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Makes you wonder how GM successfully gets away with it just fine when it comes to the SUVs but they don’t know how to do it with a sports car. A loaded Yukon Denali is around $95K and a loaded Escalade Sport Platinum around $125K. 30K difference for mostly a different dash and exterior design yet both sit comfortably in their brands.
 

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Makes you wonder how GM successfully gets away with it just fine when it comes to the SUVs but they don’t know how to do it with a sports car. A loaded Yukon Denali is around $95K and a loaded Escalade Sport Platinum around $125K. 30K difference for mostly a different dash and exterior design yet both sit comfortably in their brands.
It certainly is a paradox... I think one lesson GM is learning is to make things so good that the reviewers don't care about the shortcomings of a vehicle. Case in point - the ATS was ripped apart for the back seat and CUE, interior design and complaints about the ATS-V's engine sound. Yet the CT4-V and V-Blackwing have the same back seat and not a peep about it. I think a lot has to do with GM making the performance so good and improving the interior enough that reviewers don't pick on smaller issues.

The Escalade, somehow, from day 1 was popular. Even though those first generations were very similar to the Suburban. I really don't get it. I can see it now that they've really made the interior nice, etc..

It can be done, but I think using the C8 chassis and the overall excellence of the Corvette will make the Cadillac version a tough sell. Maybe it can be done.... The Corvette already stands proud against Ferrari's, Porsche's, etc.. - I can't see much wiggle room to improve the Cadillac version that much. Maybe if they made a very limited run - 250 a year with a customer built interior.
 

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I hear what you are saying, but how do you sell a $200k Cadillac sports car when every single review starts out with a little story of last time Cadillac shared a chassis with a Chevy, the Cimmaron, and then goes on to expound how this new Cadillac shares with the Corvette. The Corvette which starts at $60k. And I have zero doubts every article will start out like that. And realistically, what can GM do to make the performance substantially better than the Vette? I don't think there is much as the C8 is already a world class vehicle. Is shaving .3 seconds off a performance metric going to make all comparisons to the Corvette go away?

Sure, they can put a beautiful interior in it and some gee-whiz tech as I expect in the Celestiq, but there will still be that continual comparison to the Vette.

And to do this right will take a huge shift in GM where the Corvette is the companies sacred cow and it is to be #1 in performance.

I'd love to see a world class Cadillac sports car. I just think there is a minefield of potential problems, no matter how good they make it.
A sports car is a street legal racing car. Cadillac has decades of racing cred to support its entry into the sports car market. Its CT4 V Blackwing and CT5 V Blackwing have received almost universal raves. As for Corvette, it is simply amazing at a price point that many salaried employees can afford. As great as it is, the Corvette has a price ceiling. That price ceiling means that it has unavoidable compromises.

However, Cadillac need not have the price ceiling that Corvette engineers have to work under. If it has a boundary, then let Cadillac's boundary be a floor--the Ford GT can set the price floor for the Cadillac sports car. I would not have the Cadillac sports car compete with the Ford GT--because Cadillac and Ford brands are on very different strata. Let the Cadillac sports car compete with Lamborghini, Ferrari, McClaren, et. al.
 

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That above aspiration still leaves room for a Porsche targeting Vette brand. Their gonna have to cast their nets to where the big money fish are.

And down that road, things like this are possible (I'm in a linking mood):
 

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SL is at 7 generations. Cadillac has tried twice in this category and failed to improve on it..
Do you mean Allante and XLR? Allante had a very cheap design (not Cadillac styling) and an outdated interior. XLR looked great, but had a mediocre interior and was overpriced. I don't see serious attempts to compete in both cases. Now the situation is quite different.
 

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This is quite simple, actually. You charge rather substantially more for the Cadillac because it's a Cadillac. This is the most storied automobile name in existence with a 120 year history. Besides Cadillac, only Benz and Rolls Royce play in that rarified atmosphere. I realize some think the name is "damaged", but I have to disagree. The name is durable, and product defines the image, not decades old missteps. Cadillac had problems when they were building to a price point, rather than building to a standard. They need to build to a defined standard, and not allow accountants anywhere near the project. Otherwise, what's the point?
Cadillac hasn't competed with Rolls-Royce since the 1950's. Mercedes couldn't even take on Rolls-Royce in the early 2000s. And they still can't. Rolls is in a different playing field.

