Category Archives: Cadillac

Cadillac Unveils Escala Concept

Cadillac is currently in the middle of a sweeping initiative to not only improve its lagging sales figures, but also the brand’s reputation when compared to more established luxury automakers. On that end, Cadillac has unveiled an all new concept vehicle that previews a new flagship offering that will eventually be positioned above the CT6 sedan.

Dubbed the Escala this particular concept is supposed to showcase the next evolution of Cadillac design which will greatly reduce the sharp edges that have come to define current Cadillac models while also retaining the angular theme that has served as a compelling Escalacanvas for Cadillac designers. While we are still chewing on its odd name, the Escala does stand out thanks to a number of new styling elements including vertical lighting that is now complimented with horizontal units, thinner headlights, and new DRL’s that allegedly help the Escala have a “sinister” look which could help add some much needed spice to the lineup.

The Escala’s platform is based on the same platform that also underpins the CT6 but Cadillac engineers have lengthened the platform by five inches while the overall width has also been increased by six inches.In addition, the Escala also features a hatchback-esque profile which is reminiscent of the Audi A7.

“Escala is a concept with two clear objectives. First, Escala is a statement of intent for the next iteration of the Cadillac design language and also technical aspects in development of future Cadillac models,” revealed Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen. “Secondly, Escala builds Cadillac’s aspirational character, signaling the brand’s return to the pinnacle of premium.”

The interior of the Escala also serves as a vivid visual showcase of the future that is in store  for future Cadillac models. Cadillac designers focused on putting technology at the Escala Interiorforefront with three curved OLED screens that are layered in front of the driver. For owners who prefer to spend the majority of their time in the rear seats, Cadillac designers also focused on making the back seat a luxurious place to spend time in with a renewed focus on making the back seat area more relaxing which in turn allows passengers to have greater appreciation for the increased levels of craftsmanship and refinement.

Performance for the concept comes from an all new 4.2 liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine and while it is still initially in the prototype stage, the engine will eventually find its way into future Cadillac models where it could be a key engine for select models, and give Cadillac a fighting chance against models in the performance flagship class.

While Cadillac stopped short of formally revealing whether the Escala has a concrete road map to eventual production, de Nysschen did reveal that there is at least some talk of the idea within the inner confines of Cadillac claiming “Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing market plan.

 

Cadillac Revamps ATS Lineup, Pitches 2.5 Liter Four Cylinder

Amid slumping sales and an increased reliance on costly sales to dump inventory. Cadillac has revealed that it will inject newfound investment into the 2017 ATS in a bold move to improve its relevance amongst luxury buyers.

A key change is found under the hood with the ATS narrowing its engine options for the 2017 model year. The wheezy, underpowered, and unpopular 2.5 liter four cylinder engine has been pitched, and the 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine will now take its place. Cadillac product planning chief Hampden Tener revealed that the company plans to heavily promote the turbo engine in future advertising.

“We want to emphasize the car’s 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine and the car’s features while attacking the market on the product side rather than continuing to use costly incentives” stated Tener in a seperate statement.

In addition to the engine change, the rest of the ATS lineup will also see pricing tweaks with all packages having their prices reduced by $650 to $1,100 depending on the model selected. This was revealed in an interview with Automotive News with the company also claiming that each model will recieve upgrades to boost value and desirability.

Cadillac has not released a formal launch date for the 2017 models, but look for that particular information to be revealed closer to their formal launch.

Cadillac Targets Younger Buyers, Moves Away From Long Wheelbase Models

Cadillac has proven to be a strong contender in the Chinese luxury car market thanks in part to its long wheelbase models as well as its youthful styling. However, Cadillac has revealed that it is repositioning its offerings in a bid to attract younger buyers.

Part of this repositioning will involve selling models with unified designs that can be offered in all global markets including the U.S. and China. These future models will also bring a “right sized” wheelbase that would be longer than cars here in the U.S. but not quite as long as Chinese spec vehicles like the ATS-L stated Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen in an interview with Reuters.

