Oldsmobile's A-body Cutlass arrived in showrooms for 1972 with just a few subtle visual updates to differentiate it from the 1970 and 1971 models. Since General Motors had to delay the Colonnade A-body introduction until the 1973 model year, its existing intermediates returned to serve a third year in the same styling cycle. This was uncommon for GM in that market segment, as multiple preceding cycles had been two years.
Competing against heavily revised midsize Dodges and Plymouths for the 1971 model year, and then newly designed Fords and Mercurys for 1972, should have been a recipe for buyer apathy toward GM's more aged offerings. In Oldsmobile's case, however, consumers instead responded by purchasing Cutlasses in even larger numbers, which contributed to the division's ascent to third place in U.S. auto sales for 1972.
the Cutlass S was the sportier version of the base Cutlass two-door. It came in hardtop or sport coupe form, featured additional trim, and louvered hood grilles, among other small items. A 350 two-barrel V-8 with single-exhaust and a three-speed manual transmission was standard for both, and additional performance equipment was optional, but the Cutlass S could also be had with bucket seats and a console. The top of the line was the more luxury-laden Supreme, which was offered as a formal-roof hardtop or a convertible with a standard 350 four-barrel engine, single exhaust, a three-speed manual, bucket seats, and more. Dual exhaust was optional, as were four-speed and automatic transmissions. (There was also a four-door F-85, Cutlass, and Supreme.)