Review: Cadillac CTS

By Winding Road Staff

March 27, 2013

This is the Master Landing Page for the Cadillac CTS. From now on, as we further review this car, we will be updating this page with whatever fresh content we create. Future drive reviews, updated specifications, videos, and other relevant information will all be found right here, in one convenient spot.
 
SUMMARY
 
First Look: 2014 Cadillac CTS
 
We gave you the first pictures of the all-new CTS yesterday, and now Cadillac has finally come clean with the details.
 
Like the ATS, the new CTS will offer a six-speed automatic and a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder as its base engine. That setup is good for a respectable 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The mid-level engine is the familiar 3.6-liter V-6, netting 321 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. Opting for the six-cylinder will get you Cadillac’s first eight-speed automatic transmission.
 
The big news is the new VSport model. It comes to market with a biturbocharged 3.6-liter, and generates 420 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. That’s more horsepower than the BMW 550i and Mercedes-Benz E550, and more torque than the Audi S6 (which it matches on horsepower).
 
The remarkable thing is that all the Germans use twin-turbo V-8s, but Cadillac’s offering nearly the same performance with two fewer cylinders. And keep in mind, this isn’t even the successor to the CTS-V. If we don’t get at least 600 horsepower in that car, we’ll be sad.
 
Other items that make the VSport a worthwhile option include 18- or 19-inch wheels, sharper steering, Brembo brakes, more aggressive cooling options, a track mode for the magnetic ride control, and a limited-slip differential.
 
Cadillac is taking the tech side of the new CTS very seriously. Magnetic ride control is available regardless of engine, allowing owners of base models to experience just how transformative the system is. In the cabin, Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system can be paired with a 12.3-inch touchscreen display and a full-color head-up display.
 
Production of the 2014 CTS should begin this fall, with deliveries to start shortly after. We’ll have pricing information when it becomes available.
 
Please scroll down for the official press release from Cadillac.
 
2014 Cadillac CTS Elevates to Challenge World’s Best
 
Longer, lower and leaner sedan drives into heart of midsize luxury segment
Lightweight technologies, including aluminum door structures, contribute to lower curb weight and nearly 50/50 weight balance
New Vsport model offers new Cadillac Twin-Turbo V-6 and brand’s first eight-speed automatic transmission
NEW YORK – Cadillac today introduced the all-new 2014 CTS sedan, which ascends into the heart of the midsize luxury market with expanded performance, elevated luxury and sophisticated technology.
 
The third-generation CTS sedan is based on the high-performing rear-drive architecture of the award-winning ATS sport sedan, moving Cadillac into the prestigious class of midsize luxury sedans. It will be the segment’s lightest car, enabling the most agile driving dynamics in the class. A range of power-dense powertrains underpin its performance, including the all-new Cadillac Twin-Turbo engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.
 
Production of the 2014 CTS begins this fall in Lansing, Mich.
 
“The all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan delivers crafted design, thrilling performance and sophisticated technology,” said Bob Ferguson, vice president, Global Cadillac. “The car that has always been Cadillac’s centerpiece stretches figuratively and literally to challenge the world’s best.”
 
A longer, lower and more athletic-looking proportion is introduced on Cadillac’s landmark sedan and evolves the brand’s Art & Science design philosophy. While growing five inches (127 mm) in length, including a 1.2-inch longer wheelbase, the roofline and cowl – the base of the windshield – are about an inch lower, dimensions that complement the longer exterior to accentuate the car’s lean aesthetic.
 
“With Cadillac growing globally, driven by rising product credibility, the new CTS elevates the brand to a new level,” said Ferguson.
 
While stretched in overall length and wheelbase, the all-new CTS sedan has a lower curb weight than the preceding model and weighs about 200 pounds (90 kg) less than the BMW 528i. Lightweight features, including Cadillac’s first aluminum door structures, contribute to the lower weight and a nearly 50/50 weight balance. And for the first time on CTS, Magnetic Ride Control, Cadillac’s real-time damping system, is available on base models.
 
Cadillac’s shield grille and signature vertical lighting elements – including LED front signature lighting detail – evolve on the CTS. The grille is wider, with a more detailed texture, while the headlamps flow up with the hood line, incorporating crystalline LED light guides for a technologically advanced appearance with more uniform illumination.
 
Active grille shutters are included on some models, improving aerodynamic performance on the highway to enhance fuel efficiency.
 
Inside, a roomier, driver-centric cockpit interior with integrated technology and hand-crafted appointments complements the exterior elements and supports the CTS sedan’s driving experience. Eight available interior environments are offered, each trimmed with authentic wood, carbon fiber or aluminum. Leather seating is available, including available full semi-aniline leather, with hand-crafted, cut-and-sewn executions.
 
CTS Performance
 
The new Cadillac Twin-Turbo V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission combination leads the CTS sedan’s powertrain lineup in the new CTS Vsport. It is the first twin-turbocharged engine ever offered by Cadillac and is the brand’s first eight-speed automatic.
 
