By on August 10, 2009

Flagship? I thought Caddy was going to offer an Lexus ES competitor. Turns out the sub-CTS is now on hold until 2011, after the XTS range-topper. And now we learn that the XTS will share underpinnings with the front wheel-drive Buick LaCrosse. Apparently, the new Cadillac XTS will be wider than the LaCrosse and tuned for a more luxurious ride. Whatever. Caddy is so screwed. The new, woefully underpowered, gearbox-challenged SRX is so bad Car and Driver‘s John Phillips was forced to ask “What else can we say to put a brighter face on this?” Same story here.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

27 Comments on “New Cadillac “Flagship” XTS Based on LaCrosse...”

  • avatar

    Good old Caddy. Maybe they would be better off selling a Batmobile with boob headlights…

  • avatar

    @geeber :

    correct. they were quite meh on the base SRX, but they & others are reporting more favorable thoughts about the turbo version :

    NA 3.0


  • avatar

    What would Elvis buy today?

  • avatar

    Must say, I didn’t see this one coming. A flagship somehow based on the Epsilon platform? How stretchable is it?

    That question aside, it sounds like we’re getting another DTS rather than the STS that should have been.

    And the top engine will be, what, a turbo 3.6? Cadillac is looking more like Lincoln every day.

  • avatar

    Globalization only leads to fewer choices as the same product is repackaged several times.

    So now both GM and Ford will have “flagship” products based off of worldwide front wheel drive platforms.

    You better buy your large American vehicles now, while you can. They won’t exist in a couple of years.

  • avatar

    While I agree that a “flagship” XTS based on a stretched FWD platform engineered for a more pedestrian line of cars is a bad idea, I think you using one line from Phillip’s C&D review to excoriate the SRX is inaccurate and unfair.

    Phillip’s review of the SRX gives both bouquets (interior, ride, value) and brickbats (engine, weight).

    Secondly, the article advises that the 2.8L Turbo might alleviate some of the criticisms. C&D and Jalponik have both posted impressions of the SRX with the 2.8 versus the 3.0. First impressions are positive.

  • avatar

    Michael Karesh: And the top engine will be, what, a turbo 3.6? Cadillac is looking more like Lincoln every day.

    Except that Ford didn’t burn through $4 billion to get Lincoln to the same place where Cadillac is now heading.

  • avatar

    Perhaps Cadillac is going after the Lexus ES with their front-wheel-drive XTS. A dressed up LaCrosse really isn’t going to compete with the LS.

  • avatar

    lol, this news should be relabeled under WTF….

    Cadillac should just give up on the 7/S-series market. Take the money saved and devote it to the CTS and ATS (the purported 3-series competitor).

    Two world-class sedans (CTS/ATS) is better than three so-so sedans.

  • avatar
    John R

    Can someone please tell me the purpose of Buick?

  • avatar

    ***Can someone please tell me the purpose of Buick?***

    The theoretical answer should be sensible FWD luxury for middle America, school administrators and pensioners.

    In reality… one knows. Obviously you haven’t been sold by the Lacrosse ads featuring 1990’s-one-hit-wonder Ini Kamoze.

  • avatar

    In reality… one knows. Obviously you haven’t been sold by the Lacrosse ads featuring 1990’s-one-hit-wonder Ini Kamoze.

    The weird thing about that is, at one time (from the 80s until 2000 or so) Buick was positioned as sports/performance entry-level luxury (The Grand National, The Regal GS, the Park Avenue Ultra) while Cadillac was supposed to be the traditional, cushy, land yacht American luxury. Now they decided to completely reverse it. Why?

  • avatar

    With this kind of product planning, Cadillac will never compete head-to-head with Mercedes Benz or Lexus. A platform-sharing FWD sedan won’t buy Cadillac any credibility as a world-class luxury brand. Cadillac will just be seen as an American counterpart of Acura, without the reputation for quality.

  • avatar

    “When better Buicks are built, Cadillac will build them!”

  • avatar

    Cadillac will just be seen as an American counterpart of Acura, without the reputation for quality.

    Regretably, I think this discription nails it. Cadillac has always been about wretched excess.

    Building a FWD cruiser based on the Buick without a V8 engine is not going to get it. The only people buying the DTS are those old timers who have always wanted a Cadillac because of what it used to represent in the 50’s and 60’s.

    However, they’re all dying off. The following generation who should be buying Caddy’s didn’t grow up with the legend. They grew up with “the Bad Caddy”.

    Everyone who is under 70 who buys a Caddy always has to start any conversation about the car with a defensive “I bought it because (insert price/value/just-as-good-as-X rationalization here)“. Nobody who buys a BMW, Lexus, or Mercedes has to do that. They just say “Yeah, I always wanted one”.

    What reason does this new car give non-believers (or under 70’s) to buy it?
    “It’s wider than a Buick“?

  • avatar

    GM doesn’t get this super high end, large luxury car segment. The idea of these cars is not necessarily to make a profit, but to launch new technologies on. When you walk into a Cadillac dealer, the best car you can drive away in is a CTS. The customer has no reason to buy the more expensive offerings, because they aren’t better, just bigger. This is the reason the big guns in this segment always redesign these flagship sedans first. They are supposed to represent the best car you can buy, with the latest and greatest gadgets. It’s why the S-Class has always been the car on which Mercedes has introduced new technologies. These cars are supposed to show you what the future will hold in the more mainstream offerings. If an over sized LaCrosse. FWD does not belong in this segment.

