There are almost as many rumors in a given month about a large, rear-wheel-drive flagship Cadillac sedan to compete with the Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and BMW 7 Series are there are rumors Tupac Shakur is still alive. As we know, though, Tupac is still alive, and when GM’s North American president says its big Caddy is among projects he’d like to see soon, we should probably pay attention.
In an interview with Automotive News, GM’s Mark Reuss recently said he’d “love Cadillac to have a flagship.” While the recently introduced 2013 Cadillac XTS fills the big sedan role in the meanwhile, it’s hardly the car needed to go up against the high-dollar sedans from European automakers. And everyone—GM included—knows this.
The big Caddy is rumored to be based on the same underpinnings as the Chevrolet Caprice PPV police car and upcoming 2014 Chevrolet SS sedan. The Cadillac flagship was also originally intended to have a wholly new double-overhead cam V-8 engine that would have ostensibly replaced the now-defunct Northstar engine series used in Cadillacs from 1992 to 2011. That engine plan may no longer exist, as its development was halted indefinitely during GM’s 2009 bankruptcy reorganization. The GM smallblock V-8 architecture seen in trucks and the Corvette could possibly be used instead.
“I’m a fan of going right at those segments and beating them in segment,” Reuss said of upcoming 2014 Cadillac CTS, rumored to be growing in size to better compete against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series. The new entry-level 2013 Cadillac ATS seems to be taking the same track already against smaller premium sports sedans.
Alas, “The way we’re funding Cadillac has been from, sort of, everything else in GM,” Reuss said, pulling from other GM divisions. That gives Cadillac a “very reduced scale in terms of individual architectures, engines, technology.”
With the CTS, redesigned Escalade, and Chevy Volt-based ELR all coming next year, Cadillac is a little cash-strapped at the moment. Throwing in the needed technology and refinement for the Chevrolet-based underpinnings to compete against the segment leaders might put the brand over the edge. But when you’re selling a $70,000 luxury sedan that shares much of its underpinnings and technology with cheaper cars, as has always been the case with its European rivals, recouping the costs isn’t terribly difficult.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)