CADILLAC CTS Johannesburg Motor Show 2008
The new and exciting Cadillac CTS (Compact Touring Sedan) adds to the Cadillac range of the BLS, STS, and SRX models placed in the market over the past 18 months. This all-new luxury sports sedan fits neatly in between the BLS family sedan and the flagship STS and offers an ideal solution for buyers wanting to step up from an entry-level luxury sedan into a medium sized luxury vehicle.
The Cadillac CTS fills a niche in the medium sized luxury sedan market and boasts technical innovation, dramatic exterior styling, a hand-crafted lavish interior, great performance and intelligent technology.
Power comes from a 3,6 litre V6 direct injection petrol engine with variable valve-timing mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Maximum power is 229kW @ 6400 r/min with peak torque of 374Nm @ 5200 r/min. The silky smooth V6 red lines at 7000 r/min. This makes the Cadillac CTS good for acceleration from rest to 100 km/h in just 6,3 seconds and a top speed of 241 km/h. This is achieved with a combined fuel index of 11,1 l/100km.
Luxury comes standard on the Cadillac CTS with just a single “Sport Luxury” specification level available that includes a full-house of executive luxury interior appointments for a refined and comfortable driving experience. Two option packages are offered to further enhance the already comprehensive specification.
The Luxury Level 1 package adds “Rainsense” automatic windscreen wipers and accent lighting LED spotlights with lighting pipes to the list of features. The Luxury Level 2 package adds heated and ventilated front seats, power adjustment for steering wheel tilt and reach, and GM’s EZ-key passive entry system with remote start. A further specification option is the Power Ultraview two-panel electric sunroof with express-open and sunshade that opens up 70% of the roof area to provide both front and rear passengers with an open-top driving experience.
This all-new Cadillac broke cover in North America in late 2007 and soon won acclaim from influential motoring writers and leading industry publications.
Ward’s AutoWorld magazine named the 3,6 litre engine of the CTS in its top ten engine list published in January 2008. The Wards “Ten Best Engines” list is the only awards programme honouring powertrain excellence in the USA and is regarded as an industry benchmark.
In assessing the 37 engines nominated for this year’s awards, Wards editors scored engines against each other in a number of objective and subjective parameters. In naming its top ten engines for the year Wards AutoWorld drew attention to the fact these latest generation engines reflected the automotive industry’s success in improving fuel economy and emissions without compromising performance. This latest crop of engines is evidence of the enormous advances in powertrain engineering being realised as the public demands ever more fuel efficient vehicles. Significantly General Motors was the only manufacturer to have two engines in the top ten list and only one of two North American manufacturers represented.
Motor Trend named the Cadillac CTS as its Car of the Year for 2008 with the magazine’s writers enthusing over this newcomer from the Cadillac stable, stating that it “made them grin like lottery winners every time they drove it”. In its overview of the CTS Motor Trend could find little fault with the vehicle, suggesting that it deserved a place in the elite listing of the world’s finest cars. Performance, ride and handling, and interior layout were rated high on the list of impressive attributes of this new mid-sized Cadillac.
Designed in North America as a global market vehicle (some 40% of annual sales are expected to be outside of North America), the new Cadillac CTS was extensively tested in key market areas, including a rigorous series of performance and handling tests on the famed Nürburgring race circuit.
The new Cadillac CTS has an athletic form with its coupe-like profile accented by finely sculpted styling lines that emphasise the wide track and fine chassis dynamics. Air ducts in the front bumper and prominent wheel arches provide a functional clue to the performance potential of the CTS.
Measuring in at 4860mm long, 1842mm wide and 1441mm high with a 2880mm wheelbase and track of 1569mm (front) and 1575mm (rear) the overall stance is well proportioned and gives the impression of being well grounded on the road. From the front the CTS displays a wide stance with the vehicle sides sculpted inwards for a dynamic appearance and sleeker roofline. It is a credit to the design team that they have achieved this sleek look without compromising interior space.
The taut and precise styling of the Cadillac CTS is complimented by 18-inch diameter, nine-spoke, alloy wheels fitted with 235/50 R18 tyres, a combination that fills the prominent, neatly flared wheel arches. The large diameter wheels provide the space for large ventilated brake discs and high performance brake callipers.
The Cadillac CTS is produced at GM’s award-winning Lansing Grand River Assembly Centre where cutting edge manufacturing technologies are used to ensure the highest quality finish for the body in white before it enters the paint process. One of these technologies is an innovative laser-brazing system that is used to fuse the roof panel to the vehicle sides with amazingly crisp joints that deliver a seamless appearance across the top of the vehicle.
Finely crafted interior
The interior of the new CTS represents a milestone in the evolution of Cadillac interiors, taking finish and fit to a new level. The interior styling team has utilised all of the resources available to take full advantage of advances in interior surface development and the latest materials and manufacturing technologies available.
A new ‘cut-and-sew’ process is used to craft the interior of the CTS. This process combines the best that advanced technology can offer to produce a look that matches the hand-rendered precision of an expert craftsman. This provides a superb hand-tailored look and feel for the leather seat trim and other trim panels.
