Cadillac Still Wants to Make Diesel Engines, Expect Them in 2020

2016 Cadillac CTS 1 photo
Photo: Cadillac
Cadillac will continue to develop diesel engines for upcoming models despite the Dieselgate scandal.
While the consumers’ faith in diesel might have been shaken, the American brand plans to develop four- and six-cylinder units to please its European customers. Cadillac will roll out its diesel engines by the year 2020, as part of its sales offensive planned for the next decade.

According to Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen, the reputation of diesel engines has suffered on account of the Volkswagen scandal, but the prospects of diesel units in Cadillacs are still positive. In an interview with Car&Driver, Cadillac’s CEO has confirmed that the upcoming diesel engines will also be sold in the United States of America, not just in Europe.

The head of the automaker has also confirmed that the brand will not develop its upcoming diesels per se, but rather borrow them from other General Motors brands. The new engines will be designed to Cadillac specification, meaning that the output, performance, fuel economy, and noise standards should be higher than those of the units they are based on.

Cadillac is not at its first encounter with diesel, as the company has been discussing the topic for a few years now. Without diesels, the American brand cannot compete with its European rivals, including brands like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. However, there are premium brands that do well in sales figures without too many diesel engines in their ranges, and Lexus is the best example that comes to mind.

Cadillac’s first attempt at a production vehicle with a diesel engine began in the late 1970s. Back then, the American brand wanted a way to reach the 1978 CAFE standards for fuel economy.

However, Cadillac’s brand image and the way US customers viewed diesels suffered significantly due to the reliability issues of those power plants.

The carmaker eventually discontinued the units, but the fear of diesels in the US was maintained by the poor performance provided by those engines. Thankfully, diesels have come a long way from the 1970s, so the company could bring a nice surprise to the market.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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