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Entry Level: GM Product Guru Hints at New Cadillac

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Date posted: 10-19-2006

DETROIT — General Motors has conceived plans for a compact entry-level Cadillac to help raise awareness of the brand and drive sales higher in Europe. Or at least it is if you believe the company's product boss, Bob Lutz.

Designed to sit beneath the BLX, the company's existing front-wheel-drive entry-level model built by Saab in Sweden and sold across Europe, the new hatchback model is planned to sit on a secret new rear-wheel-drive platform.

Details about the new platform are sketchy, although it is likely to be engineered by GM unit Holden in Australia. That's the same company responsible for the Zeta structure planned to serve as the basis for such linchpin cars as next year's Pontiac Grand Prix successor and the reborn Camaro due out in 2009.

Lutz cites the success of the BMW 1 Series as the prime reason behind Cadillac's plan to venture downmarket into Europe's hotly contested premium-small-car market. He says he's confident that GM's upmarket division can broaden its appeal and increase sales by delivering a car designed expressly to meet the demands of European car buyers.

"The BMW 1 Series has been extremely well accepted in the marketplace and shows what can be done," Lutz said at the recent Paris auto show.

Lutz was careful to play down suggestions that the new compact Cadillac is already in the new-model pipeline, saying, "Nothing has been signed off," although he suggested he is "working hard" to ensure it happens.

While remaining coy on details of the new car, Lutz makes no bones about its layout.

"We are looking at the possibility of rear-wheel drive, but nothing is decided just yet. [This layout] provides the best possible basis for agility," he said, adding it would also "be required to support four-wheel drive." This hints at a car similar to the BMW 1 Series, with a longitudinally mounted engine.

When questioned on whether the new Zeta platform would provide a suitable basis for the new car, the GM product guru was short and to the point. "It doesn't make good engineering sense to take a large platform and [scale it] down." As a result, attention has turned to a still secret rear-wheel-drive platform first hinted to by the Holden Torana TT36 concept revealed in 2004.

While Lutz stops short of confirming as much, it seems credible that it will form the basis of the next-generation BLX, with the new small Cadillac borrowing the same structure — a move that would mirror the approach taken by BMW with the 1 and 3 Series.

What this means to you: Lutz is ultra-interested in pushing Cadillac into new market segments, and while a compact rear-wheel-drive hatchback is unlikely to set sales records in North America, it would undoubtedly lift the appeal of GM's upmarket division in Europe, where the likes of the BMW 1 Series sell in big numbers.

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If this comes instead of the EP II BLS, I think it's a good move, as long as the platform can house more than an I4.

Edmunds keeps calling it the BLX? What the hell?

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IMO insideline read too much into Bob Lutz's comments about the 1 series, I think all Bob was saying was that a small RWD car (not necessarily as small as the 1-series) can generate volume. A 3-series rivalling vehicle makes more sense. I think it will be more in the lines of the Holden Torana. The 1-series is selling because of the BMW badge but a rear wheel drive vehicle that small creates a lot of compromises space wise. I doubt Cadillac can compete in that market. After Cadillac has a truly world beating lineup (3-series, E class, S class) maybe but not now.

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OK Jesus...

So...my guess at deciphering all this mess is:

Alpha platform, spawning an entry-level Cadillac as well as an Opel Omega?

Since CTS grows in size for 2008, something a little more Catera-sized? Is that it?

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"We are looking at the possibility of rear-wheel drive, but nothing is decided just yet. [This layout] provides the best possible basis for agility."

Quoted for God's honest truth.

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Alpha platform, spawning an entry-level Cadillac as well as an Opel Omega?

206628[/snapback]

Wrong. The Olds Alero Alpha concept is coming back, but called the Olds Omega. D'uh.

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Guest YellowJacket894

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  :AH-HA_wink:

206614[/snapback]

My best guess is as follows: GM has two rear-drive platforms for compact and mid-sized sedans arriving in the near future. The smaller platform, Alpha, will house such cars like a compact Pontiac sedan/coupe/hatch to replace the Vibe and G5, this Cadillac compact just hinted at, and most definitely a Holden.

Now, here's where the the guess work gets very sketchy: The larger platform, Omega, may just house something mid-sized for Pontiac, a possible BLS replacement, and most likely a production version of the Holden Torana TT3.6 concept car.

Both platforms are rear-drive, of course.

I'll give this more thought. I bet I can figure it out with a little time, thought, questions, and research.

Edited by YellowJacket894

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I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  :AH-HA_wink:

206614[/snapback]

you need to stop by more often. 8)

alpha is small RWD platform for entry Cadillac sedan,

omega is new RWD platform for Sixteen

oh, and both will be displayed at NAIAS 2007 and on the street January 2008 (I wish!)

