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Cadillac's Eldorado is brilliantly fast, lavishly comfortable, and positively abuzz with gee-whiz electronic technology. It's also a two-door coupe, giving it all the personal style that the word implies. In fact, the Eldorado is the best-selling luxury prestige coupe in America.
The Cadillac Eldorado is a fast car. Both models, ESC and ETC, have lots of power. Stand on it and they take off, whether from a standstill or from a slow cruise. It begins with the Cadillac's 4.6-liter Northstar V8, which has been well-publicized and deservedly praised.
In the Eldorado Touring Coupe, or ETC, this engine produces 300 horsepower at 6000 rpm. This is matched by a brawny 295 pounds-feet of torque, though at a fairly high 4400 rpm, rather than down low, where it would produce an even heartier takeoff. The Eldorado Touring Coupe can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 7 seconds, which is spirited performance. Passing maneuvers from 30 to 70 mph take only about 6.5 seconds, which is uplifting.
The Eldorado Sport Coupe, or ESC, develops its 275 horsepower at 5600 rpm, and 300 pounds-feet of torque at a slightly lower 4000 rpm.
The automatic transmission is excellent. It shifts so smoothly that it's almost undetectable in all but the hardest acceleration.
Like any powerful front-wheel-drive car, the Eldorado exhibits low-speed torque-steer under full acceleration. Slam the accelerator from a standstill, and you'll feel a slight tug on the steering wheel. You'd get some front wheel spin if you'd switched off the traction control system, but traction control is automatically re-activated each time you start the car. Whenever traction control senses wheel spin, it reduces engine torque and lightly applies the brakes to the front wheels, enhancing driver control. In moderate driving, however, none of this will be noticed.
Cadillac is GM's leader in technology and the Eldorado is absolutely jam-packed with technology designed to enhance safety and improve the driving experience. Variable-assist Magnasteer, which comes standard, adjusts steering effort not only to road speed but to cornering force as well.
The Eldorado rides smoothly, yet it doesn't completely isolate the driver from the road. The Continuously Variable Road-Sensing Suspension, or CVRSS, which comes standard on the Eldorado Touring Coupe, it adjusts shock damping according to road conditions. This suspension reads the roughness of the road surface and automatically adjusts the shock-damping rate at each individual wheel. The result is reduced impact harshness, a smoother ride and more sustained contact with the road during extreme emergency maneuvers.
StabiliTrak stability control uses yaw and lateral-acceleration sensors in conjunction with the suspension, steering and ABS to detect oversteer (fishtailing) or understeer (front-end washout). Immediately upon sensing either of these conditions, StabiliTrak applies braking to the one wheel to keep the car running along the driver's intended path. Several top-line automakers are using these systems now and, presuming the laws of physics haven't been too grievously violated by the driver, they really work. Drivers can make minor mistakes, and the Eldorado will correct for them, helping the driver maintain control and keep the car on the road. StabiliTrak is standard on ETC, optional as part of the Luxury Package on ESC.
Besides traction control, the Eldorado comes standard with anti-lock brakes (ABS), which allow the driver to maintain steering control of the car during emergency braking. The ETC adds a system that automatically adjusts the ABS according to the texture of the road. Slam on the brakes and the Eldorado delivers optimum braking force to each wheel without letting any of them lock up and skid. This helps the driver maintain even better control of the steering during an emergency stop.
Cadillac's Eldorado offers high style, high luxury, and high performance in a personal coupe. It also offers high technology. The Northstar engine, the silky smooth transmission and the suspension tuning are first rate. And with ABS, CVRSS, and StabiliTrak on the ETC, there's enough electronic alphabet soup to justify the price.