Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Next Gen Cadillac CTS to Serve Up Some Surprises

It is widely recognized as the model that turned the tide for Cadillac, GM's luxury car brand. Introduced in 2002, the first generation CTS brought a rear-wheel-drive midsize sedan to the luxury segment, giving Cadillac a five-passenger model that set the course for further brand improvement. The CTS line has since expanded to include wagon, coupe and high performance models, enabling Cadillac to compete against the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. The third generation Cadillac CTS will be released for the 2014 model year, with some important changes anticipated.
1. Design -- Don't look for revolutionary changes with the CTS' design. The last model has been a runaway hit and Cadillac will not mess with success. You'll see some evolutionary changes including new headlamps, body creases and rear deck treatments, but the new sedan will come in at about the same size as the new model. Inside, an updated instrument panel, changes in wood trim and leather treatments, and the most recent edition of Cadillac CUE are expected.
2. Models -- GM hasn't confirmed it, but the CTS line is likely to include only sedan body styles going forward. The coupe and wagon will be dropped, styles that will reemerge on the smaller ATS. Cadillac wants to distinguish these two model lines further and the ATS will get more styles to compete against the BMW 3-Series. Expect the V-Series to return, about 12 months after the new model is introduced.
3. Upmarket -- Cadillac has held pricing down on the CTS to curry a following. That move has been a successful one, but the third generation model will be priced along the lines of it competing German models including the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Expect that the 2014 Cadillac CTS will bring in a more robust package of standard accessories and higher trim levels.
4. Powertrains -- A V-8 model will still be available and will likely power the next V-Series CTS. Expect that a V-6 engine to be standard, but rumors of a turbocharged four cylinder engine cannot be squashed. Yes, a diesel CTS seems likely, not initially perhaps by 2015 as Cadillac gauges market interest for these engines as offered by its German rivals. Both manual and automatic six-speed transmissions will be offered.

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