My opinion here has always been, "You should pay more for a Cadillac because it's a Cadillac. And if you can't afford a Cadillac, come back until you make more money." The line has to be drawn in the sand somewhere, but Cadillac is unwilling to draw that line or even test the upper limits of the brand. So, we're left with a luxury brand that doesn't act like a luxury brand but wants to be a luxury brand and respected and recognized as one.

The name is incredibly damaged in the US. And it's been made worse over 3+ decades of fits and starts and product revamps and renaming and inconsistent product and brand direction. The history is gone. All we're really left with is Escalade. Ironically, it's the sole product line that has been steadily improved upon since its inception, building recognition, respect, and a name for itself — something Cadillac has been unable to do with anything else in its lineup.

I do argue that Cadillac doesn't build to a "defined standard." Or maybe they do, but that "standard" doesn't meet with current global expectations.

Wait, what? between XLR & BLACKWING? It makes zero sense to have the Cadillac less expensive than the Corvette.
The problem with the Gen 1 XLR was that it cost too much, and resembled the Corvette too much, and didn't have the performance (in base or V form). Cadillac was unable to sell the idea of XLR.
A 2nd gen "XLR" (for lack of a better name) would once again run into that some problem. Cadillac would have to find a way to distance and differentiate its product from the Corvette. Hence my comparison to R8 and Huracan — 2 cars on the same platform and essentially the same engine, with very different characteristics. And seeing as Cadillac can barely do that with Escalade, what chance does it have with "XLR?"


That's not happening. Cadillac must retake its proper place at the top of the heap to remain relevant. Corvette exists in a unique corporate placement position, it's more tangential to existing corporate structure otherwise.
Corvette is the GM flagship, and it is treated as such.
Cadillac is not treated as such, and it should be. And that is part of the source of Cadillac's problems.

Partially disagree here. Properly executed, Cadillac is the only marque with the reputational heft to take that one on. There's no reason you can't have a mid-engined grand tourer, and it avoids taking on the SL directly. More of an oblique, which is fine, and I love Benz, I always have.
I don't believe Cadillac has the repetitional heft anymore. Too much time has been wasted.
Taking on the SL is a fools errand. The market is now too small and the SL too strong a competitor. Unless Cadillac can come up with something truly unique in the market, the ROI just isn't there.
I'd love for Cadillac to try, but they have far more pressing issues that trying to claim space in the Gran tourer market.

Mostly agree here, but you seem to be contradicting yourself. I would disagree on engine. I think a proper Cadillac Blackwing variant engine would fit the bill. It shouldn't have the Corvette engine, and I read that Blackwing will in fact grow into a family of engines.
Blackwing engine was DOA. Though, rumors it'll be dropped into the Escalade-V abound. But re-engineering Blacking for a mid-engine configuration is a waste.
Drop in the Corvette engine and tune it, muffle it, whatever to make it a "Cadillac" engine.

The Cadillac version, (which should NOT be named 'XLR') should start at $150K, and rise quickly from there, topping out around $215K or so. I think a legacy name works fine there, Eldorado would work for me. Again, the product defines the perceived quality, not someone's dated idea of the brand. Once a properly executed product takes the stage, antiquated notions are immediately out the window.

It is a captivating sketch. I'd like to see them make the effort.
I don't think the SL will start that high, but it'll certainly clear $200K when all is said and done on the top end.

Cadillac can't even sell an Escalade Platinum that prices beyond $120,000.
I have a lot of qualms about Cadillac even getting that high, if they can't even do it with their most well known and respected vehicle.
SHOULD Cadillac sell cars in the $150-250,000 range? Yes. I have always believed it should.
CAN Cadillac sell cars in the $150-250,000 range? No. The brand cannot support it.

Which brings it all back to Celestiq, which purportedly will sell at $250,000. That's Bentley, high-end Maybach, and high-end Range Rover territory. I can't wait to see what Cadillac says to justify that price point. EQS and Air aren't even in that price point. We shall see.
 