Cadillac’s current batch of long wheelbase models have a strong following with older Chinese buisnessmen who prefer to sit in the back while a chauffeur navigates the car through heavy traffic. The small size of these vehicles also allows them to have better maneuverability through narrow streets than conventional limousines. Younger buyers on the other hand, prefer to leave the chauffeur at home, and are more enthusiastic about driving the car themselves, a trait that is shared with their American counterparts. Cadillac has revealed that it has had some initial success in targeting this important demographic with Chinese owners typically being 34 years old.

“In China, young buyers already dominate the luxury market” de Nysschen revealed. “It was far easier to begin to cultivate the desired positioning for the brand from the get-go.”

de Nysschen expects China to become the top selling market for Cadillac over the next several years with China eventually surpassing the U.S. in overall vehicle sales. A key part of this goal is the new styling direction that Cadillac will embrace with the brand focusing on Chinese tastes. This could result in a styling language that  is toned down and less angular than the look seen on current Cadillac models.

Cadillac Kills ELR Coupe, Will Not Produce Second Generation

Following Cadillac’s recent admission that the ELR was a failure for the brand, Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen revealed what many saw coming, and announced that the ELR will not have a second generation replacement, thus signaling the end of the ELR coupe.

Unlike other models that are usually axed after demand begins to drop off, the ELR stumbled out of the blocks from the very start thanks to a sky high $76,000 price tag, as well as efficiency figures that were no better than its sibling the Chevrolet Volt. These two factors were simply too much for many car buyers to accept .and the ELR languished on dealer lots as a result. The sheer magnitude of this was seen in last year’s sales figures with GM selling only 1,024 units which was a 22 percent slide over 2014’s totals. In stark contrast, the Chevrolet Volt sold 15,000 units despite seeing a 18 percent decrease in sales versus last year.

The swift and perhaps merciful demise of the ELR should not come as a major surprise with Cadillac’s chief marketing officer Uwe Ellinghaus bluntly admitting that the model was a dud in a recent statement to the media. The ELR’s fall from grace is a radical shift in opinion from the initial excitement that surrounded its predecessor the Converj when it was unveiled in 2009. The Converj previewed a coupe loaded with style and technology and received strong positive feedback from auto show attendees.  While the ELR was a lesson in the drawbacks of over-engineering, we hope that Cadillac will not give up on the prospect of a more viable Halo model especially since they can help increase sales of more mainstream models like the CTS and the ATS.

Cadillac CT6 Slated To Get 4.2 Liter Twin-Turbocharged V8?

Cadillac’s CT6 currently boasts a V6 and four cylinder only lineup, but if a new report is to be believed, the car could soon receive an eight cylinder alternative to further help its goal of achieving sales supremacy over the Germans.

The V8 in question has a displacement of roughly 4.2 liters, but a pair of turbochargers help the engine deliver potent performance numbers with initial estimates pegging the engine at 500 horsepower. The engine is expected to be hooked up to GM’s familiar eight speed automatic transmission, but it is unknown whether the engine would be offered with all-wheel drive, or arrive as a rear-wheel drive only setup much like the Jaguar XJ V8 and its RWD only configuration. There could be a chance that both options will be available, though we suspect that we will have to wait until the engine is officially confirmed before we find out the definitive answer to that question.

Curiously, the engine appears to be an all unique design, and does not share any components with the 6.2 liter supercharged V8 that sees duty in the Cadillac CTS-V and the Chevrolet Corvette Z06. This would allow it to follow Cadillac’s push to be more independent from GM, and serve as an enticing piece of tech to lure new buyers looking for an extra helping of exclusivity.

The folks at Car & Driver claim that the new engine will make its debut very soon and appear under the hood of the range topping CT6 Platinum before eventually branching out to other models including the upcoming flagship model. The publication is quick to point out that while there is a good chance that the engine will eventually be shared with other GM brands, the odds of an all out track oriented CT6 V-Series with a tweaked version of this engine will not happen.

The engine (when its unveiled) will join the CT6’s other engine offerings in the model family, and serve as a vital cog in the CT6’s mission of providing a budget friendly alternative to established rivals such as the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7-Series, and the Lexus LS.

Buick Avenir Concept Not Being Produced, Strength Of Cadillac Possible Cause

When Buick first unveiled the Avenir sedan concept at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, it’s slick styling and elegant appointments previewed the idea of a full size Buick flagship sedan. However if recent comments are proven to be true, it will not be produced with Cadillac and it’s growing sales strength serving as a key reason.

