The Cadillac Allante was a beautiful roadster
It had all of the romance of an Italian sportscar
The Cadillac Allante was a luxurious two-seat roadster. The 1993 model year was the swan song for this Cadillac with the jaded past. It was built between 1987 and 1993. Only 21,430 were made over the seven-year production run. The Allante’s bodywork was designed and handcrafted by Pininfarina of Turin, Italy which added to its charisma.
This avant-garde roadster came standard with the powerful Northstar system. The 1993 Allante was chosen as the 1992 76th annual Indianapolis 500 pace car and was driven by Bobby Unser at this historic event. The base price for the 1993 Cadillac Allante was $59,975 excluding a $1,700 gas guzzler tax for US destined vehicles. The Allante had all of the romance of an Italian sports car with Cadillac luxury. This was a totally charismatic performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”
The Allante was crafted like no other car in the world. Cadillac commissioned Europe’s most renowned and respected automotive designer Pininfarina of Italy. Some of their craftsmanship included the Ferrari Testarosa and the Rolls Royce Camargue. The Cadillac Allante’s body and interior were handcrafted in Italy then flown by the Allante Airbridge which was a fleet of specially designed Boeing 747’s to the Detroit plant for finishing.
The 1993 Allante was chosen as the 1992 76th annual Indy 500 pace car. It was driven by Bobby Unser. This was a historic race in Indianapolis 500 history. Bobby was the pace car driver and his nephew ‘Lil Al’, Al Unser Jr. won the race. Bobby’s brother ‘Big Al’ Al Unser Sr. came in third place.
The Cadillac Allante was designed to satisfy the most discerning owner. It was designed in Pininfarina’s wind tunnel to help the designers and engineers reduce convertible wind noise. The driver and passenger could hold a normal conversation with the top down cruising at 55 mph. Its coachwork was a body free from “open-car shake,” harshness, and noise.
Pininfarina handcrafted both body and interior of the Allante. When it arrived at Detroit’s Hamtramck assembly plant, the chassis and engine assemblies were finished and installed. The Allante was built as integral body-frame construction. It had a high strength polyethylene fuel tank. The 1993 Cadillac Allante was fitted with a stainless-steel exhaust system with dual polished stainless-steel exhaust ports.
Cadillac introduced the exclusive Northstar system with the Northstar V8 engine, Road-Sensing suspension, and Speed-Sensitive steering. It was a very sophisticated roadster. The unique GM Turbo Hydra-Matic 4T80-E binary pump 4-speed automatic transmission had Electronic Shift Control, overdrive, and pulse-width-modulated torque converter clutch. It delivered imperceptible gear shifts. The electronically controlled transmission applied upshifts and downshifts in an interrupted fashion. The GM Northstar L37 4.6 litre 280.7 CID 32-valve DOHC V8 engine delivered 295 hp @ 6,000 rpm with 393 Nm of peak torque @ 4,400 rpm. The Dual Overhead Cam allowed the intake and exhaust port location to maximize efficiency.
Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 17.7 seconds with a top speed of 157 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 93 mph in 15.2 seconds. The Northstar required its first tune-up at 100,000 miles, thanks to platinum tipped spark plugs. I actually drove past 118,000 miles and it still ran as smooth as an engine with only 18,000 miles. The key is burning premium unleaded gasoline only, 93 octane and higher keeps it purring like a kitten. The instinctive technology within offered refinement and comfort without sacrificing performance…Cadillac-style.
The 1993 Cadillac Allante was equipped with adaptive technology which automatically adapting to changing road conditions to maintain optimum control at all times. The Speed-Dependent Damping system automatically adjusted the strut damping of the fully independent suspension…a real-time Road Sensing suspension.
The (RSS) Road-Sensing suspension ‘read’ the road one inch at a time and calibrated each wheel accordingly. The Road-Sensing suspension recalibrated itself every millisecond providing outstanding ride control over any surface. The RSS computer calculated and selected a soft or firm mode with each damper unit response within 10-15 milliseconds to optimize ride and handling.
