Home » Cadillac Convertible Would Be Welcome Addition, Says Dealer Council Chairman

Cadillac Convertible Would Be Welcome Addition, Says Dealer Council Chairman

Cadillac Convertible Would Be Welcome Addition, Says Dealer Council Chairman

There are big changes afoot at Cadillac, with dealers prepping for the arrival of the all-electric Lyriq crossover next year, and the debut of the new Blackwing sedans ushering in a next-level performance option for enthusiasts. However, among all these headlines, there is still one missing element to the luxury marque’s lineup – no Cadillac convertible.

Cadillac XLR

Cadillac XLR

According to Cadillac National Dealer Council chairman, David Butler, a new Cadillac convertible would be a welcome addition to the lineup, per a recent interview with Automotive News.

Although a new Cadillac convertible would be appreciated, Butler said that he currently sees no “big hole” when considering the current Cadillac product lineup.

“We’ve got most of the segments covered right now,” Butler said. “It’s very different [from a few years ago]. It’s really nice having an XT4, CT5, XT6 and an Escalade.”

“Now we have three cool crossovers,” Butler added. “With the CT4, CT5, I would like to see more variants on those vehicles, like Blackwing. We’d always like to have a convertible.”

Cadillac XLR

Cadillac XLR

As fans will no doubt remember, the last production Cadillac convertible offered was the XLR, a front-engine, RWD roadster produced between between 2003 and 2009. Offered as Caddy’s flagship model, the XLR was based on the same Y-body platform as the Chevrolet Corvette, and featured a 4.6L Northstar V8 engine. Cadillac also offered a high-performance variant called the XLR-V, which cradled the same supercharged 4.4L Northstar V8 as the STS-V, producing 445 horsepower and 414 pound-feet of torque, good enough for a sprint to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.

Cadillac Ciel concept

Cadillac Ciel concept

More recently, in 2011, Cadillac unveiled the Ciel hybrid electric concept, a full-size, four-door luxury drop-top powered by an electrified twin-turbo 3.6L V6 good for 425 horsepower. Unfortunately, the Ciel never made it to production.

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

12 Comments

  1. I have always thought that Cadillac should have kept a 2 door convertible. I wasn’t overly impressed with the Allante. As most know it had its problems. I think it would have been in Cadillac’s best interest to continue the Allante and eventually replace it with the XLR but keep the Allante name. Cadillac followed MB by replacing names with letter designations. Why didn’t they take it one step forward with having an alternative to the MB SL convertibles?

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  2. Cadillac should definitely build a Convertible model. The CT5 should have variants such as a Convertible, a Coupe and a station wagon. With such a rich heritage of Cadillac Convertibles the new model should be highly styled, feature a real “soft top” and preserve its back seat. Competitors Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Audi, BMW and Jaguar all offer convertibles. The Ciel concept vehicle would be a good place to capture stylistic elements, such as the beveled front hood design. Also offer the Blackwing exterior colors and the diamond quilted patterned leather upholstery. Let’s hope they listen to David Butler’s suggestion and get a convertible variant in the model line-up!

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  3. Perhaps if sales of the Electrics (and the increased margins they promise) are good, Cadillac can build a 4-5 place convertible again. I’d love to see it. It would be a kind of “Contrarian” call, with the rest of the world driving station wagons.

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  4. I’ve owned Cadillacs my entire driving life; we owned an Allante, and now own an XLR. The XLR is an amazing design, execution, and driving experience. They are durable and provide an amazingly quiet and smooth, “sure footed” ride. I urge any one who has interest in owning a two seat roadster to test drive one– after many years of ownership, it still provides us with a unique and wonderful automotive experience.

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  5. I had an Allante for 13 years before trading it in for new Corvette convertible, in 2001. I really loved that Allante, but it had a couple of problems. The first is that it was built on a front wheel drive platform. The second was that both the convertible top and the hard top leaked in the rain, but the biggest problem in my mind was that the convertible top was a huge pain in the butt to put up. There was an electric motor that pulled the to tight was it was up, but activating the motor was not easy and could take several tries.

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    • Frank, you’re right on target with the Allante shortcomings. One just sold with low miles for $42,000— The XLR is everything that the Allante was not— the convertible hardtop is an engineering “ballet” performance, the interior is nearly silent with the top up, and the magnetic ride provides an amazing ride. If you liked your ALLANTE, you’ll love the XLR. James

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    • Yes, the Allante had its problems in the beginning, but with the passage of time seemed to be able to iron them out. When they got it right they ceased production. Go figure.

      I have always questioned what was the need of importing the bodies from Italy? Were they looking to bring back past memories using Pininfarina?

      https://www.favcars.com/cadillac-v16-452-speedster-by-pininfarina-1930-images-316498

      Looking for bragging rights? Couldn’t the body have been designed in house? Speaking for myself. I really didn’t find the Allante’s all that special in design. Basically just a little boxy to me. Why not something radical like the 71-73 Rivieras? Or the 66 Tornados that led to the 67 Eldorados?

      On the other hand, I found the XLR’s to be really eye-catching, plus they were built and designed in house. The low sales possibly were a harbinger of things to come. Either buyers weren’t interested in a convertible Cadillac sports car or not quite ready for Cadillac in the $100,000.00 price range.

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      • At that time, GM had high expectations for sales volume and the car did not meet that. I blame GM, not the car.

        The XLR was my favorite car at that time.

        GM needs to understand that the XLR was a halo product and treat it as such that it is not going to sell in big numbers. Hopefully the current management understands that since they have several products coming out.

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        • I fully understand your post. I just feel as though with a different strategy with marketing the XLR. Cadillac would have been able to continue having it in their model line up. Possibly a lower price point would have helped. Considering they were being built with Corvette. I suspect an outlay of funds to produce them would be minimal.

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          • They were not cheap to build– they had some design and some parts that were the same as Corvette and assembled in the same factory ;however, they were assembled by hand, and never intended to be high volume automated assembly.

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            • When you say assembled by hand. Briefly how much different were they assembled from the Corvette? Did they come down the same assembly line?

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              • When I was at the Corvette plant as a visitor at the time, the XLR was built and I don’t recall the car ever being hand built. Both cars share a platform but the XLR was built on a separate assembly line while the Corvette had two at that time. That was back in ’05-’06 if I recall the year. So the XLR was a regular non-bespoke model with a $70+K price tag at that time if that helps.

                Reply

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