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Old 05-29-2008, 11:19 PM   #1
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CADILLAC IS BACK...

You thought the new CTS was it!?!?!?!!?! Yeh, right. BMW, AUDI, MERCEDES WHAT!?!?!?!?!...

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Times really are a-changin' at Cadillac
The brand is expanding the CTS range and will introduce an entry-level crossover and a baby Caddy as well

JEREMY CATO

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

May 29, 2008 at 12:00 AM EDT

DETROIT — With Cadillac, as with so much of General Motors Corp., the good times are just around the corner. That's when those new models arrive, when the hot new technologies hit the showroom, and the marketplace recognizes how good the new Cadillacs really are.

What makes all this so different now, 10 years into Cadillac's revival, is that the future may actually be here.

GM's luxury brand, for the first time, has its own global styling director. There are confirmed plans to launch new models below the current CTS, which until now has been Cadillac's entry model.

As well, a hot-shoe version of the CTS called the CTS-V has been blistering Germany's Nurburgring, posting the fastest lap times by a production sedan and breaking the eight-minute barrier. The CTS-V goes on sale in a few months, followed by a stunning coupe version of the CTS shortly thereafter.

Heck, even Consumer Reports magazine liked the newest Cadillac, the 2008 CTS. In a test of upscale sports sedans, the '08 CTS bested the BMW 328i and the redesigned Mercedes-Benz C300.

As the CR testers noted in the March issue: "BMW and Mercedes-Benz have long been considered by many Americans to set the standard in the sport-sedan category.

"The CTS achieved an 'Excellent' overall score, surpassing both the 328i and C300, which received 'Very Good' overall scores. The CTS is also ranked above some previously-tested sports sedans including the Lexus IS250, the Acura TSX and the Audi A4."

No wonder Bob Dylan has become a paid pitchman for Cadillac. Last fall, Dylan had his debut in a 30-second spot. He's seen driving an Escalade SUV across the California flats, wearing a cowboy hat, black frock coat and shades. Moreover, Dylan has actually dedicated a full hour of his XM satellite radio show to all things Cadillac (xmradio.com/dylan-cadillac).

"Nothing goes better with a Cadillac than a long ride with music," he said in his nasal twang, before introducing authentic musicians, mostly obscure ones, who have serenaded the car: Vince Taylor and the Playboys (My baby drove up in a brand new Cadillac), Buddy Johnson's ode to A pretty girl, a Cadillac and some money, and others.

Dylan, of course, is now 66 and older than plenty of Cadillac drivers. Their average age hovers between mid-40s (for the Escalade) and mid-50s for the big sedans.

Cadillac needs to go younger or go home, and so there is also the gorgeous Kate Walsh, star of the network TV show Private Practice and an alumnus of the hit program Grey's Anatomy.

Walsh is the ongoing star of TV commercials for the redesigned CTS. Walsh as Caddy spokesperson brings plenty of attitude and an emphasis on product features, as she purred in the spots: "When you turn on your car, does it return the favour?"

Outgoing Cadillac marketing director Liz Vanzura told trade journal Automotive News that the "emotional appeal" of the CTS commercials is resonating with consumers, and you can expect more of the same. After all, Vanzura is moving on to work for the Modernista advertising agency in Boston that created the commercials. With them, Cadillac has been able to "find its voice," she said.

"We knew we had to overcome people's perception of us as being old," she said. Cadillac wants ads with "young, modern people, which is why Kate Walsh works."

The CTS ad campaign also promotes the car's navigational system and 40-gigabyte hard drive — the one that stores as many as 10,000 songs(?).

Add it all up and you'd think Cadillac would be ready to challenge Lexus as the top-selling luxury brand in North America. Not so fast.

Lexus will sell more than 300,000 vehicles in Canada and the U.S. combined this year — almost all of those straight retail sales with high levels of profitability.

Cadillac? Jim Taylor, the brand's general manager, is on record saying he'd like Cadillac to do more than 190,000 in retails sales this year, up from around 187,000 in 2007.

