The front-drive, Epsilon-based, sub-CTS sedan that is built in Saab’s factory in Sweden (alongside the 9-3) has had a rough go trying to crack the European market.
Starting late this year, the wagon body style will be added to try to turn things around.
GM announced today that the wagon will make it’s public debut at the Frankfort Motor Show in September with an on-sale date in November.
In addition, they announced even more Saab technology transfer in that the BLS will offer an ethanol-fuel engine option (much like Saab’s BioPower).
Read on for the entire press release.
DETROIT – The Cadillac BLS Wagon will make its world premiere at the IAA International Motor Show, 13 to 23 September in Frankfurt, Germany. In addition to its first offering of a station wagon, Cadillac is announcing it will offer an alternative, bio-ethanol-fuel engine for the BLS Sedan and Wagon. Both moves demonstrate Cadillac’s commitment to continued growth in the European market. Sales of the BLS Wagon throughout Europe will commence in November 2007. The bio-ethanol-powered BLS will be available at start of sale.
Bio-Ethanol power option for BLS
The BLS Wagon and Sedan models will be the first Cadillac models to be offered in Europe with the option of low-emission, bio-ethanol engines. Bio-ethanol is in use today in the USA and Brazil as an alternative to traditional gasoline fuels. The BLS with Bio-Ethanol power will go on sale in November 2007.
New diesel engine
The front-wheel-drive BLS Wagon is offered with the same range of power units as the BLS sedan, giving the choice of a turbo-diesel and three turbocharged gasoline engines. In addition, a powerful 1.9L four-cylinder two stage turbo-diesel engine with common-rail direct-injection delivers 132 kW (180 hp) and 400 Nm of maximum torque.
Depending on engine specification, the BLS Wagon offers the choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a five- or six-speed automatic transmission. For BLS models equipped with an automatic transmission, a standard Sport Mode button allows the driver to select a sportier transmission shift pattern.
The range of gasoline engines includes two 2.0L four-cylinder turbocharged units developing 129 kW (175 hp) and 154 kW (210 hp). A high-tech, 2.8L V-6 developing 188 kW (255 hp) features a twin-scroll turbocharger and variable phasing of the intake camshafts.
Expressive Design and Versatility
As the first station wagon in Cadillac’s 104-year history, the BLS Wagon marks a new milestone for the brand. Clear, crisp and sharply defined contours, characteristic Cadillac design features, a striking wedge shape that is emphasized by the tapered lines of the side windows all make the Cadillac BLS Wagon an appealing new entry in the midsize station wagon segment.
“The BLS Wagon is an appealing addition to the Cadillac portfolio for customers seeking dramatically designed luxury vehicles that offer versatility and performance along with outstanding ride and handling characteristics,” said Cadillac General Manager Jim Taylor. “We think it will do well in many European markets where consumers desire a high degree of versatility and functionality in their vehicles.”
From the front bumper and Cadillac hallmark V-shaped chrome-plated grille, to the trademark vertical tail lamps with the latest LED technology and rear bumper, the Cadillac BLS Wagon measures 4716 mm, compared with 4680 mm for the BLS sedan. At 2038 mm wide (including exterior rear view mirrors) and 1543 mm in height (including roof rails and roof antenna), the BLS Wagon combines a compact, sporty shape with a high degree of versatility and functionality.
The BLS Wagon interior is highlighted by a three-spoke leather steering wheel and an analog clock in the center stack. The circular instruments have white numerals and red needles on a black background. State-of-the-art infotainment systems include high-quality audio units from American sound specialist Bose, a DVD navigation system with touch-screen operation, a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone system with a hands-free kit and remote controls on the steering wheel.
The Cadillac BLS Wagon offers plenty of interior space to support a wide variety of luxury and leisure interests. With the rear seats in use, the boot measures 419 liters loading space, with an additional 12 liters below the floor. With the rear seats folded down, the total amount adds up to 1285 liters of flexible and versatile cargo space.
Comfort and driving dynamics
The chassis of the BLS Wagon has been developed to provide both the agility and comfort customers expect from a Cadillac. Fine tuning of the McPherson struts in front and a four-link rear axle ensures dynamic handling performance without compromising ride or load capacity.
BLS Wagon available in Europe in November 2007
The Cadillac BLS Wagon will be in European Cadillac showrooms in November 2007, shortly after world début at the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, (13 – 23 September 2007). It has four levels: Business, Elegance, Sport and Sport Luxury.
The standard “Business” trim level offers 16-inch alloy wheels, Cadillac’s StabiliTrak electronic stability program engine immobilizer, front, side and head curtain airbags, driver trip computer, three-spoke leather steering wheel with control buttons, cruise control, air conditioning, a seven-speaker audio system with CD player and “Piano Black” interior decor trim.
The intermediate trim level “Elegance” features additional standard equipment, including, wipers with rain sensors, eight-way power seats, dual-zone climate control and 17-inch alloy wheels. Red walnut wood veneer trim enhances the interior decor.
The Cadillac BLS “Sport” adds 18-inch wheels and lowered sports suspension for the front MacPherson struts and four-link rear axle. The chassis tuning ensures dynamic handling performance without compromising comfort. The BLS Sport interior is highlighted by the use of stylish aluminum trim instead of wood and the circular instruments have white numerals and red needles on a black background.
The “Sport Luxury” level is available in combination with the 2.8 V6 engine and the 1.9 Turbodiesel engine. In addition to the “Sport” content, it includes Bi-Xenon headlamps, heated and electrically adjustable leather seats with memory function and wood trim, instead of aluminum trim.