European and Asian luxury car manufacturers need to watch out. The all-new for 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe is a beastly beauty, an absolute head turner and the latest model in the vaunted CTS portfolio. The most recent iteration of this car goes on sale late this summer, the clearest demonstration of Cadillac's art and science design scheme in all of its chiseled glory.
I'm biased when it comes to this model because I was on hand at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit when the concept of this coupe was rolled out. Its striking design captivated the audience, especially its non-existent B-pillar. Safety considerations required slight changes to the coupe's appearance since then, with a very discreet B-pillar added in. Other than that, the original beauty we saw way back when is what consumers can now buy.
Cadillac is central to GM's recovery plans with the CTS portfolio driving the brand's success. With sedans, sports wagons and coupes now part of the line up, this mid-size Cadillac line offers a worthy challenge to competing brands including BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus, Infiniti and Acura. Yes, Cadillac easily bests Lincoln with the CTS, providing a strong American built line able to take on the world's best production cars.
A standard direct-injected 3.6-liter V-6 engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission, featuring a revised clutch and dual-mass flywheel that Cadillac says offers better clutch pedal feel and improved engine isolation. Optionally, CTS buyers can select a six-speed automatic transmission with Driver Shift Control (and available steering wheel mounted shift buttons). Significantly, the Coupe's final drive ratio is 3.73:1, up from the 3.42:1 ratio of other CTS models, allowing for more responsive acceleration.
Because handling is a critically important aspect for the Coupe, GM is offering a pair of suspension-tuning levels with the CTS. Standard is the Performance Package with 18-inch wheels and all-season tires (available in both rear- and all-wheel-drive), and the Summer Tire Performance Package, with 19-inch tires and wheels and a higher level of road-hugging ability. Stability control is standard across the CTS model line.
Important amenities offered include a 40-gig hard drive, featuring the ability to store music and pause-and-replay live radio; iPod/MP3 capability; OnStar; navigation system; Bluetooth connectivity; keyless access; rear camera unit; Bose audio system and adaptive lighting.
Safety features are offered in abundance and include front and side airbags and side curtain airbags; tire pressure monitoring unit; and a stronger body structure with high grade steel strategically placed to afford better protection.
Just like the other CTS body styles, a V-Series version of the Coupe will be made available later this year. Powered by a 6.2-liter tuned Corvette V-8 engine, this car will bang out 556 horsepower and 551 pound-feet of torque, an amazing feat for a simply dazzling sport coupe.
Matthew C. Keegan is a freelance writer who resides in North Carolina. Matt is a contributing writer for Andy's Auto Sport an aftermarket supplier of quality parts including cat-back exhausts and bumpers.
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