GM's plan for Cadillac is to take the brand head to head against Mercedes world wide. Several fancy Cad / Vette dealerships have been opened in various places in Europe. Cad justified an addition to the Vette Bowling Green plant with an annual expectation of 7-8,000 XLR units. Although a fine car, the XLR has not won the hearts of Auto Journalists, nor the consumer. Annual sales volumes have been around 2,000 units for the past two years. Rumors that the XLR is about to be cancelled have been circulating at BG for many months.
Cad can not take the marketing hit of canceling the XLR and attain its ultimate goal. However, the costly, currently under used, separate BG production line must be shared by at least one other vehicle. Some auto journalists say that ANY Cad sports car that shares the "base" vette chassis will not be successful selling against the SL500.
The Cien, which debuted at the 2002 NAIAS, as you see, is still a handsome design. The mechanicals, which include a direct injected, DOD DOHC V-12 producing 750HP, are not exactly out of date either. The concept was built as a completely streetable car. Converting it to production would not be as expensive or time consuming as starting with a clean sheet of paper. GM could choose to accept the losses of the XLR until it can be replaced with a Cien-based model.
And, my fellow DCers, if this happens, it is inevitable that a top level Corvette will be based on the same platform - someday. Does this mean that the Corvette you and I drive today will be replaced by a Cien-based platform. IMO, absolutely not - nor do I believe that anyone at GM is seriously proposing this - other than an accountant or two. I call this rumor BS or just a misinterpretation of what is happening. Yes, the C7 could be a rear middy. No the C7 is not the REPLACEMENT for the C6. The C8 will replace the C6. The C7 will be the $100k car. This is what happens when ?Corvette becomes a multi model lineup!!!
However, I will be surprised if they could get the Cien-based platform ready in time for the Blue Devil. A LOT of track time would be needed to tune a Cien-based car = rear middy. Whereas a blue devil based on at the front middy platform could require only addition refinements.
If there is arguing about the rear middy today (or two months ago when that article likely went to press), IMO it is unlikely that we are 12-18 months away from a rear middy Blue Devil. Also IMO, the REAL decision that will determine if the vette lineup will include a rear middy will be linked directly to the future of a Cad Sports car.