A ‘tri-tubular’ instrument cluster with analogue instruments is placed under a compact hood in the dashboard. Genuine Sapele wood finishes add a further element of luxury to the interior treatment.
Cadillac has employed its new ‘thin seat’ technology in the CTS for enhanced passenger comfort. This technology provides a more compact seat design that improves space availability for rear passenger leg, knee, and foot room. The front seats are both ventilated and heated.
Interior comfort is assured with dual-zone automatic climate control. White LED light pipes recessed between the upper and lower instrument panel combine with subtle backlighting in the door pulls and footwells to create discreet theatre-style ambient night lighting.
The CTS is fitted with the very latest in in-car entertainment technology with audio output delivered through a 300watt, 10-speaker Bose Cabin Surround Sound system. This system was finely engineered for the digital music age together with Bose Automotive, a company that has been associated with Cadillac in car sound for 25 years. The direct involvement of engineers from Apple in the implementation of the sound system ensures full iPod integration. This means that playlists appear on the retractable 200mm touch-screen VGA display. Steering wheel satellite controls provide for full remote control of the system including the advancing of tracks. Portable devices can be charged in-car.
The sound system incorporates a 40-gigabyte hard drive to store music from digital devices and CDs. The digital audio recording capability allows listeners to pause and even rewind radio broadcasts. A DVD/CD player with MP3 compatibility is included in the system.
Blend of performance and economy
The challenge to continually improve engine performance and power together with better fuel economy and ever-tighter emission reduction requirements is a daunting one for automotive engineers. The 3.6 litre quad-cam V6 direct injection of the new Cadillac CTS is an example of what can be achieved as technology advances. This new generation engine meets all three design requirements without compromise, due in the main to the use of a direct fuel injection technology and variable valve timing.
The direct injection of fuel into the combustion chamber, rather than into the intake port, results in a more complete burn of the fuel allowing for a leaner mixture to be used. The effectiveness of direct fuel injection technology is best illustrated by tests conducted by GM that show that this technology contributes to a 15% increase in power; and 8% increase in torque; and a 3% reduction in fuel consumption over a similar engine of the same capacity with older technology multi-port fuel injection. Cold start hydrocarbon emissions are reduced by 25%. The compression ratio is 11,1:1 and regular unleaded fuel is specified.
Maximum power is 229Kw developed at 6400 r/min and peak torque of 370Nm is delivered at 5200 r/min. This silky smooth V6 is red lined at 7000 r/min. In performance terms this translates into a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 6,3 seconds at sea level and a top speed of 241 km/h. This level of performance is achieved with a combined fuel consumption index of just 11,1 l/100km.
Drive is via the rear wheels through a 6-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission with electronic control for smooth gear changes and responsive performance, particularly at lower engine speeds when cruising, for optimum fuel economy. The transmission offers the driver a choice of fully-automatic operation or ‘Driver Shift Control’ sequential manual gear selection with paddle shift.
Combination of sporty handling and luxurious ride comfort
The suspension, brakes and steering of the new Cadillac CTS have been developed to deliver tenacious sports car like grip and precise handling combined with a premium quality, refined, comfort level and ride characteristic more closely associated with a limousine than a sports sedan.
Input for the suspension and drivetrain layout was derived from the acclaimed Cadillac V-Series high performance models. To prove out the design theory in practice, Cadillac chose the famous Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring in Germany and shipped a number of prototypes to the circuit for extensive ride and handling tests on one of the most challenging road circuits in the world. Exhaustive ‘real-life’ development driving tests were also conducted in urban and rural environments in North America, Europe and China.
The fully independent suspension features aluminium components and a tower-to-tower front suspension brace that adds cross-vehicle stiffness and enhances the overall feel and precision of the steering. The rear suspension is a multi-link setup mounted on a fully insulated sub-frame. The suspension and damping characteristics have a performance bias with an automatic self levelling system at the rear.
The Cadillac CTS features the advanced StabiliTrak electronic chassis control system. Traction control and a limited slip-differential ensure that traction is optimised even in the most challenging of circumstances.
High level of occupant safety
Next-generation dual-depth airbag technology is used for the passenger airbag. This single airbag deploys in one of two sizes and inflation pressures as determined by the front passenger seat position, seat belt use, and severity of the impact. This means that the dual-depth airbag is deployed in a manner more specific to the emergency situation that triggered it than would be the case with a conventional dual-stage airbag.
A six-airbag supplemental restraint system is used in the Cadillac CTS. Protection is provided for the driver and front passenger by frontal airbags and side airbags for pelvic and thorax area protection. Roof-rail mounted full-length curtain side airbags provide upper body and head protection for both front and rear seat passengers.
The body structure of the Cadillac CTS is based on a design that incorporates crumple zones and strategically placed strengthening elements to channel impact energy away from the occupants. Extensive use is made of high strength steels in the body structure for a structure that is light in weight but extremely strong and crash impact resistant.
A further safety highlight is the tyre pressure monitoring system that alerts the driver to a drop in pressure in any of the four tyres.
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