The Cadillac CTS is a production of the Cadillac division of General Motors. The CTS was a continuing attempt by General Motors to redeem the lackluster performance that was beginning to sum up the entire Cadillac division. As the average age of the Cadillac customer began to advance, Cadillac had been desperately trying to capture younger consumers that were being lost to foreign luxury car makers. The CTS acheived that goal.
The first generation of the CTS would exist from 2003 to 2007. It was a return to the rear wheel drive and also featured a standard transmission. The first CTS would feature a 3.2 Liter LA3 V6 engine. This engine could be coupled with either a five speed 5L40-E automatic transmission or a five speed Getrag 260 manual transmission. The Getrag transmission would be upgraded in 2005 to a Aisin AY-6 six speed manual transmission in 2005.
The car was a success in winning over younger drivers and through a life preserver to the ailing Cadillac. The car appeared to have some German bodystyle influence. Differing from its predecessors in all ways but most importantly in styling and performance, the CTS is credited with singlehandedly pulling Cadillac back from the brink of extinction.
For the second generation which began in 2008 through to the present time, a second body style was added. The CTS could now be had in a CTS Coupe and a CTS Sport Wagon. A newly designed body style was introduced for the 2008 model year. The base model came with a 3.6 Liter variable timing V6 engine. The updated versions of the car were offered with a brand new engine- the 3.6 Liter direct injection V6 VVT engine. Cadillac has also announced plans to change the automatic transmission on upcoming models as well. There will still be a six speed manual transmission but the six speed Hydra-matic 6L50 automatic transmission will also be available on all models as well. An all wheel drive is also offered on all versions that have the automatic transmission.
First introduced in 1982, the Cadillac Cimarron was produced by General Motors. Built as a compact car, the Cimarron was an attempt by Cadillac to economize it’s luxury vehicles. It was not a successful attempt by Cadillac and the Cimarron proved to be the shortest lived vehicle that Cadillac has had to date.
Several items factored into the failure of the Cimarron, however ironically none of them had anything to due with the performance of the actual vehicle. Because Cadillac was in a head to head competition with Mercedes and BMW for a portion of the the small luxury car market and under pressure from newly implemented federal fuel regulations, the Cimarron which had been slated for release several years later, was rushed to production. The result of this rush was an abysmal failure.
The first Cimarrons had uncharacteristically small engines. A four cylinder I4 engine was the first engine for the Cimarron. Not since 1914, had a Cadillac had a four cylinder engine. It also came with a four speed manual transmission. Also a first for the Cadillac line since automatic transmissions came into existence. Though the standard equipment level was fairly high, the price Cadillac was asking for the vehicle was not warranted conidering the engine and standard transmission on the vehicle. The base price was $12,181.00 v, when adjusted for inflation, that price would be $30,279.96 in today’s money. The car just didn’t offer enough premium features considering the asking price.
A 2.8 Liter L 60 V6 engine was added as an option for the later year vehicles. The Cimarron would see one more engine added as well, a 2.0 Liter OHV I4 engine. Other expected features for Cadillacs would be added later in order to boost sales however the Cimarron would never live up to the expectations that Cadillac owners had come to expect. The Cimarron would not attract new buyers to the Cadillac market because no one would pay twice as much for what they could get in a well equipped Cavalier.
The name Brougham has been used by the Cadillac division of General Motors several times over the past one hundred years. The first recorded use of the name was in 1916. The name made another appearance in the fifties in relation to the four door version of the Cadillac Eldorado. The next time the name was in relation to the Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham in 1965. The Fleetwood Brougham would become its own model for the 1966 year which split the Fleet wood line into the Fleetwood Sixty Special and the Fleetwood Sisty Special Brogham.
In 1987, the name Fleetwood was dropped and the Cadillac Brougham became its own model within the Cadillac stable.
The Cadillac Brougham would be manufactured from 1987 through 1992. It was classed as a full size luxury car and came in just one body style, the four door sedan. The Brougham was built on the D body platform.
