A renamed version of the vehicle which was once known as the Cadillac DeVille (a vehicle name once an all-conquering staple in luxury motoring), the DTS name was adapted to the General Motors luxury brand’s new identity. While tagging along for the ride towards the 21st century auto company, the DTS sedan was a mammoth, in more ways than one. 207.6 inches long and the remaining basis for the once-cutting edge Northstar V-8 powerplant, the Cadillac DTS has officially become an extinct species this past week.
Though the Cadillac DTS is considered ‘old school’ luxury, the technology embodied within the large sedan was actually seen as the wave of the future. Since the late 1960s, some in General Motors believed that the future of luxury cars was going to embrace front-wheel drive. Reacting to European and later Japanese cultures appeared to be favouring the pull for front-wheel drivetrain, Cadillac was caught off guard by the fact German premium vehicle giants Mercedes-Benz and BMW flourished as the new benchmark for luxury using traditional rear-wheel drive platforms. By the late 1990s, Cadillac realized they have taken a wrong turn in the evolution of luxury cars. Though front-wheel drive was fine for smaller, affordable vehicles, premium automobile customers continued to long for the more balanced rear-wheel drive setup. Cadillac reverted to rear-wheel drive cars in 2002 when they introduced the widely successful CTS and later the STS sedan.
The Cadillac DTS remained the last remnant to the old regime of General Motors thinking. In 2010, the DTS accounted for 18,640 vehicle units leaving the Cadillac United States division’s sales department. Less attractive to current premium car buyers, the Cadillac DTS still stood as a favourite for fleet customers. The body style continues to be the choice of limousine companies and as the basis for funeral home hearses. The Cadillac DTS’ factory front-wheel drive configuration proved beneficial in the production of stretched conversions since there is no driveshaft running to the rear axle.
Though the Cadillac DTS made not be thought of as sought-after collector car, the final 2011 model manufactured on General Motor’s Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant is worthy of significance by one prominent figure. Purchased by luxury product merchandiser Nicola Bulgari, the last-produced 2011 DTS sedan will join an already vast Cadillac collection. Bulgari is the present owner of nine Cadillac cars and two vehicles from Cadillac’s pre-war sub division LaSalle.
As Cadillac waves goodbye to the final DTS, attention now turns to the awaiting arrival of the American luxury car maker’s XTS sedan. Though information on the upcoming production sedan has yet to be made official, the new Cadillac XTS will become the luxury division’s modernized flagship.
Information and photo source: General Motors