The CTS Vsport also features:
 
18-inch aluminum wheels with Pirelli summer-only performance tires (19-inch wheels with all-season tires are available)
A quicker steering ratio
Brembo disc brakes with aluminum calipers and high-performance brake pads,
Heavy-duty track cooling package
Driver-selectable track mode with specific steering rate and Magnetic Ride Control calibrations for greater track performance
Electronic limited-slip differential that enhances capability on the track – including optimal acceleration out of turns.
The Cadillac Twin-Turbo is SAE-certified at 420 horsepower (313 kW) and 430 lb.-ft. of torque (583 Nm), making it the most power-dense six-cylinder engine in the segment. A pair of smaller turbochargers helps provide more immediate power on demand, with approximately 90 percent of peak torque available from 2,500rpm to 5,500 rpm. That gives the engine a broad torque curve that customers will feel as strong, willing power in almost all driving conditions – and helps the CTS sedan reach 60 mph in an estimated 4.6 seconds.
 
The 2014 CTS is also available with a naturally aspirated 3.6L V-6 rated at an estimated 321 horsepower and also matched with the new paddle-shift eight-speed automatic in rear-wheel-drive models (or six-speed automatic with all-wheel drive; and a 2.0L turbocharged engine rated at an estimated 272 horsepower and paired with a six-speed automatic.
 
Cadillac’s new, paddle-shift eight-speed offers efficiency and performance advantages over a six-speed transmission, including 1.5-percent greater fuel economy.
 
Excellent power-to-weight ratios and racetrack-honed suspension geometries established with the development of the ATS enabled engineers to advance CTS’s performance with greater feelings of feedback, control and response. The comparatively low curb weight helps make the most of the driving experience by allowing the use of lighter-weight chassis components, which reduces unsprung weight to enable more precise handling without compromising ride quality.
 
The CTS sedan’s low mass and optimal brake sizes are expected to give it braking performance that is among the best in the segment, with standard Brembo brakes.
 
Suspension and driver control highlights also include:
 
Multi-link MacPherson strut suspension with a double-pivot design
Five-link independent rear suspension
Available all-wheel-drive
Premium electric, variable-assist power steering gear from ZF Steering Systems
Available Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping system
Choice of 17-, 18- and 19-inch aluminum wheels.
A number of aluminum components are used with the suspension system, while the rear suspension is mostly steel. That helps offset the weight of the engine and transmission at the front of the vehicle, helping the CTS deliver its near-perfect weight balance and contributing to less noise and vibration.
 
CTS technology and safety
 
The CTS sedan seamlessly blends comfort, convenience and safety technologies with the interior’s hand-crafted appointments and flowing design. Active safety features provide alerts and intervene when necessary to help avoid crashes.
 
At the core of the car’s intuitive technologies is CUE, Cadillac’s infotainment system that uses smartphone- and tablet-influenced controls and commands to access information and entertainment data. An eight-inch, high-resolution color touch screen with haptic feedback allows users to swipe and drag preferences. Bluetooth connectivity with natural voice recognition is standard with CUE, along with USB and SD card ports.
 
An available 12.3-inch high-resolution, configurable LCD instrument cluster display complements the CUE display and supports the active safety features. It offers drivers four layouts – from basic to performance-oriented – each delivering bold, crisp graphics tailored to the level of vehicle information desired. A full-color, configurable head-up display is also available.
 
CTS technologies also include:
 
Cadillac’s first 20-way adjustable front seats
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.
The new CTS sedan is the first Cadillac to offer Automatic Parking Assist, which enables the car to park itself in parallel spaces. It uses ultrasonic sensors to locate a suitable space and maneuver the car into the space, with the driver only required to engage reverse and apply the accelerator and brake pedals. Ultrasonic rear park assist is standard.
 
Ultrasonic sensors, as well as radar and cameras, support the CTS’s advanced safety features to help prevent crashes. Among the most sophisticated is Fr ont and Rear Automatic Braking , which relies on short-range radar technology and ultrasonic sensors to help the driver prevent front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary.
 
A Driver Awareness Package includes Cadillac’s patented Safety Alert Seat technology. It uses vibrating pulses in the driver’s seat to alert the driver to an imminent collision or to vehicles in the car’s blind spot. The seat vibrates on the left or right side, or both sides simultaneously, depending on the direction of the risk.
 
GM’s first application of automatic safety belt tightening is offered in the new CTS. It automatically takes slack out of the safety belts when buckled and offers real-time, active adjustments during driving to ensure optimal tension and comfort. Additional available safety features include:
 
Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
Panic Brake Assist
Forward Collision Alert
Automatic Collision Preparation (with brake prefill)
Lane Departure Warning
Side Blind Zone Alert
Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Rear Vision Camera With Dynamic Guidelines
Adaptive Forward Lighting
Active pedestrian protection system (in global regions where required).
The new CTS sedan also features 10 standard air bags, including front-passenger dual-stage low-risk deployment, which makes the most of the air bag trajectory and inflation rate based on the occupant’s size, position and severity of the crash.
 
Additionally, OnStar is standard for one year. It can use GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of a crash. OnStar service also includes myCadillac and OnStar myCadillac mobile apps, whichoffer vehicle information, controls and OnStar services via the customer’s iPhone or Android smart phone.
 
Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years, Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and advanced technology. More information on Cadillac can be found at media.cadillac.com.