Cadillac For 1998
By Carey Russ
The Seville, Cadillac's flagship model, has been so extensively re-engineered for 1998 that only its Northstar System powertrain has much in common with previous models. The other Northstar cars, and the smaller Catera, continue into 1998 with detail changes.
The new Seville may be the most important car in Cadillac's recent history. It is meant to make the company a serious player in the global luxury car business, and was designed with Asian and European sales in mind. For that reason, it was unveiled to the world in Germany, at the Frankfurt Auto Show, and in Japan, at the Tokyo Motor Show, before its American introduction.
Although its external styling is an evolution of that of the previous Seville, the new car is very different from the old one under its skin. It is now built on a third-generation version of the General Motors "G" platform for increased strength and rigidity, and quieter operation. The Northstar System of 4.6-liter V8 engine, 4-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission, and sophisticated electronic chassis controls has undergone further refinement to make the new Seville one of the most technologically-advanced cars made today.
As before, the 1998 Seville will be offered in sport-oriented STS and more traditional SLS versions. Both feature continuously- variable road sensing suspension, all-speed traction control, antilock disc brakes, and the Stabilitrak integrated handling enhancement system. Also standard on the STS is Performance Algorithm Shifting, which enables its automatic transmission to automatically shift like a manual gearbox during high-performance driving.
Cadillac's best-seller had its chassis structure upgraded and its exterior styling freshened last year. As last year, there are three models: De Ville, D'Elegance, and Concours. New exterior and interior color schemes and minor mechanical enhancements will be found on all for 1998.
Two models of the Cadillac luxury and performance coupe continue to be offered. Both the Eldorado and the Eldorado Touring Coupe have small trim and functional upgrades this year.
The German-built small Cadillac has new convenience and security features for 1998. It offers a combination of European performance and a spacious, luxurious interior with features rarely found in the small luxury class.