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[Cadillac Drivers' LOG]What’s A Mule?

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By Liz

In my last post, in response to some questions from readers, I wrote a bit about the use of camouflage on test cars. That got me thinking about another related aspect of testing future cars: mules, the ultimate camo.

We need to test aspects of vehicles long before we’ve ever built a full pre-production car. In a case like that, we have the ultimate camo. It’s called a “mule.” This photo shows what looks to be a regular Cadillac STS up on a hoist in a garage. In reality, these are “mule” versions of the 2008 CTS.

These cars contain a lot of future CTS engines, transmissions, driveline and chassis components. This shot was taken at a Cadillac dealership in Southern California that was kind enough to lend us a couple of service bays on a Sunday, when we had to adjust a few aspects of these cars before a long development trip.

Sure, they were a little rough . . . that’s why the term “mule” is suitable. But they’re a big part of the early development, and another method of doing real-life testing of future cars.

Cadillac Driver


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