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1998 Cadillac Catera Overview
While it may be known as the Caddy that zigs, the Catera is much more than that. Designed as an entry-luxury vehicle, Cadillac based its Catera on the superb Opel Omega MV6. Opel may be best remembered here for its Kadette compact and Manta sport coupe exported to the U.S. in the early 1970s, but Opel is considered one of the top automakers in Germany where it continues to produce world-class luxury sports sedans. Already established as a solid contender in Germany, Opel's MV6 had all the basics in place before the Cadillac and Opel engineers went to work. The Catera was developed jointly at the Opel Technical Development Center in Russelsheim and at Cadillac headquarters in Warren, Michigan. A global effort, the Catera is built at the Opel plant in Russelsheim, using components from Germany, France, Great Britain and North America. The result is a car that can stand up to close scrutiny. Luxury sedans from Lexus, INFINITI, Mercedes, BMW and Audi compete in the luxury-performance car market. In the lower-priced, smaller-sized end of this market, the C-Class Mercedes, 3 Series BMW, Audi A4 and A6, Lexus ES300 and GS300, INFINITI I-30 and Volvo S70 offer quality, performance and considerable variety in appearance and driving feel. Against them, the Catera delivers American style allied with German solidity and road manners. Any signs of a limited development budget would weigh heavily against the smallest Cadillac here. Fortunately, none are evident.