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Cadillac takes on Europe's finest

Caddy cruiser: Cadillac's imminent new roadster remains true to the Evoq concept revealed at the 1999 Detroit motor show.

Cadillac plans to take on Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar with a stunning new roadster

21 Aug 2000


CADILLAC plans to spearhead its charge into overseas markets with a production version of the stunning Evoq concept car unveiled at the 1999 Detroit motor show.

Due on sale around 2003, the rakish roadster will be pitched against flagship convertibles such as the Mercedes-Benz SL500, Jaguar XK8 and imminent Lexus SC430.

The rear-wheel drive V8-powered drop-top is yet to be named but Cadillac says it will not use concept car's Evoq moniker.

It is believed the luxury car-maker is considering using alphanumeric names for all future products, taking a leaf out of the textbooks of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Jaguar.

The roadster will share its platform with the next-generation Chevrolet Corvette, due out during the 2004 model year.

"As we expand Cadillac's global portfolio, this expressive roadster will be developed to attract customers in all important luxury markets, including North America, Europe, Japan and the Middle East,- Cadillac general marketing manager Mr Mike O'Malley said.

There are currently no plans to offer the roadster in Australia. GM has in the past considered introducing the Cadillac brand to Australia but the idea has been shelved - at least for now.

The roadster will be powered by Cadillac's Northstar 4.6-litre V8 engine mated to GM's five-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic-style shift capability.

It will be the first application of that transmission in a GM vehicle. Currently the five-speed is sold to BMW for use in the 3 Series and 5 series.

The roadster also will represent the first rear-wheel-drive application for the Northstar engine.

It also features a Mercedes-Benz SLK-style folding steel roof and interior instrumentation designed by Italian jeweler Bvlgari. High-tech innovations include Night Vision, an infra-red camera and projection system, and the Stabilitrak stability-control system.

It rides on Michelin run-flat tires.

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