2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe. Click image to enlarge
2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe
Los Angeles, California – Journalists attending the Los Angeles Auto Show had the opportunity to see Cadillac’s new CTS Coupe the day before it is revealed at the Los Angeles Convention Center. According to representatives of Cadillac, the new CTS Coupe will become “the centrepiece of the brand’s revised lineup.”
Joining the CTS sedan, CTS-V and CTS wagon, the coupe embodies the strong angular design that originally debuted with the CTS sedan, albeit with softer lines as the model matures. It is a 2+2 coupe, with a usable rear seat, but buyers are more likely to focus on the dramatic design rather that the functionality for four passengers. It is striking in its appearance and one has to wonder why it is the last, or latest, variant for the CTS.
Although it is based on the sedan , the CTS Coupe shares with it only the instrument panel, console, headlamps, front fenders and grille. It has the same wheelbase as the sedan, but it is two inches (51 mm) lower and two inches shorter than the four-door CTS. The rear quarters are more pronounced to allow for wide, 275-series tires – front tires are 245 wide – accentuating the rear wheel drive architecture. An all-wheel drive version will also be available when the 2011 CTS Coupe goes on sale in the Spring of 2010 and a high-performance “V” version will come later in the year.
It is a classic hard top with no B-pillar. The sides are smooth, conventional door handles replaced by a touch sensative pad hidden beneath the trailing edge of the doors. The windshield is more sloped, while the rear window is nearly horizontal. The exhaust passes through two dihedral-shaped openings in the centre of the rear fascia. The rear spoiler doubles as the Cadillac signature high-mounted stop light. It is a profile that looks fast from the side, but strong from the front or rear. Whether you will be looking at it in your rear view mirror, or stopped at a light in front of you, the message will be clear – this is no ordinary Caddy.
The CTS Coupe’s standard powertrain consists of a direct injected, 304-hp 3.6-litre V6 and six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic will be optional. The suspension is tuned differently than the sedan, to give the coupe a more sporty edge and includes an independent short/long arm (SLA) front suspension system, with hydraulic control arm front bushings and a multi-link rear suspension mounted on a fully isolated subframe. Also included are four-wheel disc performance brakes, premium steering and limited-slip differential.
Two suspension-tuning levels are available: a performance package with 18-inch wheels and all-season tires (available in both RWD and AWD,) and a summer tire performance package, with 19-inch tires and wheels and a higher level of road holding capability.
The interior includes hand-sewn accents covering the door, centre storage console and instrument panel trim. Fourteen-way adjustable Recaro sport seats, previously exclusively offered on Cadillac’s V-Series model, will be offered on all CTS Coupe models as an option. Comfort and convenience features include: integrated iPod/MP3 capability, 40-gig hard drive, pop-up navigation system, adaptive forward lighting system, Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry and start, rear camera system and Bose 5.1 Cabin Surround sound system.
Marketing people at Cadillac expect the coupe will make up 25 per cent of sales and outsell the recently introduced wagon in the United States. In Canada, that might be reversed.
The coupe is a refreshng direction for Cadillac. Many people still persist in thinking about Cadillac as a company that sells big, comfy sedans, but the reality of today is quite different. Nevertheless, old impressions persist in the buying public. Cadillac hopes the CTS coupe will change that.