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Cadillac CTS

The Cadillac CTS is a mid-size performance/luxury car manufactured by the Cadillac marque of General Motors currently available in three body styles: Sedan, Coupe, and Sport Wagon. It was introduced in 2002 as a sports sedan, succeeding the Cadillac Catera. The CTS and the supercharged CTS-V variant have been named to the Car and Driver 10 Best list for three consecutive years.[1] The 556 horsepower CTS-V variant is the 'Least Fuel Efficient Small Station Wagon' in the North American market.[2]

The car's exterior was designed by Wayne Cherry and Kip Wasenko, and marked the production debut of the "Art and Science" design language first seen on the Evoq concept car.[3]


First generation (2003 2007)

Introduced in 2002 as a 2003 model, the CTS was built on GM's new rear-wheel drive Sigma platform. It marked a return to RWD cars for the brand, and was the first Cadillac to be offered with a manual transmission since the 1988 Cimarron. The CTS was designed as a replacement for the badge-engineered, Opel-based Catera. The CTS was nominated for the North American Car of the Year award for 2002. The CTS sported a fully independent suspension.[4]

CTSs are manufactured at GM's Lansing Grand River plant in Lansing, Michigan. The CTS was also assembled in China during 2006, and production was subsequently discontinued.

Originally powered by a 3.2 L LA3 V6 producing , the CTS received an updated 3.6 L DOHC V6 with variable valve timing in 2004, producing and of torque. The 3.2 L engine went out of production in 2005, when a new 2.8 L version of the DOHC V6 debuted in an entry-level version of the CTS. In Europe, the 2.8 L replaces the previous entry-level 2.6 L engine.

The CTS was originally offered with either GM's in-house five-speed 5L40-E automatic transmission or a five-speed Getrag 260 manual transmission. For the 2005 model year, the Getrag was replaced with an Aisin AY-6 six-speed.

2006 2007 Cadillac CTS European CTS

Second generation (2008 present)

On April 2, 2006, in a 60 Minutes interview with Bob Lutz, part of a prototype Cadillac was revealed to audiences. The car featured interior and exterior design influences from the 2003 Cadillac Sixteen concept car.

GM revealed the all-new 2008 CTS at the North American International Auto Show in January 2007. The base model featured a 3.0 L variable valve timing V6 with and of torque. A second engine, a new 3.6 L direct-injection V6 VVT engine with and of torque was also offered. The new car came with a six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment, with GM's six-speed Hydra-matic 6L50 automatic transmission available as an option on all variants. On-demand all-wheel drive was offered with both engines when equipped with an automatic transmission.[5] Suspension, braking, and steering improvements from the previous generation CTS-V were designed into the new standard CTS.

The second generation was wider and longer than the original, measuring 191.6 inches (4866 mm) long, 72.5 inches (1841 mm) wide and 58 inches (1472 mm) in height. Wheelbase remained 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. Other changes included a revamped exterior, with a new, larger grille, slimmer headlights and taillights, side air extractor vents located forward of the front doors, and new nine-spoke 18-inch wheels, surrounding larger high-performance brake calipers and rotors. Available features on the second-gen CTS included a Bose 5.1 surround sound system, GM's Stabilitrak ESC system, a tire pressure monitoring system, a navigation system with real-time traffic and weather data, an integrated 40 GB hard drive for music storage, swiveling headlights, and remote starting.

In 2008, the CTS was selected as the car that would re-launch the Cadillac brand in Australia and New Zealand.[6]

During the 2010 model year, the GM badges were dropped, although early 2010 models still had GM badges. 2012 Cadillac CTS sedan For the 2012 CTS, GM is making a few changes with the Cadillac CTS. The front grille is modified with higher quality materials to give a more vertical design, and the Cadillac logo is being subtly changed to give a more vibrant appearance. Besides some cosmetic changes, Cadillac got Chevrolet's "5-Speed AutoShift" manual transmission that powerly shifts. The biggest change is to the engine. Although it keeps the same 3.6-liter displacement, the V6 will now be able to produce 318 horsepower while dropping weight thanks to some modified engine internals. For 2012, GM is also offering some new technology and option packages with the Cadillac CTS.[7]

File:Cadillac CTS rear.JPG|European-spec Cadillac CTS File:Cadillac CTS Dash.jpg|CTS interior File:Cadillac CTS.JPG|CTS interior


2011 Cadillac CTS coupe

At the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, General Motors unveiled a coupe concept version of the CTS, alongside the new CTS-V performance sedan. The coupe's unveiling surprised the media and general public, stealing a great deal of attention away from the CTS-V. In November 2009, the production version was unveiled in a press release. The coupe went into production in spring 2010 for sale in August 2010 as a 2011 model.[8] The design of the production model is very similar to the concept, with the B-pillars still removed. The standard engine will be a 3.6L direct injected V6 rated at 304 hp. Like the sedan, both six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, in either RWD or AWD configurations, will be available. A CTS-V Coupe has also been confirmed, and was shown at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.[9] The CTS Coupe will be Cadillac's first coupe since the Eldorado, which was discontinued in 2002.

Sport Wagon

2010 Cadillac CTS wagon

At the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Cadillac presented the 2010 CTS Sport Wagon.[10] The wagon became available in late 2009. The car is the first non-hearse Cadillac station wagon to be sold in the U.S. market.

The CTS Sport Wagon is available in either rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive layouts, and is powered by either a 3.0-liter DOHC V6 engine, or a 3.6-liter V6 with variable valve timing. The 3.0-liter engine produces 270 horsepower and the 3.6-liter produces 304. The wagon is available with only a six-speed automatic. (except the CTS-V wagon, which is available with a manual transmission)[11]

The car is made for primarily the European market, where in some countries, wagons are preferred to sedans.


In its first year of production, the CTS received the 2002 North American Car of the Year award.

The 2008 CTS won the Motor Trend Car of the Year[12] award, and was selected to Car and Driver's 10Best Cars list.[13]

In 2009, the CTS became the first Cadillac to be named to the Car and Driver 10Best list for a second consecutive year.[14] It returned in 2010 with the headline "Maybe the best American car ever made".[15] The CTS-V made the list again in 2011.[16]


The success of the CTS has been attributed in part to the car's placement in the 2003 sci-fi action thriller The Matrix Reloaded.[17] The producers of the film were seeking a car to use for a chase scene in the film, and sought a car that would complement the film's atmosphere.[17] General Motors suggested the then-unreleased CTS to the filmmakers, who accepted; ten prototypes damaged to different extents were used to represent the film's star car, a silver CTS.[18] The Escalade EXT was also featured prominently in the film.


The Cadillac CTS-V is a high-performance version of the standard CTS. The current model features a 6.2L LSA V8 engine producing and of torque. Coinciding with the release of General Motors' Viability Plan, the automaker has disbanded its High Performance Vehicle Operations team, the crew responsible for the line V-series Cadillacs, the Chevrolet Cobalt SS, HHR SS and the V8 version of the Colorado.


Calendar year United States
2002 37,976
2003 49,392
2004[19] 57,211
2005 61,512
2006[20] 54,846
2007 57,029
2008[21] 58,774
2009[22] 38,817
2010[23] 45,656
2011[24] 55,042


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