All those features are nice, but on the road is where the new Seville really shines.
Its 4.5-liter Northstar V8 produces 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. It provides admirable thrust, whether accelerating from a standstill or passing another vehicle on the interstate. Cadillac says it accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds and turns the standing quarter-mile in 15.9 seconds-impressive figures, especially considering the Seville weighs 4,300 pounds-several hundred pounds heftier than the previous model.
The '98 Seville has notably less torque steer-the tendency to pull to one side or the other during a hard take-off-than the old car, but it's still noticeable enough to provide a foothold from the detractors who believe performance luxury sedans should only come in rear-drive form.
Some may also point to the absence of a 5-speed automatic, the latest rage on the upper crust imports. But Cadillac makes up for that lapse with the Performance Shift Algorithm, which comes on the STS model. Hammer the accelerator and it will mimic the aggressive shifts associated with driving a stick. It will downshift ahead of time when you break for a corner, and then delay upshifting until you're running straight and true to avoid throwing the car out of balance.
As we mentioned, the '98 Seville is a high-tech showcase, and one of its best attributes is its Continuously Variable Road Sensing Suspension, a standard feature on all models. To optimize ride-and-handling, it's constantly responding to changing road conditions by altering the damping rate of each individual shock absorber.
The front suspension is lighter than before, yet it provides increased wheel travel. A new multi-link rear suspension is a modified semi-trailing arm setup designed to control wheel angles for predictable response in emergency or hard cornering maneuvers.
Now add in the StabiliTrak system. It uses a special accelerometer to sense even a minor skid. Then, by deftly controlling brakes and throttle, it brings the car back under the control-often before you even noticed anything was wrong. Seville's steering system is linked to the those same sensors. As a result, steering effort is altered according to how aggressively a driver takes a corner.