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GM VP Design NA comments on the brand


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Cadillac snippets from an interesting interview with the VP design for GM North America, Ed Welburn: http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?...7&sid=193&n=156

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Say Cadillac, has a very strong identity, it's clear, there's a good vision in place, but if someone says that, I get nervous, we need to make sure the brand and its design stay fresh and relevant.

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We have an overall design philosophy and overall brand statement, exterior and interior, character, design as a gesture, there's a particular look for all Cadillacs, but a CTS is the most aggressive Cadillac, most athletic, needs to have a gesture that's got a bit more energy, that's the idea.

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The direction of Cadillac is very clear now, and we will continue to build on that, we need to keep an eye on that, make sure it's fresh with each new Cadillac introduction. From a design perspective we talk about the art of design, the real technical look of it, it's a very technical looking vehicle and we need to look at how hard-edged it continues to be, how soft the forms are. The Sixteen was a study not just in a long-wheelbase V-16 personal sedan, but in the form vocabulary and how much variation, how much movement there can be within that form vocabulary for Cadillac, it's got more shape, more crown in the surface than the CTS. The Cadillac Cien concept was another opportunity to explore the form vocabulary of the Cadillac brand.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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The rear end of the Sixteen is quite stunning. Elegant and agressive at the same time. If it went into production though, I'm sure it would cost a fortune to fix with even a minor rear-end bump.

If the Sixteen is the future styling direction, then I'm all for it. The four-door hardtop feature is kind of unique today, although its definitely an old idea resurrected. Integrated exhaust tips also recall an earlier time, but are very modern in execution. I'm not sure how practical the side-opening hood is, but it looks really cool when its open, and with a V-16, I'm not sure how else you could practically hinge it and get to all the cylinders unless you did a flip-top like the C4 Vette. Even then, that's a lot of hood to move longitudinally.

The engine is beautiful. It seemed like very little design thought went into engines for a lot of years. The 4.x engines had some nice features, but the Northstar really took a big step forward. I think that's an important part of the overall package, especially when you look at the engines of Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes, etc. Cadillac's engines are a big selling feature. Buyers are going to want to show that powertrain off. The trend toward detailing that part of the car is definitely a positive one, IMHO.

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Yes, I like the engine design as well. It looks very purposeful and elegant. It looks nice showing all the mechanical bits and chromed parts. Most manufacturers today just throw a plastic cover on top of the engine and think that they are done for the day. (ala CTS-V) An exposed engine can be a beautiful thing, not to mention easier to service. I wish they would stop being cheap. They should start doing more creative things like chromed parts and painted valve covers. (ala the Caddy 16)

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