By on August 18, 2015

2016 Cadillac XT5

Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen said future Cadillac cars in the U.S. will have diesel powertrains, Automotive News is reporting (via Autoblog).

De Nysschen told journalists that oil burners would make their way to the States after they’re launched in Europe, presumably around 2019. He said engineers at Cadillac were working on 4- and 6-cylinder models, but wouldn’t specify what cars those engines would power.

Audi, BMW and Mercedes offer diesel power plants in their compact or mid-size sedans that would compete with the theoretical Cadillac.

In January, de Nysschen said as much, “If you want to play in Europe, you better have some diesels,” he told Reuters.

It wouldn’t be the first foray into diesels for Cadillac, Automotive News points out, but perhaps it’ll be a less smoky one.

Cadillac has shown off a hybrid CT6, but it’s unclear how electrification would play into Cadillac’s future plans.

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69 Comments on “Cadillac Will Have Diesel Engines in US...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Because big, American vehicles should lose one of their key characteristics to make Europeans more likely to buy – a nice engine. Replace it with a tiny crap one like you get in a base model Golf over there.

    Here’s a hint, Cadillac – the weirdo Europeans who spring for a Cadillac -want- it to be very large and American. That’s why they’re buying it. They have seen the 300 additional BMW options there with diesel engines and said “No, I want something more poorly built and larger.” so they’ve turned to you.

    So yeah, offer em a diesel. Good plan.

    • 0 avatar

      As far as I know diesel isn’t as clean as gasoline. Diesel is more expensive on average than 93 Octane. Diesel engines tend to be more expensive to build.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Not to mention that GM isn’t particularly -good- at non-truck diesel engines. That’s really best left to VW and perhaps Mercedes.

        Now, you want to throw a Mercedes BlueTEC diesel in there, then we’ll talk.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          In theory they could do it as they have diesel motors in some Chinese car models. But then again this is the company who screws up gas motors as of late.

          “”We see attractive growth opportunities (for diesels) in the U.S. and, over time, also in Asia and specifically in China,” Ammann told reporters here on Tuesday.”

          “Industry watchers predict that diesel sales in Europe will decline as tougher regulations push up development costs and cities such as Paris and London implement laws to restrict diesel cars amid rising fears about health risks linked to higher levels of nitrogen oxides. Diesels account for about half of all new-car sales in Europe.”

          http://europe.autonews.com/article/20150527/ANE/150529890/gm-sees-growth-for-diesels-in-u.s.-and-china

        • 0 avatar
          ItsMeMartin

          “Best left to VW and Mercedes”
          While you might quite safely say that about MB, you are sorely mistaken about VW. The 2.0 TDI was initially a train wreck of an engine, with cracked blocks and timing issues being very common occurences. Only after switching to Common Rail injection and making other improvements did they get the 2.0 TDI to achieve acceptable reliability. The bigger VAG diesel mills, while refined and frugal when new, tend to show their ugly side after prolonged usage. I actually cannot remember any modern VAG diesel other than 1.6 TDI and most recent examples of 2.0TDI being deemed a safe choice by any of the magazines that I read – and, due to being European, they have much more exposure to diesels than Americans.
          You might be familiar with the MB and VW diesels since these are almost the only companies offering them in the US, but believe me, VW diesels are nothing to write home about. When it comes to smaller diesels, Fiat and PSA (Peugeot-Citroen) have them beat, and for larger engines – BMW does.
          What I find problematic about potential Cadillac diesels is that GM might want to use what would be basically an in-house design: an Isuzu engine. The last time they did that in Europe, they created possibly the worst diesel sold here for a long time. That 3-liter turd of an engine had a tendency to seize without warning. Nowadays, if you see a Renault Vel Satis, a newer Saab 9-5, or an Opel Vectra in a good condition in a junkyard, chances are it had a 3.0 Isuzu diesel that seized.
          I don’t doubt that Isuzu can make good truck engines but if they do the 3.0 on Cadillac, the brand would be completely and irrevokably done for in Europe, and would taint the brand’s reputation in the US for years to come, just like the V8-6-4, the Northstar and the Cimarron did in the past.

      • 0 avatar
        Maxb49

        @Bigtruckseries review:

        You are correct. Gasoline engines are cleaner than diesels. Diesel particulate poses environmental hazards beyond climate change. Diesel emissions are proven to cause lung cancer and emphysema. The use of diesel particulate filters mitigates, though does not eliminate, the problem.

        Diesel filtration technology comes at the cost of increased price, increased complexity, increased maintenance, and decreased reliability.

