NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Cadillac to get sub-CTS Alpha-based car

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GM plans rear-drive baby Caddy
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Conceptual Sketch by Burns
Jamie LaReau | Link to Original Article @ Automotive News | October 8, 2007


DETROIT — Cadillac will get a small rear-wheel-drive car positioned below the CTS sedan, part of General Motors' aggressive plans to expand the brand's U.S. reach.

Plans for a baby Cadillac were confirmed after the UAW published a summary of its tentative labor contract with GM. The summary listed GM's plan to produce a vehicle based on a new architecture called Alpha. Several sources later confirmed that Alpha would be for Cadillac.

A less costly Alpha variant may go to Pontiac, a brand that GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz wants to revitalize with a new lineup of affordable rwd cars.

Cadillac also will:
  • Launch a CTS coupe and wagon in 2009.
  • Introduce a rwd sedan, expected in 2011, to replace the front-drive DTS and the rwd STS.
  • Consider a vehicle powered by a fuel-cell version of the E-Flex plug-in hybrid powertrain. The E-Flex powers the Chevrolet Volt concept.

Cadillac goes global

In 2011 General Motors will launch Alpha production in its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant, which produces the Pontiac G5 and Chevrolet Cobalt.

Alpha will be for Cadillac's entry-level model. According to a knowledgeable source, it will be aimed at the near-luxury segment once occupied by the BMW 3 series and Mercedes C class, when those nameplates were smaller and cheaper.

The larger 2008 CTS carries a base price of $32,990, including shipping.

The product plans outlined in the UAW document suggest that GM has resolved its internal debate over Cadillac's future.

Previously, Cadillac General Manager Jim Taylor had said he did not need a new entry-level car.

But Lutz favored it, arguing that it would help Cadillac in overseas markets.

The Saab-based Cadillac BLS — on the market in Europe — is not selling well.

More recently, Taylor has said he would welcome a baby Cadillac if it carries a premium price and if the brand gets a new flagship, too.

Alpha “is really critical to Cadillac becoming more global,” says one source familiar with GM's product plans.

“You'll see Cadillac really start to take shape.”

Cadillac may not be the only brand to get a product based on the Alpha architecture. Pontiac or GM's Australian Holden subsidiary might get a cheaper variant.

“I don't think anyone would want to see a degradation of the Cadillac brand because it's sharing with another brand,” says the source.

If there is an offshoot product of Alpha, it'd be a re-engineered platform.”

The UAW's contract summary also revealed GM's plans to produce a U.S. version of the next-generation Opel Zafira in 2009. It probably will be badged as a Chevrolet.

The seven-seat people mover is code-named global Delta MPV7, and it will be assembled in GM's Detroit- Hamtramck plant. Hamtramck produces the Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS.
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The MPV is for export. Unless they can price it against the Rondo I don't think it will fly in the US market.

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i think thats exactly what pontiac needs is a cadillac under its belt... that'll give it the excitement and the actual design that a pontiac should start with...

should set a theme for the whole pontiac brand...

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I hope the re-engineering of Alpha for Pontiac means that it won't be using expensive materials, but rather less expensive materials but still have the same design. What I don't want is a great-handling Cadillac and then a Pontiac that doesn't handle well at all because it's been re-engineered and dumbed-down. However, simply making it a cheaper version of the Cadillac Alpha would be fine.

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I hope the re-engineering of Alpha for Pontiac means that it won't be using expensive materials, but rather less expensive materials but still have the same design. What I don't want is a great-handling Cadillac and then a Pontiac that doesn't handle well at all because it's been re-engineered and dumbed-down. However, simply making it a cheaper version of the Cadillac Alpha would be fine.

agreed, i dont really want to see a cheap caddy, nor do i want to see an overpriced pontiac. although pontiac is going after BMW just as much as Cadillac so they should both be getting this alpha i guess... :scratchchin:

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I know I may not be right, but I have to say this, "It couldn't come soon enough though."

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No change of that Eman. The Cadillac Alpha is the car that should target the BMW 3, and not the Pontiac, although if the Pontiac had all the performance and a fraction of the price that would be way okay with me!

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as long as it doesn't drop below the $29k base price, i'm more ok with it. i still think it's a bad idea.

pontiac needs the alpha platform desperately.

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Im all for it. CTS needs to move up in price, which it can't do without a car under it. Pontiac could use a stripped down version, less aluminum, less sound deadening material, less high tech options etc.

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Awesome and not unexpected. I have a question though...what will the DTS/STS replacement ride on? A version of Zeta? For that matter what will the next CTS ride on if the new CTS is the last model to be built on Sigma?

