Art and Science of a Brand by PCAL

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Domestic auto executives have been getting quite a verbal lashing by the media and the general public lately. There’s no denying that there have been some mistakes made, but I think their current image is an undeserved one. Rewind 10 years and the only remotely modern Cadillac that interested me in any way was the Mosler Twinstar, a car with one 300hp Northstar in the front, and another in the back. I got a chance to talk to a GM executive about Cadillac’s resurgence at SEMA which helped me realize how far the company has really come.


First there was the Prodrive-built Cadillac Cien that helped define the company’s new design language as only a supercar could. It even ended up appearing in Gran Turismo 4. Then there was the CTS-V and the associated Speed World Challenge race program. There was also the Corvette-based XLR. The result is a very different, but much stronger brand. Currently the CTS-V is considered a solid competitor to the M5 and is a performance benchmark itself.


Even with all that, I was surprised to see the Cadillac VRS at SEMA. This car was remarkably well done. The builders were clearly people who “get it.” Why is it on the blog? Our car’s are rolling expressions of who we are. Cadillac isn’t going to produce the VRS, but it sends a very clear message about the brand. No matter what you’re building, the impact this car makes is something to consider.


Notable details: Aero-section tubing for suspension arms, inboard shocks, Formula 1-style brake ducts, continuity of the styling theme.


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