Cadillac Small Car Rumors Solidify
What GM needs to do to get this one right
The most recent small Cadillac was the Catera, and the car was essentially a rebadged Opel Omega. The problem was, instead of improving on the Omega’s recipe, GM simply added extra weight and softer springs. The result was a low-quality car that accelerated poorly, handled even worse and looked like it shared sheet metal with the economical Saturn SL1. To say buyers greeted the car with apathy would be an insult to apathetic people everywhere. The Catera hit showrooms in 1997 and was swiftly shown the door 2001.
But that wasn’t the first time GM attempted to turn lead into gold. That honor goes to the Cadillac Cimarron. For readers unfortunate enough to remember the GM J-Body cars, the Cimarron needs no introduction. The car got its bones from the likes of the Chevrolet Cavalier in 1981, and under the hood, buyers initially had the option of a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine with about as much power as an asthmatic fly. Eventually GM offered a slightly more robust 2.8-liter V6. Though it wasn’t enough to persuade buyers to pay nearly double for what was nothing more than economy car with a Cadillac badge.
So what can GM learn from those models? Simple: Buyers aren’t stupid. Just because the marketing team calls it a Cadillac doesn’t mean the car is worthy of carrying the crest, and consumers know it. If the company wants the upcoming ATS to be a success, it needs to be its own car from the ground up, not some rebadged parts-bin effort. It needs to have plenty of power, handle as well as equivalent models from BMW and Mercedes-Benz and carry a price tag worth paying. It’s a recipe that cars like the CTS-V have followed to the letter, and much to their benefit. Whether the ATS can follow suit remains to be seen.
EXPLORE NEW CARS
MORE ON MSN AUTOS
ABOUT EXHAUST NOTES
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at firstname.lastname@example.org.