GM Taking Another Shot at a Four Cylinder Cadillac
Continuing its push down market, Cadillac disclosed it will introduce a four-cylinder car in late 2010 as a 2011 model. The rear-wheel-drive model, which they may even saddle with the BLS moniker, will slot below the CTS. Even though it'll have a four-pot engine standard, Cadillac execs are discussing whether to offer a V-6 as an option, because they think (and probably rightly so) that U.S. buyers won't accept a four cylinder Cadillac. Caddy GM Jim Taylor told Automotive News [sub], "I don't think Americans are going to become un-American that fast. They still want power. We still have big open roads. People do not want to stop enjoying driving." Or maybe they're just still smarting from Cadillac's last four-cylinder fiasco, named Cimarron.
I am a 29 year old male and would love to buy a small, world class, rear wheel drive Cadillac with about 200 or so horse power for about 25K. If it is four cylinder, all the better. A longitudal four cylinder... What a dream to maintain. As a 99 Deville driver for 7 years, I know I will never buy any car with a transverse V8 again. Yea, we can fix your oil leak, but we have to remove the motor, it will be $3000.00 Yea we can replace the HVAC fan but we have to lower the motor 10 inches to get at it, that will be $800.00. Yea we can replace the evapotator core, but we have to lower the engine 10 inches to get at it. It will be $1400.00. Yea we can replace the starter, but it is under the intake manifold. Yea we can fix the head gasket leak, but we will have to remove the engine. It will be more than the car is worth....
To be perfectly honest, I don't like the idea of a 4-cylinder Cadillac, unless Caddy wants to permanently cement itself in the ranks of the near-luxury set, very much like what Lincoln has done. Acura territory. Caddy can do much better, especially if anyone within the ranks wish to return to the top-tier luxury echelons, where the customers couldn't be bothered to give a damn about gas prices (Escalade, anyone?). In times past, Caddy was well known for building luxurious full-size highway cruisers with smooth, powerful V8s, luxurious interior appointments and impressive styling that made its owner proud to own a Cadillac. Caddy, by virtue of GM Corporate and external forces beyond their control, squandered that image with piss-poor quality control, weak/disastrous/destructive engine choices, and lackadaisical product decisions that've contributed to Caddy being considered second- or even third-tier in the luxury leagues. Now Caddy can take a cue from Hyundai and go to work on a superb V8 highway cruiser with a V6 option to sooth the worry-warts jonesing for fuel efficiency at a price low enough to bring curious car-shoppers in and invite others to change their perceptions. Build that for 3 to 5 years with a unprecedented level of quality control and rock-solid reliability. Then you can focus on a mid-sized companion with the same attributes. Then an even smaller companion with an engine choice no lower (i.e. cruder) than a V6. Or even an I6, since the inherent smoothness of one can net brownie points. A I4 (turbo or not) will only have people smirking in their frappachinos. Plus it'll not only bring Caddy down to Lincoln's level in their constant pursuit of some lowest-common-denominator ideal of "Lexus", but painfully remind people of why they never considered looking at a Caddy in the first place.