        The traditional advantages of diesel were a longer service life and better fuel economy. Spark ignition engines have been developed to the point that they can remain in service for 300,000 miles before a rebuild. (Irv Gordon’s Volvo engine ran for 600,000 miles before its first rebuilt, which translates to 15,000 hours of service).

        Emissions regulations counteract Diesel’s former advantages. Modern automotive diesels don’t last longer than gasoline engines, don’t perform as well as gasoline engines, have significantly lower power output that a comparably sized spark ignition engine, and their fuel savings is more than offset by their added expense (purchase and maintenance expense).

        • 0 avatar
          dolorean

          “Diesel particulate poses environmental hazards beyond climate change. Diesel emissions are proven to cause lung cancer and emphysema.”

          And yet the air is cleaner here in Germany as are many other things. Go figure.

          Nearly every diesel engine seems to run forever with the usual caveat, good owner maintenance.

          Europeans greatly seem to prefer diesels to gas for a number of reasons, fuel costs are one(gas prices are astronamical, 90 euro to fill my 323 Ci) but mainly for the low end torque grunt that anything diesel seems to have a tow hook. The diesel is the more versitile option here.

          • 0 avatar
            ItsMeMartin

            It only seems to run forever because for a large portion of its life it is run on autobahns (and other high-quality roads that you have) at roughly constant load, and is dumped before any parts have a chance to fail due to fatigue. Go to Eastern Europe – where your older diesels often end up – and see how they hold up in the long term. Sure, deferred maintenance plays a role, but modern diesels tend to get expensive to run after their original parts give out. While that in itself is obviously natural and is not meant to be a criticism, their complexity bumps up the maintenance costs by a large margin, and their fuel efficiency vs gas engines is often negated by exactly that.

            By the way, I see that the Americans often point to the Diesel Particulate Filter as the one element that might prove problematic in running a diesel. Guess what – it can be simply cut out from the vehicle (IIRC, it may also require a software tweak that would emulate its functioning though). That’s the one troublesome mechanism that you can easily do away with. And let’s face it, we’ve already gone far into the area of diminishing returns when it comes to reducing diesel emissions for non-professional vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            Maxb49

            “And yet the air is cleaner here in Germany as are many other things. Go figure.’

            Emissions from vehicles is a mere component of air quality.

            “Nearly every diesel engine seems to run forever with the usual caveat, good owner maintenance.”

            If by “every engine seems to run forever” you mean engine block, then yes it is possible to “run an engine forever” if you don’t overheat the engine and rebuild it before catastrophic failure. That isn’t characteristic of only diesel engines.

            “but mainly for the low end torque grunt that anything diesel seems to have a tow hook. The diesel is the more versitile option here.”

            Torque production at the wheels is a function of horsepower and gearing, not cylinder torque.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          >> You are correct. Gasoline engines are cleaner than diesels.

          That’s not entirely true. GDI engines produce more particulate than clean diesels. Their particulates are actually smaller and deadlier than diesel.

          http://www.swri.org/3pubs/ttoday/Summer11/PDFs/ParticleEmissions.pdf

          • 0 avatar
            Maxb49

            “That’s not entirely true. GDI engines produce more particulate than clean diesels. Their particulates are actually smaller and deadlier than diesel.”

            True enough. However, GDI engines are not the only kind, nor the most common iteration of, gasoline engines. The cleanest compression ignition engine (diesel) can never be as clean as the cleanest spark ignition engine.

      • 0 avatar
        OliverTwist

        Diesel fuel more expensive than petrol?

        Hmm, I beg to differ. That was recently taken in Los Angeles area.

        https://instagram.com/p/6QNpq5S11M/?taken-by=cydkaps

        She commented that the price for diesel fuel has been much lower than petrol for the past five years.

      • 0 avatar
        OliverTwist

        Diesel fuel more expensive than petrol?

        Hmm, I beg to differ. That was recently taken in Los Angeles area.

        https://instagram.com/p/6QNpq5S11M/?taken-by=cydkaps

        The Instagrammer commented that the price for diesel fuel has been much lower than petrol for the past five years.

      • 0 avatar
        TOTitan

        Thousand Oaks CA reg unl $3.61, Diesel $2.63. My 335d makes 425 ftlb/265 hp @1750 and averages 33 mpg on the smelly slimy stuff. I like it….a lot

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    …and the bats*it crazy show continues over in SoHo.

    Six days ago:

    “Previously, Cadillac had planned some right-hand drive models and diesel powertrains to help it gain a foothold in European markets. According to the report, Cadillac has sold only 838 cars in Europe so far this year. Cadillac wants to sell 500,000 cars globally by 2020, de Nysschen said.

