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I am sooo confused as to why GM has there Cadillac cars FWD. I mean it just doesn't make sence. V8 = RWD, but not in this case. Can some one please explain the science behind GM's decision on this. :angry:
 

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The previous generation cadillac cars are FWD. The new cars...CTS, SRX, XLR, STS and maybe the next DTS are all RWD.
 

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Fuel economy. caddy wants to give fast reliable luxourious cars along with good fuel economy with the booming gas prices. Thats what i can come up with.
 

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Most Cadillacs went FWD in the early to mid 80's (excluding the El Dorado, which went FWD in 1967 or 68). These were desparate times when fuel economy challenges were hard to meet, and designing a unique, lighter, rear drive chassis just for Cadillac would have been too expensive.

Cadillacs were definitely not performance cars then (the top of the line 4.1 V8 had a whopping 125 hp for several years), so no one cared if they were FWD. Besides, they kept the old rear-drive Brougham around for people that had to have RWD.

In the 90's Cadillac starting trying to shift their image to performance, but things were even tighter in the 90's and so a shift to RWD was very slow in coming. Plus, Cadillac still had a huge customer base that was very happy with FWD, for foul weather traction, and cared not a bit about dry road handling at it's limits.

Now Cadillac is aiming for high-end German sedans and RWD is a requirement in that game, so they are all going to RWD. The CTS was first, then the XLR and SRX, and soon the STS and DTS will be too.

I don't think you can say it was bad judgement on their part to go FWD. It served them well for many years, but when they shifted their emphasis to performance, they weren't able to move fast enough to RWD.
 

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I know this is off topic, but I wonder when Acura will wake up and join the RWD game. Their new cars are taking a beating from the critics as being great cars held back by their FWD nature and torque steer (TSX).

Oh well, what's bad for Acura is good for GM. :p (and Caddy)
 

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Also remember that during the late 70's and early 80's everyone talked about FWD as it was the second comming or something....every car magazine at that time raves about FWD.

The Eldorado went FWD before any other car in the Cadillac line up...back then in was talked about as the newest and most sophisticated thing on the road, and it remained the only FWD Cadillac through 1980, when the Seville joined the Eldorado on the same E/K platform. Then the DeVille and Fleetwood went FWD in 1985.

It's interesting to note that before everyone considered FWD to be evil, as it's considered today, it was the wave of the future, when the Oldsmobile Toronado was introduced in 1966, GM made a commitment that FWD would be corporate wide by 1980.......
 

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Originally posted by Omega325@Mar 5 2004, 08:01 AM
I am sooo confused as to why GM has there Cadillac cars FWD. I mean it just doesn't make sence. V8 = RWD, but not in this case. Can some one please explain the science behind GM's decision on this. :angry:
V8 does not equal RWD. There have been a number of FWD V8 cars over the past 70+ years, starting with the 1929 Cord L29.

When Cadillac began converting their lineup to FWD in the early 1980s, their V8s didn't have enough power for it to be a problem in their cars. In those days, 220-230hp was thought to be the most that could run through the front wheels. Later with better drivetrain geometry (equal-length half-shafts, among other things), this was revised to about 300hp. This is one of the reasons why the Northstar (in FWD applications) only produces 300hp.
 

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DTS will remain FWD, if I'm not mistaken. As Motor Trend put it... it's the "elephant" of the group.
STS will have AWD as an option as well.
 

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Originally posted by Ming@Mar 5 2004, 12:01 PM
I know this is off topic, but I wonder when Acura will wake up and join the RWD game. Their new cars are taking a beating from the critics as being great cars held back by their FWD nature and torque steer (TSX).

Oh well, what's bad for Acura is good for GM. :p (and Caddy)
From articles I've read in Autoweek,the head of Acura NA (or what/whoever the hell title he has) has said that Acura deon't need RWD or a V8 2 B considered a luxury mark.
 

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Originally posted by BBcamaroSS@Mar 5 2004, 02:45 PM
Fuel economy. caddy wants to give fast reliable luxourious cars along with good fuel economy with the booming gas prices. Thats what i can come up with.
Driveline efficiency and weight of a well-engineered RWD platform is not necessarily inferior to an equivalent FWD. Front-wheel drive took off 20 years ago because the industry sold the public on its all-weather virtues. Just so happened, the industry also saved a buck on the packaging ease of FWD. There was little incentive to wean the public and go back to RWD...until they realized that RWD is actually more marketable on the premium stuff.
 

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Originally posted by desmo9@Mar 5 2004, 05:24 PM
Driveline efficiency and weight of a well-engineered RWD platform is not necessarily inferior to an equivalent FWD. Front-wheel drive took off 20 years ago because the industry sold the public on its all-weather virtues. Just so happened, the industry also saved a buck on the packaging ease of FWD. There was little incentive to wean the public and go back to RWD...until they realized that RWD is actually more marketable on the premium stuff.
I don't think driveline fuel efficiency was the main reason behind the switch to FWD in the 80's. Manufacturers needed to downsize their cars to meet mileage requirements, and since FWD is more space efficient, with no driveshaft tunnel and no room necessary for a drive axle to move up and down, it allowed them to keep close to the same amount of room inside.

A modern IRS will minimize the amount of room taken by RWD, but FWD is still more space efficient.
 

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my problem with the fwd caddys was that 300hp is way too much for this setup. secondly, the tranny on this cars was always prematurely destroyed (from the v8 torque and large car's mass).

the new dts could very well remain fwd (for what I care), but it shouldn't. those days they need to promote serious products, so it should have the choice of rwd/awd like the seville, then anyone will be happy.
also, the bonneville/park avenue need to swich to rwd or awd. if this happen, how could someone imagine a fwd dts?
 

