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What will the 2008 CTS (and CTSV) look like?
2008 Official Cadillac CTS Pictures and featuresNEW 1/8/07
For Video: CLICK HERETHe CTS-V will look different but is based on this platform and design
Go to http://www.cadillac.com/allnewcts/ for the official story
ALL-NEW 2008 CADILLAC CTS DESIGN INTENDS TO INJECT DRAMATIC CHARACTER INTO THE LUXURY SEDAN CATEGORY
DETROIT – Aggressive and elegant, expressive and sophisticated, the 2008 Cadillac CTS exudes a dramatic design presence. This all-new luxury sedan not only pushes Cadillac’s acclaimed design theme higher, it aims to redraw the boundaries of the normally conservative luxury sedan category. Inside and out, the 2008 CTS contradicts many traditional design conventions. CTS’ design expresses its serious performance intent, yet also is more elegant and luxurious. It’s a sedan in the heart of the luxury market, yet reaches for the charisma of a sports car. CTS is thoroughly new and contemporary, even while it evokes the grandeur of classic Cadillac cars.
Since the inception of the first-generation car in 2002, CTS is about trend-setting design. The edgy form of the CTS initially created controversy. But from the moment it hit the market, its design also attracted lots of buyers, with design often noted as a top reason for purchase. The all-new 2008 edition extends that edgy and contemporary character, with an injection of elegance.
On the exterior, there’s no mistaking the five-passenger sedan’s stronger stance, thanks to a two-inch wider track. Additionally, the overall shape of the CTS features a faster profile with more rake, coupled with surfaces that add elegance and grace. Borrowing from Cadillac’s legendary heritage, design cues include vertically shaped headlights and taillamps, signature light emitting diode (LED) exterior lighting, horizontal spline lines and its dihedral-shaped hood, all highlighted with many bright and jeweled accents.
Just as definitive of CTS’ evolution in design is the dramatically new interior. Like the exterior, it expresses luxury and performance themes with appointments that are both purposeful and elegant. Advances in surface development, technology, materials and construction combine to make the CTS cabin a compelling blend of technical sophistication, precise tailoring and luxurious character.
Exterior: sporty sophistication meets substance
Coupled with a new overall shape, the most evolutionary dimension of the 2008 CTS comes in the form of a two-inch wider track as a result of the addition of the new, optional all-wheel-drive configuration. The wider stance gives the new model a more planted, capable and well-grounded appearance that’s exemplified by much tighter tire-to-fender relationships.
The wider stance also enables more tumblehome – the vehicle sides are sculpted inward – delivering an appearance of rear-wheel-drive performance with a lower roof line, without compromising headroom or a roomy interior.
Additionally, a wider, tapering sail panel, lower, more sculpted hood, smoother wheel housing lips and a tighter wheel-to-body relationship help communicate the CTS’ agility as well as its sophistication and substance.
Seven-spoke, 17-inch wheels or available nine-spoke, 18-inch wheels surround larger high-performance brake calipers and rotors. Both painted and machined finishes are available for the standard 17-inch wheels. The larger, 18-inch wheels are available in a premium multicoat finish or a high-polish finish.
Inspired by Cadillac’s landmark Sixteen concept car, the CTS front appearance is immediately recognizable, yet also is new. The large, chrome dual-textured grille is significantly more vertical in shape, and is both aggressive and intricate. A large center-positioned wreath and crest add to the three-dimensional face. The front fascia is balanced with vertically stacked headlamps with bright bezels stacked in a staircase-like array. The lower air intake is flanked on both sides with fog lamps and brake duct intakes.
Side air extractors located forward of the front doors are a modern homage to Cadillac’s grand heritage. Additional bright details include chrome molding surrounding the side windows, and three-inch chromed exhaust outlets.
Even on the rear of the car, where many sedans are ordinary, Cadillac designers injected charisma. The vertical taillamps are a Cadillac trademark. The roofline and rear backlight have a coupe-like profile. At the centerline, the decklid carries the angular and directional theme of the front.
