NEW YORK -- Cadillac's ultraluxury sedan is heading toward production despite the loss of Zeta, one of two vehicle architectures considered for the car.
General Motors this month announced that it was halting plans for North American cars on the rear-drive architecture, a victim of budget slashing forced by the automaker's financial woes.
Jim Taylor, Cadillac's general marketing manager, said the product plan for GM's luxury brand was spared from GM's austerity moves.
"The ULS is still in there" said Taylor, who was interviewed last week at the New York auto show. "We didn't cancel any of the new-product programs, and we will be adding a few as well."
ULS is GM's internal code name for a rwd sedan that GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz has been pushing. The car draws on styling cues first displayed on the Cadillac Sixteen concept. The car is expected to carry a sticker price in the $100,000 to $125,000 range. It will compete with the Mercedes-Benz S class and the BMW 7 series.
The Cadillac ULS still is expected to go on sale by the end of the decade, but the vehicle architecture that will be used is still to be decided, Taylor says. A decision is expected early next year.
"Zeta was one candidate, and a Sigma derivative was one of the candidates, too," said Taylor. The Sigma architecture is used by the Cadillac CTS, SRX and STS. But now that GM has decided not to develop the Zeta vehicle architecture, Taylor said "anything that is rear-wheel drive that is on our shelf becomes a candidate" for consideration.
He said that includes stretching the architecture used for the Chevrolet Corvette and Cadillac XLR or re-engineering the rwd architecture used by Holden, GM's Australian unit.
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