We Talk Sports Cars With Cadillac Boss Johan de Nysschen

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Does Cadillac need a flagship sports car?

That’s the question we put to the new head of the America luxury automaker Johan de Nysschen and his answer was surprising.

Sitting comfortably in a quiet meeting room behind the brand’s display at the New York Auto Show he responded with a simple word: “Ultimately.”

Not “yes” or “no” but a more intriguing though admittedly less committal: “Ultimately.”

“That would be my last product,” de Nysschen added, indicating that the current focus for the brand is elsewhere. In fact, de Nysschen’s roadmap for the brand includes a push to deliver eight all-new products by 2020. The first, revealed in New York, is a the new CT6 flagship sedan, which will be followed by three new crossovers, a new compact sedan below the ATS, as well as three yet-unknown models.

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When at the helm of Audi, de Nysschen oversaw the launch of the R8, which helped transform Audi from an aspiring rival to its German competitors to a truly world-class brand.

Could Cadillac’s sports car be similar? “I hope it would be something entirely different,” said de Nysschen.

“Cadillac will be successful because we are an iconic American luxury brand. We’ve been entrusted with custodianship of a brand with an incredible heritage. In order to be true to that heritage we have to innovate and chart our own course. We will not be successful by emulating others.”

2013 Cadillac Elmiraj Concept

One thing is certain, it won’t simply be a large luxury coupe, as previewed in the Elmiraj concept from 2013.

“We will not produce Elmiraj,” he said. “I think its done a fantastic job of igniting people’s imagination around Cadillac and many of the design cues are finding their way into he latest expression of art and science design.”

Cadillac-ATS-V-R-5

Until a future sports car arrives Cadillac is hoping to attract enthusiasts to the brand with the ATS-V coupe and sedan. Making 464-hp it’s a true rival to the BMW M4 and can be found competing in the World Challenge Series battling Porsches and Ferraris at circuits across America.

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  • TW

    …falling behind here Cadillac it seems again. Don’t have years to get out a decent sports car and SUVs even that really are unique. Better be bold soon or you’ll end up like Pontiac 😉

  • Rickers

    I hope it’s not just an R8 wannabe.

  • Felix James

    The ATS-V is good enough for me! Cadillac is doing amazing stuff these days.

  • Honest Abe

    Why not? a Mid-engine Cadillac sports car with AWD would be awesome!