July 31, 2001 - With bold new styling, the 2003 Cadillac CTS will make its debut Aug 18th at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in Monterey, California.
This is the first production car based of Cadillac's 'Art and Science approach to passenger car design, following on from the 'Evoq' concept of 1999, and the 'Vizon' concept shown at the 2001 Detroit Auto Show. Building on Cadillac's 100-year tradition of engineering excellence and design innovation, its chiseled body is lean, with sheer forms, sharp edges and crisp intersecting lines. The design philosophy hearkens back to a time when Cadillac routinely made bold design statements. This design heritage began in 1927 when Harley Earl, who later became General Motors' first design vice president, created the LaSalle as the smaller companion car to Cadillac.
"CTS will turn heads in a segment that typically refines, rather than defines, automotive styling. It's a modern interpretation of the strikingly beautiful cars for which Cadillac became famous," said Mark R. LaNeve, Cadillac general manager.
In addition to its expressive design, CTS connects to Cadillac's storied past with its performance. Built on an all-new rear-drive architecture, Cadillac's new performance sedan will be available with a manual transmission mated to a 3.2-liter V6 that powers it from 0-60 mph in less than seven seconds.
CTS also represents a change in Cadillac model names, to truly reflect the global presence of Cadillac. "As part of our global initiative, this car will sell alongside other Cadillacs in showrooms in Europe and Asia," LaNeve said. "Customers in other parts of the world are accustomed to alphanumeric names for their vehicles, and, eventually, all our vehicles will have names that reflect our global nature."
When GM began work on the CTS, it didn't want to do a 'me, too' design. The Cadillac design team gave CTS a look all its own - a look that's uniquely American. It reflects the current Cadillac design philosophy first showcased on the Evoq concept car, one that communicates American technology and science. From computer-generated forms to high-tech, aerospace-influenced materials and textiles, these designs will showcase technology and an overt expression of craftsmanship. For CTS, the result is a standout exterior design that features crisp intersections, a short front overhang and sharp edges that produce a diamond-like quality in a clean, uncluttered form.
The CTS design team had two objectives for the profile view: Use the feature line as the dominant theme, and accentuate the stance of the vehicle. The bodyside feature line peels away from the window line in an unusual reverse taper, for a dynamic and innovative effect. The rear track of CTS was a fixed design point, as was the rear fender flare. The vehicle sides were tucked in slightly to enhance that flare for a more dramatic look. The rakish sail panel also enhances the "fast formal" look, giving CTS a sportier appearance.
At the front, the sharp edged fenders dominate, and tie-in to the headlamp design. Cadillac's traditional vertical headlights and taillights first appeared in 1965. CTS' integrated headlights convey the high-tech image of optical instruments and high-end camera lenses. Thin and tall, they create more space for the large louvered egg-crate grille - another Cadillac staple, this one dating back to 1934. The shield-shaped grille houses the new wreath and crest and has a V-shaped bottom. The rear view complements the front, with a full-color wreath and crest on the center line and a full-width V-shaped CHMSL.
The interior provides all the amenities that luxury customers have come to expect, with the emphasis on comfort and convenience. It makes use of warm, rich, inviting materials and colors, using wood only in areas where the customer will contact it, such as on the steering wheel, shifter knob and door pulls. Interior designers evaluated different interior possibilities to determine how best to optimize harmony and customer accommodations. The emphasis is on craftsmanship and contemporary luxury.
In developing the new Cadillac CTS into a true world-class sports sedan, General Motors engineers benchmarked the competition's best, including the BMW 528i sedan and tested where they test. CTS required bold performance to match its exterior design.
Designed from the ground up with an exclusive rear-wheel-drive architecture, dubbed Sigma, the new CTS was tested extensively and refined on the most challenging race circuit in the world, Germany's famed Nürburgring.
The new 3.2-liter V6 powering CTS in North America is a completely re-engineered version of the 3.0-liter V6 in its predecessor. The engine makes 220 hp at 6000 rpm and 218 lb-ft of torque at 3400 rpm. The engine has been fully revised to improve driveability, power, torque and emissions. The engine is mated to either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.
The electronically controlled automatic transmission, is a first for GM, and the same transmission is also used in the BMW 5 Series and X5 SUV. A state-of-the-art transmission, the light and compact transmission has advanced electronic control capabilities. These include a shift mode button that allows the driver to select between 'Sport,' 'Winter' and 'Economy' modes, shift patterns that adapt to driving conditions and driver style, traction control capability, engine torque management during shifts, and powertrain protection capabilities. Another electronic feature is also a first for GM: engine braking in all five gears, giving the automatic the same sporty feel as a downshifting manual. The transmission also has the unique ability, in Sport mode, to identify high-performance inputs from the driver and hold a gear indefinitely through a corner after the driver's foot is lifted off the accelerator pedal.
Cadillac website: www.cadillac.com