Community Question: Should Cadillac Attempt To Match The Alfa Romeo Stelvio?21
We’ve already laid out why General Motors, and specifically Cadillac, should begin to take the idea of performance crossovers and SUVs seriously. Now, Cadillac may have a real reason to do so.
Fiat Chrysler Authority states the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio, which was revealed at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, can hit 0-60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. That’s seriously impressive. In comparison, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 will do 0-60 in … 6.5 seconds in top trim.
So, we ask, should Cadillac try to match the Alfa Romeo Stelvio? If it were to do so, it would require a serious investment in performance. And if there’s one thing Alfa Romeo does well, it’s injecting performance into every offering in its small lineup. Granted, we’re talking about the Quadrifoglio and it’s 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, but we think the thought is valid.
Furthermore, the Stelvio sends power through an eight-speed automatic transmission with stated 100-millisecond shift points and to a standard Q4 all-wheel drive system. If that’s not enough, there’s a dedicated race mode, torque vectoring differential, adaptive suspension and all of this sits with a 200 mph speedometer sitting in front of the driver. Yeah, Alfa means business here.
Cadillac could punch back with a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, possibly from a V-Sport XT5 variant, but the brand has stated it won’t dilute the V brand with crossovers and SUVs in the future. However, the way the market has shifted, we wouldn’t be surprised if Cadillac changes its tune.
What do you think? Would Cadillac and Alfa Romeo even be cross shopped? Or is Cadillac seriously missing out?
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That’s if They put that crossover on the Alpha platform then yes it makes sense as the Giulia and the Stelvio do share a same platform. I’m not sure if it makes sense to put it on the XT5 unless they use the magic of how Ford puts it on the Focus RS and put the TT V6 from the ATS-V. However, I do think GM should put some Hi-Po versions on some of their vehicles. The Cruze is definitely indeed need a Hi-Po as Hyundai (Elantra sport and the N performance models), Nissan (Sentra Nismo), Honda (with Civic SI and type R) are all joining the Hi-po squad. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next corolla has the Hi-Po models.
This is why Cadillac needs to get to work on making the Alpha and Omega platforms more flexible ASAP.
The time is coming where it’ll take more than gadgets and leather to draw in buyers over 50-65k, and Cadillac doesn’t have enough badge snobs to avoid this reality. Pretty soon, increased performance, capability, and better powertrain options will be a required difference and barrier to entry between serious luxury and mainstream marques.
Why pay 60k for a Cadillac, when you can pay 40k for a Kia with 80 percent of the features the Caddy has?
GM closed their high performance division in 2009, the division Bob Lutz created to make performance editions for many existing vehicles, so I have to wonder if they’ll ever create any new performance vehicles aside from what’s already in the stable. We got a couple of V sedans, Camaros and Corvettes (and a Chevy SS that still has mechanicals from 2008 Pontiac G8 GXP).
The XT5 is nice enough (and not cheap by any means) but the Porsche Macan, Jaguar F-Pace, Mercedes GLC43 AMG (where I just put my $$), BMW X3 4.0, and now this Alfa all run rings around it.
The rational argument is that the market is small for these enthusiast crossovers. Cadillac having no presence in this enthusiast market has minimal impact on their bottom line. In fairness, the other highly profitable automakers (Toyota, Hyundai) don’t offer such toys either.
Of course, most readers on this forum, judging by the vote, are not very rational but are serious enthusiasts. One can always hope GM comes around, but I’ve already exhausted the amount of time I was willing to wait…
They may have shut the performance division down but the people are still there and were integrated into the platforms at the development level.
Today the base cars on up all drive and handle so much better. Then you had that little thing called Chapter eleven that sucked all the money up as they worked to restart and redo many cars that needed replaces.
The fact is the standard models are struggling as they are yet not to a level they need to be. If you can not sell them a small number of performance models are not going to fix the volume problem.
All the models you names sell in such small numbers. Lexus and Cadillac with their standard models normally out sell the others . The XT5 was also not planned by anyone running Cadillac now and is a left over by those from the past. The volume is welcomed but not so much what they would like to do.
Now with that said. Once JDN has been here long enough to actually put out some models fully under his direction and offer some new platforms I think the performance model is a few years out yet.
To do one right it needs to be on a car platform like the Alpha or Omega. It needs to have a much lower center of gravity.
