Cadillac President Confirms New Halo Model That Will “Stun The World”

Cadillac doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to halo vehicles as both the ELR and XLR failed to catch on with consumers.

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen is apparently undeterred as he used the 2018 Automotive Forum in New York to confirm the automaker is working on a new halo model which will “stun the world.” The executive asked people to be patient as he can’t talk specifics yet but the company has released a handful of high-profile concepts over the past few years including the Ciel, Elmiraj and Escala. The latter concept’s styling was recently applied to the 2019 CT6 V-Sport which will be unveiled at the New York Auto Show later this week.

While de Nysschen wasn’t ready to go into details, he said “I do not think the world needs yet another large, three box conventional sedan.” He went on to say such models are in a “segment we used to own” but the market is now occupied by vehicles such as the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series and Mercedes S-Class. His statement seems to suggest the company has decided against a flagship sedan and will instead go with something different.

There has been plenty of speculation about a new halo vehicle in recent years and a number of reports have suggested Cadillac could offer an XLR successor based on the mid-engine Corvette C8. That remains purely speculation at this point but General Motors might have dropped a clue about the halo model back in November.

At the time, the company confirmed its new modular platform for electric vehicles would used on at least 11 different models and one of them will be a “Lux Low Roof” vehicle. The image included in the presentation suggested the model could be a coupe which might hint at an ELR successor.

There’s no word on when the halo model will arrive but we’ll likely hear more about it after Cadillac launches mainstream vehicles such as the XT4 and CT5.


  • ErnieB

    A mid engine super car? Nah


    Considering the Escala concept is going into production I’m inclined to say it’s that.

    • Navy ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      It seems like the Escala concept will be once again killed when he hinted this:” While de Nysschen wasn’t ready to go into details, he said “I do not think the world needs yet another large, three box conventional sedan.” He went on to say such models are in a “segment we used to own” but the market is now occupied by vehicles such as the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series and Mercedes S-Class. His statement seems to suggest the company has decided against a flagship sedan and will instead go with something different.”

      • bd0007

        The Escala is not a 3-box conventional sedan – it’s a fastback.

  • kachuks

    Last time that Cadillac stunned anyone was the Cien. That was a long time ago, and still better than anything in the lineup right now.

    • SteersUright

      I disagree, the Cien was just ok and already looks dated. I like the current crop of concept cars which we all know that Cadillac will never actually make.

  • Merc1

    “He went on to say such models are in a “segment we used to own”

    He’s delusional. Cadillac hasn’t owned that segment since he’s been alive.


    • Bo Hanan

      Agreed! You know one of the beauties of the Germans is that they under-promise and over deliver. Or they say nothing and over deliver. They never blurt out nonsense when their history has proven the opposite. Someone on the inside needs to tell Johan to shut up and just deliver!

  • MarketAndChurch

    The Elmiraj would still be a show-stopping jaw-dropping design today, in 2018. They don’t need to come up with anything new, just give us that and the Elmiraj, price it at 120,000 to 175,000, and it’ll be a hit. Same for the Ciel, but making a 4-door convertible would be too expensive to engineer, so the Elmiraj might be a better flagship.

    The only reason people were excited for the Escala was because they thought that Cadillac was still actually serious about taking on the 7-series. The only way for Cadillac to be successful in that dying market is if its large sedan is an electric car like the Model S.

  • LJ

    Weren’t there pictures of a mid-engine mule tracking testing last year that people were rumoring to be a Cadillac?

  • Rasta_Farian


  • Six_Tymes

    This picture looks pretty Stunning actually.


  • The fact that Germans and Japanese has been enroaching their market is a sign that Cadillac needs to be global player for them to evolved, they had steady following in China and Middle East. They just need to expand some more.

  • ELR is a good idea and excellent too, it’s just the car is over priced and it feels more like tarted up economy car than personal luxury coupe (those category still exists btw?)

  • Status

    If you think a luxury car prices are exorbitant, you shouldn’t be looking at luxury cars in the first place. You can’t undercut your way into the market with luxury cars.


    Expect more crying LEDs.

  • Cobrajet

    Just make a CT6 coupe, a new Eldorado.


    As I said last week…make the Elmiraj and / or the Ciel.
    Make them with world-beating specs & materials.
    Watch the cash register ring.

  • SteersUright

    Cadillac is so lost. You cant get any clear indication of what path they’re on because I dont think they even know. Conceding the big lux sedan segment to the Germans was probably wise as there’s not much volume there. But not announcing plans to play aggressively in the midsize segment with an answer to a X4/X6/GLC CUV-coupe thing, or an awesome ATS replacement to go up against the 3-series/C-class, or a 4-door “coupe” of any kind, or plans for any exciting engines outside of the new turbo-8 (can’t have just 1 great engine), or intensively working to quickly incorporate design language from the much-loved concept cars, I just can’t see any clear picture of why anyone would gravitate towards Cadillac with so many excellent options already available.
    The current CTS is a disaster, it got way too big and too conservative with a dumpy interior. Every SUV they make is ugly, including the brand new one just shown. Cadillacs all look like appliances you buy at Sears, not desirable objects that incite any passion.
    Go back to your roots, stop the madness chasing the Germans sporty-everything, you’ll clearly never win that way despite how good your chassis are getting. Start once again to make big, elegant, modern, fuel efficient yet powerful, achingly beautiful vehicles of true luxury in the vein of “affordable” Bentleys/Rolls or something of that nature. Remember the last American sedan that killed it? The 300C. It looked elegant, mean, and Rolls-like, offering a mean V8 soundtrack and was a runaway hit despite that it was actually mostly crap (cheap interior, road noise, unrefined ride, etc).

