When Cadillac first launched the STS for 1998, it was aiming to stretch Seville’s appeal to younger, affluent, internationally-versed buyers—those who normally wouldn’t consider a trip to the Cadillac dealership. Seville STS models are sold throughout the world, in left- and right- hand drive versions, but if the public’s reaction to our sleek STS was any indication of where the demographics really are at home in America, Seville’s appeal remains strongest with traditional Caddy customers. We saw it everywhere: White-haired senior citizens would turn around and gape hungrily at the STS. Most of them were behind the wheel of a LeSabre, Continental, LHS, or other American luxo-boat—definitely not the BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus drivers that Cadillac targets. The STS seems to be the envy of older men everywhere.
And now that the Escalade has stolen center stage at Cadillac, earning fame in hip-hop lyrics and entering the Gen-Y pop-culture vernacular, it seems the flagship Seville’s been sidelined by an SUV. Unthinkable! Although the Seville STS hasn’t been a major threat to German luxury heavyweights Mercedes-Benz and BMW, under its conservative guise the STS is a formidable, American-bred Autobahn stormer.
The current Seville was heralded as a technology powerhouse on wheels, and that hasn’t changed for 2001, as Cadillac continues to pile on the tech goodies. The STS made its mark as GM’s technology showcase, with gadgets such as adaptive air-cell seats, the Stabilitrak skid-control system, and a performance shift algorithm for its automatic transmission. Since then, considerable refinements and tweaks have been made along the way, including—yes—more gadgets.More tech goodies for ‘01
For 2001, Cadillac introduces a Web-driven Infotainment system and high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights to the options list. A new-generation rain-sensing wiper system is standard. A new, optional Infotainment audio system is integrated with the available navigation system’s display screen, featuring e-mail capability, an integrated cell phone, a voice-recognition system, and a memo recorder. Standard OnStar services now include hands-free cellphone capabilities and the Virtual Advisor, a feature that offers Internet-based information. Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist, included with the luxury package on our car, uses a series of three LEDs and visual cues to indicate the distance to an obstacle behind the car while in reverse.