. The Cadillac Brougham proved to be very popular with coach builders for use in stretch limousines.
Three engines were placed in used over the five years of the Cadillac Broughams production life. The Cadillac Brougham engines included for 1986 through 1990, the 5.0 Liter L02 V8, for 1991 through 1991 through 1992, and 1990 through 1992, the 5.0 Liter Chevrolet V8 and the 5.7 Liter L05/LLO V8. A four speed automatic Turbo Hydra-matic 200-4r transmission was used on the carbureted 5.0 Liter engine only. The four speed automatic Hydra-Matic 4L60 was used on the fuel injected 5.0 Liter and the 5.7 Liter engines.
The Cadillac Brough was produced at the Clark Street Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan from 1985 until 1987 and some of the early model year 1988 Broughams were produced there in late 1987. However starting in 1988 and continuing through 1992, the Cadillac Broughams were produced at the Arlington Assembly plant in Arlington, Texas. The vehicles can be differentiated from which plants by the eleventh digit fot their VIN. When a 9 is used as the eleventh digit, the car originated from Detroit.
The Cadillac Catera was a mid sized car produced for General Motors in Russelsheim Germany. The car was intended as an entry level Cadillac. In 1997 the Cadillac catera had a L81 V6 engine with a rear wheel drive. It was also given a General Motors 4L 30 automatic transmission that had also been used the the BMW 3 and the BMW 5 as well as some Isuzu vehicles.
With the Catera, General Motors was seeking to attract a younger consumer. Advertisements were aimed at the younger crowd by using endorsements form Cindy Crawford. Advertising dollars spent to get Cindy Crawford as spokesperson was said to be around $350,000. The ads themselves were centered around an animated duck like creature name ziggy.
The Cadillac Catera was doomed to last a very short period of time and by 2001 plans were made to be dropped from the General Motors lineup. Reliability problems dogged the heals of the vehicle from the beginning and consumer and automotive publication have generally been extremely critical.
By the time the Cadillac Catera was dropped, Cadillac would begin the companys next design theme. There have been rumors for several years that Cadillac and General Motors had plans to bring the automobile back but in light of the recent financial crises experienced by automobile manufacturers world wide, these plans have been momentarily shelved. Perhaps sometime in the near future, we may see Cadillac once again try to attract a younger audience. However for now the feeling remains strong that Cadillac’s largest demographic will remain the current over fifty type. It seems that Cadillac’s reputation for stability, dependability and comfort are all features to which this generation feels it has acheived.
The Cadillac Allante was an attempt by Cadillac to restore its lead in the luxury automobile market. It was built between 1987 and 1993.Although and American automobile, the Allante was designed and the body produced in Italy.
From 1987 through 1988, the Allante was powered by a 4.1 L HT-4100 V8 engine with a four speed F-7 automatic transmission. The auto was priced at just over 54 thousand dollars when it was first introduced.
Several things were new for the 1989 model year including an increased price. A new engine was also introduced this year, the new 4.5 L V8. The theft deterrent system was upgraded as well. It included General Motors new PASS KEY system which renders the fuel system and starter inoperative if the wrong igition key is inserted.
The Allante was a luxury car that saw many new features introduced to the market. At this time cell phone were not in wide use as they are today and the inclusion of a fully intergrated cell phone was a popular option. Along with the cellphone Allante owners were given a 1-800 number to for customer services issues and concerns.
1992 saw another increase in price for the Allante and now there were two models to choose from. One was the convertible which sold for just over fifty eight thousand dollars and the hardtop asking prices was over sixty four thousand dollars.
The Allante had been given a front wheel drive which received heavy criticism. Generally speaking, most luxury cars are giving rear wheel drive because of overall ride performance.
Though in production for 7 years only 21,000 thousand models were built and sold. Sales were never what General Motors had hoped and given the expense of produce the automobiles body overseas and the transport to the United States for assembly, the Cadillac Allante last for far fewer years than was actually intended.
