While the all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS has made a serious step up in size and sophistication, pricing on the division's critically important midsize sedan also reflects a significant move in the same direction. Now fitted with more than 20 new standard features, including Cadillac's CUE in-car connectivity/telematics system and an 11-speaker Bose premium audio package, the base CTS Sedan is set to start at $46,025 when it goes on sale this fall compared to $39,990 for its 2013 counterpart.

Part of the increase on all levels was strategic in nature, a reality evidenced in comments made by David Leone, CTS executive chief engineer. "The CTS has always been Cadillac's centerpiece, and as our brand expands and elevates, the car properly grows to its true place. With last year's addition of the award-winning ATS compact luxury sedan, CTS will directly challenge the luxury mid-size competition with uncompromised performance, luxury and technology." That formidable field includes the likes of the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, as well as the Infiniti M (soon to be Q50) and Lexus GS Series.

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The base engine in the new 2014 CTS Sedan is the same 272-horsepower/2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder available in the ATS, while the upline alternative is the carryover 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V6 now rated at 321 horses. Both engines feature direct fuel injection and continuously variable valve timing, and also are backed by a paddle-shifted 6-speed automatic transmission. Thanks to a huge 244 pound reduction in curb weight, Cadillac says the base CTS can sprint from 0-60 mph in just 6.1 seconds, trimming 1.5 ticks from the existing car's time. Standard Brembo front brakes should give the new CTS the best stopping performance in its segment, and all models with 18-inch wheels also will come with the Magnetic Ride Control adjustable suspension to enhance comfort or handling according to the situation. Both 4-cylinder and V6 CTS models will be available in rear-drive or all-wheel-drive configurations.

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In contrast to the standard CTS, the high-performance CTS Vsport Sedan enjoys a significant price reduction, dropping from $65,410 to $59,995. One of the key reasons for the decrease is found underhood, where the 2013's 556-horsepower/6.2-liter supercharged V8 has been replaced by Cadillac's new and far-more-fuel-efficient Twin-Turbo 3.6-liter V6 that makes 420 ponies in this also far-lighter package. Backed by an 8-speed paddle-shifted automatic and driving the rear wheels through a standard electronically controlled limited-slip differential, the rear-drive CTS Vsport earns 17/25 mpg city/highway EPA ratings. It also features a unique "track" mode that adds extra edge to the settings on the throttle and Magnetic Ride Control system.

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