  • SteersUright

    Wanna succeed Cadillac? Here’s your game plan: go hardcore on luxury, not sport. Only have 1 sports car as a tech and engineering halo. And produce beautiful cars again to rival the worlds best interiors and exterior but with “American” price tags!

    1. Your halo sports car to take on the very best from Aston, MB, Audi, and BMW:

    2. Your new coupe to take on S-class coupe, Bentley Continental, Rolls coupe, Audi A5, BMW 8-series, all in one fell swoop:

    3. Your new luxury sedan to challenge 5-series, E-class, A6/A7, Bentley, Rolls, etc!

    4. CUV’s and SUV’s of equal beauty and luxury, not that antique of an Escalade currently on sale nor the hideously bland appliance you just released (XT4) that will absolutely fail to excite both the marketplace and your bottom line, nor the pathetic XT5. Scrap all those and build vehicles that can proudly wear the Cadillac wreath and crest. Ohh yeah, bring that back too! Dumbest move ever getting rid of that.

    • Status

      You had right it until you said ‘american price tags’. That just means dirt cheap, poor residuals, and priced to sell like a Kia. That’s the kind of thinking that destroyed Cadillac and Lincoln by undercutting instead of making exceptional cars.

      Luxury is not a value proposition, and never was.

      • SteersUright

        American luxury and in fact American cars in general are synonymous with value over their European counterparts. The German brands have earned their right to charge massive premiums because the demand is there for their products. Cadillac has not. Cadillac may even need to consider selling at break-even prices for a few years in order to get cars into as many customer hands as possible and convert them, assuming Cadillac products will one day be of a high enough quality that they will make a persuasive and compelling case with those willing to be among the first to convert over and buy them.

        There are highly valued luxury brands and then there are copycat pseudo-luxury poseurs aching to be taken as seriously. Guess which camp most consumers feel Cadillac falls into as of today?

        • Status

          We both know Cadillac falls into the “copycat pseudo-luxury poseurs” category. They’re there because they chose to make value priced, high-volume luxury cars instead of high-quality, low-volume luxury cars they made pre-war.

          There won’t be any American luxury cars if they continue to be “synonymous with value”. As I said, that’s what nearly killed them. If they continue to offer cut-rate or discounted products pretending to be luxury cars, they will never be able to command the higher prices.

          Also, a much deeper problem that the Americans have, is that they think Cadillac (or luxury products in general) should be accessible to the every-man or at least attainable later in life, modeled closely to the outdated Sloan ladder.

          By dictionary definition, a luxury product of any kind is supposed to be difficult to obtain and contributes to an ease of living. There’s no point in having an exclusive halo Cadillac if it’s priced so that anyone can American can have it without really trying.

          Just look at how the 300C was once seen as a cheap-Bentley because it was value-priced. Now, you can’t even visit a used car lot without finding one. They deprecated so badly with a low-price high-volume sales tactic that it destroyed any sense of exclusivity that it could have had.

  • They say that every year no?

  • fabri99

    I’d like them to make the Ciel Concept – but that’s not going to happen, is it?

  • Are Hvalbye

    What exactly has Mr. de Nysschen achieved at the helm?

    Introduced a nonsensical Audi-wannabe naming regime, spent millions moving the headquarters to NYC, and we are still left with a bastardized lineup of Daweoo lookalikes.

    IMHO, the only rational strategy for Cadillac is to prioritize a four-door full-size luxury sedan. To relinquish this market to the Germans is preposterous. You cannot be acknowledged as a serious premium brand without this offering – other models should revolve around a flagship centerpiece.

    Cadillac turned out over 90.000 Fleetwoods during its four year production run (1993-96) – that’s four thousand more than then number of Escalades sold during the last four years (2014-17). Admittedly, a lot has happened in the high-end space since the 1990s, but it’s far from dormant market. Just see what Tesla has achieved with its Model S since 2013 – now they basically own a third of the US luxury sedan segment. Obviously, Tesla’s success was premised on striking a chord amongst tech hungry and environmental focused consumers, but this is far from black magic.

    If you think my example is far fetched, look no further than to Hyundai – which even managed to sneak in its own luxury sedan on the top five list (Genesis G90) since its introduction a mere three years ago. This Korean brand was anonymous and even ridiculed ten years ago, and to us Europeans it is still the antithesis of luxury. Why would GM executives conclude that Cadillac – with its profound legacy and lasting consumer recognition – is not able to do the same?

    Revive the Brougham, DeVille and Fleetwood nameplates – there is a tremendous amount of luxury brand cachet attached to these. Mercedes-Benz cranks out a steady 100k S-Class units a year, and there is no material reason that Cadillac cannot be at the same level given its resources and reach.

    Have Chevy focus on building crossovers and compacts and let Cadillac be what Cadillac has always been. Revitalize the iconic luxury barge and prepare it for the next decade with hybrid/electric drivetrain, entertainment, connectivity and autonomy features that is in demand.

    • Status

      You’re thinking unit sales with a low price, which is wrong. What Cadillac needs is higher average transaction prices, then they can worry about unit sales. The old names can stay buried as they represent some of the worst cars Cadillac ever built.

      • Are Hvalbye

        The MSRP of a base model 1993 Fleetwood was $37.590 – or about $65k in today’s dollars (a 2018 Escalade starts at $73k). Although a couple grand below a MB S500 of the day – that’s pretty substantial money for a low-tech badge-engineered Caprice, no? Surely the unit economics and margins on these vehicles were top-rate.

        And these were far from the worst Cadillac built (can you say Cimarron?), but rather milk cows for GM. I do agree that Cadillac needs to increase prices to justly occupy the premium segment, tho.

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