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Cadillac’s CLK Killer?

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By JENS MEINERS

AutoWeek | Published 05/09/06, 8:20 am

Cadillac plans to re-enter the coupe segment with a powerfully styled CTS-based two-door, possibly by 2008 as a 2009 model.

Cadillac had hoped to keep a lid on the project, which was pushed back because of General Motors’ financial situation. The program has not been officially approved, but work is well under way—and “Bob Lutz really wants it,” sources familiar with the project tell AutoWeek. “The biggest problem for this car is GM has other, more urgent business to take care of right now.”

Insiders describe the coupe as a “bold and elegant” design statement. “This car is a new and powerful interpretation of the two-door coupe theme,” one source says.

The coupe wears now-familiar Cadillac design cues—a big, V-shaped grille, a high, wedge-shaped beltline and vertical taillights on a short trunk.

Cadillac’s coupe will be based on the upcoming, second-generation CTS sedan, which was partially unveiled April 2 by GM vice chairman Lutz on the CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes. On the

program Lutz pulled back a car cover revealing a dramatic Cadillac grille and headlight cluster, along with a taillight, but stopped short of showing the rest of the car. Now that our spies have snapped these photographs of the actual next-generation CTS in testing, it is obvious the car Lutz showed on 60 Minutes was the 2008 CTS.

The Cadillac coupe will share its platform, front end and fender styling with the CTS, along with some other sheetmetal, to help Cadillac keep down the cost of the coupe. The coupe could come to market following the 2007 launch of the next-generation CTS sedan.

The same V6 engines offered in the CTS will power the coupe, but a V-Series coupe with a 400-hp-plus Northstar V8 under the hood is likely as well. Cadillac also is mulling over a convertible version. “It would add cost, but convertibles are where the volume is generated in this segment,” says a source.

The shrinking coupe market could be a worry for Cadillac. Main contenders include the Mercedes-Benz CLK, BMW 3 Series coupe, Infiniti G35 coupe and the upcoming Audi A5, a 2008 model year coupe based on the next-gen A4. Cadillac’s problem: Its new coupe will be significantly larger than the CLK, 3 Series and G35, raising questions of pricing and market positioning against larger and more luxurious coupes like the A5 and BMW 6 Series.

An insider estimates volumes of 25,000 to 30,000 cars annually. “They don’t know whether that is enough,” the source says. “It is a difficult market, with high initial volumes that tend to drop sharply after 18 months or so.”

While the CTS-based coupe could be developed quickly, there is speculation of a larger coupe with a V12 engine that carries design cues of the Cadillac Sixteen concept car and could be sold in the $75,000 range.

“The new vehicle is definitely a Cadillac,” an insider says. “There is a lot of enthusiasm for it within the company.” GM can probably expect that enthusiasm to extend to fans of the marque who appreciate its history.

Cadillac has a rich heritage of high-class coupes, including the 400-hp, 500-cid Eldorado of the early 1970s, and the Pininfarina-styled and built Allante convertible of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Cadillac’s last coupe was the Seville-based Eldorado Touring Coupe that ceased production in 2003.

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Cool, this is great news. :)

I'm disapointed to hear the motor will be the No* though....

I really loved the idea of the STS-V being No* but the CTS

sticking with a good old fashioned, durable, torquey, basic

pushrod motor.

If it aint broke, don't fix it.

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They needed this yesterday. But if t comes right around when the next CTS debuts, or maybe a year after it, ooh boy will that do something for sales.

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Cool, this is great news. :)

I'm disapointed to hear the motor will be the No* though....

I really loved the idea of the STS-V being No* but the CTS

sticking with a good old fashioned, durable, torquey, basic

pushrod motor.

If it aint broke, don't fix it.

Given the age of the N*, I'd say you could still call it "old fashioned".

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one could argue the A5 and CTS coupe, ARE IN the same class.

