Although today’s cutting-edge powerplants—like those found in the brand-new 2014 Cadillac CTS—can leverage the latest technologies to deliver more power from fewer cylinder than did past engines, as well as better fuel-economy ratings, engineers still haven’t found a way to get those units to deliver the same unmistakable soundtrack as a large-displacement V8. So they’ve done the next best thing: the 2014 Cadillac CTS (and its hi-po Vsport variant) will feature an “integrated electronic sound enhancement system” to create an aural environment that’s more in keeping with the CTS’ actual performance.
Now, a number of other companies have done the same sort of thing previously, including names like BMW and Porsche, but GM’s lux brand is taking things to ye olde next level by developing unique soundscapes for each of the selectable driving modes offered offered in the CTS sedans. As for the differences among them, it’s probably best to let the brand speak for itself:
- In Tour mode, the 2014 Cadillac CTS “purrs with refinement.”
- Change to the Sport mode and the CTS “growls with power.”
- With the Vsport-only Track mode, the car “roars even more aggressively.”
“The sound enhancement system acts like a choir conductor, calling forth certain engine sounds to sing the loudest depending on the driving mode,” said Dave Leone, CTS executive chief engineer, Performance luxury vehicles. “We used our ears to tell us what sounded the best and programmed the system to listen for those tones. It is Cadillac’s Art and Science design philosophy applied to engine sound.”
Yet it’s not like the 2014 Cadillac CTS “needs” an aural upgrade to boost its performance credibility. As noted on the next page, the brand’s mid-size sport sedan offers a trio of athletic engine choices, and that’s before the inevitable V-Series version makes its debut.