2019 Cadillac Escalade Sport Edition: A New Way of Boosting BOF Margins

General Motors’ full-size, body-on-frame SUVs are growing long in the tooth, but man, are they popular. It helps that The General keeps finding ways of sweetening the pot here and there, all while ticking the MSRP slightly skyward. By all accounts, it’s a mutually beneficial relationship between consumer and manufacturer.

Last year brought the RST (Rally Sport Truck) versions of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, which GM followed up with this year’s appearance of an extra half-step of luxury in the form of the “Premier Plus” trim. For the extra expenditure, customers gained newfound access to the company’s coveted 6.2-liter V8 and refined 10-speed automatic.

Cadillac Escalade buyers don’t have that desire, as the top-flight powertrain comes standard in all trim levels. They might, however, wish to look meaner. And Cadillac’s banking that they’ll pay more for the privilege.

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Latest Cadillac XT4 Ad Appears to Foreshadow Escala Debut

Last month, Cadillac launched a round of advertisements promoting the 2019 XT4 — including television spots. While the commercial is still set in New York City, it avoids the other trappings of the brand’s previous “ Dare Greatly” campaign. There is very little screen time without the crossover blitzing through the streets, backed by a high-energy soundtrack, and at no point does the brand try to encourage the viewer to assume its corporate philosophy. It’s just a straightforward car commercial — or so we thought.

Apparently, there was a hidden element we all missed.

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Buy/Drive/Burn: A Rear-drive C-body Showdown in 1980

A few months ago we selected a General Motors C-body from the three on offer in the mid-1990s, right at the end of the front-drive platform’s lifespan. Today’s trio is a variation on that theme, as suggested long ago by commenter Sgeffe.

He wanted to talk about rear-drive C-platform offerings — the full-size GMs available shortly before everything started going awry for the large sedan customer. Let’s go.

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Cadillac Loses Its Only Hybrid Model

As one hat joins the wardrobe, another leaves the closet for a trip to the goodwill store. Cadillac’s flagship CT6 appeared at dealers in early 2016 with a range of powerplants in tow, most notably a plug-in hybrid promising 31 miles of gas-free driving. Big, traditional, American luxury sedans needn’t be dinosaurs, Cadillac said of the lightweighted plug-in.

Well, an asteroid just fell on a new, green Detroit.

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Cadillac's Booking It From BOOK

Book, also known as “BOOK by Cadillac,” is General Motors’ entry in the burgeoning luxury car subscription market, though the fledgling service’s first cities — New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas — will soon have to get used to going without.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, GM’s pulling the plug on Book, at least for the time being. Get those Cadillacs back to where you got ’em.

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Sure, GM Europe Is Gone, but the Automaker Hasn't Entirely Pulled up Stakes

General Motors vacated the continent in fine style last year, flushing the Vauxhall and Opel brand to Groupe PSA in a deal worth about 2.2 billion Euro. However, it turns out Ren Cen remains as a lingering presence in moving metal across the pond.

All this was spurred by a tweet by David Shepardson of Reuters revealing The General sold about 3,000 vehicles in the first nine months of 2018, compared to 684,000 during the same period one year ago. This makes sense, given the sloughing of Vauxhall/Opel.

Since the word “Europe” shows up exactly zero times in GM’s Q3 earnings report, it left your author wondering: what models comprised those sales? Not the ones I thought, as it turns out.

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End of the Line: Cadillac Introduces 2019 V-Series Pedestal Editions

GM’s snazziest brand may have vacated the Big Apple in a New York minute, but that doesn’t mean they’re taking a break on research and development. It’s been 15 years since the marque appended the consonant “V” onto trunklids of its fastest sedans, so the company is rolling out a new trim to mark the occasion.

The 2019 ATS-V and CTS-V will be endowed with a limited run of these Pedestal Editions. While Pedestal may not have the same gravitas as Talisman, these new whips do a dandy job of cranking the wick to eleven.

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You Might Not Want It, but That Doesn't Mean There Isn't a Case to Be Made for a Hotter Cadillac XT4

Exactly were the Cadillac XT4 lands in terms of sales volume remains to be seen. The brand recorded its first sales of the just-released compact crossover in September, with 212 examples leaving U.S. lots.

Offered with just a single engine (a healthy turbocharged 2.0-liter four) and single transmission (nine-speed automatic), the XT4 is Cadillac’s desperately needed entry in the premium compact CUV market — a hot segment where Cadillac’s tardiness puts it at a disadvantage. But perhaps this XT4 is just a starting point.

A rendering spotted on Cadillac’s XT4 show-and-tell page suggests the brand may hold loftier performance expectations for the little ute.