Edited by 97regalGS

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I really don't have much clue right now, except that I don't think they're both new platforms. Why would we need Alpha, Omega, and Zeta? Do we really need something between a 3er sized car and the Camaro? Plus, GM doesn't have that type of money right now. They are going or did have a tough time getting one RWD platform under Zeta approved, I doubt they'd get two.

Also, the Catera was longer than the CTS, so that's not it either.

EDIT: 97regalGS's seems plausible, except the is timing obviously, and I don't think we're getting a Sixteen, more like an S-Class fighter that looks like the Sixteen.

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Sounds like a good idea. GM has to start from scratch with Cadillac in Europe. Start off small and introduce the bigger models after you get enough customers. Holden developing this? Obviously this could be the basis for the upcoming Torrana production model... if true.

This vehicle better be outstanding if it wants to compete at all in Europe but if Holden is giving a lot of input, I think it's in good hands.

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Also, the Catera was longer than the CTS, so that's not it either.

EDIT: 97regalGS's seems plausible, except the is timing obviously, and I don't think we're getting a Sixteen, more like an S-Class fighter that looks like the Sixteen.

206656[/snapback]

that would be cool, wouldn't it!! :D:D:D:D

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Don't forget the rumours: EP II is FWD, RWD, and AWD. I really hope it's true.

Something along the lines of an A4 would be great.

206666[/snapback]

Those rumors were dismissed a while ago. I think they got RWD from rear-biased AWD.

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i'm not sure that cadillac need bmw-1 rival...bmw-1 isn't such a good seller here in europe (at least not in my country)..they should make a good 3, c-class, competitor (i presume that new cts will be 5 series competitor) with decent engines and it doesn't have to be rwd but it should have awd in option.

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My best guess is as follows: GM has two rear-drive platforms for compact and mid-sized sedans arriving in the near future. The smaller platform, Alpha, will house such cars like a compact Pontiac sedan/coupe/hatch to replace the Vibe and G5, this Cadillac compact just hinted at, and most definitely a Holden.

Now, here's where the the guess work gets very sketchy: The larger platform, Omega, may just house something mid-sized for Pontiac, a possible BLS replacement, and most likely a production version of the Holden Torana TT3.6 concept car.

Both platforms are rear-drive, of course.

I'll give this more thought. I bet I can figure it out with a little time, thought, questions, and research.

206651[/snapback]

There are spy pics and info. that the next vibe isn't going to be on a RWD platform.

I think that it would be great if Zeta could be short, regular, and extended.

Why on earth GM can't put an suv on any car platform!!??

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Guest YellowJacket894

There are spy pics and info. that the next vibe isn't going to be on a RWD platform.

What about a G5 replacement? :scratchchin:

And, plus, we have no real confirmation that the spy pics we've seen really are a Vibe.

I think that it would be great if Zeta could be short, regular, and extended.

You know . . .

:withstupid:

Why on earth GM can't put an suv on any car platform!!??

206958[/snapback]

SRX = Sigma platform, used for CTS and STS

Acadia, etc. = Lambda, which can be used for large front-drive cars (Chi)

Equniox, Torrent = Theta, which uses some Epsilon parts

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This new "Alpha" platform would be too expensive for a Vibe or G5 replacement. It more likely would replace the G6 as well as be used for an entry level Cadillac. I can see Pontiac's lineup around 2013 be Solstice, RWD G6, and Commodore based G8 from Australia, while Buick's lineup will be FWD Epsilon II LaCrosse, RWD Zeta Lucerne, and Enclave. This gives Pontiac a RWD lineup and eliminates overlap between Buick and Pontiac.

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I would not get too excited yet.  GM is just thinking out loud!

They are conceptualizing.

207065[/snapback]

As long as something good comes out, it's cool. ^_^

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Their conceptualization clearly indicates where their priorities lie and its not the former bread and butter divisions, Buick and Pontiac. Interesting we can mention Buick and Pontiac overlap when management has clearly placed Cadillac and saturin directly on top of both of them.

"Hello..........can you breath down there ?"

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So a front-drive BL-Series for the next generation (Epsilon II) has been cancelled? Good news. And so if these rumors came true, then we'd have the BLS/BLW as a compact, BMW 3-Series rival, and we'd have this 1-Series rival, I'll call it Debonair, as a shortened version if this platform came to fruition? It sounds nice, but my old think wants to have a heart attack thinking of a Cadillac smaller than a CTS. But its time to get with the times, everybody's doing it-I say, let's see what a B-segment Standard of the World looks like! Make sure the styling's edgy, the interior somewhat roomy and an absolute must-colorful and very trendy. No coal or camel bins! I'll be shocked at this point if Pontiac's still alive in 2013, but hopefully it will be.

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