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It's an SUV world after all.
As the owner of three CTS's - a 2003 (stick-shift), a 2008 and a 2011 CTS-V coupe (stick-shift), I have experienced the slow progression of Cadillac from those abysmal days. If the 2014 CTS is the present, then the unfortunate truth about Cadillac's near-term future is the same as it has been for everyone from Porsche to Lincoln: Utility vehicles. The current SRX is an OK alternative to the Lexus RX, but that's too low a standard. And a Lambda-based Cadillac is just a larger version of the same second-tier formula. Cadillac must enter the SUV market with ATS- and CTS-based vehicles. Sad, but true.
Palm Springs, California
How about a juicy brownstone?
I picked up an ATS 2.0T RWD 6-Speed in March. My father picked up a CTS 2.0T AWD just last week. He let me break in the sidewalls a bit over the weekend. I have two impressions of the new CTS; first is that it's every bit as impressive as the ATS. Second is that it's pretty much an ATS where someone just stretched the CAD wireframe out a bit. I was personally hoping for a bit more on the inside other than a carbon copy of my car. Side by side, not including the extra couple of inches here or there, I can't help but feel that I'm getting a much better deal considering that the up charge for the CTS space is competitive on a square footage basis with a DuPont Circle brownstone. Now if I can only find someone to re-flash my ATS with the CTS engine software to gain some more of that juicy, juicy torque...
It's still the Cadillac of Cadillacs at least.
I agree that Cadillac owns the statement, "The Standard of the World", and people still do say "The Cadillac of ___" when making a reference to very high end products or services (even with Obamacare, high end health plans are referred to as "Cadillac" health plans). Regardless of whether the statement is true, there is value to it, as it is forever associated with Cadillac. The fact that Cadillac is now making world-class cars allows Cadillac to embrace this statement once again.
I was absolutely not happy with the marketing line, "The New Standard of the World" that showed up in 2010 or so. In one breath, it threw away Cadillac's heritage of being deemed the Standard of the World, and tacitly acknowledged that someone else was wearing that mantle. By adding the word "New", Cadillac reduced its stature to being just another company vying for luxury car status. I had hoped that Cadillac would prove itself with world-class, critically acclaimed products, and then simply resume using "The Standard of the World" (I think there should be a degree of hubris when competing at that level).
I am glad to see that Cadillac is making exceptional products in both design and execution. I think with a couple of more home runs like the CTS, Cadillac can own "The Standard of the World" once again (I think the ATS is very close, and the ELR, although magnificent from a design perspective, could have used a more refined range extender engine, if the first drives are to be believed).
West Nyack, New York
Kudos to Dixon.
As an unabashed IndyCar fan, I must say that I was quite pleasantly surprised that you chose Scott Dixon as your Autoextremist Racer of the Year.
There are many amazing drivers in the world and legitimate arguments can be made for most any at the top of their sport, but I happen to appreciate athletes of any kind who display excellence in versatility more than a specialist in their field. It's what makes the greats into legends, in my view. Foyt, Andretti, Ward, Ruby, Gurney, Unser, now drivers such as Stewart, Montoya, Dixon, Franchitti, Hakkinen, Raikkonen are the closest we've seen race in multiple forms.
Given the nature of auto racing currently, there is simply not enough opportunity to gauge drivers across multiple platforms, but I happen to think IndyCar is as close as you can come in a single series, which is why I would agree that Dixon merits serious discussion as a modern-day great. His quiet, cool, introverted persona belies the skill and savvy he displays year-in-year-out on the track in a sport that is quite simply the best racing today that nobody watches.
Editor-in-Chief's Note: I certainly consider Scott Dixon to be a modern-day great. - PMD
The Cadillac of Reader Mail!
Thank you for your insight looking behind the curtain at Cadillac. They've sure come back from the brink - as has the entire GM corporate structure. Today, they field the most competitive lineup of vehicles in probably 50 years - many, such as the new CTS are now class leading, gotta' have rolling statements of cool. I suggest they can imply what they have once again truly become and what they represent in the world luxury car market with one simple tagline that no German or Japanese competitor can ever own like they do - "The Cadillac of Automobiles."
Rick C. Sand
Delray Beach, Florida
"The Penalty of Leadership" - redux?
I drove the new Cadillac CTS over the weekend and it is impressive, as you state. How about using "Standard of the World - Again" which would recognize the past and the problems but indicate a rebirth. If not yet ready, they are getting very close, as your piece says. Cadillac couldn't have done this even a few years ago - but now it appears they are ready to retain the "mantel of leadership" and should consider an update to the famous ad - which would get lots of talk in the world of today.
Things to do in Detroit when you're dead.
Alexandre Henriques' description of how the new Tahoe is quite different from the Silverado is fine. However, there needs to be more design differentiation between BRANDS (GMC, Cadillac, and Chevrolet). They need to be more different in terms of style like the Toureg (VW), Cayenne (Porsche), and Q7 (Audi). Each share a platform but each is extremely unique; holding true to each brand's design DNA. The Escalade, Tahoe, and Yukon still show me the old GM still refuses to die.
I agree with the AE that Cadillac needs to figure out where its next mojo is coming from. The Cadillac Sixteen of years gone by and the current Elmiraj were great guideposts and should inform their design direction. But before they get there I have some advice: Focus on the non-firebreathing models (CTS ,VSport and CTS-V). Cadillac is correct to have $70,000 'hero' models available to burnish the credentials of a re-emerging luxury brand. But to be truly aspirational to those who desire premium luxury status, the True Believers must continue to ensure that the 'lesser' models are still worthy competitors in the minds of cross-shopping Lexus, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz customers.
Like the AE said, few luxury buyers really give a shit that a bunch of GM engineers got to run hot laps on a German racetrack. Give me that balance between luxury, performance and technology and I'll buy the car.
It shoulda had a V8.
I was at the San Francisco Auto Show a few days ago. The two cars that impressed me the most were the Cadillac CTS with the performance package because the wheels look so nice; and the Cadillac ELR -- although I kept thinking the latter either should've (a.) had the current drivetrain and come out before the Volt or (b.) had an LS9 now.
San Jose, California
It's got a nice ring to it.
I've come up with Alfa's new slogan: "Alfa Romeo: Returning to the US next year, since 1995."
Alfa's only hope is to be sold to the Germans unfortunately...
I like the pictures of the new Mustang. A lot. All sides and angles look impressive, even the rear -- which on most cars, including the Corvette, can look like an afterthought.
Having been a past owner of the 5.0L variety, it's nice to see some brake options improving the stopping power on this pony. That was the one weak area on my car. (It also had a live axle, but I didn't mind. I didn't need no stinkin' IRS system.)
But the big question: who amongst us will have the cojones to order the EcoBoost 4-cylinder?