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Vellum Venom: 1992 Cadillac Brougham
Cadillac suffered no dearth of cultural relevance back in ’92, but mercifully today’s tone deaf marketing digs make way for a move back to Detroit. And while my heavily East Asian/European design influences at CCS were no harbinger of global platforms, inauthentic proportioning and ridiculous alphanumeric names, I [s]secretly[/s] wish Kanye’s CCS mic-drop coulda done me a solid and went there instead. No matter. The “ Without the Escalade, I don’t know where we would be” situation is proof that brand-relevant design must remain in modernization/globalization’s righteous quest.
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Buy/Drive/Burn: The $40,000 Luxury Sedan Answer for 2018

Perusing the responses to Matthew Guy’s QOTD post about the ideal $40,000 vehicle, three sedans kept surfacing in the comments. All three were compact, all of them had engines of identical displacement, and all of them were restrained by a price ceiling — meaning no optional extras.

Today we’ll narrow the $40,000 field to these three, and see which one you’d buy with your own bank’s money.

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Over the First Three Quarters of 2018, Only Four GM Cars Have Anything to Brag About

General Motors joined the vast majority of its automotive colleagues in having a crappy sales month in September, posting an 11.1 percent year-over-year volume loss. The issues facing OEMs last month were many. As interest rates rise and the market cools, automakers looking to capture more for their coffers are trending towards reduced fleet sales and lowered incentive spending. Hurricanes also played something of a role.

At GM, which graces us with sales figures just four times a year, what was likely a poor showing in September dragged down the third quarter as well as year-to-date sales, with volume since the start of the year now down 1.2 percent. That doesn’t mean several GM models didn’t have good quarters, or haven’t had good 2018s. Some 18 models can boast of YTD sales gains.

Of those 18, however, just four are passenger cars, and one member of the group already has one and a half feet in the grave.

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Buy/Drive/Burn: Three Big and Luxurious 2018 SUVs

Today’s subjects are ponderous, expensive, and very heavy. No, we’re not talking about state government representatives; we’re talking about full-size SUVs.

Come along, and we’ll select a big truck to burn.

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QOTD: How Does a Detroit-bound Cadillac Reclaim Its Marketing Mojo?

As you read yesterday, Cadillac’s had its fun in New York City and is returning home to the Detroit metro area. Warren, specifically. It probably wouldn’t be fair to say it was chewed up and spit out like a naive bumpkin who travels to the big city, only to suffer the horrifying aftermath of decadence and experimentation. This isn’t Midnight Cowboy.

Nor can we say, without access to some internal info, that is was raging success. The brand remains a work in progress. There’s vehicles on the way that likely still would have been on the way had former brand president Johan de Nysschen, et al, stayed in Detroit. Does the name “Cadillac” ring with a more appealing timbre among the tony enclaves of coastal America? Doubtful.

Let’s assume for a minute that the Greyhound bus carrying Cadillac just pulled into the station, a cold rain falling over the terminal. How does the brand let its friends know it’s back in town?

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Cadillac Packing Its Bags, Heading Back to Detroit

It tried to make it in the big city but, after a few years on its own in New York, the Cadillac brand is headed home to mom and pop.

Cadillac President Steve Carlisle, who took over from Johan de Nysschen in April, confirmed the return in a Wall Street Journal interview. The brand’s abandonment of its high-class SoHo office space ends a strange and tumultuous period in Cadillac history.

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Cadillac Names New 'V' Model, Gives Two Others the Last Rites

Something needs to carry Cadillac’s performance banner into the future, and, with three of its four sedans slated for execution within the next year, GM’s luxury brand has decided the sole remaining car should be it. Tough decision, that one.

At least it’s not the XT5.

Late Wednesday, Cadillac announced the flagship CT6 V-Sport, bowing for the 2019 model year, will henceforth be known as the CT6-V. In the Cadillac stable, V-Sport models see a significant uptick in power, with the real scorching stuff carrying a -V signifier. Luckily, the CT6 V-Sport stands to gain an engine of considerable output when it arrives in the spring.

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  • Carlson Fan The way the truck drops in the rear and the bed/tailgate become a ramp is genius! I'd buy it just for that alone!!! It would be awesome for loading snowmobiles and garden tractors in the back. However, my trucks need to be able to regularly tow heavy loads long distance, summer & winter. Sorry folks, current battery tech. isn't even close to what it needs to be for me to think even one second that a battery truck could replace my current ICE powered truck. An EV for a DD makes sense , but for truck you need a MUCH better battery.
  • Inside Looking Out For midsize sedan it is too small. It basically is a compact car.
  • Stodge I test drove the 200S and damn, its suspension was so firm, I was convinced it didn't actually include suspension at all. It hurt my spine and hip, it was that firm.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird If Mopar had only offered sport hatch versions of the 200 and or Dart they might have sold more of them for folks who wanted some more versatility without having to go for a small utility Compass Patriot or new at the time Renegade or Cherokee.
  • El scotto I started driving in the late 70's. The cars high school kids could afford and wanted were very very worn out muscle cars. Oh Lordy those V-8's bring back some happy memories. Oh there some outliers in my crowd, a VW Bug and a Dodge Scamp with slant six; neither car would die. In 10 years their will be young people wanting very used Teslas or Dodge's with hemis. B&B, I say that if someone is excited about their EV, Hybrid, or Hemi welcome them to the club of people who like cars.