Tuesday night, Cadillac unveiled their latest CTS at the 2013 New York Auto Show.
This car marks the first full re-think of the CTS with an all new chassis (Alpha+ making it a stretched version if the new platform that underpins the new ATS) as well as dimensions that, for the first time, pit the car directly against its German competition.
And what of this car’s dimensions? 5″ (127mm) longer than the 2nd gen car with a 1.2″ (approx 30mm) longer wheelbase, the CTS now matches nicely against the BMW 5, Mercedes E, and Audi A6. Additionally, the new CTS has a one inch (approx 25mm) lower roof and cowl that combine with the longer body to give a slimmer look than the car it replaces.
The light-weight story told by the ATS continues in the CTS with a drop of 244 lbs from the smaller 2nd gen car and undercuts the 528i by nearly 200 lbs (90kg) while also having a near 50/50 front/rear weight distribution. Contributing to the lower weight are such Cadillac firsts as aluminum doors that help keep mass to a minimum.
But, size and mass are not the only measures of competitiveness. In keeping with the latest Cadillac technologies, the CTS now comes with the full suite of safety technologies that we’ve come to know from the ATS, XTS, and refreshed SRX. The CUE system and available full-LCD instrument display (first seen on the XTS) are present as expected.
Additionally, the CTS has Cadillac’s first twin-turbo V-6 packing 420hp in a special Vsport trim level that bridges the gap between the earlier top 3.6l V-6 and the CTS-V. Other special features of the Vsport include 18″ wheels with summer tires (optional all-season 19″ tires are available), track-focused cooling enhancements, a quicker steering ratio, Brembo brakes (also standard on the Luxury, Performance, and Premium Collections), electronic limited slip differential, as well as a track setting that sharpens both the steering and magnetic suspension for track driving. Vsport also includes wider rear tires (all other trim levels have the same size tires front and rear – 245mm front/275mm rear on the Vsport).
Also backing the new V-6, as well as the non-turbo V-6 in RWD form, is a brand-new 8-speed automatic. The extra gears promise a 1.5% improvement in fuel economy over a 6-speed. However, a 6-speed automatic is still around as the only other CTS transmission (a moment of silence for the loss of the manual transmission option) and backs both the turbo 2.0 4-cylinder base engine and the non-turbo V-6 in all-wheel drive trim. Of note, the turbo-6 is only available in rear-drive form, for now.
New technologies and features in this latest CTS include:
20-way power seats
Grille shutters that improve aerodynamics for better economy
Automatic seat-belt tightening to optimize safety by ensuring no slack
Automatic (parallel) parking assist – using the ultrasonic parking sensors to find and place the CTS into a parking space
Motorized cup holder lid in the center console
Heated and cooled (ventilated) front seats and heated steering wheel
Electronically locking glove box
Electronic park brake
Adaptive remote start feature that also activates the climate control system
Standard Bose eleven-speaker sound system and available Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system with 13 speakers