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Do you mean Allante and XLR? Allante had a very cheap design (not Cadillac styling) and an outdated interior. XLR looked great, but had a mediocre interior and was overpriced. I don't see serious attempts to compete in both cases. Now the situation is quite different.
Yes. Allanté and XLR.
Allanté for its time period was great! The problem was the engine and its performance... and sky high pricing, which was mostly because of how it shipped on a 747 from Italy. Performance was finally fixed when the Northstar was added. But, by that time, it was too late.

XLR was priced appropriately, I thought, but the interior quality didn't align with the price. I still have nightmares about the flimsy plastic center compartment that would have been out of place in a Corolla.

I think Cadillac could bring back a new XLR. My question is really about its execution... and GM's inane need to "protect" the Corvette.
 

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Didn't GM claim Caddy was going all EV in 5 years? You guys are chasing an ICE Vette clone Caddy pipedream.
 
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The only, and I mean only thing, RR had over Cadillac in the '50s & '60s was a higher price.
Product-wise, RR wasn't in the same strata as Cadillac, it wasn't a competitive product by any criteria.
A friend owns a '54 Bentley; it's an awful car.
That may be, but both brands have gone in opposite directions over the last 70 years.
One has managed to maintain and raise its stature. The other one is competing with Genesis for relevancy.

Cadillac was the epitome of status and prestige in the 1950s — the self-styled Standard of the World.
We are a very very long way from that today.
 

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Does Audi R8 ever get compared with the Lamborghini Huracan?
There are ways to share a platform without drawing attention to a stablemate.

There does need to be greater degree of differentiability with a Cadillac on the same platform as Corvette.
The media tried to define XLR by its (lack of) performance when compared to the Corvette. The media certainly doesn't do that with R8 and Huracan. So, for Cadillac, don't give the media something to grab hold of and just do it right.
Correct.

That GM struggles differentiating its shared platforms is not per se evidence of the impossibility of this potential. High-end sports cars come in various forms, and the existence of a high performance sports car for both Cadillac and Chevrolet absolutely could be done, targeting different customers within this admittedly niche segment. It simply represents the ability of people within the Company to enumerate the reasons why it cannot be done, rather than why it can be done.

I believe MQB serves the Golf and A3. MSB serves Panamera and Continental duty, and MLB Q7 and Bentayga. All those vehicles seem to be just fine sales-wise and likely from a profit perspective.

Put another way, GM better sort out these types of dilemmas right quick. Ultium will be serving major duty across at least four brands. A Sierra buyer to me absolutely could be targeted differently than a Silverado buyer in the same price range. An Equinox customer differently than an Encore buyer. And, to put an exclamation on the above, a Corvette buyer from a "Cadillac XLR."
 

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Cadillac historically has presented top tier technology. Cadillac was first to offer V8 engines as standard in 1915. Cadillac was the first to offer a modern electrical system with self starters in 1912. In 1930 Cadillac was the first to offer a V16 engine that offered unsurpassed power and smoothness. In 1949 Cadillac offered a new lightweight OHV V8 engine that revolutionized the industry. Cadillac was the first in the industry to offer a fully automated thermostatically controlled integrated HVAC system in 1964. Cadillac was early in offering automatic transmissions, power steering, power brakes, electric windows and seats, Cadillac was the first in the industry to introduce Phillips head screws in 1937. In 2009 Cadillac was the first to offer all LED headlamps for the North American market on the Escalade. Cadillac has led with many other technology leading examples, as they have done for over a century.

Cadillac could take the same approach with this theoretical vehicle. Top grade interiors and customization with interior options would be the preferred approach, using magnesium switchgear and other premium materials. So far as the Benz SL, it wouldn't need to "take it on" so much as credibly co-exist as a viable atlernative. It need not be the absolute top performer on a tech sheet, so long as it's a credible real performer. The mid-engine layout provides the basis for that. Sure, it could also be electric, but GM is big enough to provide such an offering with a Blackwing V8 variant in what would would be an extremely low production halo car, further elevating the brand. This provides cover for those at GM that are neurotically obsessed with keeping Corvette the absolute top vehicle in performance.

The target customer demographic would be those that want something that's truly special, and quite rare. I have no doubt GM has the design and engineering talent pool to pull this off, IF they're committed to doing so. For those of you that maintain that the brand is damaged, recent polling indicates substantial progress on that front, as noted at the source that must not be named here.