    Instead of Europe, de Nysschen told J.P. Morgan Auto Conference attendees (we guess our invitation just got lost in the mail, or something) that Cadillac would focus on strengthening its position in China, Russia and the Middle East.”

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/cadillac-slowing-plans-sell-cars-europe/

    Now:

    “Audi, BMW and Mercedes offer diesel power plants in their compact or mid-size sedans that would compete with the theoretical Cadillac.

    In January, de Nysschen said as much, “If you want to play in Europe, you better have some diesels,” he told Reuters.”

    So while diesel has become non-preferred in USDM they want to develop it, but for Europe, even though European sales are non-existent and JdN indicated he wanted to increase sales in China, Russia, and the ME.

    Ooooo i got it! Make the ATS fly somehow, and that can be your next product. Better yet, turn the XTS into a time machine somehow.

    Can we get JdN his own “apprentice” show? I would love to see this guy in action.

  • avatar

    Retirees who’ll actually benefit from Social Security and livery companies rejoice!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    The Mad Libs continued late into the night at RenCen…

    Gentleman, we need to push forward with more fuel efficient technologies. So lets take our [successful] brand [Cadillac] and develop a [turbo-diesel powertrain] which will allow us to enter the [European] market.

    • 0 avatar
      This Is Dawg

      “Gentlemen, we need to push forward with more fuel efficient technologies. So let’s take our [adored] brand [Cadillac] and develop a [three wheel drive bus] which will allow us to enter the [clownmobile] market.”

      I’m demanding credit for this idea when it’s announced in a few years.

  • avatar
    stars9texashockey

    Isn’t there a big (government sponsored/green) backlash against diesels in Europe? Good timing Cadillac

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      If this story broke in 2005, it would have made sense. Ten years on its nearly insane as both the EU and US EPA have regulated diesel to the point where it will no longer be economically viable in passenger cars. China I can’t speak for, but I think GM already has diesel powertrains used in that country.

      In Europe alone NOx standards from passenger cars went from (in g/km) 0.50 in 2000 to 0.08 in 2014, whereas petrol a little more than halved went from 0.15 to 0.06 in the same period.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_emission_standards

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    Oh no.

    What kind of Kool-Aid are they drinking at New York headquarters?

    DW is going to have a field day with this one.

    I’m glad there’s no more Oldsmobile for Cadillac to source their engines from.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Nothing changes. Just like in the Middle Ages, thousands of lives, jobs and personal fortunes hinge upon the decisions of individual idiots.

    “Oh looke! Finest Silkes brought by the Genoans! Oh, do lets buy the Lotte!”

  • avatar

    OMG, why?

    It seems like Cadillac’s entire marketing plan is just to throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks. The company’s method of chasing after the Germans is going to be a losing formula. Meanwhile, if Lincoln can give the Continental striking and handsome styling, make it drive well, give it plenty of features and price it affordably, it stands a much better chance of being a sought-after luxury brand here in the ‘States than does Cadillac…RWD or not.

  • avatar

    At this point, de Nysschen needs to be fired. Straight into the sun.

    If Lincoln can get its collective shirt together with the Continental, then that automotive riches to rags story may actually have a happy ending – or at least one better than what the former “standard of the world” has in store.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I think he’s just an expensive mouthpiece for the inmates running the asylum.

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly.

      Contrary to popular belief, the reason Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi sell diesel SUVs in worthwhile numbers (and really, more the latter two), is because customers are sold on the advantages of those engines, perceived or not. But these are customers who would otherwise buy gas-engined versions of these vehicles. Cadillac needs to work on getting customers in the first place.

      Instead of useless diesel engines that no one will buy, how about a seven-seat crossover above the SRX (and Enclave) but below the Escalade? Hey, that might sell well!

      Good grief.

    • 0 avatar
      Maxb49

      The Lincoln Continental was always a cut above whatever Cadillac had to offer (excluding the 1990s iteration). Frank Lloyd Wright described the Continental as the most beautiful vehicle ever produced. Continentals traditionally served as the presidential limousine prior to Clinton. The Continental was a hand built road cars with purpose built, powerful engines. Cadillacs were gussied up Chevrolets with gutless, choking big block V8s.

  • avatar
    Maxb49

    Johan de Nysschen will be the death of Cadillac. Cadillac should change it’s name to “The New York Jets.” How did a company once teeming with legends such as William Durant, Harley Earl, Ed Cole, Charles Kettering and Zora Arkus Duntov turn into a cesspool of Rick Wagoners, Mary Barras and Johan de Nysschens?

