What it Is
Cadillac CTS Preview – 2007 Detroit Auto Show: Note to BMW dealers: That grille filling up your rearview mirror may not carry a Lexus badge after all. Shocker of shockers, if you look closely you will see a crest, a Cadillac crest, followed by the unmistakably angled snout of the 2008 Cadillac CTS. Redesigned on the inside, touched up on the outside and strategically improved in its road manners, the CTS is joining the luxury sedan party – and this time, it’s not wearing blue hair, bifocals or a clown nose.
Why it Matters
Known as a beautifully flawed sedan, the existing Cadillac CTS offered the style but lacked the refinement to put a real scare into foreign luxury sedan automakers. Add to that a somewhat sedate road manner, and the CTS, while a remarkable success in terms of making Cadillac relevant to young luxury shoppers and introducing the new face of Cadillac to the world, remained a tick or two off the pace. True, there was the CTS-V in all its 400-horsepower glory, but for those unable to reach up to the “V,” the CTS fell short. This will likely change in 2008, as the new CTS offers strategic improvements in areas such as handling, interior refinement and overall performance.
What’s Under the Hood
What it Looks Like
In case you thought it wasn’t possible to make it more angular, rest assured that you’re wrong – and that it actually looks bigger, broader and bolder than before. Most of all, however, the 2008 Cadillac CTS has a more grown up look. No matter how funny it is to write that about a Cadillac, it’s true: the CTS looks good with a little age on it, thanks to a wider track, lower hood and smoother fenders. Also new are 17-inch wheels or available nine-spoke, 18-inch wheels, with larger brake calipers and rotors.
OK– let’s face it. The current Cadillac CTS has an interior only a Chevy could love. While the materials were mostly luxury level, the fit and finish and the plastics left some buyers wanting more for their luxury dollar. That changes in 2008, starting with hand-stitched leather seating and door panel surfaces. A quick inspection inside showed close gaps and much better interior materials, from leather to soft surfaces and plastics. Highlights include a unique Sapele wood grain, more supportive seat bolsters and white ambient lighting. If you’ve heard this before from a GM preview only to be disappointed on the dealership lot, consider this: GM has backed up all this talk with the insides of cabins from the Saturn AURA to the Chevrolet Silverado.
What Cadillac Says
What We Think
Photos courtesy of General Motors, Brian Chee