The CTS is a mid size luxury car made by General Motors for the Cadillac brand.It was introduced as the replacement for the Cadillac Catera in 2003. Designed by Wayne Cherry, the CTS uses edgy styling that Cadillac calls "Art and Science", which was first seen on the Evoq concept car. The CTS is credited with rejuvenating the Cadillac brand, and possibly saving it from extinction, as Cadillac sales fell in favor of imported luxury brands such as Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. Cadillac began trying to capture a younger buyer base in the 1990s, with the Catera and Allante, and finally succeeded with the CTS.
The 2008 CTS was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show. It borrows styling cues from the Cadillac Sixteen concept car, and went on sale in late August, 2007.
Introduced in 2002 for the 2003 model year, the CTS rode on the new rear-wheel drive GM Sigma platform. It was a return to rear-wheel drive, as well as being the first Cadillac with a manual transmission since the 1988 Cimarron. It replaced the mid-size rear-wheel drive Catera. The CTS name likely came from the initials of Catera Touring Sedan. The CTS was nominated for the North American Car of the Year award for 2002. The CTS is built at GM's Lansing Grand River plant in Lansing, Michigan. The CTS was also assembled in China in 2006, but assembly was discontinued shortly thereafter due to poor sales in that market. The CTS in China is now an exported model once again.
Originally powered by a 3.2L LA3 V6 producing 220hp (164kW), the CTS received a 3.6L DOHC V6 with variable valve timing in 2004, producing 255hp (190kW) and 252lb·ft (342N·m) of torque. The 3.2L engine went out of production in 2005, when a new 2.8L version of the DOHC V6 debuted in an entry-level version of the CTS. In Europe, the 2.8L replaces the previous entry level 2.6L.
The CTS originally offered either a 5-speed 5L40-E automatic transmission or 5-speed Getrag 260 manual transmission. The Getrag was replaced with an Aisin AY-6 6-speed for 2005.
On April 2, 2006 in a 60 Minutes interview with Bob Lutz, part of a prototype Cadillac was revealed to audiences. The car appeared to take design influences both inside and out from the Cadillac Sixteen concept from 2003. Prototype models caught testing at the Nürburgring in Germany also carried many of the design features from the car shown almost unmasked in April. Further spy shots revealed that the car will still have a manual transmission as an option.
At the North American International Auto Show in January 2007, GM introduced the all-new CTS that went on sale as a 2008 model. The base model features a 3.6-liter variable valve timing V6 with 258hp (192kW) and 252lb·ft (342N·m) of torque. A second version is offered, a new 3.6-liter direct-injection V6 VVT engine with 304hp (227kW) and 274foot-pounds force (371N·m) of torque using regular unleaded gas. A six-speed manual will be standard. The six-speed Hydra-matic 6L50 automatic transmission will be available on all models. On-demand all-wheel drive is offered with both engines when equipped with an automatic transmission.
Some suspension, braking, and steering improvements from last year's CTS-V have been added to the standard CTS.
The new model is wider and longer, measuring 191.6 inches (4866 mm) long, 72.5 inches (1841 mm) wide and 58 inches (1472 mm) in height. Wheelbase is unchanged at 113.4 inches (2880 mm), but with a wider front/rear track of 61.8 / 62.0 inches (1575 / 1585 mm), donated by the larger STS.
Appearance changes from the 1st gen CTS include nine-spoke, 18-inch wheels surround larger high-performance brake calipers and rotors and side air extractors located forward of the front doors.
Standard features include 258hp (192kW), 3.6-liter engine, 17-inch wheels and tires, BOSE 8-speaker sound system, Stabilitrak, tire pressure monitoring, underhood strut tower brace, polished aluminum exhaust tips, and OnStar. Optional features include iPod integration, ventilated seats, swiveling headlights, Navigation system with 3D mapping of major US landmarks and real-time traffic and weather data, BOSE 5.1 Digital Surround Sound, 40 gigabyte Hard Disc Drive, and remote start.
According to a recent issue of Motor Trend, a coupe and station wagon version of the CTS may be produced and sold in the USA, although GM feels that they may be more successful in Europe. It is expected that GM will start building the Cadillac CTS station wagon in the Spring of 2009 and it will act as a replacement for US model SRX which is going to be phased out by first half of 2009. Similarly, Cadillac had considered releasing the European-only Cadillac BLS (based on the Saab 9-3) in sedan and wagon form, but plans have been placed on hold until the debut of the Alpha car, which will be closer in size to the BMW 3-series as opposed to the BMW 5-series by which the CTS is closest to.
In late 2008, the CTS is expected to be launched in Australia and New Zealand, marking the return of the Cadillac brand to both countries.
The 2nd gen high-performance CTS-V will be in the 4th quarter of 2008 as a 2009 model year. This car will share a 550hp (410kW) detuned version of the LS9 used in the 2009 Corvette ZR1. The standard transmission will be the 6-speed TR-6060 manual with the option for a 6-speed 6L90 automatic.
On January 13, 2008, at the North American International Auto Show, General Motors unveiled a coupe version of the CTS alongside the unveiling of the CTS-V performance sedan. This unveiling of the coupe was a surprise to the media and the general public and stole a great deal of thunder from the CTS-V. The CTS Coupe is expected to go into production in 2009 as a 2010 model. Recent spy pics of the coupe being tested show that much of the concept remains unchanged, including the center exhaust. However, to the disappointment of hardtop aficionados, a "B" pillar is also visible on the test model in order for the car to meet side impact standards.
At the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Cadillac announced and showed the 2010 CTS Sport Wagon. The wagon is to be available in spring 2009.
The 2008 CTS won the Motor Trend Car of the Year and was selected to the Car and Driver 10 Best Cars list.
The 2009 CTS became the first Cadillac to be named to the Car and Driver 10 Best Cars list for a second consecutive year.
The Cadillac CTS' success has been credited to its appearance in The Matrix Reloaded. When creating the film, the producers of the film were looking for a car for a chase scene for the film, and were trying to find a car that would fit the atmosphere of the film. General Motors heard about this, and suggested the CTS to the filmmakers. Ten CTS prototypes were used for the film, each showing different extents of damage.
Main article: Cadillac CTS-V
The Cadillac CTS-V is a high performance version of the standard CTS. The current model features a 6.2L LSA V8 engine producing 550horsepower (410kW) and 550ft·lbf (750N·m) of torque. This version of the CTS has bested both the BMW M5 and Mercedes Benz E63 AMG on the German's home turf, "The Ring" (Nürburgring). The Cadillac CTS-V also holds the title of "Fastest Production Sedan in the World."