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No change of that Eman. The Cadillac Alpha is the car that should target the BMW 3, and not the Pontiac, although if the Pontiac had all the performance and a fraction of the price that would be way okay with me!

as long as it doesn't drop below the $29k base price, i'm more ok with it. i still think it's a bad idea.

pontiac needs the alpha platform desperately.

i think the alpha will be pontiac's direct threat to the 3-series IS350 and audi A4

and I think the Cadillac Alpha should be more concerned with the IS250 and C-class & audi S4

obviously there is going to be some over lap, but the Pontiac should be the loud abnoxious in your face... vrm vrm wanna race...

where as the cadillac is the tortous, slow and easy wins the race, but you finnish first because style counts too

maybe smaller but i think the pontiac should offer a much more performance oriented vehicle and cadillac more refined smoother and quieter

i think they could both have the same price tag, and be on completely different buyers shoping lists

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i think the alpha will be pontiac's direct threat to the 3-series IS350 and audi A4

and I think the Cadillac Alpha should be more concerned with the IS250 and C-class & audi S4

obviously there is going to be some over lap, but the Pontiac should be the loud abnoxious in your face... vrm vrm wanna race...

where as the cadillac is the tortous, slow and easy wins the race, but you finnish first because style counts too

maybe smaller but i think the pontiac should offer a much more performance oriented vehicle and cadillac more refined smoother and quieter

i think they could both have the same price tag, and be on completely different buyers shoping lists

The Pontiac will need to be significantly cheaper than the Cadillac for a few reasons. The G8 GT is around where the Cadillac Alpha will start, Pontiac can't price their Alpha the same as the G8 GT. I think it should start around $23k-24k for the Pontiac, and $29.5k for the Cadillac.

The only part I can't figure out is the engines.

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I'm guessing 3.6, 3.6 DI or maybe the turbocharged ecotec?

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I'm guessing 3.6, 3.6 DI or maybe the turbocharged ecotec?

well lets put it this way...

its rwd... more fits when you dont need to fit a transmission under the hood :scratchchin:

this vehicle is supposed to be a little bigger then kappa i'm guessing...

the ls2 fits in kappa :rolleyes:

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I'm guessing 3.6, 3.6 DI or maybe the turbocharged ecotec?

But how will that affect the CTS, with the smaller cheaper Alpha having the same engine choices? A 3.6L turbo would be perfect for the V series Alpha.
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But how will that affect the CTS, with the smaller cheaper Alpha having the same engine choices? A 3.6L turbo would be perfect for the V series Alpha.

hrmm let the brain storming begin...

so this is going to be a coupe/sedan platform? will both Cadillac and Pontiac get both Coupe and the Sedan?

(i'm thinking cadillac gets sedan, maybe pontiac gets both)

this is a major conflict of intrest... cause with the alpha, pontiac cant offer too much of a value, otherwise it'll undermine cadillac... and the pontiac cant be too expensive... the 5 series fighter G8 starts at 28

so how much are people willing to pay for a premium compact car?

can we assume, the pontiac Alpha, seems odd being more expensive the the larger epsilon malibu or even the G6?

although the cobalt SS and G5 can get as high as 14-24$

would it be safe to assume a premium sports compact car should be more like 19-25?

but the 09 camaro is supposed to start at 19,9 for a v6... so how does that make sense? to have the alpha platform costing the same as a zeta platform without the v8 option?

ohh boy this is going to get confusing...

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Awesome and not unexpected. I have a question though...what will the DTS/STS replacement ride on? A version of Zeta? For that matter what will the next CTS ride on if the new CTS is the last model to be built on Sigma?

Yes, DTS/STS is on Zeta.

The Pontiac will need to be significantly cheaper than the Cadillac for a few reasons. The G8 GT is around where the Cadillac Alpha will start, Pontiac can't price their Alpha the same as the G8 GT. I think it should start around $23k-24k for the Pontiac, and $29.5k for the Cadillac.

The only part I can't figure out is the engines.

I would expect the Pontiac to start a little cheaper than $23k. Probably about $21k for a basic 4cyl. The old 325i started at about $27k if I remember correctly. I guess it depends what's standard and what's optional.

I'm guessing 3.6, 3.6 DI or maybe the turbocharged ecotec?

I think the Pontiac Alpha will have a 4cyl standard. Probably the 2.4 DI (should have DI by then). That ought to get 200HP or so, which is plenty in a lightweight vehicle for low $20k. At the top of the range I'd say a 2.4 DI turbo with 315HP is a likely guess (similar HP/L to the 2.0). Not sure if anything is needed between the two... though it'd be nice to have something with around 250HP. Perhaps the 2.0 DI turbo could slot between the two.

But how will that affect the CTS, with the smaller cheaper Alpha having the same engine choices? A 3.6L turbo would be perfect for the V series Alpha.

I'd say the Alpha Cadillac would have 2.8 DI with 240HP (328i has 230HP), 3.6 DI with 305HP (335i has 300), and then something like a 3.6DI twin turbo with over 400HP would do well against the M3. Either that, or perhaps a HO version of the Ultra V8 (if it would fit).

hrmm let the brain storming begin...

so this is going to be a coupe/sedan platform? will both Cadillac and Pontiac get both Coupe and the Sedan?