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Originally posted by johnd89@Mar 5 2004, 05:55 PM
my problem with the fwd caddys was that 300hp is way too much for this setup. secondly, the tranny on this cars was always prematurely destroyed (from the v8 torque and large car's mass).
The problem is that Detroit has a herd mentality in the same way that the Japanese manufacturers tend to play follow-the-leader, even when that leader is part of the lemming pack throwing themselves over the cliff.

FWD, when implemented properly, provides packaging benefits - a smaller powertrain package that does not impinge on the passenger compartment (e.g. driveshaft tunnel, etc.)

This allows smaller cars to be built with larger interiors - e.g. Mini, original VW Rabbit/Golf, Saab 9000.

FWD's potential packaging advantages are particularly great compared to traditional old-style Detroit RWD chassis - live axle rear suspension severely compromises interior and luggage space (you have to leave a lot of room for that axle to go up and down, and you can't put the gas tank under the back seat where it belongs, so it ends up squeezing the trunk too) as does body-on-frame construction.

The problem is that when Detroit adopted FWD they built large, fat, heavily-styled FWD vehicles with severely compromised interior space and none of the FWD packaging advantages.

Meanwhile, those automakers that stuck with RWD adopted multilink independent rear suspensions that wrapped around the interior/trunk 'box' and had none of the packaging problems of older live-axle RWD chassis. The biggest advantages of IRS are in packaging (interior space) and rough-road ride, not handling.

So, to take one particularly egregious example, the original Olds Aurora was a fat, long, very heavy car, but had far less interior room than a much smaller, much lighter, much faster (and much more fun) Mercedes E-class.

Herd mentality reinforced GM management in their stampede to FWD - after all, if Chrysler and Ford are doing it, it must be the right thing to do? And overdependence on common platforms and powertrains dictated that when Chevy, for instance, went FWD, so did everyone else.
 

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Originally posted by johnd89@Mar 5 2004, 12:55 PM
the new dts could very well remain fwd (for what I care), but it shouldn't. those days they need to promote serious products, so it should have the choice of rwd/awd like the seville, then anyone will be happy.
also, the bonneville/park avenue need to swich to rwd or awd. if this happen, how could someone imagine a fwd dts?
I think DTS will remain FWD and remain on teh same platform. There's probably some reason to keep building those old Northstars anyways. They should at least have an AWD option like on STS.

I beleive the new Bonnie will be RWD. No idea about the Park Ave.

Cadillac should get rid of the DTS... or give it a full redesign, but it is 40% of its total sales and can really get rid of it just yet. We'll just have to wait till the end of the year to see what Caddy has in store.
 

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Originally posted by JEM@Mar 5 2004, 07:24 PM


FWD's potential packaging advantages are particularly great compared to traditional old-style Detroit RWD chassis - live axle rear suspension severely compromises interior and luggage space (you have to leave a lot of room for that axle to go up and down, and you can't put the gas tank under the back seat where it belongs, so it ends up squeezing the trunk too) as does body-on-frame construction. 

I may be wrong, but I believe some volvo's had the tank under the rear bench, one side and the other of the driveshaft...
isn't it mandatory now to have the tank in front of the rear axle?
 

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Even Detroit got its FWD cars right in a packaging sense. The E-Class is actually a smaller car inside than an Aurora. GM's full sized FWD cars were as much as two feet shorter overall than the RWD cars they replaced and yet had nearly as much interior space. The Aurora, as I recall, was a large mid-sized (or small full-sized) car according to EPA standards. The E-Class, by comparison, is definitely a mid-sized car.

There is no "next Bonneville" in GM's plans currently. And while there is a full-sized Buick in the future (and it will be RWD), it's not technically a Park Avenue.
 

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if it will be awd the old folks that will drive won't have nothing to complain.
also, it's probably nice to have a flat floor, but even fwd cars those days have the hump for rigidity purposes. my '91 park have like some sort of half hump, up untill under the front seats. now I think they have one all the way to the back.
anyways, a driveshaft hump will be bigger, but I rarely seen a caddy with more than 2 persons, never a 5th passanger wich may complain (and it deserves, because he don't pay for the car-hahaha-)

and also, I really don't think many will complain of the reduced trunk space, it's still plenty...
 

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Originally posted by Hudson@Mar 5 2004, 10:12 PM
Even Detroit got its FWD cars right in a packaging sense. The E-Class is actually a smaller car inside than an Aurora. GM's full sized FWD cars were as much as two feet shorter overall than the RWD cars they replaced and yet had nearly as much interior space.
the difference is smaller for the car lengths, merely half foot.

97 park ave:
Specifications Buick Park Avenue 4-door sedan
Wheelbase, in. 113.8
Overall Length, in. 206.8
Overall Width, in. 74.7
Overall Height, in. 57.4
Curb Weight, lbs. 3740
Cargo Volume, cu. ft. 19.1
Standard Payload, lbs. --
Fuel Capacity, gals. 18.5
Seating Capacity 6
Front Head Room, in. 39.8
Max. Front Leg Room, in. 42.4
Rear Head Room, in. 38.0
Min. Rear Leg Room, in. 41.1

96 roadmaster:
Specifications Buick Roadmaster 4-door sedan
Wheelbase, in. 115.9
Overall Length, in. 215.8
Overall Width, in. 78.1
Overall Height, in. 55.9
Curb Weight, lbs. 4211
Cargo Volume, cu. ft. 21.0
Standard Payload, lbs. --
Fuel Capacity, gals. 23.0
Seating Capacity 6
Front Head Room, in. 39.2
Max. Front Leg Room, in. 42.1
Rear Head Room, in. 38.6
Min. Rear Leg Room, in. 38.9
 
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