Dimensionally, the 2008 CTS is 191.6 inches (4766 mm) long, 72.5 inches (1841 mm) wide and 58 inches (1472 mm) in height. Wheelbase is 113.4 inches (2880 mm) with a front/rear track of 61.8 / 62.0 inches (1575 / 1585 mm).
Interior: performance and elegance combine
The 2008 CTS represents a new design theme for Cadillac interiors, emphasizing technical precision with elegant, hand-crafted details. Dramatically different from the original, the interior design is decidedly more upscale, with added ornamentation, luxury and attention to detail. Strict attention to packaging, premium materials, surface development and comfort combine to meet the discriminating tastes of luxury performance sedan buyers.
Upper instrument panel and door trim surfaces are hand-cut, sewn and wrapped by expert craftsmen. Analog instrumentation that is tightly framed with a compact hood tri-tubular, chromed cluster, is defined by bright accents. An integrated center stack design, with either a satin metallic finish or genuine Sapele wood, blends into the lower instrument panel that sweeps forward and away of front-seat occupants. The hand-assembled center console leads seamlessly into the center stack, providing a sportier “cockpit” feel for the driver and passenger without compromising space.
Heated and ventilated seats incorporate new “thin-seat” technology for maximum occupant comfort and enhanced rear-seat leg, knee and foot room. A signature V-shaped medallion appears as a decorative touch on the backs of the front seats. French stitching is used throughout the interior, including the upper instrument panel, door inserts, seats and the shifter boot.
Clean, white ambient light emitting diode (LED) soft backlighting is positioned in the door pulls, foot wells and recessed between the upper and lower instrument panels. The result is a dramatic effect similar to recessed lighting used in contemporary homes.
The leather-wrapped steering wheel includes standard integrated controls for cruise and audio system.
Inside and out, the 2008 CTS exemplifies an evolution of Cadillac design that achieves a remarkable combination of luxury, technology and performance in a sedan aimed at creating the desire and head-turning quotient normally reserved for sports cars.
The Car Connection Analysis
Thomas Jefferson, it's been said, believed a revolution was needed, every 50 years or so in order to keep our democracy fresh and responsive to the American public. In the automotive world, revolutions must occur on a much more frequent schedule, at least if a manufacturer hopes to respond to fast-changing consumer trends.
It wasn't all that long ago, January 2002, to be precise, that Cadillac staged an insurrection of its own, overthrowing the staid and directionless order that had led "the standard to the world" to become little more than an American also-ran.
The weapon of choice was the CTS, a strikingly stylish sedan that, for the first time in decades, positioned Caddy as a true design leader. Better yet, the CTS's Sigma architecture - GM-speak for platform - proved stiff and solid and an unexpected match-up to the better German competitors.
That's not to say the first-generation CTS was truly world-class. As General Motors' product czar, Bob Lutz, admits, "We managed to spend a lot of money on the interior and still make it look cheap."
So it was with plenty of anticipation that TheCarConnection.com accepted an invitation to check out the second-generation CTS, which Caddy snuck onto the back lot of the Sony Studios, just prior to the L.A. Auto Show last November. The new CTS made its debut at the 2007Detroit show.
The first CTS had two "pillars," recalled Jim Taylor, the chief engineer on the original car and now the division's general manager, "bold styling and performance." The '08 CTS is not going to deliver the same visual knock-out punch. It's more refined and dare say even subtle - though not blanded out like the somewhat disappointing Cadillac STS.
Working from nose to tail, the front end lifts some cues from the striking Sixteen concept car; the grille is better integrated into the nose, flowing under the bumper, Audi style, and blending into the curvaceous hood. The lamps feature light pipes that remain lit whenever the engine is on. (And in the upscale version, those lamps are steerable. The European edition lights will also be auto-leveling.)
The new CTS's track has been extended two inches, front and rear, which notably enhances the visual stance and, Caddy engineers promise, also improves performance. To show off the changes, the fenders flare out at the wheel wells. Immediately behind, are new air extractors that, according to Cadillac senior engineer Randall Schway, "are 90 percent visual, but 10 percent functional."
The so-called "character line" that defines the CTS from a side view has been enhanced. The look is still angular, but not quite as squared off as the first-generation sedan. "We've tended to move a little more towards art than science," noted Schway, a reference to the Art & Science design theme the CTS ushered in.