(i'm thinking cadillac gets sedan, maybe pontiac gets both)

this is a major conflict of intrest... cause with the alpha, pontiac cant offer too much of a value, otherwise it'll undermine cadillac... and the pontiac cant be too expensive... the 5 series fighter G8 starts at 28

so how much are people willing to pay for a premium compact car?

can we assume, the pontiac Alpha, seems odd being more expensive the the larger epsilon malibu or even the G6?

although the cobalt SS and G5 can get as high as 14-24$

would it be safe to assume a premium sports compact car should be more like 19-25?

but the 09 camaro is supposed to start at 19,9 for a v6... so how does that make sense? to have the alpha platform costing the same as a zeta platform without the v8 option?

ohh boy this is going to get confusing...

The Cadillac and Pontiac shouldn't compete... the Pontiac is for people on a budget, the Cadillac is not. Eventually, the CTS will be a 5er competitor in price and the Alpha will be the 3er competitor. There's no reason why the Pontiac should cost much over $30k, and the 3er starts at $32k (where the Alpha Cadillac should eventually end up starting). They already stated the Alpha Pontiac is going to be quite a bit different than the Alpha Cadillac (I would assume in a Sigma vs. Zeta way, i.e. expensive materials vs less expensive materials for the suspensions), so I would expect that there can be a good bit of difference in price.

The only two models that should have conflicting price points is the base Cadillac and the loaded Pontiac. This is quite normal, as a loaded 335i overlaps with a basic 528i.

I would be very surprised if the Camaro starts under $20k.

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Don't assume that it is "compact". The contemporary compact sedan is moving up into the lower-midsize segment and has already surpassed older model C/D-segment sedans such as the Contour, Sierra and previous-gen Vectras. The new Chevrolet Vectra/Opel Astra sedan is well within the midsize segment, bigger in most measures than the current Vectra; the Alfa 159 and new Audi A4 are also now well within the midsize segment, around 4.7 m long, similar to the Skyline, 9-3 and Accord Euro. The concept considered archetypal of Alpha is also lower-midsize, similar to the 1st gen G35.

D/E-segent sedans	 Year  Wheelbase   Length	
Opel Vectra		   2005  2700 106.3  4611 181.5
Chevrolet Vectra	  2005  2703 106.4  4618 181.8
Toyota Camry (JDM)	1994  2650 104.3  4625 182.1
Saab 93					 2675 105.3  4635 182.5
Subaru Legacy		 2003  2670 105.1  4635 182.5
Holden Torana TT36		  2845 112.0  4653 183.2
Alfa Romeo 159		2005  2700 106.3  4660 183.5
Honda Accord (TSX)	2002  2670 105.1  4665 183.7
Mazda6					  2675 105.3  4670 183.9
Nissan Skyline (G35)  2001  2850 112.2  4675 184.1
Cadillac BLS		  2005  2675 105.3  4679 184.2
Ford Falcon		   1966  2819 111.0  4681 184.3
Opel Omega			1990  2730 107.5  4686 184.5
Audi A4			   2007  2808 110.6  4703 185.2
Alfa Romeo 166			  2700 106.3  4720 185.8
Ford Mondeo		   2001  2754 108.4  4731 186.3
Pontiac Tempest			 2946 116.0  4731 186.3
Pontiac Grand Am			2718 107.0  4732 186.3
Kia Optima			2006  2720 107.1  4735 186.4
Nissan Skyline (G35)  2006  2850 112.2  4755 187.2
Nissan Maxima (I30)   1994  2700 106.3  4760 187.4
Volkswagen Passat	 2005  2709 106.7  4765 187.6
Ford Mondeo Fließheck 2007  2850 112.2  4778 188.1
Toyota Scepter (Camry)1992  2620 103.1  4780 188.2
Mitsubishi Diamante   1995  2720 107.1  4785 188.4
Opel Omega			1994  2730 107.5  4788 188.5
Hyundai Sonata		2005  2729 107.4  4799 188.9
Edited by thegriffon
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I just fail to see how a okay lower midsize-sedan and coupe... are going to fit into the market

obviously in the next year or two the CTS will probably add more standard features to push its base price up to make room for this Cadillac Alpha...

sure, that'll work out fine and dandy...

we can assume this Caddy alpha might have a begining price some where 26,9-32,9... I really cant see a cady much less then 28 though

Done with that subject

on to the next one...

so we've got a rwd midsize sedan and coupe...

GM's current and expected midsize vehicles

Sedan malibu is 19,9-27

Sedan Cobalt is 14-22

Sedan Pontiac G6 18,4-29

Sedan Saturn Aura 20,3-30

Sedan Saturn Astra 16-?

