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The Cadillac Coupe Is Dead

The Cadillac Coupe Is Dead

With the ATS Coupe discontinued in July, Cadillac no longer offers any two-door models. The circumstance is quite the turn of events for a brand that built its reputation on producing high-luxury vehicles in a variety of body styles, many of which incorporated only two doors. Indeed, it would appear as though the Cadillac coupe is dead. But how did we get here?

It’s certainly not because the public refuses to buy coupes. In fact, Cadillac’s competition offers loads of ‘em. If we include two-door roadsters, BMW currently offers four – the 2 Series, the 4 Series, the 8 Series and the recently-released Z4. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz has a whopping six two-door models to choose from, including the C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, SL-Class, SLC-Class and AMG GT, each with at least three different performance variants, to boot. Granted, the SLC, previously known as SLK, will soon be discontinued, but it will likely be replaced with a bespoke product from AMG, again, with just two doors.

2015 Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe

From the Audi camp, we find three two-door models, including the A5, the TT and the R8. Word is the TT and R8 are going away by 2020, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see some kind of replacement offered with battery power under the hood and two doors in the body.

Hell, even Infiniti has the Q60 Coupe. 

Meanwhile, the Cadillac coupe has gone the way of the dodo with the death of the ATS line. Although the brand is still offering cars, including the new CT5 and CT4, both will remain four-door sedans, even in their new top-tier go-faster iterations, as confirmed by CT5’s Chief engineer, Mike Bride

Neither the new CT4 (left) or CT5 (right) will offer two-door variants

To make matters worse, we know that, at one time, a new Cadillac coupe was in the cards, as evidenced by a series of blueprints uncovered in 2018. Originally, this mystery two-door was believed to be a Cadillac CT5 Coupe. From what we currently know, the project is dead in the water.

Indeed, it’s a sad day when you can’t get a new Cadillac with just two doors. The history books are filled with famous Cadillac coupe models, including the Coupe deVille and Eldorado. More recently, the ATS Coupe and ATS-V Coupe, as well as its direct predecessor – the CTS Coupe and CTS-V Coupe – were quite the machines.

Mercedes-Benz 2-doors:

  • C-Class
  • E-Class
  • S-Class
  • SLC-Class (SLK-Class)
  • SL-Class
  • AMG-GT

BMW 2-doors:

  • 2 Series
  • 4 Series
  • 8 Series
  • Z4

Audi 2-doors:

  • A5 Family (A5, S5, RS5)
  • TT
  • R8

Infiniti 2-doors:

  • Q60 Coupe

It would seem that the German competition soaked up all the sales. Meanwhile, Cadillac’s parent company, General Motors, is diving head first into electric and autonomous vehicles, both of which are very expensive undertakings with little to no return in the short-term. Hence, some “fun projects” – such as coupes – suffered as a result.

Even so, we’d love to see some kind of new Cadillac coupe make the scene. There’s something about mounting two doors on a well-made luxury car with a solid engine up front that feels just so right. In fact, Cadillac is one of the luxury brands that is so well-positioned to deliver a two-door vehicle thanks to the presence, style and opulence the brand’s vehicles can often carry. Alternatively, we’d also settle for something with a focus on performance, such as a halo Cadillac sports car based on the upcoming mid-engine C8 Corvette.

How about you, dear reader? Will you miss the Cadillac coupe? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section. And don’t forget to subscribe to Cadillac Society for around-the-clock Cadillac news coverage.

Written by
Jonathan is an automotive journalist based out of Southern California. He loves anything and everything on four wheels.

26 Comments

  1. Since Cadillac has many products coming out in the future and projects they are undertaking at this moment, the coupe would not make much financial sense until the most important products come out post ’21 Escalade.

    Although the ATS coupe was beautiful, it was not a show-stopper. Cadillac needs a show-stopper coupe of the CT5 and needs to be done right style-wise. The patent drawing revealed earlier looks promising.

    Reply
    • I would challenge your thinking about the ATS Coupe. The segment never really accepted “home runs” from a design standpoint. Slightly modified two-door versions of the sedans on which they’re based has always been the status quo, and has satisfied the buyers in this space.

      As for the ATS Coupe, I’d argue that the vehicle was the best-looking car in its segment, bar none. Unfortunately, the model’s success was hampered by two primary items:

      1. The “Cadillac syndrome”: there is a large subset of the population that doesn’t consider Cadillac to be desirable based on name and/or past products. The “old man’s car” argument comes to mind, similar to (but nowhere as pronounced) as the one hurting Buick. These people instead buy German or Japanese, regardless whether the product is better. This is an image-based problem and is something Cadillac needs to address.
      2. Strange equipment/packaging: the biggest markets for the ATS Coupe were California, Florida and New York. In two of those states, it gets unbearably hot… but the ATS didn’t off such key features as ventilated or cooled seats (while some competitors did).

