Cadillac Prepares to Offer a Convertible Once Again
Cadillac now has a convertible based on the Alpha platform that underpins the ATS and CTS sedans on its upcoming product schedule. This news comes straight from General Motors executives who spoke at a dealers meeting last month in Las Vegas. According to several in attendance, GM went as far as showing an image of the upcoming convertible. However, when questioned by Automotive News, a Cadillac spokesman would not confirm whether a sketch was shown.
The spokesman did say that Cadillac would “like to introduce an open car to the portfolio at some point,” but that “it’s not likely to be one of the near-term portfolio additions.”
The possibility of a drop-top, Alpha-based product doesn’t seem too far-fetched. In 2012, then GM president Mark Reuss confirmed that engineering work for a convertible version of the ATS was “pretty much designed” but that the project had been put on hold.
What’s more, the upcoming 2016 Chevrolet Camaro will be underpinned by this same Alpha platform. Considering the Camaro has traditionally offered a convertible version, the designs Ruess mentioned in 2012 are likely now employed on current Camaro development. This makes it highly likely the upcoming Cadillac and the soon-to-be-revealed sixth-generation Camaro will share many components.
A drop-top Caddy isn’t the only future vehicle discussed in that dealers’ meeting. Attendees were also told of plans for a small crossover, a larger crossover that would slot between the SRX and Escalade, and an entry-level sedan slotted below the ATS. At this point, these are only plans and will likely take several years to develop.
Note: Cadillac XLR pictured here.
Click past the jump to read more about Cadillac’s future convertible model.
Why it matters
Cadillac’s new boss, Johan de Nysschen, is really shaking up General Motors’ most premium brand. This news about new products follows Cadillac’s shocking move to New York City and an upcoming revamping of the automaker’s image. For the last several years, Cadillac has been doing extremely well at reestablishing itself as a premium competitor and Nysschen has dreams of furthering that trajectory.
A convertible would make the brand more competitive against Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, all of which have several convertible models in their respective lineups. Adding more products fitted between current models helps fill in gaps and offer more niche-based products.
This will mark the first time Cadillac has offered a convertible since the demise of its Corvette-based XLR Roadster in 2009.
The XLR saw production from 2004 through 2009 and was based on the Corvette’s Y Platform that underpinned the older C5 `Vette. The XLR prominently featured a power-folding hard-top that folded neatly into the trunk. The two-seater was powered by a 4.6-liter, Northstar V-8 that made 320 horsepower and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
In keeping with Cadillac nomenclature, a XLR-V was offered, sporting a more powerful, supercharged version of the 4.4-liter Northstar V-8 found in the STS-V sedan. Making 443 horsepower and 414 pound-feet of torque, the XLR-V could hit 60 in 4.6 seconds.
Pricing for the XLR started at roughly $80,000 for the standard XLR and rose to over $100,000 for the XLR-V.
Source: Automotive News