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From The Letters To The Editors Column at Automotive News this week comes the following regarding a recent editorial against Cadillac marketing a four cylinder vehicles.

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DAVID SULLIVAN III, Ann Arbor, Mich. The writer works for an automotive supplier.

To the Editor:

I am shocked by John K. Teahen Jr.'s column "A 4-cylinder Cadillac? Get real" (Sept 22).

First of all, let's look at the success of the Audi A4.

The A4 has had a four-cylinder engine for years. It's fun and quiet and gets great gasoline mileage, even with all-wheel drive. I have a 2008 A4 2.0T quattro, and I just averaged 32 mpg driving back to Michigan from New York.

The new 2009 A4 2.0T has 258 pounds-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm. The Cadillac CTS 3.6-liter V-6 has 253 pounds-feet of torque at 3,100 rpm.

Numerous software upgrades are available for the Audi to double the torque, which would blow the doors off anything but a CTS-V.

People buy cars for the name. Once you leave the Detroit area, people do not know what car has what powertrain. A Cadillac is a Cadillac. A Mercedes is a Mercedes.

The reason the Cadillac BLS failed in Europe was it was a terrible job of badge engineering with a brand that has zero credibility outside the United States.

How would a four-cylinder destroy the Cadillac brand?

Obviously, Teahen lacks experience driving a modern four-cylinder car. Cadillac is trying to get out of the car business for people his age and is trying to get into the Gen X crowd.

Cadillac's priority is the desire to give consumers what they want. If Cadillac sticks with the same old cars of yesteryear, we will watch it fall with the likes of Lincoln.

I'll be driving by Teahen as he's stopped at the gas station feeding his 14-mpg V-8 Caddy and I'm getting 32 mpg on my A4.

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ED HAASE, Ashburn, Va. The writer formerly worked for an automotive supplier.

To the Editor:

John K. Teahen Jr. implies that a four-cylinder Cadillac would tarnish the image of Cadillac.

If Cadillac could offer a four-cylinder as advanced in power, efficiency and refinement as what Audi, Volkswagen (2.0-liter direct-injection turbo), Honda and Acura currently offer, it could benefit Cadillac's image immensely.

A world-class Cadillac four-cylinder would be part of what is really needed to put Cadillac on the shopping list of young, successful customers, most of whom will not shop Cadillac because of its image.

Today's young, affluent and well-educated consumer is much less concerned with the number of cylinders under the hood than with refined power and fuel efficiency. Cadillac's 3.6-liter, direct-injection V-6 is more fuel efficient and more powerful than the old dinosaur North Star V-8. And buyers of the current STS have made it clear that they no longer desire a V-8, nor will they pay for it.

This is not 1982, and General Motors no longer builds crappy Cimarrons.

GM cars are much better than they were 25 years ago, but they (as with the other domestics) are still a long shot away from many Asian and German automobiles in technical refinement, long-term durability and image.

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CHRIS POOLE, Editor-at-Large, Consumer Guide Auto, Peoria, Ariz.

To the Editor:

I'm surprised and disappointed by John K. Teahen Jr.'s comments on the prospect of a four-cylinder Cadillac. After all, Cadillac made its name with four-cylinder cars and built twins and "one-lungers" before that.

OK, that was some 100 years ago, before Cadillac was a luxury brand. But it's where "Standard of the World" came from, so there is a precedent. How could Teahen seem to forget that in General Motors' centennial year?

Teahen really must travel more outside the United States. Europe is teeming with punchy, high-tech and very refined four-cylinder cars. You can even buy some of them here. (Ever driven an Audi A4 2.0T?)

GM has equal know-how, so who's to say a four-cylinder Cadillac couldn't be just as appealing here in America? Indeed, such a car could be the next step in Cadillac's much-ballyhooed renaissance.

Forget the BLS. That's just another fast-buck marketing ploy that deserved to fail in Europe like the Cimarron failed here.

Sure, a new four-cylinder Cadillac might not be a Caddy in the traditional sense. But it seems to me that tradition, as in business as usual, is what has gotten Detroit into its current mess.

So why not try something new, something daring? That, too, is part of Cadillac's heritage. Besides, from what I know of Bob Lutz, he's not about to let another Cimarron happen.
 

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Although memories of the Cimarron stick (unfavorably) in my head, the idea of a well thought out and designed 4 cylinder Cadillac that matches the current model lineup as well as competing against the European manufacturers (and Acura since Lexus and Infiniti don't remember their four cylinder days) doesn't seem that bad. Dropping the turbo four from the Solstice/Sky twins into a sedan would undoubtedly provide some zip to a sedan/coupe while providing better economy.
 

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Of course, Cadillac already does market four-cylinder vehicles, in the European market BLS.

Leaving that spectacular flop to one side, if the upcoming BTS, or whatever it is going to be called, uses mainly, or even exclusively, four cylinder engines, I don't see it as that big of a deal, really.

Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW sell tons of four cylinder engines around the globe. Why shouldn't Cadillac?

The only caveats are that Cadillac's four cylinder motors should be powerful, torquey, smooth and refined . . . the equal of their best rivals, in other words.
 

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"GM cars are much better than they were 25 years ago, but they (as with the other domestics) are still a long shot away from many Asian and German automobiles in technical refinement, long-term durability and image.


Got to love that quote. Even when praising GM for making better vehicles some people cant resist taking a shot and then providing no basis for the shot they take. With ignorant consumers like this out here its a miracle GM isnt out of business yet. You make better products and incorporate state of the art technology only to have people flat out deny that you are being competitive.
 

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I think it could work. It would have to be available with the 3-series sized Caddy, not the larger CTS. It would also have to be more powerful than the current 4-cyl engines in GM's line-up while paying extra attention to NVH levels. I read an article where they praised the velvety Malibu 4 cylinder engine, so this should not be so difficult. Addition of DI perhaps?
 

