Its presence is extraordinary — refined and self-assured, yet possessed of an undeniable boldness. On the road it handles with a poise and balance that may surprise you in a car of this luxury and spaciousness. And technologically, it paves the way for the entire automotive industry, with innovative features developed to heighten your control, comfort and confidence. What is it? Nothing less than the full-size luxury sedan as refined for the third millennium by Cadillac. That’s right, Cadillac.
INTRODUCING THE ALL-NEW 2000 DEVILLE
WHY BE AFRAID OF THE DARK?
What lurks beyond the reach of your headlight beams? The open road? Or an unexpected obstacle? Cadillac’s amazing Night Vision system can help put an end to that kind of uncertainty. Exclusively available on the 2000 DeVille DHS and DTS, Night Vision detects the “heat signature” of people, animals, vehicles and other objects, then projects their images onto the inside surface of the windshield comfortably inside your field of vision. The result? You see many potential hazards long before they’re illuminated by your headlights, so you have much more time to take the necessary evasive action. You’ll also enjoy a kind of peace of mind you may never have experienced before in night driving.
THE PURE PLEASURE OF DRIVING
Driving the all-new DeVille for the first time is a revelation. A new generation of the much-praised Northstar V8 achieves even greater levels of responsiveness and sophistication. Push this engine hard and the performance is exhilarating, yet it’s glass-smooth and virtually silent in highway cruising mode. Similarly, Cadillac’s exclusive Northstar technology results in ride and handling behaviour that also delivers the best of two worlds. Working with premium components like the Magnasteer variable-assist steering system, Cadillac’s chassis engineers have achieved a new standard for poise and balance in this class of automobile. The end product is handling precision that rivals the most respected imports, blended with a level of ride quality even beyond what you have come to expect from DeVille.
HIGH-TECH, HIGH-SPEED COMMUNICATION
The sooner drivers behind you are aware that you are slowing your pace, the longer they have to react — and the better the chances of a collision being avoided. That’s why the new Cadillac DeVille is equipped with high-tech Light Emitting Diode (LED) taillights, including an LED centre high-mounted stop light. These LEDs light up much faster than conventional bulbs, giving drivers behind more than 5 m of extra warning at 100 km/h.
THE NEW HEIGHT OF TECHNOLOGY
RESPECT FOR TRADITION
Technological advances are ever-present in the 2000 DeVilles. Witness the exceptional comfort of the massaging lumbar front seats in DeVille DHS and DTS. Yet DeVille also demonstrates that there are some things from the past that even the latest engineering innovations cannot improve upon. Take, for example, the superb natural materials used throughout the DeVille cabin. Produced by a small, century-old tannery, the leathers are lustrous, supple and pleasingly fragrant. For an even higher level of luxury, DeVille DHS and DTS are generously trimmed in genuine East African Zebrano wood, with its intricate grain flawlessly finished and polished to a fine glow.
SPOIL YOUR SENSES
In the DeVille cabin, fine design, quality materials and thoughtful touches are everywhere. The controls and instruments are everything you could desire — complete, well-located and logical in their operation. Power assists abound, as do handy storage compartments and many other amenities. The automatic climate control system allows separate temperature settings for 3 individual zones inside the car, to ensure every occupant’s comfort. The crowning touch is provided by DeVille’s stereo system, which delivers a level of sound reproduction to please even the most demanding listener.
WHAT LUXURY SHOULD BE
A RARE INTELLIGENCE
To assist you in finding the luxury automobile that matches your taste, the new DeVille is offered in 3 distinct models. DeVille is comprehensively equipped with a 275-horsepower Northstar engine, traction control and many more advanced technical features. The DeVille interior is equally well appointed, with seating for six, 10-way power adjustable front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel containing switches for the car’s climate control, cruise control and sound system. The DHS model provides an even more comprehensive array of luxury features. Leather seating surfaces and genuine Zebrano wood trim adorn the cabin, along with a power rear window sunshade and many other premium touches. Finally there’s the athletic member of the family, DeVille DTS, which comes with a 300-horsepower Northstar V8, Continuously Variable Road-Sensing Suspension, 17″ wheels and standard StabiliTrak, along with supportive leather-trimmed front bucket seats featuring massaging lumbar controls and much more.
THE SUBSTANCE BEHIND THE STYLE
The understand what really sets the new DeVille apart from other luxury cars, you have to look beyond the gleaming paint and thoughtful interior appointments. Below the surface, DeVille is a technological marvel. Its computer-designed body architecture, highly sophisticated powertrain and many astounding uses of electronics point the way to the future. And puts the 2000 DeVille in a class by itself.
THE INTELLIGENCE OF NORTHSTAR
The secret behind DeVille’s exceptional composure lies in the Cadillac-exclusive Northstar System, which integrates DeVille’s powertrain and chassis systems into a single, intelligent whole. Using a complex network of electronic sensors and processing units, the Northstar System provides key links between the new-generation Northstar V8 engine, transmission, steering, traction control, anti-lock braking (ABS) and, on DeVille DTS, even the suspension and StabiliTrak systems. The result is a kind of finely balanced performance and real-world driving confidence that competitive luxury cars simply can’t match.
