Cadillac will bow to public pressure for smaller and more fuel-efficient models by offering a four-cylinder compact sedan in the U.S., a prospect almost unthinkable just 12 months ago. The small RWD sedan will likely come towards the end of 2010 for the 2011 model year and will be positioned below the current CTS.
Cadillac already sells a small BLS sedan (pictured) in Europe but so far the car has suffered from dismal sales due to Cadillac’s poor brand image and lack of competitiveness with luxury powerhouses such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz. While the current BLS is built on the Saab 9-3 platform, the next-generation Cadillac small car will be built on General Motors’ upcoming Alpha architecture and may not even be called a BLS.
The name of the new small sedan is not the only issue in contention, with managers still debating on whether or not to offer a six-cylinder engine as an option or not. Cadillac general manager Jim Taylor explained to Automotive News that a portion of the Cadillac team was thinking that they “ought to go all the way, say, to fours.”
The majority, however, is resisting the idea of only offering a four-cylinder engine with Taylor suggesting that the engine a four-cylinder Cadillac would be unpopular with most Americans. “I don’t think Americans are going to become un-American that fast,” he stated.
The car will eventually be sold in Europe as well.
As for Cadillac’s other models, Taylor confirmed that the single STS/DTS replacement has been put on hold along with the replacement for the XLR roadster. Instead, Cadillac is considering adding a plug-in hybrid vehicle based on the Chevrolet Volt platform but such a car wouldn’t arrive until at least 2012, Taylor revealed.