After the ATS sports sedan won the 2013 North American Car of the Year, Cadillac is poised to continue its streak with the all-new third-generation CTS.
Revealed at a private event in Manhattan on the eve of the New York Auto Show the CTS is bigger, more luxurious, dramatically better looking and includes an optional VSport package that includes a potent 420 hp twin-turbo V6 engine – more output than a BMW 550i.
A new base engine is also turbocharged, with the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder (borrowed from the ATS) making 272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and achieving 30 mpg on the highway. Stepping up a level the direct injection 3.6-liter V6 makes 321 hp and comes matched with an 8-speed automatic transmission in rear-drive models (or a 6-speed auto for AWD models).
The range topping Vsport model gains the Cadillac’ brand’s first ever twin-turbo engine with 420 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque, with 90 percent of twist available from 2500 rpm.
Vsport models also come equipped with 18-inch wheels and Pirelli summer tires, a quicker steering ratio, Brembo brakes with high performance brake pads, an upgraded cooling package, an electronic limited slip differential plus a Track Mode setting to make the most of the steering and Magnetic Ride Control suspension.
Like with the ATS, Cadillac is targeting driving dynamics with the CTS and hopes to achieve the same result thanks to a light weight packageand a near 50/50 weight distribution. At 3,616 lbs the CTS is the lightest in its class, weighing 200 lbs less than the BMW 528i and more than 200 lbs less than the 2013 CTS.
Despite the weight reduction the car has grown considerably, gaining 5-inches in overall length. A 1.2-inch longer wheelbase will help provide a more luxurious highway ride, though (perplexingly), rear set legroom is actually down slightly.
The increased dimensions contribute to the new look that’s inspired by the Ciel concept, with a bold upright grille that’s wider than before, big air intakes on either side and combined headlights and LED light strips that combine to bookend the new look. To help improve aero, certain models get active grille shutters that close off on the highway to direct air around the cabin.
The CTS’s cabin is as pleasing to the eye as the exterior, with genuine wood, metal and even optional carbon fiber trim. Like on the ATS and XTS the centerpiece is an 8-inch CUE infotainment system with table-like controls. An optional 12.3-inch digital display can also be added on.
Unique interior features include a motorized cup holder lid and the first appearance of Cadillac’s new automatic parking function. Plus there are plenty of available safety features from front and rear auto-braking as well as the Safety Alert Seat that vibrates to alert you to potentially dangerous situations, like if the car is drifting out of its lane or if the closing speed on the vehicle ahead is seen as too fast.
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