The key too for models like this is GLOBAL MARKET. Until Cadillac returns more to a global market they would never sell enough of these to make back the development money. Note all the models you named are sold everywhere in small numbers that add up. This is the key piece of the puzzle.
Now the Alfa is as much or more car than crossover. I thing GM will target The BMW, Audi and Porsche models as they are more in line with their models.
I do expect a small 5 door car that also could see performance model and that will be the key to going back to Europe. They see much more in smaller cars sales and hatches and that is why we will see one at Cadillac. It will be sold here but it was built for there.
JDN has only been here 2 years 2.5 months and it takes 4-5 years min to bring a new model. This delay we have not that will be nearly 2 years on new models is because of the changes they are doing and new models they are creating that were not in play 2 years ago.
Appreciate the thoughtful reply (are you affiliated with GM?). Makes sense the bankruptcy caused a lull in product development, but I’m hoping to see signs of V-cars other than the leftovers JDN inherited.
For me, the thing that attracted me to GM was the CTS-V still sitting in my garage. I’m by no means a traditional customer and really feel that the handling/ride/performance of the V-cars is the best on the market. With that, it’s just discouraging there is no sporting offering Caddy’s crossover segment – a segment that is really hot right now.
No I am not from GM. I do know some well placed people and have learned a lot from them over the years on how things work like time lines and just the many things they have to consider when building a product.
The V cars are not going away and will be applied to new models as we go. The key though is they need to make the core product the best it can be V or not and the rest will take care of itself.
The turn over at leadership at Cadillac was like a revolving door till JDN arrived. Now we have to expect the appropriate time for him to present his products.
Will they work? I am not sure but he is not going to change everything needed at Cadillac in 3 years. even in 5 we will only see the start of major changes and it will pick up from there.
The key is to attract people to the CTS and ATS just as you are attracted to the V. If you make the standard models compelling the V is just frosting on the cake. GM for too long would get the V right but then come up short on the standard models.
They will do a Cross Over soon but they were not started till about 2 years ago. They will have a sport model but the XT5 is nothing to make a sport model. It is nice but not anything that could compete with the models that are the template for the segment.
Understand. My first V was a generation one CTS, that suffered from all of the quirks of being built on a less than ideal foundation. There is no sense building on the XT5 if the chassis can barely handle the power it already has (I recall an article mentioning the ECU actually cuts acceleration on the 3.6L V6 for the XT5).
I will add that Cadillac product cycles do seem slower and a bit longer than competitors — and the offerings don’t align well with competition (ATS is smaller than its class competition and is now 5yrs old, CTS is priced with 5 series, E class, causing a bit of sticker shock and 4yrs old, CT6 is a new tweener for some reason and XT5 does not match well with mid-size SUVs priced at 60k).
Hope to see new products filling the gaps soon.
Excuses don’t matter. My money is going on the upcoming Mercedes GLC63. Nothing GM makes can come close. Worldwide volume for performance SUVs is on the rise. By the time GM reacts, the market will be elsewhere, as usual.
Not to mention average transaction prices. There’s a performance war going on at the upper end of the market and Cadillac is still competing in the mommy-mobile segments with Lincoln and Lexus, which itself is rumored to be basing their upcoming full-size CUV on the LS platform, not the stretched RX
Skip the LF3 or LF4 as Cadillac should jump right into and build a true XT5 V and get 2,000 additional LT4 640hp supercharged 6.2L OHV-2v V8 engines from Chevy and build an AWD monster; the only question would be how many to send to Europe.
I get your point but Cadillac has repeatedly said they would start shying away from sharing powertrains with the lesser divisions.
If a performance XT5 were to happen the planned 4.2TT V8 would stand a better shot of getting under the hood than a LT4.
Cadillac did say it would not dilute the V-Brand but they could make a V-Sport model similar to how Cadillac currently makes a less intense CTS V-Sport.
Use the aforementioned 3.6TT, lower the suspension, reprogram the magnetic dampers, beef up the chassis with the usual bigger and brakes amongst other things. Also change the front end to look a little more aggressive.
All those things can be done and there would still be a good business case for the vehicle. Along with the new Alpha Romeo performance crossover, currently BMW, M-B, Lexus, Audi, Infiniti and others also have them on their rosters.