The Buick Terraza was the first minivan by Buick to be marketed in the United States. Upon the demise of Oldsmobile, General Motors shifted the production of a luxury minivan over to the shoulders of Buick. The Terraza was designed to fill the slot left by the out going Oldsmobile Silhouette. While the Terraza was the first minivan for Buick in the United States, it has produced the GL8 since the year 2000 for the use solely in China.
The Terraza was on the market for just two a few years, 2005 through 2007. It was produced exclusively in Doraville, Georgia along with the Chevrolet Uplander, the Pontiac Montana SV6 and the Saturn Relay.
The Buick Terraza was debuted as the most luxurious and well appointed of all the General Motors minivans and had a price tag to prove it. This vehicle had a starting price of $28,110 when it was introduced in 2005.
Though the most luxurious of all the minivans, the vehicle was only offered with one engine that first year, although two other engines would be included at some point before the model was discontinued. These three Buick Terraza engines included the 3.5 L LX9 V6 engine, the 3.9 L LZ9 V6 engine and the 3.9 L LGD V6 engine. All three engines were offered with the same tranmission, a four speed automatic. The 3.9 Liter engine was added in 2006 and the 3.5 Liter engine was dropped in 2007. Though the Terraza came with all wheel drive originally, this feature was discontinued in 2007 when the 3.5 Liter engine was dropped as the all wheel drive system could not adequately handle the torque of the larger engine.
For the last year of the Terraza, a flex fuel engine was also made available, as were side airbags. Though Buick continued to make changes to the Buick Terraza, the public was unimpressed and sales were never spectacular. The model was dropped for 2008 and the minivan was replaced by the Buick Enclave.
The Buick Somerset was a car built by General Motors for its Buick division. It was produced for only a short period of time, just two years, though the name had previously been employed for use with another Buick vehicle, the Regal. The Somerset was produced form 1985 through 1987 and was initially set to replace the Skylark but the car never really caught on with car buyers.
It was produced in Lansing Michigan and was classed as a compact. The Somerset came in two body styles originally. The first year it was made, it came as a two door coupe and a four door sedan. The sedan was only built for the 1985 model year however.
The Somerset had an FF layout and was built on the N-body platform that it shared with the better selling Pontiac Grand AM. The Buick Somerset engines incluuded the 2.5 Liter Tech IV I4 engine and the 3.0 Liter V6 engine. There two types of transmissions to choose from as well, the five speed manual and the three speed Turbo Hydramatic 125 automatic transmission.
The Somerset did have several innovative features for the time however neither of them proved to be an asset for the vehicle. These were an all digital instrument display and a very interesting arrangement for the audio system. Unlike other vehicles, the cars radio was mounted out in front of the dash. This meant there was no in dash slot for a radio so no aftermarket upgrades could be added unless the owner wanted to invest in expensive modifications to mount a radio in the dashboard. The other new concept was an all digital instrument cluster. This proved to be a problem as well because the electronic display consistently shortened the lifespan of the vehicles alternator.
Unfortunately, the automobile consistently turned in poor sales and by 1987 General Motors had decided to cut its losses with the vehicle and the model was discontinued.
The Buick Skylark was first produced in 1953 as two door convertible by General Motors. The vehicle was a very popular model that was produced from 1953 until 1998. For 1953 and 1954, the vehicles were produced solely as convertibles. The Skylark’s original purpose was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of General Motors. It was designed to promote the leadership that General Motors had achieved in design development. Two other vehicles were introduced that year for the same reason. Those were the Oldsmobile Fiesta and the Cadillac Eldorado. Although all three were considered a success, it was the Buick Skylark that proved the most successful.
The Buick Skylark saw many body style changes throughout the fifties and sixties. But the seventies saw many engine changes as well. The Skylark had now become available as a two door hatchback sedan and a four door sedan. These were offered as base models with standard equipment. For more upscale options, the Buick Skylark S/R was introduced. Upscale four door sedans were called the Buick Skylark Apollo S/R.
