2001 Eldorado New Car Test Drive
It used to be that all Cadillacs were big, flashy, fast and sybaritically plush, perched at the undisputed pinnacle of boat-size, dinosaur-powered American luxury. And yet, even then, an Eldorado was something more. More expensive, certainly, and sometimes more powerful, but also more youthful, more individual. An Eldorado was the Cadillac of Cadillacs.
The world has changed since then, and so have Cadillacs, but somehow the Eldorado has hung on as the most Cadillac of them all. Defying the current trend toward anonymous four-door utility, it is the last remaining big luxury coupe manufactured in America, and one of the last in the world.
Cadillac's Eldorado remains brilliantly fast, lavishly comfortable, and individually stylish. And it is the only Cadillac whose projected demographic includes the number '40.
Two models are available. The more conservatively styled and tuned base model acquired the designation Eldorado Sport Coupe, or ESC, last year; it lists for $40,036. The more performance-oriented Eldorado Touring Coupe, or ETC, goes for $43,611.
Both models share Cadillac's 4.6-liter, twin-cam Northstar V8, which was significantly re-engineered in 2000 for lower emissions, quieter operation, and the ability to run on regular fuel. It now produces 275 horsepower and 300 pounds-feet of torque in the Eldorado Sport Coupe. In the Touring Coupe, it is tuned for a more aggressive character, with 300 horsepower and 295 pounds-feet, both peaking at higher engine speeds. Either way, a smooth-shifting four-speed automatic is the only transmission choice.