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Thursday, March 22, 2007


Cadillac and Fiat have little connection. Apart from $2 billion, that's billion with a b, that Cadillac's parent GM gave Fiat not to buy it, Cadillac and Fiat do not enter into the same equations.

Word is reaching our ears, however, that Cadillac is fast-tracking a V12 engine closer to reality for a future XLS, aka the Sixteen concept. That would be one of the larger mass-produced cars on the planet. This news comes on the heels of photos of the Fiat 500, one of the smallest cars you'll see.

Fiat made the first 500, commonly remembered as the Cinquecento, nearly 50 years ago. Cadillac debuted the outlandish-but-intriguing Sixteen as a concept in 2003. If Cadillac ever wants to revive its ability to call itself 'The Standard of the World', they must offer something that competes with the best in the world. Fiat's full revival depends, as it always has, on its small cars. The Panda and Grande Punto have paved the way of excellence, but Fiat's most famous model will attract buyers, image, and a little money.

Cadillac will have to invest a large amount of money in a large car, with its accompanying large engine and large price to compete with Mercedes S-classes, BMW 7-series, Audi A8's and Maserati's Quattroporte. Investing large sums of money without impressive results equals large losses of money. If Cadillac insists on going forward, it is imperative that they enter the arena as the best, just to be considered.

Risk and reward. Cadillac could gain so much by a successful production version of the Sixteen, yet the losses could be awful. Fiat does not risk nearly as much, nor will they gain as much. They're chances of success is greater, but the success does not have the potential magnitude.

Cadillac and Fiat joined at the hip? Not so much.

The Good Car Guy is on an extended test-drive, a short-term vacation. Check back regularly, updates will always be attempted.

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