The eighties saw more design changes and by the 1982 model year, the Skylark would switch over to front wheel drive. Though still available in two and four door models, the Skylark was now available in a sport or limited edition.
For 1985, the two door option was dropped from the Skylark line up and now the car was a vailable only as a four door sedan. Beginning in 1986, one could now choose a Buick Skylark Custom or a Buick Skylark Limited. Both vehicles were offered with the 2.5 Liter Iron Duke 4. This engine was offered with either a five speed manual transmission that came standard or the optional three speed automatic.
New for the nineties was a new base Skylark. This was the Skylark Gran Sport. Very few other changes were made to the Skylark until 1992 when a new base engine was introduced. This was the 2.3 Liter Quad 4 engine. The end of the nineties would also see the end of the Skylark available for sale to the public, although still available as a fleet car. Eventually the model was phased out of the Buick line up and nothing was offered as a replacement.
The Buick Skyhawk was first introduced into the Buick line up by General Motors in 1975. A subcompact four passenger car, the Skyhawk was the intended replacement for an imported vehicle that had been sold through Buick dealerships. This car came in just one body style, the two door hatchback.
Because General Motors, along with other auto manufacturers in the United States were taking a beating from Japanese import autos, the United States car makers were scrambling to come up with fuel efficient vehicles that could compete. The gas crisis was in full swing across the globe and the United States Big Three in Detroit were behind in the count.
The Skyhawk was one of General Motors responses to that. The car was built from 1975 through 1980 however throughout its production life, the Skyhawk was offered with only one engine, the 3.8 Liter 231 cid V6 engine to be exact. This engine used a two barrel carburetor that produced 110 horsepower. Two transmissions were available with the this car. One was a four speed manual transmission that was the the standard option. A three speed automatic transmission could be chosen at an increased price.
The first Skyhawk which was built on a H-body was retired in 1980. And all though the name was the same, Skyhawk that was introduced in 1982 was not a replacement for the original Skyhawk. The new Buick Skyhawk would be built on a J body frame and instead of subcompact, it was now classed as a compact vehicle and came in two door coupe, a four door sedan and a four door station wagon.
The newly designed Skyhawk would have several engine selections beginning with the standard engine which was a 1.8 Liter OHV 4 cylinder engine. There was also a turbocharged version of the 1.8 Liter that was offered as an option. By 1987, the 1.8 L engine was replaced by a 2.0 Liter engine. The last Skyhawk was produced in 1989. The last year of production, assembly was in Janesville, Wisconsin.
The name Roadmaster has been used a number of times by General Motors for cars in its Buick lineup. The first time the name was introduced it was in relationg to cars built between 1936 and 1958. In this time period the name Roadmaster was used when the Buick Series 80 was renamed the Roadmaster. It was surrounded by other vehicles built by Buick, namely the Buick Century and the Buick Limited. Although the Limited was the showpiece for the Buick line for sometime, by 1947, the Roadmaster had replaced the Limited as Buick’s top of the line luxury vehicle. A title held for nearly 10 years. The car fell out of favor with the public for a few years and name was tranferred over to the Electra.
However the name was revived in 1991 and this time the Buick Roadmaster was its own line of vehicles within the division of Buick. From 1991 through 1996 the Roadmaster name would be associated with a B body station wagon. The Roadmaster Estate Wagon as it was called was assembled in Arlington, Texas and had a four door sedan body style, a 5.0 L L03 V8 engine with a four speed automatic transmission.
By 1992, a sedan had been added to the line up. From 1992 on both the station wagon and the sedan would employ a 5.7 L engine.
