The 1996 Eldorado, Cadillac’s personal luxury coupe, shared many features with the Seville.
Its closest competitor is the Lincoln Mark VIII, but the Lexus SC 300 and SC 400 fight Eldo for sales, too.
The Eldorado Touring Coupe (ETC) offers an even more upscale interior and sportier performance.
Like all Cadillacs except the rear-drive Brougham, Eldorado uses the Northstar System, the heart of which is a 4.6-liter V8 engine, but also includes a 4-speed automatic transmission, antilock brakes, all-speed traction control and a Road-Sensing Suspension that automatically adjusts firmness to match road conditions.
Eldorado gets 275 horsepower, while the ETC boasts 300. This sportier model gains further distinction for 1996 with a redesigned instrument panel and center console. Both Eldorados come with steering-wheel-mounted controls for the automatic climate control and sound system. The two Eldos feature different types of speed-sensitive power steering that increase effort required to turn the steering wheel at higher speeds.
Both models come with leather upholstery and driver’s-seat-position memory. The Touring Coupe also gets Cadillac’s Rainsense feature, which senses rainfall on the windshield and automatically turns on the wipers for you. With the optional voice-recognition phone (also available in other Cadillacs) you can dial, place and answer calls just by speaking. Like the Sevilles, both Eldorados feature daytime running lights, which make the car more conspicuous to other drivers. Daytime running lights had been used in Canada since 1990 and should have been used in the USA years before 1996.
The powertrains for the Eldorado series models were carried over from the year previous.
The Eldo coupe was again powered by the 275 horsepower Northstar 4.6-liter V-8 while the Eldorado Touring Coupe (ETC) again used the 300-horse Northstar engine.
Both were mated to the 4T80-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission linked to the engine via a viscous converter clutch.
Final drive ratio of the Eldo was 3.11:1 while the ETC’s was 3.71:1.
Inside the “base” coupe, the seats were redesigned to improve comfort and eight-way memory seats were available as an option (standard on ETC), with adjustability for two different drivers.
The seats were designed to reveal a hand-crafted look through French seam stitching.
Other new features included
the previous dark black trim on seat and window stitches, trimplates, cluster area and radio faceplate were changed to dark gray
the previous speed density air/fuel control system was replaced with a mass airflow sensor
a more powerful Powertrain Control Module (PCM) was added to help reduce exhaust emissions
the PCM being was moved from the passenger compartment to the air cleaner housing to enhance its reliability
the “Electro-motor” electronic cruise control replaced the previous vacuum-operated system
a new exterior color was added: Sea Mist Green
New options for the “base” coupe included
the Dual-Mode voice-activated cell phone
one leather seating color choice: Sea Mist Green
When leather seating was ordered, a new lamination process was used to bond the leather to the trim pad to reduce wrinkles.
Also new for 1996, a computer algorithm in the PCM anticipated air conditioner compressor load cycling to eliminate the driveline disturbances associated with A/C operation while driving; the Road Sensing Suspension module used wheel displacement to calculate body velocities, which eliminated the need for body accelerometers; and customer personalization of four automatic door lock configurations, battery storage and seat position were programable through the Driver Information Center (DIC).
The ETC featured a completely redesigned interior.
Entertainment system, climate control system and DIC controls were air integrated into a full center console.
Relocating these controls from their previous location on the instrument panel allowed for the widening of the analog gauge cluster making it appear “international” with large speedometer and tachometer dials.
New features of the ETC included the Dual-Mode cell phone, Rainsense Wiper System, and a traction control off switch and valet lookout button that deactivated the trunk fuel door and garage door opener functions, all located in the glovebox.
ETC also received Magnasteer variable assist power steering as well as Continuously Variable Road Sensing Suspension for improved ride comfort, in the event of an airbag deployment in the ETC, interior lights were illuminated after one second and remained on for 25 minutes unless manually switched off.
Also, automatic door locks unlocked 15 seconds after deployment.
Standard rubber for the ETC was Goodyear Eagle RS-A P225/60R16 blackwall tires while Eagle GA P225/60ZR16 blackwalls were optional.