First off, let me address the title of this post. I know quite well that all Allantes were convertible, so specifying that one is a convertible is superfluous. You’re right. But I have my reasons. I was finishing off high school when the Allante came out, and right away it was a huge disappointment, and this is from the perspective of a car-crazy teenager. Seriously. It was built to compete with the Mercedes-Benz SL 2-seater convertibles, and anyone that was not intimately involved with designing or selling the car would have known that it would be a super-flop. And it was.
The Cadillac Allante presented itself as competition for the SL convertibles, but its main feature, the fact that it is a convertible was flawed from the start. How can you compete with an SL when you don’t even have a motorized roof? Even my mom’s 1989 Mustang Cobra convertible had one, which worked great, by the way. It’s not like the technology wasn’t there!
The Cadillac Allante isn’t a bad-looking car, and with its 4.9-liter ‘NorthStar’ V8, could reach a top speed of 130 mph (208 km/h), with a 0-60 acceleration being a very respectable 8 seconds.
That’s just the point. The Cadillac Allante was an expensive car, over $50,000 in 1990 dollars, and delivered acceptable styling, with decent performance and early 90’s GM reliability. I’ll let you guess at that. It was very expensive to produce, too, as the bodies were build by Pininfarina in Italy, and then flown over to Detroit for assembly on a custom-build plane. If you think that sound pricey and complicated, you’re right, and after 6 years of losing money on it, GM decided to say arrivederci to the Cadillac Allante.