THE MOST IMPORTANT SAFETY ADVANCE IN YEARS
A lateral skid is one of the most difficult and perilous situations a driver can encounter. DeVille’s available StabiliTrak 2.0, standard on DeVille DTS, was specifically developed to help you regain control and get out of danger fast. StabiliTrak 2.0 constantly measures DeVille’s speed, cornering force, steering wheel angle and “yaw” (the rate at which the car is turning around its centre of gravity). When StabiliTrak 2.0 detects a lateral skid, it engages automatically and selectively adjusts the application of the individual front brakes to help return your DeVille to your intended path. [StabiliTrak 2.0 includes Active Steering Effort Compensation. This feature slightly increases effort during sudden manoeuvres to enhance driver control.]
FINDING LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
To help you literally see in the dark, the Night Vision system available on DeVille DHS and DTS combines several highly developed technologies. A special sensor positioned in DeVille’s front grille detects infrared radiation coming from warmer objects such as cars, animals and people in the area ahead of the car. The system then processes this information into a black-and-white image, which is projected onto the inside surface of the DeVille windshield via a Head-Up Display (HUD) unit. Night Vision lets you see approximately 5 times as far ahead as you could with low-beam headlights alone.
A SANCTUARY OF SOLID STEEL
The 2000 DeVille represents Cadillac’s latest thinking in body design, a fact that pays large dividends in occupant protection. In an impact, crush zones at both ends of the car fold in a controlled fashion to absorb energy. The cabin, however, is a very different story. It’s surrounded by a very strong steel safety cage, complete with a roof capable of withstanding a force of up to 4500 kilograms. Thanks to these and other features, including a cast-magnesium beam positioned behind the dash, the new DeVille surpasses government and corporate safety standards in barrier crash testing.
RAISING THE BAR IN OCCUPANT PROTECTION
DeVille literally surrounds you and your passengers with protective features. Driver and passenger-side Next Generation frontal air bags are, of course, standard equipment. Side-impact air bags have been built into the outboard bolsters of the front seats, to offer supplementary protection in a collision at the side of the car. Similar side-impact air bags are available for the protection of rear passengers. Even DeVille’s front shoulder belts deliver an extra measure of safety performance. They’re equipped with special pre-tensioning devices designed to pull them snug for extra protection.
A GIANT LEAP FORWARD FOR DRIVING IN ‘REVERSE’
Of the many innovative safety systems on the all-new DeVille, the available Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist system is probably the one you will use most frequently. This system uses 4 sonar sensors on the rear fascia to sense objects, such as other cars, sign posts, etc., located to the rear of DeVille. When the system detects an object within 1.5 metres of the rear bumper, it uses audible chimes and varying combinations of amber and red LED warning lights to alert the driver to an impending impact.
Rear passengers are very well taken care of: aside from a wide, three-person rear seat and lots of legroom and headroom, rear passengers have separate rear heater and fan controls, and a folding centre armrest with a built-in storage compartment and two flip-out cupholders. In addition, each outboard rear seat has cushion and backrest seat heaters, individual power points located in the rear armrests, map lights, coat hooks, and map pockets located on the back of the front seats. It’s almost like riding in a limo… One complaint: some of the wires for the front power seats lie loosely under the front seats and look rather untidy to the rear passengers. A centre rear armrest with a pass-through allows access to the trunk, but like most luxury cars, the rear seatbacks do not fold down. Safety features All five seating positions in the DeVille offer three-point seatbelts – the front seat belts are built into the front seats so that they’re always in the right position and fit more snugly than seatbelts mounted to the body. The DeVille’s front head restraints are height adjustable and rear head restraints are fixed, and there are three rear tether anchors for child seats. Dual front airbags and front side airbags are standard while rear side airbags are optional. A new backup warning system gives audible beeps which increase in frequency when the DeVille approaches an object behind it. A unique feature are three lights near the rear window which visually confirm how close the car is to the object. Three models There’s no doubt, DeVille’s offers a lot value in the luxury car class. Base DeVille’s start at $52,770, and both DHS and DTS models priced at $60,570. This is considerably less than comparable full-size luxury cars from Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Infiniti, BMW and Audi. The DeVille’s closest competitors are the Lincoln Continental and Lincoln Town Car which also start in the low $50,000 range. Technical Data: 2000 Cadillac DeVille DTS Base price $60,570 Freight $940 Type 4-door, 5 passenger full-size luxury sedan Layout longitudinal front engine/front-wheel-drive Engine 4.6 l V8, SOHC, 32 valves Horsepower 300 @ 6000 rpm Torque 295 ft-lb @4400 rpm Transmission 4-speed automatic Tires P235/55HR17 Goodyear All-Season Performance Curb weight 1835 kg (4045 lb.) Wheelbase 2929 mm (115.3 in.) Length 5258 mm (207.0 in.) Width 1891 mm ( 74.4 in.) Height 1439 mm ( 56.7 in.) Trunk capacity 541 litres ( 19.1 cu.ft.) Fuel consumption City: 13.9 l/100 km (20 mpg) Hwy: 8.1 l/100 km (35 mpg) Warranty 4 yrs/80,000 km Greg Wilson is a Vancouver-based automotive journalist and editor of CanadianDriver