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Auto blogMon, 01 Jul 2013 09:13:00 EST
So much for that party. Cadillac has announced that it is walking away from plans to build a high-dollar, rear-wheel-drive ultraluxury sedan. The low-volume model would have been based on the lusty Ciel Concept, and the production iteration would have carried a price tag well over $100,000. Executives with the automaker reportedly claim the model wouldn't have bolstered the brand enough to be worth the investment.
Even so, Automotive News reports Cadillac is still on track to build a range-topping four-door to go head-to-head with the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. That model will likely be constructed on the company's upcoming Omega rear-wheel-drive platform, but we won't see it bow until at least 2016. Right now, the front-wheel-drive XTS sits at the top of the Cadillac lineup, and while that machine and it's twin-turbocharged V6 variant makes a compelling argument against certain luxury entries, it falls short serving as a legitimate competitor for the likes of the 7 Series and S-Class for enthusiast drivers.
With recent news that the Secret Service has begun soliciting proposals for a new armored limousine, we've been wondering what the next presidential limo might look like. The current machine, nicknamed "The Beast", has a design based on a car that's no longer sold: the Cadillac DTS. If General Motors gets the job again, which wouldn't be a surprise considering the government still owns a chunk of the company, the next limo's shape would likely resemble the new XTS (below, left). But Cadillac hasn't always been the go-to car company for presidential whips.
Lincoln has actually provided far more presidential limousines throughout history than Cadillac. In fact, the first car modified for Commander-in-Chief-carrying duty was a 1939 Lincoln K-Series called "Sunshine Special" used by Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the last Lincoln used by a president was a 1989 Town Car ordered for George H.W. Bush. If President Obama wanted a Lincoln today, it would likely be an amalgam of the MKS sedan and MKT crossover, as illustrated above.
And what about Chrysler? The only record we could find of a President favoring the Pentastar is Nixon, who reportedly ordered two limos from the company during his administration in the '70s, and then another one, known today as the "K-Car limo," in the '80s after he left office. Obama, however, has a personal - if modest - connection to Chryslers, having owned a 300 himself before he took office. A 300-based Beast (above, right) would certainly earn the U.S. some style points.
Automakers always face a difficult decision when it comes to styling their cars. Design them too blandly and nobody will get excited about them. But style them too aggressively and they'll often end up turning off potential buyers.
Cadillac, for its part, is no stranger to aggressive design, but when it came to the new ATS Coupe, it elected to tone things down a bit. Speaking with The Detroit News in a wide-ranging interview, Cadillac design director Bob Boniface revealed that the original design for its compact coupe was edgier - closer to that of the CTS Coupe - with a wedgier profile, a more steeply raked beltline and a more severe grille. But potential customers surveyed in clinics apparently didn't like it. They found it looked heavy, inefficient and not fun to drive. So Boniface and his team literally went back to the drawing board and "took as much visual mass out of the car as [they] could." The resulting coupe, while handsome, looks far more similar to its four-door companion than did Cadillac's CTS.
What do you think, does the new ATS Coupe look just right, or is it too conservative? Voice your opinion in our quick online poll.