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I have a feeling that all of the luxury makes are going to be offering 4 cylinder cars in the near future. It's only a matter of time. Caddy should just beat them to the punch with a refined 4 cylinder baby CTS.
 

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In my Alpha Buick, I would love a 4-Cylinder. I am not sure why people think it's bad idea. As long as it has hp and torque to back it up. It will be fine. What I don't understand is why GM dosen't allow 4-Cylinders with foglams in the EP I's.
 

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Yes to 4 cyl turbo (with continued refinement of LNF, and maybe a 1.8l version of the new 1.4l turbo)

No to a 4cly in the CTS - it's too big. Build ATS (alpha) now!!!!
 

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N-O. NO. NO NO. Stupid idea, when i think cadillac i think V. The V6 or the powerfull northstar V8. They just need to trim the fat a little. If you are buying a cadillac, the fuel crisis should not be a problem. The only exception i would allow is putting the 2.0L turbo LNF in a specialized vehicle such as a cobalt equivelant but make this thing a performance version with all the trimmings, to take on something that BMW is offering.
 

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Great idea. I love the 4-cyl in my TSX. The engine is smooth and quiet. The only time I wish for more power is during an uphill pass on the interstate. I regularly get 35 mpg on the highway. Come on GM. This is a no brainer in midsize and smaller cars.
 

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I just taught of something, how about a V4 engine instead of an I4? Derivated from the current small-block? We didn't saw V4 for cars since the 60s German Ford models and Saab of the same era. One (and only?) advantage is trying to be a bit different from the others
 

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It all depends on whether or not GM wants Cadillac for the world market or only for the U.S. market. As noted in one of the letters, Cadillac has almost zero credibility outside of the U.S. Even in Canada, Cadillac has nowhere near the image it once had or wishes to protray today. Most Canadians still view Caddy's (even the CTS) as a car for your father or grandfather. To make matters worse, the grandfather crowd don't really warm up to the CTS.

Making Cadillac a true world class luxury car means building real cars for a number of markets. Cadillac's disaster in the samll car or smaller engine market had nothing to do with the idea and everything to do with the execution. No one wants to pay big dollars for a rebadge. To survive, Cadillac should be a leader in building powerful, yet efficient motors. The competition is already doing it. Don't just wait for the competition to own the entire market.
 

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In the words of Charleton Heston: "DAMN YOU ALL TO HELLLL!!!" What are you guys thinking?

Caddy will have four cylinders - then we'll have a one cylinder Chevrolet.

How about a four cylinder S class? I've got a nice entry-lux acura/audi/jetta/Subaru/hyundai so therefore Cadillac should have one.

How about a hatchback Cadillac about the size of a Vega?

Bring back the Cimmaron!!! That's the answer.
 

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As fuel prices go up, people will continue to look for more fuel efficient vehicles. I have an 03 Seville right now and it gets pretty good gas mileage for a Northstar V-8, around 25 mpg. BUT, I would really love to have a car that could get 30 mpg and still have the Cadillac luxury. It might sound like crap right now, but gas will only go up eventually, and not everyone will want a Cobalt or Malibu, some people want, or will eventually want, a luxury sedan that will get 30+ mpg.
 

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Of course, Cadillac already does market four-cylinder vehicles, in the European market BLS.
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Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW sell tons of four cylinder engines around the globe. Why shouldn't Cadillac?

The only caveats are that Cadillac's four cylinder motors should be powerful, torquey, smooth and refined . . . the equal of their best rivals, in other words.
I have a feeling that all of the luxury makes are going to be offering 4 cylinder cars in the near future. It's only a matter of time. Caddy should just beat them to the punch with a refined 4 cylinder baby CTS.
I agree with you both. I think that more and more luxury cars will be offering refined 4-cylinder engines and wouldn't be bad for Caddy to jump into this as well.

As long as the engines are techologically laden, I dont see a downside to this. And it won't be like GM is offering such an engine in an STS or an Escalade.

However, if they could offer a Turbo I4 in the upcoming BLS-replacement and/or a base-model CTS, I do not think it would be damaging.

Hell, I'm waiting to see if Ford will offer a techie-EcoBoost I4 as the base engine in the MKZ in the near future. That would really be something as well.

The other thing I could imagine later is possibly introducing very small displacement 6 cylinders as well. I remember some of the Japanese and European auto manufacturers did this for a time. But don't think this will happen as I4s get more and more refined.

Just my two cents.
 

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If done right I think it would be a great addition to the Cadillac line-up. A small, nimble, 1-series competitor with the 2.0 turbo motor and a six speed manual would be great and with the current economic climate I think its a smart idea.
 

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In the words of Charleton Heston: "DAMN YOU ALL TO HELLLL!!!" What are you guys thinking?

Caddy will have four cylinders - then we'll have a one cylinder Chevrolet.

How about a four cylinder S class? I've got a nice entry-lux acura/audi/jetta/Subaru/hyundai so therefore Cadillac should have one.

How about a hatchback Cadillac about the size of a Vega?

Bring back the Cimmaron!!! That's the answer.

Believe me I am not a fan of small engines. The thing is that with the gas prices ever increasing, it is not a bad idea to offer a small engine. The important part is offering this engine only in small models like the 3-series sized Caddy or smaller. Also we have all stated that hp and torque should be increased as well. A DI 4-cyl with good NVH characteristics could be a good thing. BMW, Audi and MB offer them, so why not Cadillac. The lessons learned from the development of this higher-end 4 cylinder could be later transfered to GM's other offerings. This will constantly improve GM's small engines quality. Just my .02
 
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