A Cadillac Cimarron Mea Culpa

Younger Prosperous, I just study the street examination of the 1982 Cadillac Cimarron that you wrote for the August 1981 challenge of Auto and Driver. I know you have felt ashamed about it for years—since I am you, following all—given that you effused around the smaller Caddy. Far too negative that car or truck went on to become a punchline and what could be a terrific Jeopardy query underneath the classification heading “Cars that attempted to fool us.” Clue: Cadillac Cimarron. Answer: What is basically a Chevy Cavalier?

Hey, all people blows it as soon as in a even though in this business, buddy. I’m listed here to assistance you acknowledge it. Sorry it was your convert this time, but it is really great for a laugh all these several years afterwards. Alright, you had been a freshly minted Vehicle and Driver editor—very youthful, pretty eager to do the appropriate thing—when Cadillac stunned the business with the Cimarron. As your more mature and wiser self, I’m right here to explain to you that you should not experience so bad about not panning it. Chagrined? For certain, but not mortally ashamed at the mere mention of “that Cimarron highway exam.”

Auto and Driver

It can be not your fault that Cadillac tried to pass the car or truck off as a real competitor to the small BMWs and Audis of the time. It appears to be silly now, but remember what a major adjust it was from everything wearing the wreath-and-crest badge? You mentioned as a great deal in the piece. Cadillacs from back again then had been about as different from autobahn-bred BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes as lions are from cows. Sure, they both equally have four legs, but they run very in a different way.

European luxurious sedans have been fantastically crafted, tautly suspended, highly tactile passenger modules capable of sustained large speeds—and nimble on back roads way too. Cadillacs, on the other hand, were cush-mobiles that bobbed like they were being adrift on the large seas, steered with all the responsiveness of a tractor-trailer, and experienced rococo interiors upholstered in velour observe-suit substance. They appeared like cars greedy to yesteryear the foreigners were being aimed at tomorrow.

Youthful Prosperous, I know you and your C/D colleagues (Hey, Ceppos, no shifting blame to co-workers—Ed.) were being also similarly shocked and shocked that Cadillac would endeavor to market a car or truck like this, in spite of how shut it was to a Chevy Cavalier. Hell, it experienced blackwall tires and a guide transmission! You men imagined that was adequate simply because back then, it appeared that American brand names like Cadillac, Lincoln, and Chrysler would in no way get hip to the concept of luxury automobiles remaining gentle and nimble and dressed in restrained sheetmetal and small business-go well with interiors. But below was this . . . point that was as unanticipated as seeing an alien spaceship landing in the C/D parking large amount. Hope! There was hope for America’s luxurious-vehicle makers immediately after all!

What was even a lot more stunning is that you double-checked your enthusiasm for the Cimarron by pitting it towards four import competitors—the Audi 4000, BMW 320i, Volvo GL, and Honda Accord—and uncovered that, whilst the Caddy experienced some flaws, it could very a great deal operate with the competitors and felt incredibly very good doing it.

Far too poor about fact, huh, my younger pal? The environment seemed at the Cimarron and observed an overpriced Cavalier, a lot more so as the years wore on, and GM was later pilloried for building cookie-cutter automobiles with scarcely discernible manufacturer-to-brand differences. Not like you, other much less enlightened souls could not take pleasure in the nuanced variances in between the modest Caddy and its Chevy doppelgänger. Oh, nicely. You had been younger and callow and caught up in, effectively, I guess the heady concept that Cadillac may possibly conserve itself from sure disaster. Your colleagues agreed (Hey, Ceppos! Failed to we say no blame-sharing?—Ed.), but then you all last but not least arrived to see the Cimarron for the large marketing and advertising blunder it experienced been.

I’m a extra compassionate male in my old age, so I am going to say this for you, buddy, so you don’t have to: “Mea culpa!”