  • avatar
    nickoo

    This is the dumbest statement made by an auto exec in the last week. He tops himself everytime he opens his mouth. No one is clammering for a diesel cadillac. Buy toyota ur v8 engines and copy them since your gm lt1s suck so bad and make those. Or even better, get out of the patterson buggy business and come into the 21st century with a 300 mile range electric rocketship.

    • 0 avatar

      I wouldn’t touch Toyota’s V8 engines with a 10-ft barge pole. They’re smooth and reasonably powerful, but also fuel-hungry. Check the EPA MPG sticker for the Tundra and Land Cruiser sometime.

      But electric cars, on the other hand….the Tesla Model S is precisely what Cadillac should had brought to market – a technologically advanced rocket ship with loads of power and refinement. The Tesla is fast becoming the go-to car for many a person with means – executives, entrepreneurs, etc.

      Meanwhile, Cadillac’s too busy emulating BMW’s model lineup to notice that no one wants imitation German when they can easily go for the real thing. The Escalade is the only Cadillac of note, but it’s image is increasingly torn between black-tie fleet maven and the official blingmobile for trashy nouveau riche. Meanwhile, the only CUV it offers, let alone a competitive CUV, is the SRX or whatever they’re calling that thing in the photo.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        “Check the EPA MPG sticker for the Tundra and Land Cruiser sometime.”

        News flash! Giant heavy things with V8 engines are thirsty. Then you say “electric cars, on the other hand” and talk about the advantages of something which is A) the EXACT opposite and B) not an AWD truck, but a luxury sedan.

        Tundra MPG: Up to 15 city, 19 highway
        LC MPG: 13 city / 18 highway
        Yukon MPG: Up to 16 city, 23 highway
        Navigator (’13 V8) MPG: Up to 14 city, 20 highway
        Q70 5.6 MPG: 16 city / 24 highway
        E550 MPG: Up to 18 city, 26 highway
        LS460 MPG: Up to 16 city, 24 highway

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I have no idea how Infiniti gets 24 highway on the EPA test. I had a hard time getting double digits when I drove one. Nice vehicle. Very thirsty.

          (Edit: I thought you were talking about the SUV. Infiniti’s naming scheme confuses me. I think I mean QX80? That gets 14/20.)

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Nope, the last three there are larger V8 sedans. I wanted to show there’s not a -huge- difference in MPG, no matter which large thing a V8 is powering.

            I simplify it as such.

            Q – car
            QX – truck

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Oh I know you mean sedan now. I still don’t know how Infiniti gets 14/20 out of the QX.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I looked to see if at some point they changed 2012+ transmissions or something which might have upped it, but no. It’s had the 7 speed all along.

            Maybe you just drove it too hard! I mean, it’s not THAT heavy, ha.

  • avatar
    64andahalf

    BTW, has DeadWeight been excommunicated or something? This is getting to be like One Day at A Time without Schneider. Or Trailer Park Boys without J Roc. Or the 3 Stooges without Curly (sorry, Shemp).

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      He went out for Hateorade and never came back…

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      Don’t worry. Almost every other member of the local commentariat is falling over themselves to be the new DeadWeight.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I very rarely comment on Cadillac anymore because it’s cruel, not funny and too easy to make fun of retards.

      Cadillac is run by literally retarded people.

      • 0 avatar

        We’ve had some disagreements in the past, but I’m with you on that statement. And yes, the brand’s base instrument cluster is insulting and would be better suited to a Pontiac than the luxury realm.

        Like I said, I think Lincoln has a much higher chance of success.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          You’ve always been civil and mature even on matters we have disagreed on – which are more preference based/subjective things vs factual/objective things anyways – and we agree on much, also.

          I made a snide, unwarranted and personal attack on you, which I regret and apologized for, and you in response graciously accepted my apology.

          Even though I’m crusty, cynical and jaded by nature, and freely express my very strong opinions on what I perceive as automotive lunacy (e.g. Cadillac’s entire current business model), I have only very rarely (by my count, 2 occasions in 5 years) engaged in such ad hominem attacks on fellow commenters or writers.

          • 0 avatar
            Speed3

            Thanks for keeping it civil DW!

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            You seem so proud of yourself for the low frequency of your ad hominem attacks on fellow commentators.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            2 ad hominem attacks in 6 years, often times involving very heated debate over the type of subject matter that is the complete lunacy of the product, marketing & general business strategy of a debauched Cadillac led by a Carnival Barker such as Johan de Nysschen (who now is claiming Cadillac will see its sales rise by 80%, to a level of 500,000, by 2020, in his latest schizoid outburst), is a pretty good track record.

            No one’s perfect.

