Does Cadillac’s Future Hinge On A Luxury-Performance Personality? [Pics]

Does Cadillac’s Future Hinge On A Luxury-Performance Personality? [Pics]

How can the brand update their image to include eco-friendly without alienating their customer base?

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 8 september 2013

For almost two decades, the Cadillac brand has been striving to offer cars that appeal to a younger audience. Younger being someone say in their 40’s. Their longtime base customers were in essence forcing the company into extinction by themselves passing on. Cadillac adopted the ‘Art and Science’ philosophy in the late 90’s to focus product development in a new direction to become more competitive with German and Japanese imports in the increasingly crowded luxury car segment.

At this point Cadillac’s line was full of cars like the Deville and Seville, large sedans meant to provide a cushy ride on the highway and roads to and from the golf course. Younger buyers weren’t looking to own these land yachts and instead opted for smaller, more performance oriented cars like BMW’s 3-series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The luxury performance characteristics these cars has eventually spread up to more expensive models and other automakers like Audi, Lexus, Infiniti and Acura followed along. Luxury was now not only about show but also go.


In 1999, Cadillac unveiled the Evoq Concept Car at the Detroit Auto Show. This two seat roadster was the first appearance of the Art and Science design philosophy, which has evolved but is still represented on 2013 models vehicles. The vertical headlights and tail lights, angular lines(these continue to be softened) and pronounced grille are elements you should recognize as Cadillac.

PSFK had an opportunity to test drive a 2014 XTS V-Sport sedan and see the Elmiraj Concept Car in person, two vehicles which show Cadillac’s current and potential future takes on what luxury-performance means.

2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport Twin Turbo V6

Photo by Richard Prince

Sharing the same chassis with the Chevy Impala(which we tested earlier in 2013), the new XTS feels and looks bigger. The exterior design evolves the signature elements mentioned above and tries to distinguish itself from its Chevy companion. Squint and you can similarities to the Impala particularly in the lower front fascia. Overall the styling is refined and the most calmed down from the harsh angular aesthetics of recent Cadillac models.


The V-Sport model we tested is fitted with every performance option available from the factory. Under the hood is a brand new twin turbo V6 which the engineering team spent years developing. The transmission was tuned to offer a consistent or flat delivery of torque. Translated to a car this size, it isn’t quick from a standing start but on the highway getting to triple digits on the speedometer doesn’t take much effort. The driving experience of the car could best be described as comfortable. The expectation with a lot of performance models is a harsh ride from a stiff suspension but the XTS seems fine for a long stint on the highway.

2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport Twin Turbo V6

One area where more attention could be given is the design of the controls in the interior. Many of the buttons, particularly around the touch screen area weren’t intuitive to understand and use. In fact, almost every function has been converted to a button when a rotary knob or slider might be better. There were duplicate controls on the steering wheel which didn’t seem any easier to figure out in a short time.


So the XTS V-Sport is a current offering from Cadillac that gives more power and a spirited driving experience, as well as what’s next might be the Elmiraj Concept. This 2-door grand coupe gives a glimpse at styling language that might be seen on future Cadillac models. Overall the car has clean surfaces and very little in the way of fussy details. The angular vocabulary is nearly gone except in some creases in the hood and trunk. In person, the car has presence, partially because of it’s large size and long sweeping lines. It feels distinctly American and informed subconsciously by hot rods, a mix of grace and brute force. It seems a positive way forward for Cadillac and an own-able take on luxury performance separate from the engineering driven European and technology focused Asian automakers.



















Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail october 21, 2016

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Related Expert

Ben Lerer

Media, Lifestyle, Venture Capital

Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI october 21, 2016

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials october 21, 2016

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food october 21, 2016

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising october 21, 2016

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Retail october 21, 2016

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children october 21, 2016

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants october 21, 2016

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology october 21, 2016

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Technology october 21, 2016

Wearable Device And Lamp Recreate Beautiful Sunsets In Your Home

Sun Memories can record up to six hours of natural light and reproduce it via a connected light at a later date

No search results found.