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    • The next generation mid-size performance sedan battle is going to be boring and only Cadillac can save us

      What went wrong? When exactly did Cadillac become the savior of enthusiast vehicles? The luxury mid-size performance sedan segment is iconic. BMW made its name with the M5. It was the car to beat. Nobody else was even close. Somehow, everything went wrong.


      The next gen battle is going to stink. It's boring. It's lame. Oh, sure, you will all point to the 0-60 times and how the interiors improved and how much quicker the new cars are. They're supposed to be quicker. They're also supposed to drive better.

      Let's do a quick history lesson starting with the car that set the bar. The E39 M5. What was it? This:


      E39 M5
      Engine: NA 4.9 liter V8
      Horsepower: 394
      Torque: 369 lb-ft
      Drivetrain: 6-speed manual rear wheel drive

      Now let's take a look at the competition from AMG at the time:


      W210 E55
      Engine: NA 5.5 liter V8
      Horsepower: 349
      Torque: 391 lb-ft
      Drivetrain: 5-speed automatic rear wheel drive

      And Audi? They offered something truly unique although it came late to the party:


      C5 RS6
      Engine: Twin turbo 4.2 liter V8
      Horsepower: 444
      Torque: 428 lb-ft
      Drivetrain: 5-speed automatic all wheel drive

      Now those cars all offer something different. The M5 offers the best overall combination of power and driver involvement. The E55 is the most comfortable and easiest to drive. The Audi is an all wheel drive all weather terror although very nose heavy. Each had its own personality.

      The subsequent generation reinforced this although a power war broke out that we are still fighting today. The cars are now gauged based on their acceleration instead of the driver involvement. Who cares if they are heavy? Just give them more torque from turbo powerplants.

      From the above we went to the following which is the peak of this battle:


      E60 M5
      Engine: NA 5.0 liter V10
      Horsepower: 500
      Torque: 380 lb-ft
      Drivetrain: 6-speed manual and 7-speed SMG III with rear wheel drive

      The answer from AMG was muscle. They initiated a horsepower war. Say what you want, the E60 M5 is the better driver's car compared to the W211 E55 AMG. Suddenly though, everything was about power.


      W211 E55
      Engine: Supercharged 5.5 liter V8
      Horsepower: 469
      Torque: 516 lb-ft
      Drivetrain: 5-speed automatic with rear wheel drive

      Audi's response was truly outrageous although again they were late to the party. They also never brought the C6 RS6 to the United States so they only get a participation trophy this generation:


      C6 RS6
      Engine: Twin Turbo 5.0 liter V10
      Horsepower: 571
      Torque: 479 lb-ft
      Drivetrain: 6-speed automatic with all wheel drive

      Notice how each car is distinct. Each car represents the philosophy and values of its company. The cars do not drive alike, do not have similar powerplants, do not have similar drivetrains, and have their own unique flavor.

      Now what? Here is how the next generation is shaping up:

      F90 M5
      Engine: 4.4 liter twin turbo V8 top mount turbos
      Drivetrain: 7-speed dual clutch with all wheel drive

      W213 E63 AMG
      Engine: 4.0 liter twin turbo V8 top mount turbos
      Drivetrain: 9-speed automatic with all wheel drive

      C8 RS6
      Engine: 4.0 liter twin turbo V8 top mount turbos
      Drivetrain: Automatic with all wheel drive

      971 Panamera

      Engine: 4.0 liter twin turbo V8 top mount turbos
      Drivetrain: 8-speed dual clutch with all wheel drive

      How exciting. Everyone has a direct injected twin turbo V8 at 4.0-4.4 liters with top mount turbos. Everyone has all wheel drive. Everyone is doing the exact same thing and it's lame.

      Sure, there will be differences. But is the character of the vehicles really all that different? Is winding out an F90 M5 anything like hearing the E60 M5 V10 scream past 8000 rpm? Will you be able to swing the tail out or correct with power on oversteer? Nope. All of these cars will be heavy straightline missiles. These cars have more in common with the Nissan GTR now.


      The only ray of sunshine? Cadillac. The only company doing something different. The current CTS-V features a supercharged LT4 V8. The car is automatic but rear wheel drive and lighter than its competitors. It also offers the best driving dynamics in its class.

      Will the next gen Cadillac CTS-V offer rear wheel drive, a manual, and less weight than its competition? If so, then it's Cadillac that will offer what the M5 used to and nobody else is willing to. A driver's car.

      Bored yet? I am.

      P.S.

      No, the Lexus GS-F does not count. It's still struggling to top the E39 M5 from almost two decades ago let alone the E60 M5.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: The next generation mid-size performance sedan battle is going to be boring and only Cadillac can save us started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 27 Comments
      1. richpike's Avatar
        richpike -
        I LoL'd at the Lexus comment. So true.

        I wonder how how much is due to government regulations too. Certainly chasing ultimate luxury adds a lot of weight. But mandatory air bags, backup cameras, crash test standards, etc all added a bunch of weight too. I'm not saying I don't want those things (I do), but they certainly don't help the weight battles.

        And I'm 100% on board about Cadillac. Badass. I just Ford would do something with Lincoln. The LS back in the day was a great step forward. But then they totally lost their direction while the rest of Ford has crushed it. I've already made up my mind that my next car will be a GT350. It won't be a daily, so I just need more garage space and disposable income (don't we all?).