  • avatar

    Seeing this just gives more confirmation that Cadillac is screwed. The Buick LaCrosse in GM’s product is supposed to be the Lexus ES-fighter. Why would you want 2 products going after the same target? And I’m not sold on the new SRX. The previous model was a distinct hit but now it seems GM is using both Cadillac and Buick to go after Lexus…and this new Epsilon based XTS is another salvo aimed at Lexus.

    Cadillac IS screwed….and royally so.

  • avatar

    GM does love its platform sharing. Maybe a bit too much.

    Ever since they saw Iacocca whore out the K/EK platform to fit anything and everything (even limousines), GM figured they could continue to do the same and reap success as legions of unknowing idiots made a line around the block to their dealerships. GM still thinks their customers are rubes/idiots/suckers/simpletons/etc.

    Until GM collectively learns that their customers aren’t as stupid as they want to believe, things like this will continue to happen. And people will continue to punish GM, with lowered market share and worse public perception. GM hasn’t gone under just yet because not only would it be a big blow to the American psyche, it would also take a nice chunk out of the economy and cost some political careers, too. The execs don’t mind the government playing sugar daddy to GM’s junk habit. Those country club dues have to be paid somehow.

    Cadillac will just be seen as an American counterpart of Acura, without the reputation for quality.

    Actually, Cadillac and Lincoln will be the two cads in badly tailored sport jackets who can’t get in the swank club. You know, the one that Acura and Lexus can just breeze into, while chuckling about how those lameasses don’t have a chance in hell of getting in.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Cadillac has the “under promise, over deliver” thing backwards.

  • avatar
    Captain Tungsten

    Who told you XTS was LaCrosse based? Cuz they are wrong.

  • avatar

    Headline in this week’s Automotive News: “Cadillac flagship will share Buick LaCrosse platform”

    This sounds like one of those classic short-term financial decisions that proves a disaster in the long run. Buyers moving up from a RWD, sporty CTS will be directed to an AWD, tarted up Buick. That makes no sense, and disrupts the aspirational ascent that you see in almost every successful luxury lineup.

    GM is in a bad bind here. They can’t afford to mimic BMW/MB with three separate RWD car lines (and don’t have the brand cachet to take a RWD DTS upscale into the $60-70K zone). On the other hand, the CTS is now a defining product for Cadillac, and taking it back to a FWD platform would be humiliating. So we’re going to get this odd quiche-and-spam platter.

  • avatar

    Why does GM seem so hell bent on targeting the ES anyway? The ES is nothing more then a tarted up Camry, in fact, many argue that a fully loaded Camry is a better car then the ES.

  • avatar

    Why does GM seem so hell bent on targeting the ES anyway? The ES is nothing more then a tarted up Camry, in fact, many argue that a fully loaded Camry is a better car then the ES.

    The ES is one of Lexus’ top-selling models, and it really is a very nice car as long as you have no dynamic aspirations whatsoever; it’s certainly a great tool (better than the IS, GS or GX, at least) for shuttling the well-paid semi-urban upper-middle management types with stable, disposable income that GM would so like to exploit.

    That the ES probably costs Toyota very little to make only makes GM salivate all that much more. They desperately want a high-margin luxury cash-cow like the ES.

    That it’s front-drive and based on a Camry does not matter to the volumes of people who buy it. It’s very nice inside, has good power and is rock-solid reliable. If the IS and GS are Lexus’ attempt at German luxury without the reliability problems, the ES and RX is their similar take on French luxury. It would make sense to try and put Buick into this space, but that would require GM to a) think long-term and b) resist the temptation to make Buick derivatives of cars that don’t make sense as Buicks, or c) resist the temptation to made Cadillacs that would sell better as Buicks. GM patently can’t do this.

  • avatar

    Cadillac did have a DTS/STS replacement in the works, and a Northstar successor to power it. But GM canceled the engine and the car because they didn’t somehow see the new mileage standards coming, had no money, and were afraid of the market.

    Now, it’s rebadge time, in desperation.

    This is why Obama’s GM bailout won’t work. The company does not at present have the products, and it does not have enough money to both develop those products and buy time until it can bring them to market. It is undercapitalized, so it has to do anything that it can to bring cash in the door.

  • avatar

    Another dumb move from GM! They can’t compete with sedans from BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and Lexus! There is no way. They don’t put enough engineering into technology like they used to. I remember when Cadillac had all the new technology and was constantly trying to niche that market now there just playing a cat and mouse game with the big dogs trying to outbeat them. GM has got it’s money going to the wrong places. Mis-management led them to bankruptcy, you think they would learn a lesson. I don’t get GM and this is coming from someone who grew up on GM when they did things right!

  • avatar

    I saw this article that GM was considering stretching the CTS platform. What happened to that?

    XTS fighting Lexus ES? And didn’t they say Buick will be “GM’s Lexus fighter”? jeez.

  • avatar

    variety in perspective is all that needed. Combination changes dynamics. For further details, visit: car reviews

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • SPPPP: “Permanent disablement” sounds interesting. I would like to hear details (the report doesn’t...
  • mcs: I’ve always been a fan of the 2121 Niva. The bada$zed 4×4 version. They made 650,000 of them....
  • Michael S6: My wife got a new green GrandPrix GT 2005 and it was a royal POS. This was a brand new model and Pontiac...
  • Superdessucke: Yup. If you got into an accident and that big plastic piece came off, you’d have that cheap...
  • Inside Looking Out: I had Lada 2108 and once in a while to cut standing still traffic on the road I took shortcuts...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber