: Behind the wheel of Cadillac's flagship



Lord Cadillac
07-27-10, 12:39 PM
Parked conspicuously at GM's Milford proving grounds during a visit there a few weeks ago, the Fleetwood looks dignified. Its sheet metal could easily be described as edgy though boasts nothing that could be called daring, but its anonymity is at best discreetly handsome and at worst not in the least offensive. Its long 120-inch wheelbase, punctuated by two creases down the body side, provides an understated sense of stature.

The Fleetwood we're about to drive is a prototype that is about 80 percent representative of the final U.S. specification. There are a few domestic-market styling details such as the grille, wheels and hood ornament that may change on the final product.

Feels a Little More Lexus Than BMW
Indeed, the 2011 Cadillac Fleetwood' ride dispatches irregularities in the pavement with a confidence that's dead smack between the softness of a Lexus and the tautly damped response we typically associate with BMWs. And while the steering is of the electrically assisted variety, it is not lifeless, since the rack-and-pinion retains the hydraulic actuation muscle that makes steering feel natural.

We did a few runs through a set of slalom cones and the Fleetwood' mission is confirmed, as it turns in with more alacrity than an LS 460 but is short of the out-and-out enthusiasm of a 7 Series. Then we clicked the Sport button to the right of the console shifter and didn't notice a lick of difference in its hunger for turns, or the ride quality. It's possible that this prototype's button was intentionally ineffectual, as engineers were still fettling the suspension calibrations.

Possibly only a G5 bizjet would provide a more coddling place to spend a cross-country jaunt. The Fleetwood has every doodad you can think of, but the real luxury is the space. This is a large car — especially in the cabin, where it counts. Backseat accommodations, too, are vast.

It's quiet inside. Very quiet. At 130 mph on the high-speed banking of the proving ground's oval, you hear the rush of the wind and little else. The big engine makes a muted, distinctly V8 growl when you give it full throttle; otherwise you don't hear it. Its get-up-and-go is entirely acceptable, too, if not blazingly quick.

American Luxury Liner
Here's what we know about the 2012 Cadillac Fleetwood. In terms of features, dimensions and general comportment, it's intended to take on the BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS 460 and Mercedes-Benz S550. Naturally, the Fleetwood will sport a more palatable price point. If this sounds familiar, it's because Toyota's Lexus division made the same bold move 21 years ago with its LS 400 sedan.

The Fleetwood will be offered in two trim levels, a five-passenger Touring version and a range-topping four-passenger version called Platium. Touring models boast an extensive complement of equipment including (deep breath) air suspension, active cruise control, a lane departure warning system, a back-up camera, leather, heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, power-reclining rear seats, a massaging driver seat and a 600-watt, 17-speaker sound system.

Platinum trim adds an elaborate rear-seat treatment comprising a console with a refrigerator, cooled and massaging rear seats, La-Z-Boy-style lower-leg supports, a front-mounted peekaboo camera and an 8-inch video screen.

At launch, the Fleetwood will use the company's 400+ horsepower v8 currently under development and six-speed automatic transmission. Sometime later, Cadillac will introduce a 6.2-liter, direct-injected variant of the V8 that boasts over 450 hp and 425 pound-feet of torque. A new eight-speed automatic transmission will make the 6.2-liter feel that much stronger.

The Sales Strategy
That the 2012 Cadillac Fleetwood is to trickle into dealerships before the end of 2011 is well known. What's less well known is official pricing, as Cadillac is still finalizing the commas and decimals.

So here's our guess. The 2012 Cadillac Fleetwood will start at a bit under $70,000 for the Touring version, while the kitchen sink, the Platinum, will push the sticker up to a max of roughly $77,000.

It's easy to be skeptical about a $77,000 full-size Cadillac. It's an ambitious flagship from a company not known for such lavish offerings by the last several generations.

But when it's there in the metal, and you drive it, the skepticism rings hollow. You begin to think that there really is a place for a car like this. You begin to think that maybe the American consumers are keyed into something that has more substance to it than mere national pride.

Original article from Inside Line (http://www.insideline.com/hyundai/equus/2011/2011-hyundai-equus-first-drive.html)

sven914
07-27-10, 04:47 PM
If this car is everything I've dreamed it would be, them I retract my statement from the other thread (though I still believe it true for most of their models).

Is this similar to the concept... Or is the car going to look more tangible and less like a teenager's fantasy car?

http://www.cadillacforums.com/photopost/data/509/2746New_Fleetwood_Concept_Lrg.jpg

Stingroo
07-27-10, 06:30 PM
That link takes me to an article about the Hyundai Equus....

Lord Cadillac
07-27-10, 07:42 PM
That link takes me to an article about the Hyundai Equus....
Exactly. Read it.

orconn
07-27-10, 08:27 PM
Now the new Fleetwood, if it sticks to the silhouette pictured above and has the performance described, is the Cadillac I have been looking for ever since the Seville went out of production. Let's hope it really does stick to the "long hood short rear deck" formula and that ut doesn't end up with a pug nose like some of the cars nCadillac has been displaying!

sven914
07-28-10, 12:21 AM
Haha, real funny... Was actually looking forward to a Cadillac I can believe in again, but I see that won't happen.

Lord Cadillac
07-28-10, 12:26 AM
Haha, real funny... Was actually looking forward to a Cadillac I can believe in again, but I see that won't happen.
Don't lose all hope. Cadillac just may build a Hyundai some day. I know they CAN... I wouldn't bet my life on it but I know they can...

Lord Cadillac
10-16-10, 06:08 PM
Now that these topics are in the busiest part of the community, I might as well throw off a few more loungers.

drewsdeville
10-16-10, 06:12 PM
Now that these topics are in the busiest part of the community, I might as well throw off a few more loungers.
nice

ben.gators
10-16-10, 06:41 PM
If this car is everything I've dreamed it would be, them I retract my statement from the other thread (though I still believe it true for most of their models).

Is this similar to the concept... Or is the car going to look more tangible and less like a teenager's fantasy car?

http://www.cadillacforums.com/photopost/data/509/2746New_Fleetwood_Concept_Lrg.jpg

Is this the new Cadillac Fleetwood? Technical specifications sounds very good, but I feel like the car looks like to a third generation Lincoln town car, but with this difference that front headlights and the curves behind them are very uglier!
http://www.a2z-limo.com/images/fleet/Lincoln_TownCar_01.jpg

Lord Cadillac
10-16-10, 07:10 PM
I really like the looks of the concept pictured above.. Just fix the door handles and maybe a few other minor tweaks and it's a nice flagship that really screams "Cadillac"...

Lord Cadillac
10-16-10, 07:24 PM
Anyone remember this?
http://www.cadillacforums.com/cadillac-sixteen.html

Stingroo
10-16-10, 07:30 PM
Fix the door handles? What's wrong with the door handles? lol I don't follow.

Sometimes I feel like modern car shoppers like to complain just for the sake of complaining.

V-Eight
10-16-10, 10:36 PM
^ Because you can tell its a chop, I assume

Lord Cadillac
10-16-10, 10:50 PM
Modern door handles aren't flush with the door anymore. The DTS is the only Cadillac that still has door handles that are flush with the door and you must pull up from underneath. Virtually all cars - especially luxury cars - come with door handles like the CTS, SRX, Escalade, and STS. Audi was a little late to this party as well - but they made it.

It's not about complaining just for the sake of complaining. People who expect a lot are very picky. People who don't notice the little things normally don't drive expensive luxury cars because they don't feel they're important. Obviously, you don't feel the little things are very important. I'm sure the Caprice Wagon is everything you require of an automobile. For me, not so much. I expect A LOT more than that. Then again, I should. I'm 150 years older than you. When I was 9, I wanted a Camaro.

Besides all that F'in crap - door handles aren't simply handles anymore - in case you hadn't noticed. There's functionality that goes along with them. Functionality that the DTS still doesn't have because it's a F'ing dinosaur.


Fix the door handles? What's wrong with the door handles? lol I don't follow.

Sometimes I feel like modern car shoppers like to complain just for the sake of complaining.

Jesda
10-16-10, 11:01 PM
The better door handle implementation I've seen is the XLR and C6 Corvette where its a touch panel that's hidden. Door handles don't seem essential to luxury to me. Its just a trend that goes from exposed/ornate back to flush/sleek and back again.

Stingroo
10-16-10, 11:02 PM
See, I don't follow that logic. It's a door handle. If that's make-or-break for someone buying a car, they've got issues. And Sal, you're not that old. :p

Lord Cadillac
10-16-10, 11:11 PM
The better door handle implementation I've seen is the XLR and C6 Corvette where its a touch panel that's hidden. Door handles don't seem essential to luxury to me. Its just a trend that goes from exposed/ornate back to flush/sleek and back again.

The XLR setup is cool.. I like it and find it fitting for the XLR or any other high-end vehicle. Fancy door handles are not essential. Neither is a heated steering wheel - but it's an added feature - and people who buy these types of cars like knowing they're getting something above and beyond.


See, I don't follow that logic. It's a door handle. If that's make-or-break for someone buying a car, they've got issues. And Sal, you're not that old. :p

The door handle is unlikely a make it or break it for anyone. However, as mentioned above, it's just another extra that adds to the list of extras one might expect when buying a high end automobile.

You don't buy a luxury car with sunshades and expect to have to pull them up and down manually anymore. It's not a deal-breaker if they ARE manual - but you'd prefer them to be automatic.

To me, a complete package will have door handles like the XLR or ones like just about every other half way decent car has today.

Don't forget - sometimes it's the little things that count. I'd be willing to bet we won't see any new Cadillacs with flush door handles. That's just not how it's done these days (besides the XLR - which is good). And that's why I had something to say about the door handles in the picture. It's the only thing that stood out as "1990s" to me.

77CDV
10-16-10, 11:12 PM
And Sal, you're not that old. :p

Let me put this into perspective for you, Ray: Sal and I are both old enough to be your father. :wisdom:

Stingroo
10-16-10, 11:14 PM
I'm aware, as my father is 43, but still. That's not old. :p

gary88
10-16-10, 11:19 PM
My door handles have LEDs that shine down around the doors at night, along with a sensor that detects my hand touching it which unlocks the doors, plus another sensor that lets me lock the doors by touching it and also close the windows from outside the car by keeping my finger on it. Modern door handles are great :bouncy:

Stingroo
10-16-10, 11:21 PM
I guess I'm weird then. That doesn't do anything for me. I have keys to do those things. :noidea:

Lord Cadillac
10-16-10, 11:40 PM
My door handles have LEDs that shine down around the doors at night, along with a sensor that detects my hand touching it which unlocks the doors, plus another sensor that lets me lock the doors by touching it and also close the windows from outside the car by keeping my finger on it. Modern door handles are great :bouncy:

Ya see? Gary gets it. It IS nice to have the light shine down at night. And it's very nice to walk up to your car without your keys in hand and just touch the door handle to unlock it. Same goes for locking the doors and closing the windows. These are luxury amenities that may not be essential - but are ABSOLUTELY appreciated by those who've come accustom to having them. That's what luxury is all about. Modern amenities are great.


I guess I'm weird then. That doesn't do anything for me. I have keys to do those things. :noidea:

At one time, people said the same things about automatic windows. It was mainly the guy who couldn't afford the car with automatic windows. He said, "I have a hand and arm to do that".

Just today I had my hands full and keys in my pocket. It was really very nice to just touch my door to lock it. Otherwise I'd have had to put everything down, pull out my key, lock the doors, put away my key and pick my packages back up. Luxury is about having the things you don't need.

I'm sure it sounds petty to most people. I think that's great. I'd rather be in the smaller group of people who appreciate the things that I've become accustomed to. Birds of a feather flock together. People like people like themselves. It's human...

Playdrv4me
10-16-10, 11:46 PM
Lift-up door handles are so 1980s and quite ugly. That IS one of the tactile things that made the E39 and E38 seem "old" in comparison to the E46's "pull-out" door handles. What's funny is those pull out door handles really came from big TRUCKS of all things, but they do feel much better in the hand than those pull up things, and they can be molded to follow the contours of the car. On the flip side, I'm not a fan of the Corvette and XLR "no door handle" door handles either... I think the keyless ignition style LED door handles on Gary's car and the LS430 are the best overall compromise of tech and function.

Bro-Ham
10-17-10, 01:29 AM
That car, if it is actually going to be a car, makes me cry. There really has to be someone who can imagine up something exquisite that is a Cadillac. Please take the next design out of the oven once it is fully baked. :)

Aron9000
10-17-10, 04:11 AM
I guess I'm weird then. That doesn't do anything for me. I have keys to do those things. :noidea:

I really do miss having keyless entry on my 1991 Caddy. Although since the driver's side door lock is broken and can only be locked with a key from the outside, its impossible to lock the keys in the car:bouncy:

As for door handles, I LOVE the big chrome plated handle with the button jobs on my car. Those pull from underneath flush mounted jobs always felt cheap to me, especially since they're all plastic on newer cars.

And the guy who invented the "keyless start button" on the dash deserves a special place in hell. Did you know that you can drive without your key until the gas tank runs dry? You'll figure this out when you realize the valet back in Albuquerque forgot to give you the key back and you're stuck in the bum**** of nowhere. Had that scenario play out several times at my old job.

Stingroo
10-17-10, 09:29 AM
I love the old style chrome button door handles too. But pull handles can be classy too. Mine are aluminum. I just found it odd that there was so much fuss over something simple like a door handle. Seems weird to me. lol

And my never-lock-keys-in-car security is simple: a second door key taped to the inside of my wallet, and an extra set of both keys in a combination box mounted under the front bumper.

Cadillacboy
10-17-10, 10:00 AM
That's the greatest news today and make my day :D :0
:bouncy: :highfive:

I knew someday they will make Fleetwoods back in the production but some features should be remain such as chrome door trims, chrome bumpers , rectangular headlamps .

Lord Cadillac
10-17-10, 08:09 PM
Some more things that luxury car buyers look for that probably don't make sense to people who are probably more interested in a badge than actual true luxury:

- The top handle above the window on the inside of the door (the "oh shit" handle) should retract slowly and silently.
- The glove compartment should be padded and should open slowly and silently.
- The buttons on the center console should have the right sound and tactile feel to them.
- If there's an ash try in the car, it should open slowly and silently.

These are just a few of the things that people who buy expensive cars expect. Ridiculous to some, deal-breaker to others. And that's just the way it is.

Stingroo
10-17-10, 09:02 PM
The only thing on that list I agree with is the glove compartment. I like when buttons that I press make an actual noise too, but it doesn't bother me as long as it isn't annoying. And an ash tray does nothing for me, I don't smoke, and never let anyone else do it in my car either. Actually, I'm looking at doing something similar to what Rick did with his BMW and putting in another 12v socket and mounting a GPS in my ash tray.... :D