The 1978 Cadillac Seville is a downsized Cadillac as a result of Cadillac's decision to stem the tide of luxury imports such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW into the US.
The earlier models of Cadillac had grown corpulent and slow. It is definitely European in size, handling, ride, and economy.
The energy crisis of 1974 had pressed American automakers to go small as the buying public had flocked to their more compact Asian or European counterparts. The early seventies Sevilles were offered at 6 grand less than comparable Benz, and the price differential had helped Cadillac weather the early '70s recession.
Standard equipment for the '78 model included tilt steering wheel, a fuel-monitoring systenm, power seats, and controlled-cycle wipers. A novel trip-computer option called the "Tripmaster" was a unique optional feature available in 1978 and 1978 model at a cost of below one grand. The trip-computer could make calculations like miles to empty, miles per gallon, a programmable destination arrival time, outside temperature, engine speed, and fuel load.
The '75 Seville had standard 350cid V8 which had electronic fuel injection and was mounted on a steel subframe which featured damping cushions for less harshness and noise vibration. But the '78 model came with the addition of a 350cid diesel V8.
The Seville's front end, the cross-hatch grille and classic hood crest ornament is unmistakably Cadillac. Other features included Delco "Freedom" battery that never needed filling as well as Zincrometal on Cadillac body that resist rust and were finished with seven coats of paint.
A Seville Cadillac was made in Iran General Motors before the Iranian Islamic revolution. That made Iran the only country assembling Cadillacs until 1997 when Cadillac Catera was manufactured in Germany for the US market.
Another thing going for the Seville was the accolade given to it by the Fortune magazine as one of the US's best-designed products.
1978 Cadillac Seville
Production 56,985 (1978)
Body Style Four-door sedan.
Construction Steel unitary body.
Engine 350cid V8.
Power Output 170 bhp.
Transmission Three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic.
Suspension Front: coil springs; Rear leaf springs with self-leveling ride.
Brakes Front vented discs, rear drums.
Maximum Speed 115 mph
0-60 mph 11.5 sec
A.F.C. 15.5 mpg