For some years now, Cadillac has been stuck in the muck of GM mismanagement and indecision. There are signs that situation may be changing. Car and Driver tells us that GM, in the person of Chairman/CEO Ed Whitacre, has committed to a new flagship sedan to once again move Cadillac upmarket and get it unstuck.
The car press is hoping, for the most part, that it will echo the 2003 Cadillac Sixteen concept shown above. The Sixteen (also called the XLS project, and don’t get me started on Caddy’s godawful alphabetics) was to use a new V12 engine, confirmed by Bob Lutz as under development in Australia—but that was three years ago, and before bankruptcy.
We think Cadillac needs desperately to do something different, and that means not taking on the German big boys.
Speculation (and there is lots of that) now has it that the flagship car will likely be built on a stretched CTS Sigma platform. Rear-wheel drive is likely, engine choice is unknown. The new car will rank above the CTS and the forthcoming XTS (right), shown at Detroit earlier this year. A plug-in hybrid XTS is reportedly in the works.
It could even be a coupe. Check out one GM fan’s redesign of the Sixteen, which is beautiful. The company could also commit to a sedan first, followed by a coupe, followed by a hybrid. The choices are wide open.
Develop a car that is nothing like an S-Class or a BMW 7. Make it a rear-drive V12 that is an essentially American luxury car such as this country hasn’t seen in thirty years. One commenter on TTAC said it well (scroll down to Syke): Make it a Continental Mark II for the 2010s.
Price it at $10,000 less than the Germans, ignore Lexus, and don’t make it a “halo car” – make it a Fleetwood with 2010 handling, economy, and style, …and please get rid of the present nomenclature. You can attract new Cadillac buyers, but only if you offer them something different from what they can already buy elsewhere.
And, as someone else said, don’t make it another rebadged, upscaled version of your company’s other products, as Ford is doing with Lincoln.
Do you think Cadillac fans would respond to a truly American flagship car? Would you?