Cadillac is said to be considering the launch of a small rear-wheel drive/all wheel drive SUV model - smaller than the current SRX SUV. This smaller SUV (to be released in 2013) would use the new ATS' "Alpha" platform, and would likely be powered by a turbocharged 4 cylinder motor, while the current SRX utilizes a six cylinder engine (and offered a turbocharged V6 until this model year). What's Cadillac's rationale for building a smaller than mid-sized SRX CUV? Three key points, actually.
Three reasons according to Cadillac executive; the first is that Cadillac wants to be seen as a global brand - in other words, Cadillac wants to be much more successful than it has been to date in China. Buick is a much, much bigger seller in China - the Chinese seem to prefer the rounded styling of most current Buicks to the edgy, expressive design language of the current Cadillac model line-up. This is one of the reasons why the new Cadillac ATS sports sedan is more rounded than its big brother, the CTS. The second reason is that the Cadillac brand wants a model to compete directly with the BMW X3 and Audi Q3 models, while the new Buick Encore mini-CUV (based on the Chevy Sonic platform) is aimed more at the the small Audi A1 CUV. Furthermore, a smaller CUV with good fuel economy will definitely help Cadillac to meet the ever increasing (and now somewhat controversial) federal CAFE standards. They can sell more V-series CTS models instead - which sounds like a good trade-off to me!
BMW has also sold about 70,000 X3s per year (on average) worldwide since the model was launched in late 2003. That much sales volume is simply too much for Cadillac to ignore. Cadillac feels that they need to compete in the luxury compact CUV/SUV market. No photos or concept models of the Cadillac X3 fighter have been shown quite yet, but expect Cadillac to have a concept vehicle out at auto shows either later this year or early in 2013.
The biggest question: is there enough of a market for a compact Cadillac SUV?
[Edited 2012-02-27 21:09:23]
[Edited 2012-02-27 21:12:00]