Fleet sales should boost that number by 10 to 20 per cent, so for 2008 Cadillac should move about 210,000-220,000 cars and trucks this year — a good 100,000 below Lexus and a projected fourth or fifth overall among luxury brands in North America.

That means sales have been essentially flat for several years now, despite GM's investment in retooling Cadillac's lineup to the tune of more than $4-billion (U.S.).

Obviously something is missing from Cadillac's lineup and Taylor said the holes are being filled as quickly as possible.

"We gave you an indication of that with the Provoq model," said Taylor, referring to the fuel cell crossover GM unveiled earlier this year at the Detroit auto show. "And the entry-level crossover is a space where everyone is headed," added Taylor, pointing to a big hole in Cadillac's lineup.

"We have our SRX to cover the top end, but we don't have the lower end covered. That is the product we'd like to have as soon as possible to attack what is the highest growth space and what could one day be the highest volume.

"We need to get the merger of the STS and DTS done and re-emerge as a solid prestige competitor."

Also on the list is a car sized and priced under the CTS — a baby Cadillac. In a visit to Cadillac's design studio in suburban Michigan we saw hints of it under stretchy black car covers.

"As the CTS moves up to be $30,000 to $40,000 (U.S.), you are creating space for a smaller Cadillac in the $25,000 (U.S.) range. Can we use a vehicle at $28,000 to $32,000 that would address a whole other customer group that would be under the CTS? Absolutely."

Oh, the baby Caddy is more than viable; it's in the works. Cadillac design director Clay Dean, 46, wouldn't show it to us, though he all but confirmed it is coming, and sooner than you might think.


In the meantime, he was willing to talk about his mission at Cadillac: Create a bold American design that draws inspiration from the current theme, and make that design consistent across all models sold around the world.

Dean is a rising design star at GM and the Cadillac appointment is seen as quite the plum. Previously, Dean had been GM design director for small and mid-sized cars since 2004. Among the designs he led were the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky, Saturn Aura and the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu.

Dean and his crew are working on the next Cadillacs not just here, but globally. Dean is able to use the resources of Cadillac's Advanced Styling Studio in the United Kingdom — from which the Cien concept car emerged half a decade ago — and GM's Advanced Design Studio in California, too.

"While he (Dean) will not be in charge of these studios, Dean will be able to draw on design talent," GM product vice-chairman Bob Lutz said late last year at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Aside from the baby Caddy, Dean's influence will be seen in a new large sedan arriving around 2011 — the car that will represent the merger of the current STS and DTS. That car, according to sources, is being developed on GM's global rear-drive vehicle architecture from Australia.


Like all future Cadillacs, it will look like it belongs in the Cadillac lineup, though the idea is not to create cars that look like sausages cut into different lengths.

"Back in the old days, I don't think we had quite enough internal design consistency between, say, a CTS, an STS or a DTS," said Lutz in Los Angeles. "One of Clay's objectives is going to be to make sure that we have a very consistent, unique and very advanced Cadillac design signature on everything that is Cadillac."

What Caddy cannot be is similar in any way to other luxury cars and other General Motors' products.

"We cannot compete effectively if Cadillac is one more iteration of the smooth, slab-sided sort of BMW, Mercedes, Acura, Lexus appearance," Lutz said. "We have to be distinctive and boldly American, but in a very good way."

The sooner, the better.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...ecialGlobeAuto
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Old 05-29-2008, 11:29 PM   #2
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You're reading about the Alpha Platform, boys and girls.
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Old 05-30-2008, 01:17 AM   #3
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please enlighten us on this alpha platform oh mighty agony...
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Old 05-30-2008, 01:42 AM   #4
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Hmm, I can see the Caddy Alpha starting at say $28K+, leaving plenty of room for a Pontiac or Chevy Alpha starting below $20K. As much as I want the Camaro, a sedan may be more practical, but I still want something sporty. This might do it (though I'd still really like a Camaro).
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Old 05-30-2008, 01:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
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You're reading about the Alpha Platform, boys and girls.

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please enlighten us on this alpha platform oh mighty agony...
I do believe this platform was made for smaller cars. I'll let Dragon explain the rest.

