QOTD: Advice From a Wise Old Sage?

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
qotd advice from a wise old sage

In Newfoundland, a quick rejoinder to the comment “Can’t complain,” is “No one’s listening anyway!” followed by a couple of hearty guffaws and a nod n’ wink. Hey, give us a break; we’re all loopy from the cold.

Regardless of whether people are listening or not, people — especially opinionated gearheads — are likely to complain and provide unsolicited advice. Here is today’s question: if a major OEM were to ask for and promise to implement one of your recommendations, what would you say? And to whom?

Keeping it relatively simple — and not asking for the likes of flying cars or a windshield wash reservoir routinely filled with Thousand Island dressing — I’d ask Cadillac to bin its alphanumeric nonsense and return to an actual naming system.

The disarmament campaign arguably began back in the 2002 calendar year when the creased and angular CTS appeared on the scene. Built and marketed as a rear-drive return to performance, the CTS was a Detroit thumb in the eye to Das Germans. In that initial 2003 model year, Cadillac showrooms were also cluttered with the Seville, de Ville, and Escalade. Only one of those nameplates remain today.

It wasn’t long before lots were filled with trunklids bearing DTS, SRX, STS, and other alphabet soup. Yes, some of those letter trios existed prior to 2004 but they were preceded by an actual name, such as Seville STS, for example (making the car’s official name the Seville Seville Touring Sedan — we’ll leave the conversation about that for another day).

I’m not saying that Cadillac should wantonly pull names from its history and slap them on the existing lineup. Fleetwood, while appealing to this author, might not work in today’s market. A quick look at Lincoln proves a company can shed alphanumerics in favor of creative names.

What’s your advice? And to whom?

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Shortest Circuit Shortest Circuit on Aug 21, 2018

    Since you stated with Cadillac, I've only got one: bring back Brougham trim! And all automakers: if you decide to put a touchscreen where the heater/radio/seat controls should be, make damn sure it has the most beefy CPU your suppliers offer. Some people won't care but millennials go apeshit when they have to use something that is constantly lagging and skipping. Tesla can do it. It is literally their only saving grace, a fast UI.

  • Jmiller417 Jmiller417 on Aug 21, 2018

    Electric motors to take over propulsion of manual-transmission cars in town. This would take the drudgery out of bumper-to-bumper traffic and facilitate more autonomous features. As for Cadillac, it should just use the old names for the trim packages instead of the generic Standard, Sport, Premium, etc. CT6 Deville and CT6 Fleetwood, anyone?

  • Inside Looking Out In June 1973, Leonid Brezhnev arrived in Washington for his second summit meeting with President Richard Nixon. Knowing of the Soviet leader’s fondness for luxury automobiles, Nixon gave him a shiny Lincoln Continental. Brezhnev was delighted with the present and insisted on taking a spin around Camp David, speeding through turns while the president nervously asked him to slow down. https://academic.oup.com/dh/article-abstract/42/4/548/5063004
  • Bobby D'Oppo Great sound and smooth power delivery in a heavier RWD or AWD vehicle is a nice blend, but current V8 pickup trucks deliver an unsophisticated driving experience. I think a modern full-size pickup could be very well suited to a manual transmission.In reality, old school, revvy atmo engines pair best with manual transmissions because it's so rewarding to keep them in the power band on a winding road. Modern turbo engines have flattened the torque curve and often make changing gears feel more like a chore.
  • Chuck Norton For those worried about a complex power train-What vehicle doesn't have one? I drive a twin turbo F-150 (3.5) Talk about complexity.. It seems reliability based on the number of F-150s sold is a non-issue. As with many other makes/models. I mean how many operations are handle by micro processors...in today's vehicles?
  • Ravenuer The Long Island Expressway.
  • Kwik_Shift A nice stretch of fairly remote road that would be great for test driving a car's potential, rally style, is Flinton Road off of Highway 41 in Ontario. Twists/turns/dips/rises. Just hope a deer doesn't jump out at you. Also Highway 60 through Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. Great scenery with lots of hills.