NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Eliminating One-Hit Wonders

3 posts in this topic

September 18, 2007

Design: Eliminating One-Hit Wonders

By John Manoogian

Director of Design, Cadillac Exterior

We all know plenty of examples of “one-hit wonders” in literature, music, cinema, and, yes, even in car design. When the time came to redesign the original Cadillac CTS, the design team wanted to steer clear of this syndrome.

As Cadillac’s design vocabulary suggests, its brand essence is extravagant, exclusive and one that offers a dramatic presence. Let’s face it, the CTS is bold and makes a very strong statement about Cadillac’s “Art & Science” design philosophy. The design team understood that the successor to the original CTS needed to be recognizable as a Cadillac, but look like a CTS with a great upscale presence.

All these things were going through my mind as I was given the assignment to lead the exterior design team of designers and sculptors to design the 2008 CTS. And believe me, there was a lot of competition. It’s said that competition improves the breed. Well, I am convinced it certainly raised the bar for the CTS design.

We received design proposals from England and California, as well as the Advanced Design and Production Design in Michigan. In all, there were 11 scale models, and these were edited down to five full-size clay models that were then taken to a consumer clinic. From the results of the customer event, a single theme started to emerge.

Part of the design brief was to add just a bit more ‘art’ to the Art & Science design philosophy. This didn’t mean doing a soft, round, roly-poly design, but a design that had the look of being carefully sculpted by talented hands. We wanted a design that had all the structure and creases in the right places, with a small dose of lovingly created surfaces to counterbalance a computer-generated look. Additionally, a two-inch wider track proved to be a huge design enabler that allowed the team to sculpt beautiful flares that cradle the large wheels and tires.

Added enhancements of chrome details and accents were another element to really take the CTS to the next level. One of the really cool features that we spent a great deal of time on was the design of the head and taillamps. Vertical taillamp designs are a Cadillac identifier. We incorporated vertical lightpipes into the taillamps and uplevel headlamps. At night, these features identify the CTS as a Cadillac with their soft glowing vertical light. As a design team, we learned that designs can be identifiable at night as well as during the day!

Cadillacs need to have a strong, distinctive face, and the design team believed very strongly in a bold, in-your-face look to the front end of the newly redesigned CTS, and we are confident we captured the essence.

Every square millimeter of the new CTS was carefully thought out. In my opinion, there isn’t one bad view or angle of the CTS. Adding a die-cast metal air extractor to the front fender is a touch that takes the new car to the next level. For the longest time, the sheet metal stamping team argued that it would be nearly impossible to stamp such a complex shape into the front fender. By working very long and hard, both the design and engineering groups solved the unique issues associated with forming the fender and air extractor.

As much work as we poured into bringing the CTS to reality, the real winners of this whole process are the buyers. I believe the CTS will please our customers with the attention to detail and the artistic beauty that the final design offers. Ultimately, it’s the buying public that will decide if we at GM Design were able to break the “one-hit wonder” curse. I believe we not only did so, but we exceeded most everyone’s expectations. We look forward to the launch and success of this spectacular product.

By the way… There’s also a fabulous interior design story about the CTS . . . stay tuned!

To learn more about the 2008 CTS, check out the Cadillac Drivers' Log.

source:

http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/archives/2007/09/

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Your right. ...In fact I was so impressed I just ordered one for the family vehicle.

300hp AWD sports suspension and brakes. Silver exterior /black interior.

6 more weeks and the car should be in.

I'd say cadillac it hits mark with the new CTS and snagged a lot of buyers with this new product.

I never really thought I'd buy a caddy but this car is too sharp.

The AWD makes it a slam dunk.

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Your right. ...In fact I was so impressed I just ordered one for the family vehicle.

300hp AWD sports suspension and brakes. Silver exterior /black interior.

6 more weeks and the car should be in.

I'd say cadillac it hits mark with the new CTS and snagged a lot of buyers with this new product.

I never really thought I'd buy a caddy but this car is too sharp.

The AWD makes it a slam dunk.

Let's hope the dealership is up to the task of keeping it running for you properly. They are one of the weak links I see in the Cadillac renaissance.

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