Cadillac Is Holding Out for a Halo
Visually arresting, technologically complex, ultra luxurious, and undeniably trendsetting, halo cars sprinkle lustre all over a brand and ensure viewers of hip-hop videos know the artist is absolutely loaded with cash.
Cadillac’s not there yet. Give it time, says the brand’s president — a halo Cadillac model will indeed appear, just not until well into the coming decade. There’s a few things to take care of first.
Rare Rides: A 1983 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe, Looking Sinister in Black
Believe it or not, a long time ago the Cadillac brand was associated with elderly, moneyed customers. They chose Cadillac for comfort, luxury, and for the stately vulgarity which came standard when you purchased the pinnacle of General Motors. And as the pinnacle personal luxury offering from the Cadillac brand, an Eldorado was the de facto choice for many an American septuagenarian.
But Cadillac desired a younger customer, and a change was due for Eldorado. Presenting the 1983 Eldorado Touring Coupe.
2019 Cadillac XT4: Yet Another Compact Crossover, But This One's a Caddy
Full disclosure, right up front: While I am in New York City for the auto show, neither myself or anyone from the TTAC team was invited to the XT4 unveiling the night before the show’s first media day.
I only mention this to point out that I can’t, as of this writing, judge the newest luxury compact crossover in the flesh, although I will likely see it 12 hours or so after I type this.
Hot takes aside, it’s common knowledge by now that crossovers are hot and just about every brand feels it needs to cover the subcompact, compact, and midsize classes. Cadillac has the midsize class covered with the XT5, so naturally, it’s time to go one smaller.
No Fixed Abode: The Nineteen-Inch Mystery
As you would expect, most of the reaction to Cadillac’s announcement of the 550-horsepower CT6 V-Sport centered around its engine, a “clean-sheet” 4.2-liter V8 that is either meant to slavishly ape the current German fetish for diminutive, twin-blown bent-eights or cash in on all that nostalgia for the Northstar and its litany of opportunities for improvement. I’m not sure which.
I don’t know about you, but I think it makes sense to develop a whole new powerplant for the CT6 because, if there is one thing that GM does not already have, it is an exhaustively developed, amazingly compact, remarkably lightweight, and impressively powerful V8 engine. Honestly, the whole thing reminds me of the time that I accidentally bought a used DVD of “Cloverfield” at a Blockbuster Video sale only to get home and discover that not only did I already own a used DVD of Cloverfield, the one I’d just bought had a big scratch in it. Oh well. If nothing else, this new CT6 V-Sport will increase the alacrity with which the tatted-up part-time-barista grandchildren of Boomers await their death and subsequent estate distribution. Grandpa might have left you the ’57 Strat, but he left me that wacky thing that looks like a normal Cadillac Escalade but sits really low on the ground for some reason!
The Son O’ Northstar wasn’t the only technological innovation reported in the press release, however. When the CT6 V-Sport hits the streets, it will feature the largest front brakes ever fitted to a production automobile, eclipsing the 17.3-inch rotors of the Lamborghini Urus with a 19-inch system sourced from Brembo. Even more surprisingly, the whole thing fits snugly inside 20-inch wheels. This new innovation was reported across hundreds of media outlets in the automotive, business, and popular-interest press.
There is just one little issue: it can’t be true.
All Ate Up With Motor: Cadillac Announces a New Engine It's Keeping for Itself
In ages past, more than one nameplate could lay claim to having its own engine. Olds manufactured its own V8s for over 40 years, for example. More recently, Cadillac had its own engine too, by way of the Northstar. Yes, hindsight is 20/20 and the engine did have its challenges, but it certainly set the brand apart from its proletariat brothers.
Now, the General’s crown jewel is once again introducing its own engine, a clean-sheet design called the Cadillac Twin Turbo V8. This time, it’ll be hand-assembled and signed by the builder, just like an AMG. Ich wundere mich!
GM's Pulling the Trigger on the Cadillac Escala, Report Claims
It’s hard to fathom, given the industry’s (and the public’s) addiction to utilities, but a new report claims Cadillac aims to start production on a new flagship car in late 2021. Not just any car, either, but a model with a name taken from a high-profile concept vehicle: Escala.
You’ll remember the Escala as a trim, pillarless, four-door liftback with classic rear-drive proportions, introduced at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. At the time, Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen called the concept a “potential addition” to the brand’s product lineup, but with the CT6 just beginning to roll out of dealers — and in the wake of the earlier, futureless Ciel and Elmiraj concepts — few got their hopes up.
Handsome New Cadillac XT4 Teased at Oscars Before New York Debut
Cadillac is showing off the upcoming XT4 before its official debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show by tossing it into a handful of commercials scheduled during the 90th Academy Awards. While the television spots seem to be intended to whet appetites prior to the vehicle’s launch later this fall, it’s the best look we’ve had at the model to date. That said, careful lighting and smoke machines allowed the XT4 to show plenty of leg without unbuckling its belt and giving us a real show.