Sedan Saab 9-3 27-44

Sedan Buick LaCrosse 23-31 (current one, Epsilon II will probably be more)

Coupe Cobalt 14-24

Coupe Camaro <RWD> 19,9-31+

Coupe Pontiac G6 22-29+convertable pricing

Coupe Pontiac G5 15-24

Coupe Saturn Astra 16-?

okay, thats all i can think of that will be same size, or possibly share engines with this vehicle.

Now Alpha, probably a little smaller then the Zeta SWB Camaro, which is also rwd... Bob said will be offered with a v6 and a starting price of 19,9

The G5 will obviously be dropped, and this new Alpha, will be more expensive due to its more or less performance driven platform and its rwd design.

will a rwd Alpha interupt with a G6 coupe sales? will they both be offered at the same time, and if so, which one will be more expensive and more desireable?

now will the pontiac have a 4cyl model in this rwd platform... probably, but how much more will this vehicle fetch then its current delta model? the pontiac g5 already starts at 15, maybe it'll start at 17,9... maybe more... but just a couple thousand away is that camaro & its v6... would someone still buy a bottom model 4cyl for just a little more, they could get the sexy camaro with a v6?

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Yes, DTS/STS is on Zeta.

I would expect the Pontiac to start a little cheaper than $23k. Probably about $21k for a basic 4cyl. The old 325i started at about $27k if I remember correctly. I guess it depends what's standard and what's optional.

I think the Pontiac Alpha will have a 4cyl standard. Probably the 2.4 DI (should have DI by then). That ought to get 200HP or so, which is plenty in a lightweight vehicle for low $20k. At the top of the range I'd say a 2.4 DI turbo with 315HP is a likely guess (similar HP/L to the 2.0). Not sure if anything is needed between the two... though it'd be nice to have something with around 250HP. Perhaps the 2.0 DI turbo could slot between the two.

I'd say the Alpha Cadillac would have 2.8 DI with 240HP (328i has 230HP), 3.6 DI with 305HP (335i has 300), and then something like a 3.6DI twin turbo with over 400HP would do well against the M3. Either that, or perhaps a HO version of the Ultra V8 (if it would fit).

The Cadillac and Pontiac shouldn't compete... the Pontiac is for people on a budget, the Cadillac is not. Eventually, the CTS will be a 5er competitor in price and the Alpha will be the 3er competitor. There's no reason why the Pontiac should cost much over $30k, and the 3er starts at $32k (where the Alpha Cadillac should eventually end up starting). They already stated the Alpha Pontiac is going to be quite a bit different than the Alpha Cadillac (I would assume in a Sigma vs. Zeta way, i.e. expensive materials vs less expensive materials for the suspensions), so I would expect that there can be a good bit of difference in price.

The only two models that should have conflicting price points is the base Cadillac and the loaded Pontiac. This is quite normal, as a loaded 335i overlaps with a basic 528i.

I would be very surprised if the Camaro starts under $20k.

A lot of that makes sense. I was trying to think of a DOHC engine GM makes with around 200hp, but couldn't think of any(besides the 2.8L, which I don't know what it's used in now since the base engine on the CTS is the 3.6L, Saab maybe? And what's the point of the 2.8L turbo when the 2.0L turbo makes as much power with better economy). If the 2.4L makes 200hp, that would be a good base engine for the Pontiac, since it will probably weigh around 3400lbs, I don't think 170hp would be enough. GM still has to price the Pontiac where they can make some money on it, since it is relatively low volume. The Malibu starts around $20,000, so I would think the Pontiac Alpha would need to start a few thousand higher.
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If the Atlas engine family is too tall for the kappa cars, will it also be too tall for Alpha?

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If the Atlas engine family is too tall for the kappa cars, will it also be too tall for Alpha?

no offense but the atlas engines are horrible...

the only one thats decent is the 4 cyl...

but the 5 and 6 cyl are gas hogs that have oil consumption problems...

they might put out decent numbers on paper, but that engine style is according to Consumer Reports one of the worst actual to expected fuel ecconomy engines.

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“I don't think anyone would want to see a degradation of the Cadillac brand because it's sharing with another brand,” says the source.

“If there is an offshoot product of Alpha, it'd be a re-engineered platform.”

This quote bothers me...

Why would GM go through all of this to differentiate the products when it is in the process of killing off the Cadillac unique Sigma in favor of Zeta?

Not to mention, it's not like Cadillac has 100% individual platforms anyway. One of their best sellers shares its roots with Chevy, GMC and Hummer and it's current 'halo' shares it's roots with Chevrolet. Plus, from what we know the new BRX will share TE with the rest of GM as well.

I just don't see the point of wasting a lot of money to differentiate Cadillac Alpha from Pontiac Alpha when by then nothing else will be differentiated that much anyway.

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