The Ram's Eye - A Driver's Blog: 2014 Cadillac CTS - There's more of everything!



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Thursday, 4 April 2013

2014 Cadillac CTS - There's more of everything!




More luxury, more innovation, more power and higher efficiency. The new Cadillac CTS brings a lot to the table. The car used to be slightly smaller than other midsize luxury cars and slightly more expensive than compact luxury cars. This allowed it to compete in two segments but it was a temporary solution until Cadillac has a proper compact entry. The ATS is now comfortably competing in the compact luxury segment. Since its release, it has accomplished as much as becoming the handling benchmark and growing sales every month it has been on sale except for January of this year. The car is now larger and more expensive to more directly compete with midsize luxury offerings like the BMW 5-series and Mercedes Benz E-class.




On the outside, the design is clearly an evolution of the current CTS. The current edgy design has been rounded off a la the ATS. The headlights and fog lights look a lot like those used on the ATS with longitudinal LED's running along the lengths of the housings. Unlike the ATS, the grille is less rounded off - more edgy - and the grille occupies a larger portion of the front fascia, like the current CTS. One thing remains true though - the exterior is stunning!




Once you're in, you're treated to fine materials all around. The interior of the current CTS is hardly lacking but the new one is definitely an upgrade. There will be a choice of 8 interior environments and trim materials include aluminum, wood and carbon fibre - all genuine. All models come standard with 8" high-resolution infotainment screens but a larger, 12.3", high-resolution screen is available as an option.






Cadillac's Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system is also standard with USB connectivity and SD card ports. The capacitive touch panel that's in the ATS is found inside the CTS as well. Automatic parking assist and 20-way adjustable front seats that are also heated and cooled are available along with a heated steering wheel.




Now getting to the piece de resistance, the CTS will be available with 3 engine options - the 3rd being a powerful twin turbo V6 to bridge the gap that currently exists between the 3.6 litre High Feature V6 and the 6.2 litre LSA V8. The 3.6 High Feature V6 will continue to be offered in the next gen CTS and will be joined by a new base engine - the 2.0 litre 4-cyl turbo that's midrange on the ATS - and the new-for-2014 twin turbo V6. Engine outputs are: 

2.0 Turbo I4             : 272 hp and 295 lb-ft torque
3.6 High Feature V6 : 321 hp and 275 lb-ft torque
3.6 Twin-Turbo V6    : 420 hp and 430 lb-ft torque

As is the case with well designed turbo engines, the turbo 2.0 litre and twin-turbo 3.6 litre have a very wide torque curve. 90% of the torque is available from 1,500 rpm to 5,800 rpm on the turbo 2.0 litre and from 2,500 rpm to 5,500 rpm on the TT 3.6 litre. Power will be routed via an 8-speed automatic (sourced from Aisin - the TL-80SN) transmission on both of the V6 engines with RWD as the drivetrain option. AWD is still available only with a 6-speed automatic. Cadillac is working on its own 8-speed automatic which should debut later in the model's lifecycle and I imagine it would be available with both RWD and AWD configurations. 

The twin-turbo V6 is available only with RWD and, when so equipped, GM estimates a 0-60 mph time in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 170 mph. These estimates are usually conservative so I wouldn't be surprised if actual 0-60 mph times are in the low 4 second range. GM estimates EPA fuel numbers as follows:

2.0T RWD       : 19 mpg/30 mpg city/hwy
2.0T AWD       : 18 mpg/28 mpg city/hwy
3.6 V6 RWD  : 19 mpg/28 mpg city/hwy
3.6 V6 AWD   : 18 mpg/27 mpg city/hwy
3.6 TT V6        : 17 mpg/25 mpg city/hwy




The engine is about more than just numbers though. The picture shown above displays the complete engine and turbocharging system. Yes, even including the intercooler. GM did an impressive engineering job at packaging the system. The two turbos are tucked behind the alternator and accessory pump on both sides of the engine. 




The charged air intercooler - a twin-brick cooling module - is mounted on top of the cylinder head and is patent pending. It's influenced by the GM's LSA supercharged V8 found in the current CTS-V. The impressive, ultra-compact design, takes out 60% of the compressed air volume out of the plumbing system compared to conventional remote mounted intercoolers. This should greatly reduce turbo lag. The system reduces charge-air temperature by more than 74 °C (130 °F) while adding only 1 psi of restriction at peak power. For more information, visit GM's new twin-turbo V6 boasts BMW-beating output, brilliant packaging.

GM didn't only add power and 2 extra gears, but also took out weight. The new CTS was expected to drop some weight since it is built on the new lightweight GM Alpha RWD chassis underpinning the ATS. GM is claiming it to be a whopping 200 lb. lighter in entry-level form compared to an entry-level BMW 5-series - the 528i, which equates to only 3616 lb.! Rounding off the chassis and suspension is the Magnetic Ride suspension which is now available across the board, as opposed to being reserved only for the top-dog CTS-V.




Overall, the new CTS improves on all aspects of the current car. Considering how much of a success the first 2 generations of the CTS were, from sales and brand imagine perspectives, this will definitely continue to build on the success. I can't wait until I see one in person and get drive one of them! Until then, here's a video that shows it in motion.




Sources: Left Lane, Auto123, and SAE


1 comment :

  1. The new Cadillac CTS is for sure more luxurious, more innovation, more power and higher efficiency. Very thoughtful design to change it from the normal cadillac.

    ReplyDelete