  • avatar
    derekson

    I think people are largely being over the top with the criticism here (par for the course when it comes to anything Cadillac), but there is truth to this being a waste of time/money/R&D resources. It’s not because diesels are completely outpaced by gasoline direct injection engines either, it’s more because the tides in Europe are turning against diesel (largely because they took too long to implement updated diesel emissions requirements like the EPA has done). If they had gone to urea injection several years ago, NOx emissions wouldn’t be nearly the issue they are now. But regardless of the reasons, plug in hybrids are probably going to start eating into diesel marketshare in Europe, especially for luxury marques where the pricing can absorb the technology expense.

    By developing diesels that’ll launch in the end of the decade, Cadillac is chasing after where the target is now, instead of aiming at where the target will be in another 5 years’ time.

    • 0 avatar
      Maxb49

      Excellent post. You’ve hit upon the core problem at GM: They’re always behind the curve. That has to change. I’m not a GM hater. I want to see them succeed. Their success employs people in my community and contributes to the local economy.

      Diesel was as much of a mistake in 1980s Europe as it is today. It produces harmful emissions, the power is woefully inadequate, and the engines require a lot of maintenance. I know this is a controversial statement, but the world would have been better off developing biologically based alternatives to gasoline than pushing diesel for 30 years. Natural gas is starting to replace large industrial diesels. Natural gas engines make the same or better power in a lower maintenance package.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Hark! What’s that I hear? Could it be the sound of an ’81 Fleetwood Brougham with an Olds diesel coming down the road? Everything old is new again. Clattaclattaclattaclatta…

  • avatar
    RHD

    Cadillac already sells oil-burners in the US.
    They’re actually fairly common, usually have a minor scratch or two, and are being driven by the second owner.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    And Mazda told me I was going to be able to buy a diesel 6, but that ain’t happenin’.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    This is the worst idea I have ever heard. A Duramax Escalade would be cool though.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Nothing says Standard of the World luxury like agricultural clatter, soot and a permanently smelly and sticky handshake from refueling ones Euro-envy pride and joy….

  • avatar

    Hmm.

    I like my 2012 TDi. I would have bought a BMW diesel but at that time, the 335d was out of production in the US and the 328d not yet for sale. I may have dodged a bullet, though as the 335d has massive carbon buildup issues. Of course, I had to eat a Diesel Particulate filter so the bullet got me on a ricochet. ($2400 day, 1/2 paid by VW as I was 3000 miles past the Fed Emission Warranty-so much for fuel savings…) Still, less than the five figure repair on the 335d. Pity too, I loved that car.

    Why does the 335 motor carbon up ? You’d assume that it doesn’t have this problem “over there”. Why does a DPF fail before 100k ? (Cue VW hate)

    I see why GM would want a diesel over there….most of Germany is diesel, and at $10 per gallon, driving a gas car is visible extravagance. Still, even BMW diesels have issues….

    • 0 avatar
      TOTitan

      I have a 335d. In 82000 miles so far no CBU issues. The reason many of them carbon up is that people dont drive them hard enough, and they dont change oil often enough. My gets car 70 miles per day of freeway driving and on the return trip it gets to pull a 4 mile long 7% grade. The M57 engine is very much underworked in a 3 series, and since diesels are at their best when working hard, people who baby them tend to have issues. I change my oil every 6000 miles. The reason for this is that the pcv valve sends a slight mist of oil into the intake which then gets baked by the hot exhaust from the egr valve. The dirtier the oil the more the cbu will occur. I learned this from a 30 BMW only mechanic who now runs his own independent BMW repair shop. I have followed his advice since I bought the car with 34000 miles on it and have had no issues. The last thing my BMW guy recommended was to add some diesel injector cleaner to every tank. If the injectors start to get dirty the chance of cbu occuring skyrockets. Many here say diesel cars are not worth having. Last October I went on a road trip which included driving the nearly abandoned US95 from ID through NV. I set the cruise at 100 and left it there for a whole tank of fuel. MPG was 30. Enough said.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Merc, BMW, and Lexus are currently outselling Cadillac ~2:1 so far in 2015. Crossovers, crossovers of every size and description, crossovers NOW, will help get Cadillac out of the toilet. Not flagships, not higher performance versions of their tepid-selling, self-cannibalizing range of sedans, not diesels in 2019.

  • avatar

    Just recently De Nyschen said Cadillac won’t bother too much with Europe. Is this the same fellow?

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    The first car I remember my mom having was one of the old 70s diesel Devilles. I have only two memories of that car- its ginormous size, and us waiting at the mechanic for my dad to come pick us up in his Honda Civic because the Cadillac broke down again. I know this isn’t the same Cadillac, but I wonder how many buyers have their memories and impressions of Cadillac diesels tainted by that?


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