The overall design is on par with what we’ve come to expect from present-day Cadillac, with vertical headlights cutting deeply into the front fenders. However, it looks to be a more shapely SUV than everything else the brand currently offers. Styling was clearly a priority here, and every element that identifies a model as a Cadillac appears to have been exaggerated without going too far.
Cadillac President Attributes 'Measured Approach' to Super Cruise Success, Gently Slams Tesla
Speaking at a conference in California on Wednesday, Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen threw some gentle shade at his rivals by stating General Motors’ measured approach to hands-free driving was the secret to Super Cruise being a winner. For those of you that don’t know, Cadillac claimed it became the first automaker to accomplish a coast-to-coast drive using hands-free technology last fall.
While it’s debatable whether the Super Cruise equipped CT6s making the journey actually achieved the feat without a driver ever having to touch the steering wheel, GM’s semi-autonomous system is among the best in the business right now — if not the best.
How did it manage the feat? For the most part, Cadillac built on the technology it already had to fine-tune adaptive cruise control to a point where the car could effectively steer itself on predictable highway jaunts. But de Nysschen says it mastered that in a closed environment, waiting until the system was completely ready. Meanwhile, other areas of General Motors have been devoted to total autonomy and perfecting the Cruise Automation fleet’s artificial intelligence systems.
QOTD: Your Guiltiest Pleasure?
We’ve all got ‘em. Whether it’s that vapid ear worm song from the ‘90s or a TV show you won’t dare tell anyone you watch, we’ve all got some sort of vice in our closet.
Being gearheads, we’ve a few cars to count among our guilty pleasures too. Mine? Well, it has to do with General Motors … and a whole lot of electronics.
Ballooning U.S. Cadillac Transaction Prices Hide a Not-so-silver Lining
In 2017, the average U.S. Cadillac buyer walked out of the dealership after signing over $54,488 for a new vehicle. That’s almost $6,000 more than the average sticker in the luxury field, placing Cadillac among the upper echelon of premium cars.
However, the brand’s skyrocketing average transaction price — up 25 percent over the past five years — comes as the brand weathers a sales downturn in the U.S. market. That lofty 2017 figure has plenty to do with the models customers aren’t buying.
Cadillac Prepping XT4 Production on the Sly at Kansas City's Malibu Plant
General Motors is tooling one of its car plants to build the svelte new Cadillac crossover that’s aimed at fixing the luxury brand’s sales slump in the United States. However, GM is keeping quiet on the move as the XT4’s future hasn’t been officially announced. However, insiders have claimed the automaker has already begun production on test versions of the Cadillac XT4 at its assembly plant in Kansas City.
Cadillac deliveries fell 8 percent last year in the United States and, as crossovers seem to be the sure-fire remedy for every automaker seeking sales, the XT4 could be a godsend. That blessing isn’t isolated to North America either. Adding the more-affordable crossover to the company’s Chinese lineup is equally important.
Rare Rides: The Cadillac Allante, Which Was a Race Car in 1992
The year is 1986. There’s a new, V8-powered convertible on the horizon from Cadillac — the Standard of the World. This particularly special convertible is slotted above the Eldorado in the product lineup. And it was designed by a famed Italian house.
You’re drooling by now, 1986 person. Vamanos, to Allanté!
Cadillac Takes a Sales Dive in December; All Models Drop
Christmas was in the air, but Cadillac’s last sales month brought anything but good cheer. General Motors’ luxury brand saw sales of every last one of its models fall, year-over-year, ending December as the worst-performing division in the GM fold.
Total U.S. Cadillac sales fell 28.6 percent last month, year-over-year, with 2017 volume down 8 percent compared to all 12 months of 2016 — a loss of 14,566 sales. Hardly a brand reaching its pinnacle. However, as bad as Cadillac’s numbers look, there’s a couple of unavoidable factors working against the brand.
2019 Cadillacs: CT6 Drops Entry-level Engine, and Is the ATS Going Coupe-only?
After a relative lull in product introductions, Cadillac has a pipeline of new vehicles ready to boost the brand’s fortunes. Or so the General Motors division hopes.
In early 2016 Cadillac launched the XT5 crossover and CT6 sedan, following it up with a refreshed XTS in late 2017. Next year brings bigger news in the form of the XT4 compact crossover, with at least one other crossover waiting to plug another hole in the brand’s utility lineup.
But what about Cadillac’s older sedan lineup — the one that’s not bringing in anywhere near the passenger car volume the brand once enjoyed? There’s a long-range plan to deal with that, but first the company has some careful surgery planned.
Spied: 2019 Cadillac XT4, Ready to Do What Sedans Can't
By “can’t,” we mean “keep the division afloat.” The luxury brand’s sedan sales just aren’t cutting it anymore, forcing Cadillac to play a game of crossover catch-up with other players in the premium field. While the full-size Escalade and midsize XT5 remain strong (and consistent) sales performers, many of Cadillac’s rivals offer more utility vehicle choice. Lexus has four, and might not consider that enough. Even Lincoln has three.
The first of several answers to this problem is the XT4, a compact crossover positioned just below the XT5. Debuting in the middle of next year as a 2019 model, the new crossover recently made an appearance outside General Motors’ Milford proving grounds. Luckily, a cameraman was there.