Sunday, 6 November 2011

The Cadillac Seville...

Yee-ha! It's another American car for your buying pleasure. The only difference here, however, is that the Cadillac Seville isn't your normal American-car-in-England. The biscuit and gravy loving (is that a bit of a cliché?) Americans have been kind enough to put the steering wheel on the correct side of the car, which is bloody nice of them. It gets better, too. Not only have they ensured we don't die when overtaking an octogenarian in Micra on the B342, they've also left the the bloody huge 4.6 V8 under the, erm, hood. We like V8s here at N2G, we like them a lot. We don't like putting fuel in them, though.

Okay, this one is left-hand-drive. Trust us, you can get them in RHD too. Honest

We're focusing on the the fifth and final generation of the Seville, mainly because it's the only one to have been given European type approval, whatever that is. It's also better looking than the fourth generation car, and we're all about the looks. We're shallow like that.

Er, look, we SWEAR they make these things in RHD

Under the, wait, under the hood lives a 4.6L V8 which goes by the name of 'Northstar' - a moniker that couldn't be more American if it tried. It's not all stars and stripes though, as there are two distinctly un-American attributes about this engine...

It's big and it drinks a lot - just like an American. Arf!

So, the first un-American aspect is the power - mainly because it has some. The American motor industry is famous the world over for building engines with cylinders so big you could park a Vauxhall Corsa in them, but it's also famous for managing to extract BHP figures that would struggle to intimidate a ride-on lawn mower. Honestly, we know someone with a 6-litre Ford Thunderbird - it has 180bhp.

The Northstar V8 is different though, very different. The Seville comes as either an STS (Seville Touring Sedan) or an SLS (Seville Luxury Sedan), both of which have the 4.6 Northstar lump. This is where we get a bit giddy, and you should too. The SLS has 275bhp which is more than plenty, while the STS has 300bhp, thus forcing ride-on mowers everywhere to explode in fear - the Seville is one impressively fast car.

Now for the other un-American aspect...

...observe the lack of a prop-shaft? That's becuase this sucker is front-wheel-drive. That in turn makes it do this a lot. Yes folks, what you're looking at here is an American car doing the unthinkable - it's going around a corner! Madness, utter madness.

BAZINGA! A right-hand-bloody-drive one. Told you!

Inside it's your usual luxury American fodder and that's no bad thing. Acres of soft leather, more electronic gizmos than Stephen Hawking's parts shed and plenty of room. Oh, and it does that really annoying 'bong bong bong' that American cars do if you leave the lights on and open the door.

Okay, so it's no the most dynamic thing to drive - mainly because it's as big as Rochdale - but that's not what the Seville is about. This was a $50,000+ car a decade ago. It was the finest in American luxury and style (sort of) and with that, it was seen as a symbol of wealth and success. That's an image you can now embody for less than £2000. Plus, it's incredibly exclusive over here (oh come on, it's 4.6l, it was never going to be a big seller in the UK) and let's face it, you'd get a funny twinge in your sexy parts every time you told someone you drove a Cadillac. People would think you were the Ray Liotta of Wandsworth.

We love the Seville, and you should too. It's big, it's brash and it'll cost a fortune if it blows up, but looking at what you get for you money it really doesn't matter. A car shouldn't just be a form of getting from A to B, it should be an extention of your personality; something that tells people what you're really like. So on that basis, buy a Caddy and let people believe you're a Bud drinking, ten gallon hat wearing, America's Next Top Model loving gangster. We would, but then again we're special like that, or so our mum tells us.

And, as ever, here's the proof...