In a recent interview with Automobile Magazine Buick GMC chief Duncan Aldred revealed that the Avenir will not be produced claiming that the sedan market is shrinking, and that General Motors already has “an emerging and strengthening Cadillac line.”

This latter comment has us intrigued, and would appear to indicate that GM execs saw the Avenir as a potential threat to the sales of the recently unveiled Cadillac CT6 flagship sedan. This would’ve been due to its shared platform, as well as the lower pricing ladder it would’ve had when compared to the big Caddy. Aldred wouldn’t elaborate on whether that was the sole reason, but he did say that the Avenir “would have been a viable buisness case” despite the overall slump in large sedan sales. All is not lost however, since the Avenir still has a strong legacy, and was a key influence on the 2017 Buick Lacrosse.

The same fate could be in store for the Avista coupe, though we suspect that it could still get the green light for production to allow the brand to have a true halo model versus the awkwardly styled and priced Cascada convertible. It would also help cement the brand’s newfound love for turbocharging and give younger buyers a more compelling performance choice. Aldred also revealed that while the “capabilities are there to build it” the Avista in its current form was designed solely as a concept.

While this is unfortunate news for hardcore Buick fans (myself included), Aldred said that these same fans shouldn’t give up hope, since he would also like to see Buick gain a halo model in the near future, which could perhaps be a veiled hint that something is in the works.

 

 

Cadillac Admits Defeat, Declares ELR “Big Disappointment”

Following a promising debut as a concept, and the consistently low sales that have come to dominate the legacy of the production ELR, Cadillac has admitted that the model has failed to live up to its expectations and succeed as a halo model for the brand.

“Put it this way the ELR’s been a massive disappointment there’s no denying it” stated Cadillac marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus in an interview with Automobile Magazine. Ellinghaus revealed that the ELR has been a big fiasco for the company literally from the start of sales because it is a niche model that is aimed at a relatively small segment of the market. The shrinkage of this segment has put the squeeze on the ELR with four door coupes outperforming traditional two doors in sales especially over the past couple of years .

The ELR was also hobbled by its initial $75,000 MSRP which put it against offerings with more performance and luxury equipment. A $9,000 price drop was part of a recent string of 2016 updates, and helped lower it to $65,000, but the discount did little to curb the model’s sales skid. This was especially apparent when Chevrolet unveiled the current generation Volt which brought a newer iteration of the Voltec system and a new platform to the EV. In contrast, The Caddy uses the previous generation Volt’s platform and Voltec technology albeit with minor updates to differentiate it from the Chevy. Ellinghaus was quick to defend the current pricing ladder for the model, claiming that the ELR comes loaded to the gills with technology and luxury especially when compared to the decidedly more mass market Volt.

While this admission means that a second generation ELR will not be in the cards anytime soon, it does not mean that Cadillac has thrown in the towel when it comes to adding electrification to its other models. A plug-in hybrid version of the upcoming CT6 sedan will be introduced later this year, and Ellinghaus confirmed a separate set of plans that will see nearly every model in the Cadillac range feature a gasoline-electric hybrid variant over the next several years.

Ellinghaus also offered his candid thoughts on the future of plug-in hybrid setups with the magazine claiming that the plug-in will eventually become the next all-wheel drive. “Some will want it and take the box and the price list, and others not.” While it will be interesting to see whether Ellinghaus’s prediction comes true or not, the fact that plug-in technology has become a very important avenue for automakers cannot be ignored, and look for the technology to steadily improve over the next few decades.

Cadillac Announces CT6 Pricing, First Units Ship In March

In a pricing strategy aimed at undercutting established rivals, Cadillac has revealed the pricing ladder for its CT6 flagship sedan while also revealing the first units will be shipped in March.

The base model will feature a $54,490 (including $995 in freight) and arrives with the familiar 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder also seen in the CTS and ATS which is good for a healthy 265 horsepower. Stepping up to the mid level CT6 allows buyers to equip their rides with a naturally aspirated 3.6 liter V6 that brings 335 horsepower and is paired with an all wheel drive system that helps the car cope with inclement weather. It also features a slight increase in price with the MSRP starting at $56,490.

