Cadillac Catera

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Cadillac Catera
1997–1999 Cadillac Catera
Manufacturer Opel
Production 1997–2001
Assembly Rüsselsheim, Germany
Successor Cadillac CTS
Class Mid-size luxury car
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout FR layout
Platform GM V platform
Engine 3.0 L L81 V6
Transmission 4-speed automatic
Wheelbase 107.5 in (2,731 mm)
Length 1997–99: 194.0 in (4,928 mm)
2000–01: 192.2 in (4,882 mm)
Width 70.3 in (1,786 mm)
Height 1997–99: 56.3 in (1,430 mm)
2000–01: 56.4 in (1,433 mm)
Curb weight 3,897 lb (1,768 kg)
Related Opel Omega
Vauxhall Omega
Holden Commodore
Chevrolet Omega
File:00-01 Cadillac Catera.jpg
2000–2001 Cadillac Catera

The Cadillac Catera is a mid-sized automobile manufactured in Rüsselsheim, Germany, as a rebadged variant of the Opel Omega—and marketed by Cadillac in North America as an entry-level model, with approximately 95,000 examples manufactured from 1997–2001.

A Sport model was offered beginning in 1999 with eight-way power adjustable seats, heated front seats, 17-inch wheels, driver's seat memory, audible theft-deterrent system, three-channel garage door opener, high-intensity discharge headlamps, and a rear spoiler. The Catera received a facelift in 2000 with revised nose, tail, wheels, interior trim, mirrors, optional HID headlamps, stiffer suspension settings, and side airbags.

The model's engine was a 200 hp (150 kW) 54° L81 V6 manufactured in England at GM's Ellesmere Port facility, using a FR layout. The GM 4L30-E automatic transmission was manufactured at GM's plant in Strasbourg, France.



The Catera was marketed with the "Caddy that zigs" tagline and launch advertisements featuring supermodel Cindy Crawford — who spoke to an animated duck-like character called "Ziggy". Cadillac described the character: "like Catera, Ziggy was hatched in Germany and has the sole mission of bringing fun to the luxury of Cadillac. He was one of six mythical, beakless, footless martins or "Merlettes" in the Cadillac Crest before we gave him big feet, a giant beak, and turned him around. He's quite a departure from his five brothers who have been part of the Cadillac Crest since the days of the crusades when the crest was the proud symbol of Le Sieur Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac Family." Ziggy disappeared from the Catera logo in 1999.


The Catera, due in part to reliability problems including initial tire wear issues, faulty oil coolers, and engine failures due to timing belt tensioner failure (for which a recall was eventually offered by GM) as well as a disappointing marketing campaign, was dropped after the 2001 model year.Template:Citation needed

In 2009, Car and Driver staff criticized the high praise that the Catera initially received, citing poor reliability and performance in hindsight, in an article that similarly criticized fellow European performance import the Merkur XR4Ti for being "odd-looking".[1]

Related vehicles

The Catera's platform continued in use until 2006 in the Pontiac GTO which was a US market version of the Holden Monaro coupe, both of which vehicles were manufactured by GM Holden in Australia. These two performance coupes were themselves derived from the sedan platform that originated in the Australian market as the VT-series Holden Commodore in 1997. The related European Opel Omega was discontinued in 2003.

Yearly American sales

Calendar Year Total sales
1996 1,676
1997 25,411
1998 25,333
1999[2] 15,068
2000[3] 17,290
2001[4] 9,764
2002[5] 244
2003[6] 15


  • John Phillips. "Cadillac Catera Sport". Car and Driver (May 2000): 120–125. 

External links

Template:Commons category

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