The 6-series, is above the 5 series, which doesn't place it in the same category as

the 3-series coupe, Lexus IS coupe, and current A4 sedan are (all similar wheelbase)

the G35coupe and CTScoupe would be the largest in that class, which if priced correctly could be their advantage.

Edited by jbartley

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The current G35 Coupe, Saab 93-Cabrio, and CLK are all within a couple of mm if each other in length (183"). The new 3-Series Coupe and C70 and A4 Cabrios are at 180", The Maserati Coupe at 178", the Alfa GT at 177", the 911 and RX8 at around 175". While closer in size to the larger 6- and XK-Series (189-190"), I would expect the CTS Coupe would be closer to the CLK-Class in style and price, with a similar emphasis on V8 engines. The lower sales (still miuch higher than the 6- and XK-) are more than made up by the increased revenue per unit.

Edited by thegriffon

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one could argue the A5 and CTS coupe, ARE IN the same class.

The 6-series, is above the 5 series, which doesn't place it in the same category as

the 3-series coupe, Lexus IS coupe, and current A4 sedan are (all similar wheelbase)

the G35coupe and CTScoupe would be the largest in that class, which if priced correctly could be their advantage.

Agreed. I think that the author's just a little off with that one. The G35 Coupe, CTS Coupe, CLK, IS Coupe, and 3-Series Coupe will all be in the same class, all based off their brands' respective entry level lux/sport sedans. And As you said, the A5 name leads one to believe it's between the A4 and A6. An Audi 6-Series competitior would then naturally be called, A7. And as you said, because of their generous sedan size, the G35 Coupe and CTS Coupe will have a distince comfort advantage over the competition, assuming the price is right. Infiniti's priced it's current coupe correctly, and I'm not expecting much of an increase with the NG.

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The current G35 Coupe, Saab 93-Cabrio, and CLK are all within a couple of mm if each other in length (183"). The new 3-Series Coupe and C70 and A4 Cabrios are at 180", The Maserati Coupe at 178", the Alfa GT at 177", the 911 and RX8 at around 175". While closer in size to the larger 6- and XK-Series (189-190"), I would expect the CTS Coupe would be closer to the CLK-Class in style and price, with a similar emphasis on V8 engines. The lower sales (still miuch higher than the 6- and XK-) are more than made up by the increased revenue per unit.

Also, placing it above CTS prices adds some space bewteen this 'CTC' and a Camaro. That space might be occupided by the GTO if that isn't streching the coupe market too much.

Edited by ZL-1

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AH-HA had dropped us the tid bit that this program was out there.  Nice to see him proven right again.  He is missed.

um, where did he go?

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northstar in v-series coupe?....what about ls7? does this mean that cts-v is getting northstar too...please say no :( ...i hope not..i want to see ls7 engine in v series cts and coupe too...too bad it will never come in Europe...i mean V model..especially not where i live :(:(:( ...

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Given the age of the N*, I'd say you could still call it "old fashioned".

The Northstar name has been around for awhile, but I know you already know the RWD Northstar is not old by any means...

Here's a good breakdown for those who want more information on the new Northstar V8 -

http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2002/09/05/146931.html

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Who really knows if it's getting the Northstar, I doubt GM has even finalized it yet.

This is great news, and it's unfortunate it's not coming sooner, but at least it's coming. I don't see why they couldn't just call it "CTS Coupe," it's not like the general buying public even knows what CTS stands for.

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GM, please introduce it together with the new CTS sedan, and have all powertrain options available. Don't repeat what the G6 failed.

But don't rush though. We don't want a car with "tick-tacks".

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Is this the surprise that lutz hinted at back when the camaro concept broke cover? if so this would certainly make the camaro profitable.

It will probably be on sigma, not zeta, and I dont believe it will be built in the same plant, so it shouldn't affect the camaro at all.

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I would not get your hopes up. As I have said earlier - this is way out there. Hint: Other RWD choices from GM are planned to be out before.

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