If the Camaro wasn't coming out...and the GXP didn't cost so much....well, nevermind. I would look at a smaller Caddy w/ some pep to cart me around every day. Hell yeah!
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:26 AM   #6
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I drove around in a 2004 CTS-V for a week while I was on vacation, and I was one of the best cars I ever have driven. I loved that thing. A little out of my price range, but it was a freakin kick ass car.

I can only imagine what the next CTS-V will be like.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:58 AM   #7
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From all I know, and I got this info from other people who would know...

It's a Small to Mid-sized global RWD platform. Developed in NA, it's going to be a decendant of Zeta (changes, but all for the better). Think, baby-Zeta. Supposedly, the wheels are pushed all the way to the corners.

It was conceived of to hold vehicles (sedans, coupes, possibly hatchbacks; think baby-Zeta) that would directly target BMW's 3 series; hence the baby-Caddy. And at first, it was only expected to hold the Ecotec's, but a V6 is more than possible for a High-Featue engine. A V8 isn't expected to make it, however. It COULD, but it would negatively effect handling, and wieght distribution, etc.

Besides that little V8 wrinkle...from what little has been heard about the platform, it's seems like a GREAT candidate for a 6th gen Camaro. A smaller mid-sized coupe with a low wieght(again, think 3-series), which will contribute greatly to handling, and power to weight ratio. That's all I know...if there's a certain someone who would like to add to this, please do.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:42 AM   #8
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:32 AM   #9
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With a couple tweaks to the lineup and more good press, Cadillac will top the other brands. They really need a halo car though, either something like the sixteen or a midengined V12 supercar.
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Old 05-30-2008, 12:52 PM   #10
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Question

Cadillac is back..............

where did it go, and why did nobody tell me it was back?









































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Old 05-30-2008, 03:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoneye View Post
From all I know, and I got this info from other people who would know...

It's a Small to Mid-sized global RWD platform. Developed in NA, it's going to be a decendant of Zeta (changes, but all for the better). Think, baby-Zeta. Supposedly, the wheels are pushed all the way to the corners.

It was conceived of to hold vehicles (sedans, coupes, possibly hatchbacks; think baby-Zeta) that would directly target BMW's 3 series; hence the baby-Caddy. And at first, it was only expected to hold the Ecotec's, but a V6 is more than possible for a High-Featue engine. A V8 isn't expected to make it, however. It COULD, but it would negatively effect handling, and wieght distribution, etc.

Besides that little V8 wrinkle...from what little has been heard about the platform, it's seems like a GREAT candidate for a 6th gen Camaro. A smaller mid-sized coupe with a low wieght(again, think 3-series), which will contribute greatly to handling, and power to weight ratio. That's all I know...if there's a certain someone who would like to add to this, please do.

Sounds really really good.... hope it's true. Are these reliable/credible sources????
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:36 PM   #12
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Sounds really really good.... hope it's true. Are these reliable/credible sources????
Yes, but it's hear-say...so no real links. You'd have to take my word for it, and remember that things are still apt to change in 2-3 years.
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Old 05-31-2008, 01:50 AM   #13
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This "baby caddy" that we're talking about, is it going to be the cts coupe we've been seeing spy shots of? Or is it something even smaller?
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:11 AM   #14
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I think it's the CTS coupe.
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:11 AM   #15
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This "baby caddy" that we're talking about, is it going to be the cts coupe we've been seeing spy shots of? Or is it something even smaller?
Nope. It's an all new 3 series sized RWD sedan. Has Alpha been confirmed officially anywhere???
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Old 05-31-2008, 05:51 PM   #16
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Not the CTS coupe. The CTS should move up in price to make room for this one to take it's place.

And no...I don't think anyone has actually heard 'confirmation' of Alpha -- at least I haven't. Just a lot of really loud 'whispers'.
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:31 AM   #17
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And no...I don't think anyone has actually heard 'confirmation' of Alpha -- at least I haven't. Just a lot of really loud 'whispers'.
http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showpo...5&postcount=13
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:36 AM   #18
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Link brokey...
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