Has Cadillac Found Its Flagship?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

The Standard Of The World (so to speak) may have found its long-awaited flagship in China, reports Car and Driver. Dubbed the SLS, this stretched (four inches longer than STS) Sigma platform beast was developed for the Chinese market by Shanghai GM. Previously available only in China and Middle Eastern markets, the SLS is a great excuse for GM to not develop a new flagship. C&D does note that a “reskin” and an LS V8 will make the model distinct to the US market. Meanwhile, the return to bad habits continues across Cadillac’s product planning.

“Gunning For the 3-series In Earnest?” asks C&D in a breathless sub-header. Uh, no. Resurrecting the Alpha-platform dream only serves to cruelly raise the hopes of those who don’t realize that The General has no cash for such frivolities. Instead Caddy is getting a Lexus ES-fighter based on the Epsilon II platform. Just like Buick. Not to put too fine a point on it, but what’s the point of sending two brands after one car (the ES)? Could the overlap be any more glaring here?

Oh, and in case that were’nt enough, an AWD version of the Delta II (Cruze) is being floated. Again. Still. Can you say Cimarron? Even C&D admits that

“such a Cadillac spun off the Delta platform would be awfully close to the BLS—a.k.a. the “Bob Lutz Special”—the infamous first-generation Epsilon derivative that completely bombed in the European market.”

In other “how Fritz Henderson learned to stop worrying and love the rebadge” news, the Cadillac Escalade will become Lambda-based (count ’em!) and a Volt-based Converj will replace the XLR as Cadillac’s “halo car.” First, isn’t the Volt based on the Cruze? Second, isn’t the point of a luxury brand that all your cars are halo cars in some sense? Third

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

More by Edward Niedermeyer

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 25 comments
  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jul 09, 2009

    If there was ever a "Cimarron" in Cadillac's future, it is the Converj. Cadillac buyers don't want a $40/50/60k economy car that requires two fuels and has mediocre performance. Just because you can do it doesn't mean you should.

  • Akear Akear on Jul 09, 2009

    Cadillac was on its way down when they cancelled the Ultra V8 program. The division is headed to mediocrity again. I foresee Cadillac losing a lot of customers to the new Genesis. GM is reverting to its old ways again. However, instead of being large and mediocre they are now smaller but still mediocre. Putting unrefined Chevrolet engines in a Cadillac is a recipe for disaster. Heck, the aging Northstar is a better alternative than this. If Hyundai can design a brand new world-class V8 why can't Cadillac. Are they now even behind Hyundai!!!!

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X As much problems as I had with my '96 Chevy Impala SS.....I would love to try one again. I've seen a Dark Cherry Metallic one today and it looked great.
  • Susan O’Neil There is a good reason to keep the Chevrolet Malibu and other 4 door family sedans! You can transport your parents and other somewhat handicapped people comfortably and safety! If someone can stand and pivot you can put them in your car. An armrest in the back seat is appreciated and a handle above the door! Oh…and leather seats so your passenger can slide across the seat! 😊Plus, you can place a full sized wheelchair or walker in the trunk! The car sits a little lower…so it’s doable! I currently have a Ford Fusion and we have a Honda Accord. Our previous cars were Mercury Sables-excellent for transporting handicapped people and equipment! As the population ages-sedans are a very practical choice! POV from a retired handicapped advocate and daughter! 😊
  • Freddie Remember those ads that say "Call your doctor if you still have...after four hours"?You don't need to call your doctor, just get behind the wheel of a CUV. In fact, just look at one.I'm a car guy with finite resources; I can't afford a practical car during the week plus a fun car on the weekend. My solution is my Honda Civic Si 4 door sedan. Maybe yours is a Dodge Charger (a lot of new Chargers are still on dealer lots).
  • Daniel J Interesting in that we have several weeks where the temperature stays below 45 but all weather tires can't be found in a shop anywhere. I guess all seasons are "good enough".
  • Steve Biro For all the talk about sedans vs CUVs and SUVs, I simply can’t bring myself to buy any modern vehicle. And I know it’s only going to get worse.
Next