Advanced Electronic second generation Traction Control helped to limit wheel spin to drive wheels. Allante was the first roadster in the world with Traction Control standard. This system automatically detected wheel slip during acceleration, pulsing the anti-lock brakes and reducing engine output until wheel and ground speed were nearly matched. It used advanced four-channel ABS technology to limit braking wheel slip.
Road-Sensing & Electronic Traction Control simultaneously applied brake pressure and modulated engine power for stability on unstable surfaces instinctively all by itself. Its electronically controlled Speed Sensitive power assisted rack & pinion steering added a firm sense of control, and provided parking ease as well as highway stability. The Cadillac Allante’s Short/Long Arm rear suspension geometry maintained consistent tire patch contact for predictable handling and a highly refined ride quality.
The 1993 Cadillac Allante featured luxurious Nuance leather upholstery standard. This luxurious roadster came equipped with two-position driver’s memory seat, orthopedically designed bucket seating with power six-way seat adjusters and power four-way lumbar control, and power two-way recliners with manually articulated headrests, power windows and central locking feature, leather-covered console with French seams, leather wrapped steering wheel, floor shift lever, power fuel filler door, power deck lid release, automatic parking brake release, cruise control, and Electro-chromic automatic dimming inside rearview mirror.
Electronic Climate Control, power headlamp washers, Tilt steering wheel, Illuminated Entry system, Twilight Sentinel, and Diagnostic Energy Reserve Module backed up battery for air-bag and informed driver of system readiness were also included complimentary. The 1993 model year for Allante was sans its Bose Stereo, 10-way Recaro seats, and the aluminum hardtop was not optional at extra cost.
The 1993 Cadillac Allante had a standard Delco Electronic Premium Symphony Sound System: AMAMAX Stereo FM Stereo radio with compact disc and Dolby auto-reverse cassette player. The system was equipped with an “off-axial” eight-speaker system for a higher sound stage, greater sound pressure, and increased clarity. The Cadillac Allante’s cabin was as exclusive as its exterior design.
The Cadillac Allante was a beautiful roadster. Even with all of its charismatics, power and prestige, it just wasn’t quite what the traditional Cadillac buyer was interested in. It hinted at the SL Mercedes-Benz roadster styling which was another fatal error for the Allante.
The earlier problematic Cadillac Allante’s left a bad taste in the public’s mouth especially the Allante owners. They were plagued with idiosyncratic issues mainly electrical…no, they were junk. The 1993 Cadillac Allante was one of the best models years but unfortunately by then…the die was cast and the damage was done…its reputation was already tarnished.
The Northstar system was introduced combined with instinctive technology that reacted to changing driving situations. The electronically controlled power train featured transmission, traction control, ABS, and Road-Sensing suspension that worked as an intuitive network.
Its standard amenities were amply matched by a concentration of advanced technologies. But, Americans weren’t ready for a Cadillac roadster at the time. The 1993 Cadillac Allante was another ‘Reality’ episode…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”
A Cadillac Convertible was always provocative. It was truly open-air motoring on the grand Cadillac scale. Glamorous, opulent, and elegant…best of all it was a Cadillac. It was automobiles like this that catapulted Cadillac to “Standard of the World” status.
The 1956 Cadillac Series Sixty-Two convertible was a generous level of comfort and performance without compromising either. Cadillac had established a legendary reputation as luxury car supreme…a Cadillac convertible was the quintessential status symbol…it was the epitome of luxury, prestige, and presence. The 1956 Cadillac Series Sixty-Two convertible was a seamless expression of the American driver’s will…inside and out.
Many accept the idea that a Cadillac was a superb luxury car, with a magnificent ride…living-room comfort, and classic beauty. Almost every convenience for driver and passenger was available. What came as a surprise were Cadillac’s other credentials such as the beautifully responsive V8 engine, excellent suspension for the patent Cadillac “Magic Carpet Ride,” and its capability as a formidable road machine. This is another Cadillac cameo appearance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”
1993 Cadillac Allante