GM’s head of global engineering, Jim Queen, has said that Cadillac needs a flagship model not currently in the range. When asked about the possibility of a Holden developed V12 engine for such a vehicle, he chose his words carefully, writes Dave Leggett.


As part of its ‘global vehicle development programme’ that assigns responsibility for GM vehicle development to different regions according to their expertise, Holden in Australia has been allocated responsibility for engineering the architecture for GM’s large RWD cars.


GM vice-chairman Bob Lutz was recently quoted as saying that development work on a flagship Cadillac, a car that would be competing with the likes of the Mercedes S-class, was well under way in Australia.


Reports have also suggested that development work on a new engine for a flagship Cadillac is based on combining two Commodore 3.6 litre ‘Global V6’ engines to produce a 7.2 litre V12. 


“We need to provide Cadillac with a flagship that is not yet in the portfolio,” Queen said, speaking to just-auto at the SAE show at Cobo Hall, Detroit.


“We showed the Cadillac Sixteen [concept] a few years ago and that signals that there is a need to continue to move that brand upstairs and one of the mechanisms for doing that is a flagship vehicle not in the stable right now.”


And would a flagship Cadillac need a suitably flagship engine?


“Perhaps,” said a smiling Queen.


Dave Leggett


See also: AUSTRALIA: Holden engineering head denies Cadillac V12 work