Cadillac Seville (S2)
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 1
Lets face it, unless you purposely seek out the twisty stuff, most of your motoring, be it around town or on the very long and generally straight highways, gives little scope for spirited driving, and the Seville's suspension
, by front wishbones and anti-roll bar
, with semi-elliptic springs at the rear, was near perfect.
Similarly there was little need for particularly precise steering
, and this was an area in which the Seville's recirculating ball system revealed its typically American origins - the steering
being, well, bloody vague. But the stereotype of a Cadillac driver from the 1970's included a floral shirt, ample midriff and the need, above all else, to have creature comforts - and the Seville was amply loaded.
At a time when tilt adjustable steering
was rare, the Seville featured a steering
column that could be adjusted for angle AND length. The powered seats could be adjusted forward and back, up and down and, of course, tilted at will. Before you boast that your Korean shitter can do the same, remember that at this time, most cars "featured" foward and aft movement of the "bench" seat only.
In the 1970s, as a response to the energy crisis and the US Government's subsequent legislation on acceptable levels of fuel consumption, the US motor industry was beginning to take some lessons from its European counterparts. European cars had long been smaller, lighter and more economical, and as the American giants were scrapped or 'downsized' some similarity was evident.
At first sight Cadillac's Seville was an example of this trend. Its lines were particularly neat and tidy, with none of the overt extravagance once associated with the name Cadiliac, and in fact its external dimensions were virtually identical to those of the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow
. The similarity was only skin deep, however, in this case, as mechanically the Seville was simple; a large unstressed V8 engine drove the rear wheels through a live axle suspended on semi-elliptic leaf springs.
The cast-iron. overhead-valve V8 had a displacement of 5740cc, but a lowly output of 170 bhp at 4200 rpm, although the emphasis was naturally on torque rather than sheer brake horsepower, and the Seville's engine put out a very healthy 270lb ft of torque at only 2000rpm. Unsophisticated or not, the fact that the gearing was arranged so that 1000 rpm in top resulted in a speed of 30.4 mph meant that unobtrusive motoring was almost guaranteed.
At the US speed limit of 55 mph for example, the engine was turning at less than 2000 rpm - impressive given it was fitted with a 3 speed automatic. In some ways it is unfair to judge the Seville by anything other than American criteria. A comfortable and roomy interior, allied to a soft and quiet ride, this is where the emphasis was placed in the US, and Australia sort of fell between that and the more sporting and nimble Europeans.
Cadillac Seville Quick Specificatons:
Front mounted V8. 103mm (4.06in) bore x 85.8mm (3.38 in) stroke - 5736cc (350.cu in), Maximum power (DIN) 170bhp at 4200 rpm; maximum torque (DIN) 270 Ib.ft at 2000 rpm; cast-iron cylinder block and heads. Compression ratio 8:1. 5 main bearings. 2 valves
per cylinder operated via rockers and pushrods by a single camshaft mounted in centre of vee. Electronic fuel infection.
Automatic with Turbo-HydraMatic 400 transmission
with torque converter. Ratios 1st 2.480, 2nd 1.480, 3rd 1.00. reverse 2.00. Hypoidbevel final drive with optional limited slip differential. ratio 2.560:1.
Front - independent by unequal length wishbones and anti-roll bar
, Rear - live axle with semi-ellIiptic springs, anti-roll bar
and automatic levelling control.
Recirdulating ball, with adjustable steering
column. Turns from lock to lock 3.
Discs front and drums rear. Servo assisted.
4 door, 4 seat. Integral.
Dimensions and weight:
Wheelbase 114.3in; track-front 61.3in. rear-59in; length 204in width 71.8in; height 54.6in; ground clearance 5.4 in; weight 4179lb; turning circle 42.3ft; fuel tank capacity 17.4 gal.
Maximum speed 115 mph; acceleration 0-60 mph 12.6 secs; fuel consumption approx. 19 mpg.
1979 was the last year of the conventional Seville; from 1980 on it would feature front wheel drive.