Cadillac again seems to be lagging behind the field.
It’s not that hard to build a high performance crossover/suv. Cadillac is focus on getting there house in order. V Sport Models would be these likely choice they would go.
It is not hard to build but it is damn hard to sell in numbers great enough to make back the development money.
The right model is coming that will sell globally to increased volume and it will be much better suited for the performance duty.
I would not want a performance XT5 as it would be FWD based and top heavy. Nether are suited for a world class canyon carver.
If you are going to do it then do it right.
The XT5 is doing well just as it is and for the American market it was targeted at. Women love it and buy most of them. They do not ask for more power just higher quality and more features and that is what they were given.
It also sells in greater volumes that make money. A lot of money. So let it be what it is and let an Alpha or Omega do the heavy lifting as it should do.
Scott3, your answer there is very practical, as if you were a GM shareholder. But the question “should” is vague in the sense that it doesn’t differentiate between “Would this be good for GM” or “Do you want to see it”. Of course a lot of people – especially “enthusiasts” who frequent auto blogs – are going to want to see it, thus they’ll say “yes” to the “should” question. But you are right, it would be hard to sell this type of vehicle in high enough numbers to pay back the development costs. The XT5 may “bore” a few people compared with a high-performance SUV, but if it makes a ton of money for GM then that’s what they want. If Cadillac would only concentrate on comfort and reliability I think they’d make a lot more $$$, rather than chasing Euro-performance so much, something that only appeals to a tiny segment of the US market.
If by performance crossover they just mean an Alpha based SUV with more interior space and actual usable cargo room, then by all means yes. An XT5 with a TT-V6 doesn’t mean much to me – I like my ATS because it drives great, but I’m not a fan of how limited cargo space is. Could use some more ground clearance too, I’ve already had to sacrifice too much paint from the lower bumper to average driveways in my area.
“High Performance” vehicles get wildly cheered by enthusiasts on internet blogs, but the general public does not buy many of them. The question of “should” can be seen two ways. 1) Does a tiny but dedicated segment of the market want to see it – YES, 2) Will it make money for GM – PROBABLY NOT. It’s the second “should” question that should matter to GM shareholders, not the first one.
BTW, I think GM already had a competitor to the Stelvio – it was called the Pontiac Aztek. Yeah that went well.
When will Cadillac get back to being Cadillac, instead of a 3rd rate Euro-clone company?
Euro clone company? The Escalade and XT5 are far from Euro clones.
Sounds like you are happy with the status quo.
N400, what I meant was that Cadillac needs to stop chasing the Europeans (especially BMW) and be the American luxury leader they used to be. The Escalade and XT5 that you mentioned are examples of American luxury SUVs, and they are selling well. The pursuit of “performance” i.e. hard-riding hugely overpowered virtual sports Euro-cars that drive like Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, etc. has never been Cadillac’s market, and it’s already well supplied.
That’s why the ATS sells so poorly, despite its supposedly sporty driving dynamics – it’s too small, too cramped, the ride is too hard to be a Cadillac. Euro-clone. The topic here is whether Cadillac should copy yet another cramped Euro “performance” car from Ferrari/Alfa Romeo. You for some reason are taking that as criticism of Cadillac’s entire line-up and history, yet then you say I sound happy with the status quo (I’m not sure how I can be perceived as critical of the entire line-up yet supporting the status quo, but there you go).
I just meant you’re happy with the status quo on the SUV side.
I get the sedans are a different story.
Regarding the ATS, there’s an interesting case study there. Designed after an old generation e46 3-series, the whole compact class shifted to larger more more comfortable cars (C-class, 3 series, A4, etc) by the time ATS launched, making ATS a throwback to 2001 BMW. The V-series ATS is a great track car, but now entering it’s 5th year the ATS seems in desperate need of a refresh with more luxury credentials and interior room to go with the track credentials. Hopefully, next gen ATS tries to be a unique class leader instead of a last-gen take on the competition.
As a side effect, the ATS pushed the CTS up a whole price class, making a perfectly good Caddy sedan harder to sell and existing CTS owners less likely to step down to the ATS. I’m sure some will blame the sedan market evaporating overnight, and overlook this self-inflicted dynamic.
ya cars are too low the ground unlike SUVs….a RWD high performance SUV would be very nice.