Like the front, the rear of the car is far better integrated into the whole than the car that was first previewed in mid-2001. The taillights are striking but not garish, and the license plate holder - downright cheesy in its original, gray plastic - is carefully incorporated into the overall look.
For '08, Cadillac added a third pillar to the CTS project, explained Schway. "We're trying to pick up the game on perceived quality," a place where the original car fell down. There are the high-end touches, such as new sill plates. And a close inspection reveals significantly tightened body gaps, at no more than 3 millimeters, the most precise GM has ever done. New, triple-seal doors reduce wind and road noise, while providing the sort of bank vault "thunk" luxury buyers expect.
While the new exterior certainly grabbed our attention, we couldn't wait to slip inside the '08 CTS prototype. And it was well worth the wait. If the original had all the plastic charm of an IBM PC, the new cockpit has the warm and welcoming refinement of a Bang & Olufson sound system. As with the exterior, gaps have been significantly tightened and the new material choices are elegant and expensive-looking. The center stack flows at a graceful cant, something made possible by tucking the actual electronics - including radio and navigation systems - elsewhere in the car.
The huge, eight-inch nav screen reveals a design theme we'll start seeing across the GM lineup. The mapping display is tucked out of sight until you need it.
The sill plates are a decidedly upscale touch, as is the new, ambient lighting, which gently glows from behind the flowing wood pieces accenting dash and doors.
There are entirely new seats for the '08 CTS. They feel more comfortable - at least after five minutes in a static display. They're heated and ventilated. They're also thinner, which provides a couple more inches of rear knee room.
For 2008, the base CTS will be powered by the "high-feature" 3.6-liter V-6, the midrange engine on the '07 sedan. This port-injected powertrain makes 255 horsepower. For a little more kick, there'll be a new, 3.6-liter, direct-injection V-6 making about 300 hp (final figures haven't been released as of this writing).
Both engines will be mated to a new six-speed automatic. One surprise was the lack of paddle shifter. You can put the transmission in manual mode, but you need shift with the console-mounted lever. That's one oversight Caddy needs to quickly address. And when they do, we hope they copy makers like Audi, who no long require you to shift into manumatic mode. Simply tap a paddle and you go into manual, even if just for a moment.
For the true performance geeks in the Cadillac fold, the '08 CTS will offer an optional six-speed manual gearbox.
Other notable touches include a heavily modified front short/long-arm suspension. Major changes have been made to the rear multi-link package, as well. And there's an all-new steering system.
We expect to see a lot of demand for the "Ultraview" roof; it features a positively massive piece of glass, the front portion of which slides back, while the rear is fixed.
Another strange decision will make American buyers wait to get a Bluetooth option for hands-free cellphoning. It will debut in Europe and follow, we're told, months later for the U.S. market.
Indeed, look for more to come wearing a CTS badge. We expect to see a high-performance V-Series model, of course, and there's likely to be both a coupe and even a wagon in the lineup over the next year or two. The latter model would be aimed primarily at Europe, where these two-box designs are hot, but we'd expect to see Caddy add it to the U.S. lineup as well.
One of the things we noticed about the new CTS is that it has an even more imposing presence than the prior sedan. It moves up a bit to more squarely tackle the likes of the BMW 5-Series, rather than the smaller 3er. That's great news for buyers, but could be problematic for Cadillac. It will become just that much harder to justify buying the bland STS.
Selling the car without drawing buyers down from the larger STS "will be our hardest job, no question," acknowledged Cadillac General Manager Taylor, admitting the likelihood a lot of potential STS buyers will be "cannibalized."
What that's likely to mean, Taylor continued, is that, "We've got to ensure we upgrade the STS." What that means, we'll wait and see, but we would hope for a sharpening of the bigger car's exterior and a big advance in its less-than-stellar cabin.
What we're seeing with the new CTS gives us hope that Cadillac has found the formula. It's not easy to give a revolution going, but if the GM brand hopes to compete with the big guys, it's going to have to keep its guns loaded and ready to fire.
From The car connection