Archive for June, 2010
Part 1 – Overview
Part 2 – Design and Technology
Part 3 – Ride and Performance
Image galleries – CTS Sport Wagon Review Pics | CTS Sport Wagon Pics from Cadillac
So, here is where we normally talk about how a new Cadillac drives.
Well, the new CTS Sport Wagon drives exactly like its sedan counterpart. It is a lovely combination of sporty handling along with a smooth, not too soft, ride. This isn’t a sports car and isn’t trying to be. However, it, especially in this AWD form would be just about the ideal daily driver – though we’d like to see a sportier suspension tuning, especially for hard-core mountain driving.
With regard to punch, especially after driving forced induction engined Cadillacs, the effects of high altitude begin to show themselves. While rated horsepower on this 3.6l DI V-6 is technically higher than the turbo 2.8l V-6 in the SRX we drove earlier this year – the SRX would leave this CTS in the dust by a measure of seconds simply due to the thinner air and a turbo’s ability to maintain rated horsepower as altitude increases.
Using the rule of thumb of 3% lost per 1000 feet elevation and the CTS is putting out about 20% less hp than rated at tCE headquarters – so less than 245hp. Turbo engines, however, often lose much less hp due to the fact that they can be tuned to let the boost climb higher to compensate for altitude (since this is programing based, it is hard to know exactly what the percentage lost in the SRX might have been – but it felt much stronger than the CTS and in our pseudo-official acceleration tests was at least a couple seconds faster to 60mph). On top of this, the 3.6 is a bit thirsty, giving us about the same 21mpg that we saw in the Escalade Hybrid – a bit shocking since we often match or beat EPA estimates (18/26 on the sticker of the wagon) in normal driving.
So, what did we learn from our time with the CTS Sport Wagon? Well, the CTS has worn quite well and is, ultimately, one of the bright spots in the domestic auto industry. It is well built, drives and handles well, and looks great doing it. The wagon simply takes all the positives in this platform and gives you the ability to haul bulky items while arguably looking better than the sedan on which it is based. At 6500 ft above sea level, we’d love to see Cadillac make the 2.8l turbo the upper level engine, though potential buyers that don’t often spend time a mile or more above sea level likely won’t mind.
Now, if we could just get our hands on the upcoming V version…
Cadillac has been building the Northstar V-8 in various forms since 1992 – when it debuted in the 1993 Allante convertible.
Today is sees duty in the STS, DTS, and even in the top model of the Buick Lucerne.
We have known for some time that the Northstar was going away, especially in light of the 3.6l DI V-6 that puts out power nearly on par with the 4.6l Northstar. We also know that the plans for a high-tech V-8 to replace the Northstar have been shelved. What we didn’t know is exactly when the production would end.
It now appears that July 2010 will see the last Northstar produced.
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Autoblog is posting these spy shots of a modified CTS sedan at the test track.
By noting the re-positioned fuel filler door as well as the much shorter wheelbase, we might assume that this is a mule for Alpha (i.e. the ATS).
If they are at this phase of development, however, this suggests both that the earlier spy shots of a purported ATS testing in production sheet metal must have been faked. This also means that either they are being very protective of the final look, or ATS is further away then we might have hoped.
Or…we could be looking at some other development of a rear drive car where they’ve chosen to use a CTS body shell to throw us all off (could be the next Camaro chassis under there – which is also Alpha but a year or two further out than the ATS).
After Cadillac decided to re-instate over 400 dealers that had previously been told they were out of the Cadillac selling business – they now find themselves in the enviable position of needing to provide hundreds of dealer lots with inventory.
Given the incredible success of the new SRX, that has left Cadillac with a shortage of inventory and no easy way to increase production.
Kurt McNeil, Cadillac’s U.S. sales chief, has stated that GM is looking at ways to increase production, but that relief would not come until at least the 4th quarter of this year. This likely means adding SRX production to another of the plants that builds Theta crossovers (the SRX is built at GM’s Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico. Other Theta products are built in GM’s Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada plant.
GM will need to find significant production capacity not only to supply the hot SRX to their ‘new’ dealers, but also to provide promised capacity for the SRX’s sibling, the upcoming Saab 9-4x which goes on sale in several months.
Expect an announcement on how they will get the additional production soon.
This is the first competitive product review here at the Caddy Edge. In this installment, we’re looking at the Audi A3 TDI. The A3 is Audi’s entry car in the US market. TDI is their 2.0l turbo-diesel powerplant. In this instance it is backed by the famed dual-clutch automated manual transmission that VW likes to use.
The Audi A3 might be positioned below even the upcoming ATS, but it does show what is going on in the luxury space for folks looking for a small, fuel-efficient ride that don’t want to think about a hybrid.
This review was previously posted over at Unhealthy Obsession with Cars and is based on my experience driving the car at the Rocky Mountain Driving Experience (put on by the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press).
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Cadillac had their initial event for the press with the production version of the 2011 CTS Coupe.
As you may recall, the CTS-V Coupe will be coming out soon, but there will be a separate event for that launch sometime later.
The Coupe is the first 2011 Cadillac, and therefore will be the first with Cadillac’s new covered maintenance program.
So, let’s take a look at what the major outlets have to say about the new coupe:
Car and Driver
Road and Track
During the GM bankruptcy of 2009, Cadillac decided to refocus its retail strategy on large markets, dropping what it considered to be excess dealers in many areas.
Well, the bankruptcy is over, and new management in charge of the sales role of Cadillac has decided that, while there are too many dealers in some urban areas, getting rid of dealers in smaller towns and forcing customers to travel to the city for sales and service isn’t the best plan.
So, Cadillac will be re-instating 400-500 dealers soon. This still leaves Cadillac with a leaner retail presence than before, but also means that many customers won’t have to drive quite as far to buy or service their cars.