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Cadillac targets Germans
DAVE MOORE
stuff.co.nz
New Zealand

At the New York auto show last week, Cadillac's eighth new model in three years showed that the company is ready to bridge the gap between hip-hop and old-pop and take the fight to aspirational luxury car brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus.

Designed to replace the company's front-driven Seville, Cadillac's sharp-edged new sedan is simply labelled the STS and uses a stretched version of the GM "Sigma" platform employed successfully over the past two years by the CTS sports four-door (tested in Drive, May 2002).

About the same size externally as an S-class or 7-series, the Cadillac will be offered with a choice of rear-drive and all-wheel-drive.

Unlike the Seville it replaces, the STS will offer a choice of two engines, a 4.6L V8 or 3.6L V6. The former is a re-fettled variable valve-timed version of Cadillac's famous Northstar engine, putting out 239kW, while the smaller unit offers 190kW.

If that latter figure doesn't sound like much, remember, unlike previous flagship Cadillacs, the STS weighs about 200kg less than an equivalent 7-series BMW. Also, the smaller STS engine is a variant of the same V6 design which helped the company's CTS model win awards in the United States this year as best sports sedan, beating the usual Euro suspects. Each engine will drive through a 5-speed automatic with Cadillac's Driver Shift Control, which allows a level of manual override.

The STS's credentials suggest that the larger Cadillac will be no slug in the twisties, with big, four-wheel disc brakes, ABS and traction control as standard equipment, along with StabiliTrac, Cadillac's pitch-and-yaw control system.

While to some eyes the modern Cadillac's "Art and Science" styling theme looks mildly awkward on the smaller CTS, it sits with great elegance on the new STS, whose extra length allows the lines to settle and flow with much more logic.

We can probably thank Bob Lutz for the cohesiveness of the final design, as it is said that the GM product guru called a halt to the project for six months about three years ago to make changes to the car's roofline and the way the doors worked with it. Insiders say the Lutz-instigated changes were proof of the man's talent for seeing the bigger, finished picture.

Simply, the STS is a delight from every angle, containing shapes and cues that will dictate the styling language of the brand for years to come.

Leather, aluminium and eucalyptus wood feature in the STS's interior, which is light, airy and refreshingly simple in its execution, and absolutely loaded with equipment, as you would expect from any car with the Cadillac name on it. Both front and rear seating can be optioned with heating elements, while the driver and front-passenger seats can be ventilated as well.

Front, side and curtain airbags, electronic brake assist, and tyre- pressure monitors feature on the STS's safety accoutrements list, so even in the face of technical Christmas trees-like Mercedes-Benz's S-class and Audi's A8L, the new Cadillac's owner shouldn't find himself feeling short-changed.

Full Article Here

 

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Originally posted by Ming@Apr 26 2004, 12:16 AM
We can probably thank Bob Lutz for the cohesiveness of the final design, as it is said that the GM product guru called a halt to the project for six months about three years ago to make changes to the car's roofline and the way the doors worked with it. Insiders say the Lutz-instigated changes were proof of the man's talent for seeing the bigger, finished picture.

Yeah, he wanted to massage the CTS in similar fashion, except the CTS's design was too-far along.

So, CTS is without "the man's" influence, STS is with. You decide.

My vote? The CTS-style remains far more exciting, and it's been on the market for over two years!!!

Then again, what do New Zealanders know about American car design?
 

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"...Cadillac plans to move about 30,000 STS a year in the US. That doesn't look unlikely at all, but if the car drives half as well as the CTS does, then New Zealand and Australia might reap the unfortunate flip side of its success. If the car's a runaway in its own back yard, then it's sadly less likely to be made available for markets like ours."

Ah, and there's the rub. Lansing Grand River is great, but it does have finite production capabilities. The CTS is selling better than expected, the SRX does alright, and the new STS is set to begin life there, too. Is Cadillac in need of a new plant?
 

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Originally posted by powervette@Apr 26 2004, 09:00 AM
Adolf Hitler used to drive a Mercedes ,that's why I will never own one <_<
Here we go again... personally I don't buy the Nazi car company argument. For one thing, the Allies took control of the companies after the war. If you want to claim this you'll have to say it about VW, Audi, Opel, and BMW also. I find it a stupid argument. By your conclusion, everybody should be blamed for their grandparents' mistakes/ crimes.
 

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It's always the best scenario to be open to different
comments on our cars from other countries. This is
how we can improve and refine the vehicle to better
meet the overall goal that Cadillac has set forth,
that is to become a global player.

Thanks Ming for finding this article from New Zealand.
 

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Wow if they can move 300,000 STS's a year then I'd say that they're definately going to need a new plant. I only see Caddy going up from here so I don't understand why they wouldn't.
 

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Originally posted by tgagneguam@Apr 25 2004, 07:45 PM
"...Cadillac plans to move about 30,000 STS a year in the US. That doesn't look unlikely at all, but if the car drives half as well as the CTS does, then New Zealand and Australia might reap the unfortunate flip side of its success. If the car's a runaway in its own back yard, then it's sadly less likely to be made available for markets like ours."

Ah, and there's the rub. Lansing Grand River is great, but it does have finite production capabilities. The CTS is selling better than expected, the SRX does alright, and the new STS is set to begin life there, too. Is Cadillac in need of a new plant?
Lots of variables to consider there. You really can't make that judgment without knowing the total output of the plant. Assuming GM maintains at least 60-70% optimal capacity of the plant, the plant should easily be able to hold its own.

The plant is the best of GM's facilities. So there's more at work behind the scenes. There are no articles about it. I've looked. Best I can find are operations mgmt articles on their plants and quotes stating that "we can't say much about the procedures..." so GM's being very hush-hush.

I don't think Cadillac is in need of another plant. Lansing and Bowling Green do pretty well for them in the interim.
 
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