Per the brand tracking survey, Cadillac is showing year-over-year improvements in five key metrics, with the biggest year-over-year improvement being “First Choice Consideration” (customers who consider Cadillac first over other other automotive brands), which is up 29 percent. The “Stirs Emotion” metric (how a brand either creates emotion or fails to create emotion in a customer) is also up 9 percent, while the “Advanced Tech” metric is up 6 percent. Meanwhile, “Brand For Me” (customers who specifically want to buy Cadillac vehicles, similar to an emotional attachment between the brand and customer), “Net Momentum,” and brand “Opinion” are all up 5 percent, respectively.
 

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Hundreds of innovations, here's one more - Cadillac: first heated seats, 1966.

Cadillac did all the engineering & development on the HydraMatic, then handed it off to Olds for testing. Olds was given the first year of production in order to 'shield' Cadillac if any issues surfaced. None did, and Cadillac offered the HM the next year. The marque also did all the development on fully synchronizing the manual transmission in the early '30s.

ALL these industry firsts were adopted across the industry (eventually). They've arguably done more toward advancing the industry than any other brand.
 

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Cadillac historically has presented top tier technology. Cadillac was first to offer V8 engines as standard in 1915. Cadillac was the first to offer a modern electrical system with self starters in 1912. In 1930 Cadillac was the first to offer a V16 engine that offered unsurpassed power and smoothness. In 1949 Cadillac offered a new lightweight OHV V8 engine that revolutionized the industry. Cadillac was the first in the industry to offer a fully automated thermostatically controlled integrated HVAC system in 1964. Cadillac was early in offering automatic transmissions, power steering, power brakes, electric windows and seats, Cadillac was the first in the industry to introduce Phillips head screws in 1937. In 2009 Cadillac was the first to offer all LED headlamps for the North American market on the Escalade. Cadillac has led with many other technology leading examples, as they have done for over a century...
Hundreds of innovations, here's one more - Cadillac: first heated seats, 1966.

Cadillac did all the engineering & development on the HydraMatic, then handed it off to Olds for testing. Olds was given the first year of production in order to 'shield' Cadillac if any issues surfaced. None did, and Cadillac offered the HM the next year. The marque also did all the development on fully synchronizing the manual transmission in the early '30s.

ALL these industry firsts were adopted across the industry (eventually). They've arguably done more toward advancing the industry than any other brand.
Both bmwboy2007 and 09W do well to start to enumerate Cadillac's/GM's many major and minor engineering advances. I would also submit GM Design's influence during those same times held perhaps equal sway.

But notice the time of those advancements: largely mid-20th century. Those advancements were coincident with the perceived success and brand cache of GM and its separate brands.

09W mentions Oldsmobile, and I cannot help but think of its front wheel drive innovations having been encapsulated in the {gorgeous!] 1966 Toronado. It really was a no-brainer in my mind to buy back then: a luxurious coupe that stood out not just for its contemporaneously advanced powertrain, but because it was wrapped in a show-stopping exterior design! Again, gorgeous!

There's a message there for today's GM and Ultium. Marry advanced engineering and exceptional design, and you will restore GM's former glory, assuming those two are uncompromisingly married consistently up and down all of GM's brands. Hummer, Silverado EV, and Lyriq are a good start, with a few minor compromises. But to think Cadillac presently stands on even similar ground to today's Mercedes, BMW and Audi globally comes across as a bit naive (I temper that criticism, because I quite like many of the people on this site who suggest that even in passing).
 

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Rolls Royce is a joke as a Luxury brand. It makes cars for Dubai livery duty and the occasional wedding in Los Angeles.
You might see the local fool driving in one from time to time, but a serious luxury brand, no body shops Rolls Royce as a daily use vehicle.

In other words, the whole brand is a spectacle. Like driving around in Kenya and seeing a Rhino. We know they are out in the wild, but they are rare.
 

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Marry advanced engineering and exceptional design...
There's an issue on this point.

Auto design is in it's 98th percentile of advancement. There could never be another iconic '66 Toronado again because the envelope of design possibilities and allowances has contracted so so much. It was free reign in '66, that even pre-dated the Fed vehicle codebook. Those stunning front fender blades would be dropped by CAFE/aerodynamic concerns & pedestrian impact standards. We'll never see a breakout design in passenger vehicles to that level ever again. We're in a 20-yr stagnant pool of design water right now.
 
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