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      • Add to all of that Cadillacs terrible marketing or lack of marketing.

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      • Alex;
        Was the second generation Sigma CTS Coupe not a “Home run”? It’s design was quite a departure from its Sedan counterpart and garnered a lot of attention. I did read once that it accounted for a quarter of total CTS sales at one point.

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        • Exactly. There was far more CTS Coupes than ATS Coupe sold. The design stood out greater than the ATS coupe did. I consider the CTS coupe a home run.

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          • Greg and Johnls_39:

            Since Cadillac/GM did not break out sales of the CTS and ATS, we do not objectively know what commercial success they did or didn’t enjoy. As such, we don’t know what the extent of their sales was or wasn’t.

            From what I have heard, the CTS Coupe wasn’t very successful and the “quarter of all CTS sales” figure sounds extremely high. I would be extremely surprised if the Coupe ever surpassed 15 percent of total CTS mix, and that would be on a good/high year. I have reason to believe that most of the time, it hovered around the 8-10 percent of total CTS sales mark.

            Some evidence in favor of that thinking:
            1. When looking around, there is only a handful of these models on the road. I see significantly more BMW 3 Series Coupe and 6 Series Coupe as well as Mercedes C and CLK Class Coupe models of that era. Those models typically make up 20 percent o the product mix for those two automakers. Also, used car listings for the CTS Coupe are extremely limited. Digging further, national auto auction houses like Manheim see very little of the CTS Coupes. These factors do not indicate popularity, but rather lack thereof.

            Also, in considering CTS Coupe sales, I would put forth the following points:
            – The car was released at a time when there was a significant amount of pent-up demand for a two-door Cadillac vehicle. That tends to skew things in a strange manner for the first year or two of market availability.
            – The car seemed to attract current Cadillac customers more than conquest buyers from the competing makes. In that regard, it seemed to not be very successful in attracting new-to-brand customers, instead cycling existing customers out of other lines into the Coupe. I know of very few German customers who would consider the CTS Coupe, as its styling was deemed ostentatious. Given that the only way for Cadillac to grow going forward it to conquest customers from the Germans and Japanese, this doesn’t paint the CTS Coupe as a success.

            That said, I personally liked the car… but obviously my opinion is not representative of the market at large.

            Reply
      • I agree the the ATS coupe was the best looking car in its segment, unfortunately, Cadillac didn’t support the car the way the competition supports their vehicles in marketing. It has great handling as well, but when reviewed the so called enthusiast magazines always said, “but its a Cadillac not a BMW or Mercedes.” In other words their anti American auto manufacturer bias showed, and GM did nothing to counter.
        By the way our 2015 Sports Coupe does have heat and seat cooling.

        Reply
      • The OLD MANS car issue was remedied with the turbos and the stick shifts and even back in the old days the Eldorado was never a old mans car.

        Reply
        • Remedied? To whom and/or who?

          For the majority of luxury car buyers, which are not driving a Cadillac, buying a Cadillac is still a questionable decision. As an owner, I face it all the time and get something along these lines of… “you drive a Cadillac… isn’t that for old people?” Then they see my car and their tune changes significantly… but that image still impacts most U.S. luxury car buyers, and is obviously problematic.

          So no, it has not been remedied. Things have improved, but Cadillac still has a lot of work to do on the image / brand perception side of the equation to get purchase consideration, leading to sales.

          Reply
    • It’s a sad day when Cadillac doesn’t offer a coupe, I’ve owned numerous coupe devilles & eldorados . Currently have an 85 eldorado biarritz , 93 Allante & 12 cts coupe … definitely should have a two door in the lineup

      Reply
      • The last Eldorado was built in 2002. The CTS Coupe didn’t arrive for 7 years. Cadillac sales overall were pretty good during that time.
        Just sayin…

        Reply
  2. I agree the CTS Coupe was a “home run!” Mine (a ’13) has been a great car and still receives compliments on a regular basis. Even the El Miraj concept showcased beautiful Coupe design and received praises throughout the automotive press. Lexus is another competitor offering two Coupes (LC500 and RC350.) It would be in Cadillacs best interest to work on the design shown in 2018 and add a few more stylish touches, and it would certainly help to shed any “old man” image that lingers for the brand. Even the ELR Coupe was a stunning design and it could be tweaked and re-introduced.

