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SEE ALSO:Cadillac Buyer's Guide

Cadillac has been building fine motor cars since its inception almost a century ago, and has a heritage of innovation and engineering advancements in keeping with its leading position in our luxury car market. That market is changing. It was once the province of American and European automotive manufacturers, but in the last decade the Japanese have become potent competition. American luxury cars, once the acknowledged symbols of success, became less desirable for younger wealthy buyers. To combat this trend, Cadillac developed a new family of luxury sedans and coupes based on the "Northstar System." The Northstar System is a systems approach to automotive design that utilizes state-of-the-art engineering and technology to produce luxury cars that are fully competitive with those from anywhere in the world. It combines an ultramodern drive train with sophisticated electronic control of brake, traction control, suspension and steering functions to deliver positive handling, and a safe and well-controlled ride.

The Northstar System is standard equipment on the Cadillac Seville sedans and Eldorado coupes, intended as upscale import fighters. Cadillac has also developed the Concours, a new Northstar model based on its popular DeVille six-passenger sedan series. The Concours is designed to combine the benefits of modern technology with traditional Cadillac style, spaciousness, and comfort. It is meant to appeal to a broader age range of buyers than the basic DeVille, particularly younger ones, as well as to those who now have an imported luxury car.

APPEARANCE: The Concours is a classic, traditional Cadillac. It is a large car with its trademark egg-crate grille along with a peaked hood and a wide band of head and turning lights at the front, slightly rounded slab sides, and a massive rear deck and vertical taillights. It has it own distinctive alloy wheels fitted with Goodyear Eagle GA performance tires. In deference to modern styling sensibilities, there is little bright chrome. Like a well-tailored suit, the Concours is a tasteful, conservative design that should wear well.

COMFORT: The Concours is an interesting mix of traditional American and European ideas about luxury and comfort. It has a full complement of power-operated accessories plus a driver information center that can deliver up to 42 messages, retained accessory power, a digital instrument cluster, and remote keyless entry. The contoured bench seats are firmer than might be expected, and very comfortable. As befits a luxury car, the Concours' interior is outfitted in leather with wood trim. Other niceties include power front seat controls and room for six adult passengers along with excellent AM/FM/CD/cassette sound and a quiet, efficient climate control system.

SAFETY: The 1995 Concours is equipped with all of the active and passive safety devices and systems that are Federally required through 1997. They include side door beams, front and rear crush zones, steel safety cage construction, dual airbags, and height-adjustable front shoulder straps. Other peace- of-mind items are Pass-Key, Anti-Lockout, Automatic Locking and Remote Keyless Entry.

ROADABILITY: Thanks to the Integrated Chassis Control System (ICCS), which monitors and reacts to changing driving conditions through integration of brake, traction control, suspension and steering functions, the Concours delivers a ride that is comfortable, safe and quiet. This sophisticated system is computer-managed and uses the best combination of the automatic damping, the speed-dependent power steering and full-speed traction control systems to insure a precisely-controlled ride in a variety of weather and road surface conditions. The four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes assure controlled, safe stops. When underway the Concours delivers a very quiet ride with excellent all-around vision.

PERFORMANCE: To meet power demands and performance goals, the Concours uses a specially- tuned version of the 4.6 liter, 32-valve, twin cam V8 Northstar engine. It is set up to deliver slightly more torque and less horsepower than some other Northstar powerplants, and provides quick power and good responsive feel at low engine speeds. Power is delivered to the front wheels by four-speed Hydra-matic transmission and controlled by a computerized engine module. Tuneups are required only at 100,000 mile intervals because the computer controls and platinum plugs keep the engine clean. The "limp home" mode allows the Northstar engine to be driven without coolant for at least 50 miles.

CONCLUSION: After two years on the road the Contour has proven that styling and performance can work together, and that driving a big car can be pleasing and fun!


       Base Price             $ 39,400     
       Price As Tested        $ 42,021
       Engine Type            V-8, dohc - 32v, mpfi
       Engine Size            4.6 liter/279 cid 
       Horsepower             275 @ 5600
       Torque (ft/lbs)        300 @ 4000
       Wheelbase/Length       114"/210"
       Transmission           four speed automatic w/overdrive
       Curb Weight            3990 lbs.
       Pounds per Horsepower  14.5
       Fuel Capacity          20.0 gal.
       Fuel Requirement       Unleaded premium (91 oct)
       Tires                  Goodyear Eagle RS-A P225/60HR16 m + s
       Brakes                 vented disc/disc, ABS standard
       Drive Train            transverse front engine/front drive
       EPA Economy - miles per gallon
         city/highway/observed     16/25/18.5     
       0 to 60 mph                 7.3 sec  
       1/4 mi (E.T.)               15.4 sec  
       Coefficient of Drag  (Cd)   0.35