Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cadillac is not Itself

This is what a Cadillac should be: Large, stately, supremely comfortable, smooth, and powerful.  A car to serenely consume the miles, soaking up potholes and ruts without unsettling.  It's buttercream frosting on a three-tiered layer cake. 

The above 1953 Series 62 sedan highlights those qualities.  Audacious compared to some of its understated European contemporaries, it has a sense of occasion about it.  Compared to it, Cadillac has lost its way.  A Caddy should not be an all out performance car capable of storming the Nurburgring.   

To be fair, Cadillac has to build cars that satisfy the broadest swath of its target market, an arena filled with quality products from BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes.  All of these products are good.  To stand out, your brand has to match up favorably to the competition.  This is why new BMWs are less precise than their brethren of yore, why Lexus is sharper, why Mercedes brought AMG in house, and why Cadillac has shed buttercream in favor of the Paleo diet. 

But in doing so, Cadillac has lost touch of what makes a Cadillac.