PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY — Outside the temperature is in the 90s, while inside my cockpit’s climate control keeps me cool. Air bladders in the seat subtly adjust for my contours as I power into Turn One. A large pool of soapy, sudsy water greets my tires, and I prepare for a spin as I enter it and turn hard to the left.
Instead, I steer straight into the banking of Turn Two. An easily maneuvered cone course is next, and then comes a stretch of deep sand. Surely this will upset the balance and control of the DeVille, but it doesn't.
A Cadillac at a racetrack, you might question? Throwing the largest model in the GM stable around in conditions that would unsettle most performance cars? That’s certainly not the image of the DeVille that most consumers would consider. And that’s exactly why General Motors brought a group of auto writers to the PIR to evaluate the enhanced and upgraded Cadillac DeVille for 2000.
A loyal following
For the past 14 years, Cadillac’s DeVille has been the best-selling luxury car in the world. And, for decades, it’s boasted the leading brand loyalty in the entire industry: Of the 2 million current DeVille owners, more than half will lease or buy another, while 69 percent will stay with Cadillac models.
But GM’s luxury division can't rest on its laurels. After all, Cadillac’s traditional well of buyers — pre-boomers — is running dry. By 2005, nearly 40 percent of potential customers will be baby boomers, many of whom are just as likely (or more) to buy an import. This group of buyers has come to expect high performance, leading technology, and contemporary styling.
That’s why, for the 2000 model-year, the DeVille has been thoroughly reworked.
It incorporates more athletic manners and some innovative technology while clinging to Cadillac’s traditional luxury values.