Previewed in concept form at the 2008 North American International Auto Show, Cadillac has officially taken the wraps off of the production version of its stunning CTS coupe. Due in showrooms next spring, this expressively edgy 2+2 maintains the same bold styling cues as the original one-off, elevating the division's Art and Science design philosophy to its most compelling level yet. Although sharing the sedan's 113.4-inch wheelbase, the new coupe variant is nearly 2.0-inches lower and shorter. The only exterior bodywork bits carried over from its four-door cousin are the headlights, grille and front fenders. A steeper (62.3-degree) windshield rake, crisply rendered rear quarters and the absence of a B-pillar emphasize the Coupe's overt enthusiast character, which is further reinforced by its assertively sculpted front fascia, center-outlet dual exhausts and an integrated rear spoiler. Even the door handles have been replaced by flush-mount touch pads to give the car a sleeker look.
It's a similar story inside, where, beyond the instrument panel and console, every other element in its cabin is Coupe-specific. As in the CTS Sedan and Wagon, comfort and convenience touches abound, beginning with leather upholstery, a full array of power assists, keyless access/starting, OnStar with turn-by-turn navigation and XM Satellite Radio. Premium enhancements like Recaro 14-way power sport buckets, a pop-up navigation package, Bose 5.1 Cabin Surround sound system with 40-gig music hard drive, integrated iPod/MP3 capability and a rear-view camera are also on the menu.
A Fourth Letter
At the start of production, the Coupe will be fitted with GM's workhorse 3.6-liter V6 that's also used in the CTS Sedan and Wagon. Incorporating both variable valve timing and direct fuel injection, it makes 304 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque but drinks regular unleaded gasoline. Transmission choices for the rear-drive Coupe include a standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic with Driver Shift Control. The latter unit, which also can be ordered with steering-wheel-mounted shifter buttons, is the sole cog changer available on the all-wheel drive variant. Later in 2010, Cadillac plans to introduce an even more potent V-spec version of this flashy two-door powered by the same 556-horse/6.2-liter supercharged V8 used in the current CTS-V Sedan. And while we're still awaiting "official" word, it's a safe bet you'll see a V-spec Wagon come rolling off the CTS production line shortly thereafter.
Coupe buyers will be able to choose between two distinct levels of sport-tuned suspension, both featuring StabiliTrak electronic chassis control integrated with an advanced anti-lock disc brake system. The standard Performance Package nets 18-inch alloy wheels mounting V-rated 245/50 Michelin all-season tires, while rear-drive models can also be upgraded with a Summer Tire Performance Package that includes more tautly tuned underpinnings and 19-inch aluminum rims wrapped in 245/45 Y-rated Continental "high-performance" rubber.
Cadillac had nothing to say about pricing, but it's likely the base CTS Coupe will start somewhere in the $47,000-$50,000 range with the V-spec version that follows commanding roughly $15,000 more.