        -Rich
      1. Bowser330's Avatar
        Bowser330 -
        I read that GM's traction control is pretty damn good vs. the competition so that's helping them be the AWD hold out.

        I've severely disappointed with Lexus. It seems they are always super late to the party...they need to launch a twin turbo V8, shove it into a new ISF, GSF and create an LSF.
      1. 93siro's Avatar
        93siro -
        I blame the buyers. If i controled BMW i would only make E39 M5 and just tweak it every year and tell the people who complain to go $#@! themselves.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 93siro Click here to enlarge
        I blame the buyers. If i controled BMW i would only make E39 M5 and just tweak it every year and tell the people who complain to go $#@! themselves.
        Obviously not going to happen but why can't retro be a thing? Why can't BMW say hey we bought 100 M5's or went through our used dealer inventory or whatever. We completely refurbished them, updated the suspension, improved the motor, new rubber, etc.

        Here you go. E39 M5 2.0 to honor our history.

        Something cool like that. Why not?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by richpike Click here to enlarge
        I wonder how how much is due to government regulations too.
        Honestly, I'm sick of that argument. If Ford can build a GT500 these guys can easily do something different. They don't want to. They want low costs and easy upgrades.

        The Germans are sucking the fun out of this.
      1. Bowser330's Avatar
        Bowser330 -
        Its a great idea....that's what Singer and Icon do so the business concept works...

        There must be a reason why the manufacturers are not trying monetize the popularity of their classic/older models....maybe it comes down to cost...

        - Too costly to refurbish cars in varying degrees of condition?

        - Too costly to retrofit required safety equipment and reserve for lawsuits?

        - Too costly considering it would be a limited launch and they would have to put up a lot of cash to buy numerous used cars?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Bowser330 Click here to enlarge
        Its a great idea....that's what Singer and Icon do so the business concept works...
        Singer charges like $400k and it works which is just mind blowing. People actually buy that stuff.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Bowser330 Click here to enlarge
        There must be a reason why the manufacturers are not trying monetize the popularity of their classic/older models....maybe it comes down to cost...

        - Too costly to refurbish cars in varying degrees of condition?

        - Too costly to retrofit required safety equipment and reserve for lawsuits?

        - Too costly considering it would be a limited launch and they would have to put up a lot of cash to buy numerous used cars?
        There's no way they wouldn't make money plus they'd look sooooo cool.

        I suppose it's more difficult than just releasing classic sneakers again. Why couldn't they do it though? If it's an old car they don't have to put in new safety equipment. They can sell it as used but just restored or restomodded.
      1. Bowser330's Avatar
        Bowser330 -
        i know that applies to you and me or even companies selling small numbers of older used restored cars but I wasn't sure it applies to a manufacturer selling numerous cars; the rules might be different.

        It would be cool to see who would do it first and if executed successfully could start a trend in the auto industry.

        Might even be a good business venture for an enterprising group of builders....manufacturer endorsed 3rd party builder?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Bowser330 Click here to enlarge
        Might even be a good business venture for an enterprising group of builders....manufacturer endorsed 3rd party builder?
        Let's do it. How many millions we putting up?
      1. Bowser330's Avatar
        Bowser330 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Let's do it. How many millions we putting up?
        Click here to enlarge

        i wish
      1. ope92's Avatar
        ope92 -
        http://m.chevrolet.com/ss-sports-sed...l#.WCuvl8U76aM
        Not exactly luxury but it's a sedan that comes in manual and power goes to the rear wheels
      1. Aaron's Avatar
        Aaron -
        Great post, and so true.

        My next car will be a Cadillac V series. The magazines are raving about the newest generation and how well they drive.
      1. Roadkillrob's Avatar
        Roadkillrob -
        E60 M5
        Engine: NA 5.0 liter V8

        I think this is a typo E60 had the S85 V10 not a V8
      1. Aces's Avatar
        Aces -
        I was about to comment that too Roadkillrob.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Roadkillrob Click here to enlarge
        E60 M5
        Engine: NA 5.0 liter V8

        I think this is a typo E60 had the S85 V10 not a V8
        No it has a V8 Click here to enlarge
      1. Stevenh's Avatar
        Stevenh -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Obviously not going to happen but why can't retro be a thing? Why can't BMW say hey we bought 100 M5's or went through or used dealer inventory or whatever. We completely refurbished them, updated the suspension, improved the motor, new rubber, etc.

        Here you go. E39 M5 2.0 to honor our history.

        Something cool like that. Why not?
        Isn't this how Nissan built one edition of the skyline?

        On another note, why doesn't my space bar workin your comment boxes? I'm having to type into notepad and copy/paste.
      1. jyamona's Avatar
        jyamona -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        No it has a V8 Click here to enlarge
        No, it definitely has the S85 V10
      1. jyamona's Avatar
        jyamona -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stevenh Click here to enlarge
        Isn't this how Nissan built one edition of the skyline?

        On another note, why doesn't my space bar workin your comment boxes? I'm having to type into notepad and copy/paste.
        Same_thing_for_me_now_too_Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stevenh Click here to enlarge
        On another note, why doesn't my space bar workin your comment boxes? I'm having to type into notepad and copy/paste.
        An issue with Chrome only. Switch to basic editor for now. It's only an issue when you quote. I'm hoping Google fixes it soon...

        Did you update to the latest Chrome?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by jyamona@motiv Click here to enlarge
        No, it definitely has the S85 V10
        I'm not listening Click here to enlarge