Pretty much every outlet that reported that Cadillac was developing a “Chevrolet Cruze-based” model to slot below the ATS all received official comments of strong denial and downright refutal that such a vehicle could be coming. Such an alleged model could compete in the segment featuring the Mercedes-Benz CLA and Audi A3.
Cadillac leaders such as Uwe Ellinghaus and Johan de Nysschen have repeatedly hinted that an entry-level Cadillac slotted beneath the ATS would be the oversteering enthusiast’s choice of rear-wheel-drive. In effect, it would be rivaling the BMW 2-Series, a vehicle line that BMW North America claims to have sold around just 13,000 units in 2015.
Conversely, the front-wheel-drive based, more fuel efficient and more space efficient Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA sold 35,984 units and 29,643 units, respectively. In terms of sheer market volume, demand isn’t pointing in the favor of a small RWD vehicle with a premium badge. Instead, demand seems to point towards something more approachable.
Even if it’s taboo to call an alleged FWD Cadillac entry model “Cruze-based,” such a vehicle could at least share the same architecture, and floor pan, if anything, as a D2xx Chevrolet Cruze, because GM likely won’t spend the time or resources to make a unique platform for such a Cadillac vehicle. This platform sharing method has worked well for Audi, as the A3 sources much of its engineering from Volkswagen’s MQB Golf program. Yet, Audi doesn’t have to worry about unfair “CIMARRON! IT’S A CIMARRON ALL OVER AGAIN!” analogies. Crossovers aside, an entry level FWD-based Cadillac could be a likely volume player for the brand that continues to search for sales growth, though we know much more crossovers are coming. And Cadillac has all of the readily available resources from GM to make such a vehicle happen.
We can see the hearts of Cadillac fans and even those working within Cadillac desiring a rear-wheel-drive rival to the BMW 2 Series. But, like with the circumstances surrounding the elimination of the CT8 flagship program, we can see the business case of needing to focus on sales volume and profits first.