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Cadillac Cimarron

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Wikipedia: Cadillac Cimarron

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1981 Specifications
A luxury car produced by Cadillac for 1982-1988. The 1982 Cimarron was launched in May of 1981. It was the first 4-cylinder Cadillac since 1914. Over 200,000 were produced.

The name Cimarron was also used by Cadillac for a 1985 concept car. The concept Cimarron was a dual-cowl phaeton, inspired by the 1931 sedan.  Features include televisions for both front and rear, electronic engine function monitor panels, a cellular telephone fixed in the center hub of the steering wheel, and two-way radios with headsets.  The car was powered by a 2.8L V6.  Its wheelbase is 106.2" and it weighs 3,380 lbs.


The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Cadillac Cimarron page on 11 September 2018, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Cadillac Cimarron is a entry-level luxury car that was sold by the Cadillac division of General Motors from 1982 to 1988. Sold exclusively as a four-door sedan, the Cimarron marked the entry of Cadillac into the compact size segment.

Built upon the GM J platform, the Cimarron was manufactured alongside the Chevrolet Cavalier at South Gate Assembly and Janesville Assembly (in South Gate, California, and Janesville, Wisconsin, respectively); following the 1982 closure of South Gate, all assembly was sourced from Janesville.

The Cimarron is often cited as a nadir of GM's product planning — for its low sales, poor performance and ill-conceived badge engineering.

As General Motors began to prepare for the 1980s, Cadillac product planners sought to develop a sedan smaller than the Seville. While the Seville had sold well, in its research of buyers, Cadillac learned that in place of import buyers, many examples of the 1976-1979 Seville were purchased by traditional luxury-car buyers seeking a smaller car. To diversify (and modernize) their product range, in addition to the Cadillac Seville competing against premium European luxury sedans, Cadillac dealers began to demand a vehicle competing against compact European sedans.

One of the shortest development programs ever undertaken by General Motors, development of the Cimarron began in early 1980, even though other vehicles of the GM J-platform had been in development since 1976. While General Motors wanted Cadillac to better compete with other luxury brands, the use of the J-platform to do so was met with heavy resistance. Pete Estes, GM's president at the time, warned Ed Kennard, Cadillac's general manager: "Ed, you don't have time to turn the J-car into a Cadillac."

Originally slated for a mid-1980s release, the Cimarron was released in early 1981 alongside the Chevrolet Cavalier, Buick Skyhawk, Oldsmobile Firenza, and Pontiac J2000 (eventually renamed Sunbird). While the Seville competed against mid-size/large European luxury sedans, the Cimarron was marketed as a sportier sedan, competing against the Audi 4000, BMW 320i, Saab 900, and Volvo 240.

At its 1982 introduction, the copy text of original sales brochures associated the Cimarron nameplate with fortitude, adventure and pioneering. The nameplate was chosen from a list that included J2000 (used on predecessor of Pontiac Sunbird); Carmel; Cascade; Caville (blend of Cadillac and Sedan de Ville); Envoy; and Series 62 (predecessor of Cadillac Calais). For 1982, the brand nomenclature was "Cimarron by Cadillac". For 1983, the nomenclature was simply "Cadillac Cimarron".

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1988 BookChevy Cavalier, Buick Skyhawk, Cadillac Cimarron, Pontiac 2000, Olds Firenza 1982-1987: All U.S. and Canadian front wheel drive models; Chilton Book Company
1995 BookGeneral Motors 1982 thru 1994 Automotive Repair Manual: Buick Skyhawk, Cadillac Cimarron, Chevrolet Cavalier, Oldsmobile Firenza, Pontiac J2000 & Sunbird by Larry Warren & John H. Haynes; Haynes
1996 BookCavalier/Sunbird/Skyhawk/Firenza 1982-94 Repair Manual: Covers all U.S. and Canadian models of Buick Skyhawk, Cadillac Cimarron, Chevrolet Cavalier, Oldsmobile Firenza and Pontiac 2000/Sunbird by Matthew E. Frederick, Chilton Automotive Books

Article Index

5 May 2016Not Another Cadillac CimarronBill Crittenden

1981 Specifications

0-60 mph*15.9 seconds
80-0 mph*315 feet
Cornering Capability*0.742g
Interior Noise @ 70mph*75 dBA
Fuel Economy*22.0 mpg
*=Test conducted by Road & Track, November 1981 issue


Type & Item #NameDetails
Collector Card - Cadillac Collection 821982 Cimarron
Collector Card - Cadillac Collection 1031985 Cimarron Concept Car

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