Drive Type: REAR
Brentwood, California, United States
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General Motors has gotten approval to build a $1.3 billion manufacturing facility for its Cadillac brand in China. China's National Development and Reform Commission signed off on plans for GM to build the plant in the country's Shanghai's Jinqiao zone; construction is expected to begin in June of this year. According to a Bloomberg report, the plant will have an annual production capacity of 150,000 units.
No surprise here, but Cadillac would like to sell a lot more cars in the plush Chinese luxury market. The brand moved only 30,010 cars in China last year, compared with 400k for Audi, and about 330k for BMW. With Cadillac already telling us that it would be moving production of its XTS sedan to China - a production decision that saves having to pay 25-percent import tariffs - approval of the factory is a critical win for the company.
In fact, according to earlier comments by GM China president Bob Socia, it's at least conceivable that Chinese-built Cadillacs could be shipped back to the US for sale. The brave new world of globalization, getting stranger by the minute.
Want to roll in the latest Cadillac Escalade? You can get it with a 6.2-liter V8... or a 6.2-liter V8. Cadillac only offers the one engine option. But that may soon change.
According to the latest from Automotive News, Cadillac is contemplating a couple of new powertrain options for its blingin' big ute. The report suggests a twin-turbo V6 and a V6 turbodiesel could be offered, and that Cadillac could create a Vsport version of the Escalade like it offers on the new CTS sedan.
The more diverse engine offerings would help attract buyers from the new Lincoln Navigator, its prime competitor, which switched from a 5.4-liter V8 this year to a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6. The turbo V6 engines (both gasoline and diesel) would also help Cadillac market the Escalade overseas - particularly in Europe, where higher fuel prices preclude the prospect of driving a big V8 SUV for many buyers. Escalade sales have dropped from 35-40k units in the mid-2000s to around 12,000 the past couple of years.
While we still have no insight as to it being named Elmiraj, STS or some other permutation of the -TS nomenclature ("LTS" has apparently been registered by GM, as well), new spy shots give us proof positive that Cadillac is indeed hard at work on a rear-wheel-drive flagship model. Spied for the very first time in some north country testing, these shots provide a first look at the upcoming range-topper from Cadillac.
Impressively long and large bodywork ride atop new General Motors' corporate Omega rear-drive architecture here. Heavy cladding over camouflage may discourage finding any details, but the overall, sharp-edged and blocky design is clearly reminiscent of what we've seen on the new CTS and the recently debuted ATS coupe. A strong, wheels-at-each-corner stance helps emphasize the length of this stretched Caddy, and everything about the proportions seem spot-on for a new fullsize flagship for the brand.
It's quite possible that Cadillac will ultimately festoon this large sedan with detailing reminiscent of the original Elmiraj coupe, though thus far we've only seen prototypes wearing four-doors.