: Caddy V-8 is endangered species; head of Cadillac says smart customers buy the V6

01-07-08, 08:10 AM
Jamie LaReau (jlareau@crain.com)
and Richard Truett (rtruett@crain.com)
Automotive News
January 7, 2008 - 12:01 am ET

DETROIT The big, powerful V-8 engines that have been a mainstay of Cadillac's big sedans since the late 1930s are fading away, victims of the move to fuel efficiency.

Cadillac's trademark V-8 engine will give way to smaller high-tech V-6s and possibly some diesel engines in Cadillac's cars.

In an interview with Automotive News, Cadillac General Manager Jim Taylor said last week that Cadillac is considering a 2.9-liter turbocharged V-6 diesel for its mainstream U.S. sedans.

Taylor's revelation came in the wake of General Motors' announcement last week that it has dropped plans to replace the Northstar V-8, which goes out of production in 2010. The Northstar has powered Cadillacs since 1993.

"On Dec. 19, the world changed," Taylor said. That's when President Bush signed a law mandating a 40 percent fuel-economy improvement by 2020.
In the future, Cadillac's mainstream sedans probably won't offer V-8 engines, Taylor said. Instead, the CTS and the successor to the STS and DTS will be powered by the 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6 that went on sale in 2007.
In 2009, the new 2.9-liter diesel goes into production for Cadillac's CTS to be sold in Europe. Cadillac also could use that engine in U.S. models, Taylor said.

After 2010, Cadillac could use a pushrod V-8 in its Escalade SUV and also in niche vehicles like the CTS-V and XLR roadster.

Marketers once considered a V-8 engine an essential selling tool for the luxury market. But in a world of $100-per-barrel oil, those days may be gone. Lincoln, for example, does not offer a V-8 in its MKS sedan.

And the percentage of Cadillac buyers who want a V-8 is declining. Only 10 to 15 percent of Cadillac buyers insist on a V-8, while the others choose the V-6 powertrain.

"You have such a narrow gap now in terms of performance ... that smart consumers are saying, 'I don't need it,' " Taylor says.

While Cadillac could accommodate a diesel in its U.S. fleet, Taylor says it probably would remain a niche product. "As long as BMW and Mercedes are going to have (diesel engines) and market them, those guys will lead the charge," Taylor notes.

In the future, hybrid powertrains may replace V-8 engines as a mark of prestige, Taylor says. This summer, Cadillac dealers get the Escalade hybrid. GM has not announced pricing, but a fully loaded Escalade now sells at about $67,000.

Asked whether customers would pay $70,000 for a hybrid Escalade, Taylor says yes. Someday, hybrid powertrains might become the new V-8, he says.

Full article (sub reqd): http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080107/ANA03/801070342/1182

01-07-08, 12:55 PM
Here is a related story from Automotive News from last week:

GM cancels V-8 program for luxury cars

Richard Truett
and Jamie LaReau
Automotive News
January 3, 2008 - 12:50 pm ET

DETROIT -- General Motors has canceled plans to build a new advanced double overhead-cam V-8 for its luxury cars.
The move means the future for Cadillac’s V-8 car engines is unclear.
In January 2007, GM said it would invest $300 million in its Tonawanda, N.Y., engine plant for the new V-8 engine, which was scheduled to start production in 2009 and be used in luxury cars.
GM Powertrain spokesman Tom Read said Thursday that the project is dead. That engine likely would have replaced Cadillac’s long-running Northstar V-8, which is scheduled to end production in 2010.
Cadillac could switch to high-powered V-6s in its cars, except for the Corvette-based XLR.
The new direct-injected V-6 in the 2008 CTS develops 304 hp, while the current Northstar V-8 makes 275 hp in the 2008 DTS.
Cadillac spokesman Kevin Smith said, “We’ve really seen the V-6 become the predominant engine in sales on the (2008) STS because it’s so close in power to the V-8.”
He added that the V-6 is about 150 to 200 pounds lighter.
The cancellation of the new V-8 comes just days after President Bush signed into law new fuel economy standards that call for a 40 percent fuel economy improvement by 2020. The new standards start phasing in in 2011.
The Tonawanda plant still gets at least one new engine, an all-new 4.5-liter diesel V-8 engine that starts production in 2010. That engine, GM said earlier, will be used in light pickups and SUVs.

SOURCE: www.autonews.com

c5 rv
01-07-08, 01:00 PM
I'll be buying my next car in late 2009 or early 2010. I should probably seriously consider a V8 STS or DTS since it may be my last chance.

01-07-08, 05:10 PM
Technicly the Small Block Chevy is of Cadillac Design...

Ed Cole worked for caddy before going to chevrolet and heading up the work on the SBC , he brought with him the work Cadillac Had done on a OHV V8 they worked on , but the engine failed from a quality standpoint ....

Lord Cadillac
01-07-08, 05:48 PM
We're going to have to watch and see what the other companies do over the next several years. Lincoln may have made the right move by going with a v6 for the MKS. However, if the other makes like Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Infiniti, etcetera - still use powerful v8s, it's not going to be good for Cadillac.

It really all depends on whether or not these other companies pay the fine or not. They might. Or maybe they'll just give their consumers the option of paying the fine if they want the v8 that bad. We're just going to have to wait and see.

Crown Vic Owner
01-07-08, 05:55 PM
Meh, i dont think it will happen. That is what im going to keep telling myself.