Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Weekend: "Real" RWD Cadillac Flagship After All?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
wild ass rumor of the weekend real rwd cadillac flagship after all

We’ve been pretty hard on Cadillac’s decision to replace its aging DTS/STS “flagships” with the stretched-Epsilon XTS, shown in concept form at this year’s NYIAS. We reckon Cadillac needs a true S-Class competitor (as opposed to a glorified Buick LaCrosse) to be taken seriously as a world-class luxury brand… and it turns out that Ed Whitacre agrees. C&D reports:

Cadillac fans will be thrilled to hear that Ed Whitacre himself has instructed the brand to build a true, full-size flagship above both the CTS and the upcoming XTS. The car has not been clearly defined yet. The Zeta platform (Holden Commodore, Chevrolet Camaro, etc.) is heavy and dated, and therefore the flagship is more likely be built on a stretched version of the CTS’s Sigma platform.

Needless to say, we’ll be asking Cadillac’s flacks about this at next week’s CTS Coupe launch. In the meantime, this has some serious implications for Cadillac’s product planning. Is the XTS going ahead anyway? Will the lineup be, in ascending order: ATS, CTS, XTS, Sigma-based Flagship? Is Sigma up to snuff for a true full-sized luxury sedan? So much speculation, so little time…

Join the conversation
4 of 34 comments
  • Npbheights Npbheights on Jun 14, 2010

    After reading the comments, I would like to say that what Cadillac needs to build is a Cadillac. Quit worrying about the Japanese and Germans. Big, powerful, Rear Wheel Drive, Large Powerful V8, technically advanced sedan. Interesting and a bit imposing. Like they made them in the 60's. Call it the Fleetwood Brougham. Its really not that hard. The Esclalade proved there is a market for such things. Just lets not put it on a Suburban/Tahoe platform this time GM. After that we need a big, brash coupe. Called ELDORADO. Keep it FWD - It's been an Eldo thing since the 60's so we'll let that slide. "CTS Coupe, I was driven in an Eldorado, I've driven an Eldorado, I've owned an Eldorado. CTS Coupe, you are NO ELDORADO"

  • Jpcavanaugh Jpcavanaugh on Jun 14, 2010

    The only reason Lexus sells so many junior editions is because of the big LS. Everybody knows that the big Lexus is a serious luxury car, and Toyota has done a masterful job of allowing the aura of superiority ooze into the smaller versions. The current crop of Cadillacs has some decent contenders for the junior Lexi, but it will never work without a REAL Cadillac. I agree with many of the comments that it should be a big, classic American luxury car. A powerful, torquey V8, rear drive, and a big, bold size. It should ooze quality from every pore. It should be called a Fleetwood. It should sell for $65K. It has to be a car that will make its owner proud of it and will make non-owners desire it.

  • Carsinamerica Carsinamerica on Jun 15, 2010

    I must disagree with many of the commenters here, who seem to want a Sixties Cadillac as the company flagship. First of all, I think that the "European" formula is simply the de facto standard for a flagship. RWD or AWD, a V-8 and perhaps a bigger engine, comfortable with some pretensions toward handling prowess, and a standard and LWB model. The A8/7-Series/S-Class formula is simply how it's done. Every generation of the Lexus LS has inched closer to that, and each generation has been better received as a legitimate contender to the German offerings. You can preserve styling elements, brand characteristics, and even handling/comfort biases, but the idea remains the same. An outsized car with a wafting suspension will be scorned by the automotive press as a dinosaur, and that does matter. Additionally, global tastes matter. Cadillac can't just be a US brand. GM wants Cadillac to be a force in Europe and beyond. Europe has little appetite for monstrous cars with vast trunks and theatrical styling. Distinctive but not cartoonish is the idea -- the A8 is probably the most extroverted of the segment. Above all, the car has to fit the roads. I don't see how "big, flashy, and American" can cut it. You'd wind up with a chromier Lincoln Town Car, since the Town Car is the essense of the big American luxury car: hugely spacious, soft, and cossetting. Does anyone really want such a thing? Beyond that, there are other practical considerations, not the least of which are environmental issues. If Cadillac built a modern-day Fleetwood Sixty Special/Brougham, with a huge trunk, etc., it would be heavy and bulky, get poor fuel economy, and look completely tone-deaf. A V-16 engine is out of the question; even a V-12 is an iffy proposition. A blown V-8 as the top engine might be best. I really hope Cadillac does build such a car. I want the company to get its mojo back, but it's got to get it right -- the CTS hits the spot well, but another STS also-ran won't cut it.

  • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Jun 15, 2010

    Were Cadillac to produce a car that even had the appearance captured above, they could put money in the bank. Natch, it ain't gonna happen. The disconnect is the issue. That the average citizen doesn't notice is the reason we are losing our pre-eminence.