Quote Originally Posted by White Cat View Post
I've got an '86 with the digital dash and 2.8 v6. You're right, it's not *that* bad of a little car just not a "Cadillac". But was it really meant to be ?

As I recall from the marketing of that time, they weren't trying to compete for traditional "Cadillac" buyers but for "Upscale Import" buyers; the people who would otherwise buy Audi 4000s, BMW 3-series, Volvo 740s, etc.

And there was a certain logic to it. After all, VW AG had taken the VW Passat/Dasher, plushed up the interior and power options and called it an "Audi 4000" and created one of the best-selling imports of all time. Why couldn't GM do the same by taking a Cavalier and turning it into a Cadillac ?

ANSWER: Ergonomics and Handling. In addition to my '86 Cimarron, I've also owned a number of Audi 4000s, 5000s and VWs of the same era, any of which are 3X the car this cimarron is. When it comes to Ergonomics and Handling, this car isn't even my '85 VW Jetta, let alone an Audi.

QUESTION: How could GM f*** it up so bad ? Obviously GM knew how to build euro-spec cars, because in the same era the Cimarron was sold in Europe as the Opel Ascona - albeit with a euro-tuned suspension - and actually beat Audi and BMW in sales for two years running.

I'm thinking the answer to this has more to do with GM management and marketing than with engineering.

Did GM marketing deliberately "soften-up" and/or "down-tune" the suspension of the Cimarron to appeal to big car buyers? I'd love to have access to an Opel Ascona of the same vintage to make a side-by-side comparison.

Hopefully they got it "right" on the Catera.
I`ve resurrected this thread with some info of my own.

I`ve asked the same question as you:How could GM f*** up so bad? GM has had some duds in the past including the 4.1 liter engine.On the plus side,they usually redeem themselves.
I remember when the Cimarron had it`s run in the 1980`s.At the time i could`nt afford to buy one so i bought a brand new 1981 Pontiac Phoenix LJ Coupe,complete with ultra-plush seats,wire wheel covers,textured roof,big white walls and a hood ornament----it was loaded.It was the closest ride to a Caddy i could afford and i loved that ride.
I would imagine GM did soften-up the Cimarron suspension to try and duplicate the big car "floaty" ride.The car was too small for a real "floaty" ride.
I have not seen a Cimarron on the roads at all for at least 7 years now.