    Reply
  3. Cadillac, as a luxury car maker, is dead.

    Reply
  4. For me, as well as other members of my family, styling plays a huge role in vehicle purchases. I have owned two Eldos in the past and presently have an ELR. My son drives a CTS-V coupe. The dramatic era of “Art and Science” in design drew us in and captured our imaginations and purchasing dollars. A creatively-designed 4-door similar to the CT6 might have a remote chance to make us reach into our wallets, but the CT6 is too large a car and is already gone. The CT4 is bland and the CT5 is not only bland, but arguably ungainly in profile.

    Based on their present offerings, we have likely purchased our last Cadillacs.

    Reply
  5. For many years, I would not consider a four door anything. Now, stylists have blended the rear doors better in many cases, (not the Charger). But right now, the CT4/5 are not making me want to trade my XTS Plat. or Mustang.

    Reply
    • I own a CTS coupe and it is the finest car mechanically and aesthetically that I have driven. I’ve owned it now for over 6 years. I’m distressed to learn that no more coupes will be no longer be on the Cadillac offerings!

      Reply
  6. I agree that the second-generation CTS and CTS-V Coupe was the real stunner! Although I’d love to see something along those lines based on the CT4, I’m not so sure that should be Cadillac’s highest priority right now.

    Is there a market for luxury coupes in China, Cadillac’s largest market?

    Reply
    • I agree Cadillac has higher priorities than a Coupe right now, though I’d love to see one.
      I wonder where a person could see sales figures for Luxury coupes in China? If I remember correctly, Cadillac did not offer the ATS Coupe in China.

      Reply
      • JE – the market for luxury coupes is very small in China, since the cars sold there must be able to serve as “family cars” for most. However, that may change as the culture experiences the empty-nester effect in the future.

        Reply
  7. I have had an ATS Coupe for almost five years.
    It is perfect for me.
    It’s biggest drawback is the CUE system.
    The CUE has also turned off a lot of perspective buyers.
    It seems I will have to look to Europe now.
    May as well unsubscribe to the Cadillac Society.

    Reply
  8. For Cadillac to totally abandon this market is a shame. For the record if they built a CT5, or even a CT4 coupe I would buy one.

    Reply
  9. The Cadillac name and legacy has not been able to overcome a couple decades of inept GM management that obviously believed that the name alone would ensure sales success. Upmarket sales was there for the losing, and Caddy lost it. Marketing, styling, product features, dealer configuration, overall quality – all these and more were either failures or unaddressed issues. I actually thought the introduction of the gen 1 CTS meant GM finally found some self awareness, but I was very wrong. I can’t even remember when Caddy ceased being an American aspirational icon. It’s a shame, for sure.

    Reply
  10. It hurts me to say this, but I think Cadillac is headed in the wrong direction. Eliminating great cars like the CTS and the CT6 is a huge mistake. I’ve bought or leased 17 new Cadillac over the past 40 years. 5 were CTSs, one was a 2011 Coupe. I loved everyone of them. I also had 2 Coupe DeVilles and an Eldorado. I loved those as well. I recently took delivery of a 2020 CT6 and love it, but wish it was available in a two door version. Imagine a Coupe DeVille based on the CT6 platform. That would be a GREAT car. I don’t understand why Mercedes and BMW can sell big cars and Cadillac can’t. Being a retired advertising Exec, I would have to blame Marketing and advertising. I believe advertising works…to clarify…GOOD advertising works. Unfortunately, Cadillac’s current campaign and recent campaigns are not and have not been “GOOD” in fact, I would say they are terrible. Compare Cadillac’s TV ads to Mercedes, and BMW TV spots and you’ll see what I mean. Cadillac advertising, what little there is, is static and boring. Competitive ads are interesting and exciting. They draw you in and make you want to drive and own the product. I hope Cadillac Management reads these comments because several of the people who leave a reply have significant experience, good insight and offer good advice.

    Reply
  11. The CTS coupe was the sharpest looking Cadillac ever built. Mine was a new leased 2013 model & people at a traffic light would ask me what is it and where did I get it. My intent was to replace it in 2016, however, 2014 was the last year of production. The dealer wanted to sell it to me @ full, original, sticker price & the mileage was 15,000K

    Reply
  12. I’ll Certainly not be trading-in my ATS Coupe any time soon.

    Reply
  13. One of Cadillacs biggest problem is their inability to build products that the can say mine is better than yours. Then go out and show the world they are not just blowing smoke.

    Reply

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