest poseur sedans to wear the Wreath and Crest? Torqueless V6 motors, tall buffalo butts and Euro-wannabe interiors only above that of a Hyundai Sonata. I can hear it now:
“LULZ OMG you are nuts because the CTS-V is awesome and that thing’s a POS. The new Caddies even come in a wagon with a stick! Who wouldn’t want a Cadillac that can do all that?”
Yesterday we gave GM kudos for addressing its lingering vehicle weight issues by redesigning the head of its popular 3.6 liter V6, and shedding 13 lbs in the process. It was, we noted, the kind of news that showed GM is staying focused on the nitty-gritty of product development, sweating the details. But, according to a fascinating piece by GMInsideNews, new-product development at GM still has its issues. Specifically, Cadillac’s development of a new BMW 3-Series fighter, known as ATS after its “Alpha” Platform, has faced more than its fair share of what GMI calls “drama.”
Turf battles, unnecessary “wants” on checklists and ultimately a severe case of “Mission Creep” have created a vehicle that now needs a crash diet, according to GMI’s sources both within GM and at suppliers working on the Alpha/ATS program. For a vehicle that’s taking on an institution like the BMW Dreier (not to mention costing a billion dollars to develop), these are troubling signs indeed. (Read More…)
Cars like Cadillac’s 556 HP, rear-drive, manual transmission-equipped CTS-V SportWagon are the kind of offering that enthusiasts lust after, even if a relative “value-price” of $70k-ish keeps it in aspirational territory. And by offering a CTS “Performance Edition” with the option of mating a six-speed manual to GM’s well-liked 3.6 liter V6, Cadillac gives enthusiasts an appealing opportunity to bask in some of the V’s reflected glory. But apparently not many enthusiasts are interested in pursuing this opportunity, as InsideLine reports that the manual transmission option will be dropped from the 2012 CTS 3.6.
What is luxury? In the American car market, that question doesn’t have an easy answer. Driver-focused performers like BMW’s 3-series sell well here, but so do feature-loaded versions of mass market sedans, like the Lexus ES. Blinged-out baroque still has its adherents, but as the Napa Valley hotel where the Cadillac CTS Coupe was launched proves, a more subtle, sophisticated version of luxury is gaining popularity as well, differentiated by the use of recycled materials and environmentally-friendly technologies. So where in this fragmented and changing category does the CTS Coupe belong? (Read More…)