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Hey there everybody, I realized I hadn't shared a link to a Cadillac-related post I wrote a little while back. It's about the 1990 Aurora concept car. Arguably Cadillac's most anonymous concept ever produced.

Anyway, if you're interested, the link is below and I hope you enjoy. :)

1990 Cadillac Aurora Concept

1990-Cadillac-Aurora-Concept-teaser.jpg
 

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Cadillac 95 STS, 02 SLS
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Looks like a randy Olds came upon a first generation Taurus in heat! No wonder they kept it under wraps!
 

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2006 STS 1SG & 2007 STS 1SE
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Happily, the coming Seville (STS/SLS) was just as beautiful as that is ugly.

'Course opinions vary.
 

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2002 Seville STS F55, 2006 Mazda Miata
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It's ugly overall but I appreciate that it took Cadillac in a less ornate and sportier direction with its future designs. The crease that wraps around the entire body and forms the base of the spoiler is also a nice touch, though it's a crease wrapped around a pretty ugly blob.

The interior brings back fond memories of my 1992 and 1990 Infiniti Q45s, two cars I greatly miss.
 

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1975 Fleetwood 'd Elegance, 2020 Santa Fe, 2003 Honda Reflex scooter
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It looks like someone took the 4th gen seville and bred it with a catera and a late 90s malibu.
Now that you mention that it makes me think that was what this was. A styling exercise to justify the Catera and what a departure it was from the other Cadillac models of the day. With the Catera being a re-badged Opel they were limited on what it could look like.
 

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Cadillac 95 STS, 02 SLS
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Having had a Catera in the garage for two and half years, I can say it wasn't a bad looking car, but was easily mistaken foir a Toyota or othe generic of the day!

The Aurora styling exercise looks far more like a 1st genration Taurus than a Catera to me. Much influenced by the "highly touted" Audi 5000s of the day too!
 

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1975 Fleetwood 'd Elegance, 2020 Santa Fe, 2003 Honda Reflex scooter
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I always liked the Catera. It got me interested in Cadillac again, but it had nothing in common with the Cadillac family design. It was a decent looking car none the less. I was more interested in the build quality those Opel were known for, but was concerned about Cadillac mechanics servicing a completely different car than they were used to.
 

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Cadillac 95 STS, 02 SLS
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I think you were right on both counts! The build quality of the Catera (at least the 2000 Catera) was definitely superior to even the "top of the line" 5th generation Seville STS of the time. I remember looking at the domestically produced Cadillacs sitting on the showroom floor at the time we leased a Catera for my wife. the Cadillacs weren't awful, but certainly weren't up to the quality of the German made cars.

I agree that that the Cadillac techs dislike of working on the Cateras contributed a lot to their reputation for less than stellar mechanics. In the two and a half years we had the 2000 Catera we had no problems and fully enjoyed its' "European" handling and its' build quality (nothing built in the US came up to German built Catera's fit and finish at the that time). But the service people, from the service writers to the techs, just didn't like the cars and could hardly conceal their disdain when the cars went in for service.

The Cateras were a real bargain with a list price of $33,000. for a fully loaded European "executive" level car that cost $10,000. more in Opel configuration (fully loaded) in Germany. It was by no means the poor little orphan relative, the Cimarron, that those that don't know any better compare it to.

Of course the real "bugaboo" with the Catera was the incredibly stupid advertising campaign that Cadillac so stupidly used to try an sell the car. Whoever thought up the "Caddy that Zigs" campaign should be keel hauled. If they had used the "It turns me on when I turn it on" with the Catera it would have been much more successful. The first fews years of the Catera's styling hearkened back to the "bad old days" of American styling rather than allowing the European styling to come through as they did with the 2000 and later cars. Originally Cadillac tired to take a European car and make it "more" American, rather than incorporating European styling and performance attributes as they did with the far more successful Sevilles (series 4 and 5). When Cadillac built cars that took the best of European styling and performance to enhance the best that American cars had to offer their cars were winners.
 

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Past: 95 Fleetwood, 91 Brougham. Now: 92 Lexus SC300
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Looks like those Germans in the Opel division borrowed a lot of styling cues from the Aurua concept for the new for 1994 Opel Omega sedan. This was intended to be an upmarket, executive sedan in the vein of a BMW 3 series, Audi A4, or Benz C-class, but with more space and at a discount rate versus its other German competition.

The fact that Cadillac decided to import the Omega and rebadge it the Catera for the US market is somewhat secondary IMO. The Catera is an Opel Omega, designed and built in Germany. The executives at GM in Detriot decided they needed a sporty, smaller, entry level Cadillac and told the engineers in Detroit to make the Opel Omega a Cadillac with a shoe string budget.

What you got was IMO a bland looking car with an egg-crate grill, flashy looking alloy wheels, and some Cadillac badges. As Orr pointed out, the fit-finish was exemplary, but there were major quality short comings in the 97-98-99 model years which really killed the car IMO. If GM had got it right from a quality/reliabity standpoint from the start, I think they might have been on to something.

Even though the dash design isn't flashy or all that special, I'd much rather have the Catera interior layout vs that stupid looking, horribly textured, cheap feeling CTS interior and dash design. IMO it looked dated/stupid the day it came out, I mean this 2004 model year car had a 5.25" floppy disk drive in its center dash design for christ's sake.
 

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It reminded me of the 'bubble-mobiles' Chevrolet built as Impalas (the last rear-drive Impalas) in the early nineties; not a favorite (except for the SS's).
 
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