My ’93 Cadillac STS had loads of luxury items that lots of other ’93 cars did not. This is in part because GM would always test new options on Cadillacs as standard equipment. In High School I was rockin’ out with Bose Gold series speakers, CD and cassette player, heated seats and adjustable lumbar support to go with it. Even though I graduated in 2007 I imagine I would have been the coolest kid on the block in 1993.
But this luxury equipment was all with in GM. Countless other luxury cars had these options as well. Cadillac didn’t stand out as it once did. They weren’t the first to do anything ground breaking for a long time.
As of recently that has all changed. Cadillac has introduced CUE. The Cadillac User Experience. Cadillac has just become the first company to use tablet technology that is fully integrated in the car right off the production line. The system simplifies the user experience of in car infotainment. Cadillac has gone back to its grass roots and brought to production something that will be copied and imitated by other car companies. And all for the better. They’re back as forerunners in in-car technology for once. With help from CUE Cadillac is dusting of there old motto of being “the standard of the world”.
“Today marks the new beginning of GM”. The GM boss Rick Wagoner said this at the first showing of the Converj concept in early 2009. To put the scale of the situation and the weight of those words into context, a very brief Cadillac history lesson… Through out it’s prime Cadillac was known for its big displacement engines and countless cylinders. But in the late 70s the US went into a fuel crisis and Cadillac had to down size its whole line of cars and engines to cope. Sadly, it seems, Cadillac was not prepared. Small cars and small engines?, un-traveled territory for Cadillac for many decades. In the following years Cadillac fell far from ‘The Standard of The World’ pedestal that it had long been perched on.
Fast-forward to today’s fuel crisis and Cadillac faces a similar problem. Having reinvented themselves recently they are poised to win this title rematch in the global arena.
GM have recently approved (then canceled, then re approved) the Converj concept for production. Having the under pinning of the successful Chevy Volt, the Voltec hybrid system. The system is described as a fuel assisted EV. Which essentially means, on paper at least, it is a plug in hybrid that scarcely visits the pump (once a year theoretically). The exciting bit and the part that plays into Cadillac’s hands is that’s where the Chevy stops.
Aside from what makes it go everything this car is a Cadillac. With the new direction of styling that Cadillac is going in and their new level of luxury, this is exactly what Cadillac needs to come out on top. When the average person thinks of a hybrid, nothing exciting or grand comes to mind. Sure there is a Lexus or two that uses a hybrid system but they’re over priced and not nearly as efficient. Cadillac is using a unique system that works which is built upon the brand’s new standard of luxury.
The Coverj concept is definitely the 1-2 combo Cadillac needs to battle through this generation’s fuel crisis. It shows that you don’t need to sacrifice style and luxury for efficiency. Well played Cadillac, well played.