Cadillac goes with Alpha & Omega

Cadillac apparently has internally approved development of a modified Zeta platform called Omega.   The Zeta platform is the GM Full-size Rear-wheel Drive platform.  GM platforms lately have received greek letters for their internal references.  The Zeta was originally designed as a replacement for the W, H, and K platforms, but was not used, instead becoming the underpinnings of the Chevrolet Camaro.  The long wheel-base version of Zeta has also arrived in the form of the Chevrolet Caprice police vehicle.

Zeta has an independent suspension utilizing MacPherson struts coupled with a dual ball joint lower A-arm in front and a four link independent setup in back.   Holden is working on a variant of Zeta to make it lighter and more economical.  One would suppose the new Cadillac Omega platform would be lighter and more premium — utilize more expensive components for the same platform in order to save more weight and improve performance.

GM Zeta Rear Wheel Drive Platform

The upcoming Gen V V-8 is the suggested powertrain for the new Top-Cadillac.  This seems a good selection to me as it should give terrific power and relatively good fuel economy for what promises to be a heavier vehicle.

The upcoming ATS will be on the Alpha platform, and the refresh of the CTS will also go onto a long-wheelbase Alpha.  Alpha was originally designed as a small rear-wheel drive program.  The advantage of the new Omega platform perhaps is that it allows for a even longer wheelbase for the upcoming Top-Cadillac.  Also, with the addition of the Omega platform for the larger Top-Cadillac (ULS?) Cadillac will have a nice mix of platforms to develop from.  The upcoming XTS is on the Epsilon II Front-wheel drive platform, although it may be all-wheel drive with rear-wheel drive bias.   It will be interesting to see how the XTS, ATS, CTS, and SRX fare in the showroom.

Cadillac STS-V visit with TexasJim in Grapevine

Ran out to Grapevine Texas to meet with Texas Jim and show him my STS-V.  Jim lives out west somewhere, so Grapevine is 30 miles from me and 35 miles from him more or less.

I managed not to talk to the STS-V Nav system the right way, so Jim actually provided turn by turn navigation to get me in to the parking lot where we planned to meet.  Now I have that spot saved in the nav for another visit.  I love that the STS-V has bluetooth so my pocket cell phone becomes a hands-free phone using the 15 speakers in the STS-V when synced.

I’m still driving the Cadillac around dirty, but he had not seen/Driven the V-Series so I wanted to show & discuss.  When I was test driving the Cadillac CTS-V I had brought it out to show, but because it was a Dealer car I could not offer test drives.  Since the STS-V is my car, I wanted to give Jim a chance to try it out.  He posted his take on the experience here.

Jim’s 2006 Cadillac DTS Performance Sedan still looks great at 100K+ miles.

Jim also took numerous pics of the V.  One feature the STS-V has is headlight washers.  They are actually controlled by the same controls as the windshield washer.   So while I sat in the V and hit the washers, Jim grabbed this shot:

Normally that little panel is flush with the front of the car, but on command it lifts up, clearing the nozzles below to spray the headlight covers to wash them clean.  Charming.

We had a nice visit and talked about Cadillacs, and ran the STS-V up and down the highway so he could get a feel for it.  I think we concluded that it would suit him just fine as a next Cadillac.  Actually his 2006 DTS is still going strong so no rush to a new Cadillac.

I like the way the camera autofocus came out on this shot.   The STS-V was produced at Lansing Grand River by UAW 652.   “One Team, One Goal, World’s Best”; well done.



Shots of the new-to-me STS-V

Here are some shots in day to day driving patina to highlight some of the features of my new 2008 Cadillac STS-V.  I apologize that it is not immaculate, but was just enjoying grabbing some snaps.

Click on images to see larger versions.

The STS-V was made from 2006-2009; this is a 2008 Model.  The 2008 gained a Heads-up Display compared to the 06/07.  The 09 was similar to the 08.  Under 500 of this year/model were produced starting at $78,775.

The V-Series for Cadillac means a performance tuned model that is capable of operating well on the road or track.  That is what a ‘sports car’ used to mean.  This car has a tuned suspension, high performance Brembo brakes, high output powerplant, and extra cooling for all systems so that it can run flat out without misstep.  It has a competition mode for the stabilitrak to yield more control for the Driver in high dynamics. This is a gentleman’s racer.

Cadillac has used a metal mesh as a consistent V-series theme.

Engine Shot – Supercharged 4.4L DOHC VVT V8 making 469hp.  That is a beauty cover, under which the Supercharger sits atop a 4.4L Northstar engine.  For the STS-V the engine actually sits 2″ lower in the chassis for balance.  This also perhaps helped the composite hood fit with only a small power bump.

Each of the STS-V engines, designated LC3, were made by hand by a single Engine Techician.

Here is a dyno graph of the STS-V LC3 engine output:

Tail View; note continued V-theme mesh grill at the bottom

At 17K underside still looks fresh enough.

Nice V touch on the door threshold.  Interior needs a vacuum, but I let that go for the weekend so I could write this for you.

More pics to follow soon with other details.

What do you think of the STS-V?