An extremely popular car at first, the Roadmaster Estate featured wood grain sides and a second fixed sunroof over the rear passenger seating. It could carry up to eight passengers. Unfortunately the Roadmaster was introduced at the tailend of the station wagons popularity. Minivans were just beginning to make their appearance on the market and would soon become the newest rage among surbanites. The final production year for both the sedan and station wagon was 1996. In this year the car would feature heated seating and fully automatic climate controls. With the demise of the Buick Roadmaster Station Wagon, the era of station wagons would come to a close.
The Buick Riviera was manufactured from 1963 through 1999 by General Motors. It was in a class known as personal luxury cars. Ford had enjoyed enormous success with the introduction of the Thunderbird and the Riviera was designed to compete directly in this class. At first conceived of for the Cadillac division, the upper management of Cadillac was not particularly enthusiastic about taking on the new project due to the popularity that the Cadillac division already enjoyed.
The project eventually wound up in the Buick division. Sales were sagging for Buick and they were looking for something new and fresh to stimulate interest in the Buick name. The Riviera project was seen as something that could revive flagging sales.
The new Riviera was released in October of 1962 for sale in the 1963 model year. The first Riviera’s featured a 445.5 wildcate 401 cu in Nailhead V8 engine 2i5h q 5h433 wp33e W%-400 automatic transmission. Later in this first generation Riviera, a 425 cu in Nailhead V8 engine would also be offered. This particular model would be known as a Gran Sport Riviera.
The Buick Riviera would see many design changes through out the sixties and into the seventies. Both the interior design and the body styling would be reworked. However the 1971 Buick Riviera would receive the most striking body redesign. The engine would be changed out as well, with a 455 cu in Buick V8 being offered with all Riviera’s made that year. The seventies were hard on all American Auto Manufacturers, with pressure from both federal entities and the public demanding lighter and more fuel efficient vehicles as the country entered the grip of the global gas crisis.
The Buick Riviera did survive the era and emerged sleeker and more aerodynamic than any of its predeccesors. By 1986, the fuel economy of the Riviera had been vastly improved. And the nineties saw several engine changes for the car as well. Added for these years were engines such as the 3.8 L 205 L36 Buick V6 engine and the larger 3.8 L 240 hp SC L67 Buick V6. By 1996, a super charged version of these engines was also intoduced. 1999 was the last year for the Riviera but those last ones would receive the most powerful of the engines, a supercharged OHV V6 engine would round out the model year for this car. Ironically, these powerful engines would produce the the most efficiency in fuel consumption of all the Riviera’s produced.
The Buick Rendezvous was an SUV created by General Motors for its Buick division. The Rendezvous was the first truck type vehicle to be introduced by Buick since 1923. General Motors had recognized that most SUV owners had no desire to actually take their vehicle off road but did enjoy the look and feel of the traditional SUV. The Rendezvous was General Motors attempt at what has come to be know as a crossover SUV. A crossover SUV is an SUV that provides increased passenger seating, more cargo space and higher seat heights. The Rendezvous provided all this and more.
By integrating all the things SUV owner were looking for and losing those options that detracted from traditional SUV’s, primarily poor fuel economy and an rough ride, the Rendezvous was born.
Because many SUV owners had stated that they enjoyed the power of the typical SUV and the safety that all wheel drive could provide in wet or freezing conditions, the Rendezvous included Versatrak, which was a middle ground type of all wheel drive. By using the Park Avenue as a pattern, Buick set out to create an SUV that incorporated the features of luxury vehicle with the versatility of an SUV. The Rendezvous was a result of that design.
In later years, General Motors offered several engine options with the Rendezvous, one of these was the 3.6 L V6 enginein the 2005 model year. For 2006, Buick changed out the engine for the 3.5 L V6 Standard engine.
The success of the Buick Rendezvous could not have come at a better time. The demographics for Buick customers showed strong brand loyalty however this was an aging generation and Buick had previously been very unsuccessful at luring in a younger customer base. The Rendezvous changed that entirely. With new interior features such as extra power points for laptops and cell phone, the Rendezvous was just the ticket needed to infuse the brand with new life.