The range topping variant is powered by an all new 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged V6 which brings 400 horsepower to the festivities and also comes equipped with all wheel drive. The potent engine wields an equally lofty $8,900 premium which raises the base price to $65,390.

Cadillac is hoping that this competitive pricing ladder will undercut rivals from BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus with some of their models easily surpassing the $65k mark when properly equipped. In addition Cadillac is also doubling down on the CT6’s lightweight and rigid chassis as well as performance oriented features such as rear wheel steering, and a trick magnetic suspension that should help the car keep up with them on twisty roads.

Other luxury features include a 34 speaker “Panray” Bose audio system and the world’s first digital rear view mirror that comes with a built in rear view camera screen. Cadillac claims that a plug-in hybrid version is in the works but look for more information to emerge on that particular model once the standard version has a chance to establish itself in the marketplace.

 

GM Sales Slide Further In China, Could Hint At Looming Trouble For Chinese Economy

Amid signs that China’s economy is beginning to slow down, General Motors has revealed that its sales in that key auto market have slid even further possibly hinting at rough times for foreign automakers selling in China.

According to various reports, General Motors and its Chinese joint-venture partners sold a combined total of 252,000 vehicles in May. This new figure represents a 4.0 percent decline versus last year’s figures at roughly the same time frame. While many observers see this as a sign that China’s booming economy is beginning to slow down, General Motors claims that its recent declines are actually due to model changeovers for a few nameplates, as well as phase outs of several other models. Apparently at one point, GM tried a price-slashing campaign which took $8,680 off the MSRP price. Unfortunately this campaign appeared to do little to help reverse this trend, and wound up failing to save the month overall.

Buick (currently GM’s best selling brand in China) took a beating in May and recorded a noticeable 12.9 percent decrease though on a positive note sales of the Enclave, Encore and the recently launched Envision were up by a whopping 158 percent which is commendable considering Buick’s decreased sales numbers. Meanwhile Cadillac continues to be the lone glimmer of success with the brand recording growth during the month of May with shipments increasing by 11 percent.  Deliveries of the ATS and its Chinese exclusive sibling the ATS-L stood out in particular with both models recording a noticeable jump in sales.

Despite the noticeable slow down in growth, GM China president Matt Tsien remains confident in GM’s fortunes stating “We expect about 6-8 percent annual growth, which is significant given the size of the world’s largest passenger vehicle market.” Tsien’s confidence appears to have some traction with the company still recording a 5.1 percent increase in sales despite the gloomy spring but with more signs pointing to a possible slowdown in the Chinese economic juggernaut, it will be interesting to see if GM can maintain its edge in new vehicle sales.

Cadillac Begins Taking Orders For 2016 CTS-V, Boasts $83,995 MSRP

In an announcement released earlier today, Cadillac has revealed the official pricing ladder for its 640 horsepower CTS-V luxury performance sedan. Enthusiasts wondering whether the model would lose its predecessor’s reputation for bargain friendly performance will be pleased to hear that not only will the CTS-V continue to be a formidable threat to rivals from BMW and Mercedes Benz, but will also continue to undercut them on overall price as well.

The $83,995 base price (not including the $995 destination charge) makes the CTS-V and its 640 screaming horsepower nearly $10,000 less than the 560 horsepower BMW M5, and is a whopping $18,000 less than the 577 horsepower Mercedes Benz E63 AMG S 4-Matic. However, the coup de grace is reserved for the 560 horsepower Audi RS7 where the CTS-V walks all over it by $25,000 which is very impressive for an American luxury performance sedan entry.

In an accompanying statement, Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen highlighted how important the V-Series range is to Cadillac’s broader sales success stating “V-Series represents the pinnacle of Cadillac, a brand that now makes driver’s cars at the highest level .” The new CTS-V is essentially two cars in one: a luxury sedan with sophisticated road manners and a track capable sports car with awe-inspiring performance. This type of car is exclusive, the domain of the few who can access this level of incredible capability. V-Series matches or overtakes the finest cars in this elite class while being more accessible.”

With the ordering process now open for prospective buyers, Cadillac claims that the first production units will begin arriving at a Cadillac showroom near you sometime this fall. Look for some dealerships to receive CTS-V’s sooner than others, so we recommend that buyers do an extensive online search to see which dealers have cars in stock to avoid missing out on finding a car near them.