The body of the Allante was designed and built in Italy by the famed design studio of Pininfarina. The completed bodies were shipped to the United States in specially equipped 747's (56 at a time) at Cadillac's assembly plant in Michigan. Here the bodies were mated with the chassis and powertrain which led to a few interesting nicknames, such as 'The Flying Italian Cadillac' and 'the longest assembly line in the world.' A total of 21,430 Allantes were built between 1987 through 1993.
The Allante was initially priced at $54,000, far above the price of any other contemporary Cadillac, but in line with the Mercedes 560SL, its main competitor.
The car's front-wheel drive (FWD) powertrain is unique in its class and is rare among high-priced sports cars. Power is generated by the 4.5-liter HT-4500 V8 which produces 200 horsepower at 4300 RPM and 270 ft-lb at 3200 RPM and gives it a 0-60 mph time of 7.9 seconds. It is equipped with a speed sensitive damper system which firms up the suspension at 25 MPH and again at 60 MPH, a variable-assist steering system, and a 4-speed automatic transmission. The Allante's curb weight is 3720 lbs.
In March of 1987, Cadillac introduced the limited production Cadillac Allanté. The famous Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina, which had worked for many prestigious marques such as Ferrari and Rolls-Royce, was tasked to handle the coachwork. 747 aircraft were modified to carry the bodies from the Italian coachbuilder's location to Cadillac's facilities in the United States. German steel, Swiss alloy, and French exterior trim amplified the exotic nature of this vehicle.
The integrity of Allante was amplified by Cadillac by having each vehicle undergo a vigorous test-track evaluation followed by an inspection by two teams of technicians. Each team was required to sign-off on each Allanté using their own signature if the vehicle met the standards. A 7-year Limited Warranty was included with each vehicle.
With Cadillac luxury and European racing-heritage, the Allanté was the ultimate car. Bosch III Anti-Lock Braking System providing excellent stopping power while the 8-cylinder engine with Sequential-Port Fuel Injection provided smooth but impressive performance. The 16 cubic-feet of trunk space was large and accommodating, capable of transporting luggage, ski's, and golf bags.
The interior of the vehicle was plush. The Recaro seats were adorned in hand-fitted leather. The instrumentation featured analogue dials and a liquid crystal display. There was plenty of room for the driver and passengers from the two-door coupe.
From the factory, the Allante would set the buyer back just over $56,500. The aluminum block, cast-iron cylinder heads and liners, 90-degree 8-cylinder engine producing 170 horsepower provided ample power to carry the 3490 pound vehicle. During its production run, only 2569 units were produced, guaranteeing their exclusivity in modern times. By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2006
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