• Jan 14th 2008 at 9:48AM
  • 116
click above for more high-res live shots of the Cadillac CTS Coupe Concept

The grand finale of GM's Cadillac press conference was the moment everyone had been waiting for. After a brief introduction from Bob Lutz, who ziplined in from his secret lair in the RenCen, the hotly anticipated Cadillac CTS Coupe Concept rolled onstage, with design head Ed Welburn riding 'gun. The Coupe blends the CTS sedan's face with a new, wedge-shaped 2-door body that finishes off with what Ed described as a "hint of Cadillac fin" in the arrangement of the taillamps. The concept's rear had a single central exhaust outlet whose shape is a nod to the chevrons used to dress up the current CTS interior. Speaking of the interior, the CTS was dressed in black with maize-colored sueded accents and contrast stitching. In another departure from the sedan, the 2-door CTS has sportier, deeper seats. Welburn was intentionally vague abour powertrains, saying it could be powered by a number of existing ones (i.e. the ones in the CTS sedan) as well as a diesel. The car, according to him, was born out of the extra efforts of his design team, who penned the Coupe for fun after the sedan was finished and never stopped refining it. It got to a point where the a concept was approved, and though no mention of a production version was made, this looks like a sure thing in our opinion. Video of the live reveal is available after the jump, as well as Cadillac's official press release.



DETROIT – Having earned critical acclaim, industry awards and brisk sales, Cadillac CTS has moved into the vanguard of contemporary design. In doing so, Cadillac designers faced the question of what to do next. Their answer celebrates that design legacy with the exhilarating Cadillac CT Coupe Concept, which premiered at the 2008 North American International Auto Show.

The CT Coupe takes Cadillac's acclaimed Art and Science design language and adds more of both. More expressive, more technical and very personal, the CT Coupe extends the dramatic design of its sedan predecessor with all-new sculpted bodywork aft of the front fenders.

"The CT Coupe Concept is a dramatic design statement," said Ed Welburn, VP, GM Global Design. "We did not create it as the result of sifting through reams of market data, nor is its shape trimmed to suit the input collected at a consumer clinic – it is emotion on four wheels and the very essence of what defines Cadillac today."

The CT Coupe Concept has a classic 2+2 interior layout, highlighted by black leather and Alcantara microfiber trim that is complemented by yellow ochre-colored seat inserts and leather stitching. It is designed to accommodate a range of engines for the global luxury market, including Cadillac's popular 3.6L Direct Injection V-6, as well as a new 2.9L turbo-diesel currently in development.

"This Coupe Concept is a natural extension of our design language, and of the CTS itself," said Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager. "Very simply, the dramatic design of the sedan begged the question of what it would look like in the unbridled form of a Coupe."

Generated from the spark of the CTS design team's imagination, the CT Coupe casts a profile unlike anything else on the road. Its fast-rake styling – it has the same wheelbase as the CTS, but an overall height that is approximately four inches (101 mm) shorter – blends with hand-sculpted bodywork that bulges around the wheels, giving the vehicle a ready-to-pounce stance that is dramatic, powerful and sleek.

"Just about every decade, Cadillac designs a breakthrough car that becomes synonymous with the brand's character of the period, such as the 1938 60 Special, the 1959 lineup, the 1975 Seville and the 2003 Sixteen Concept," said Clay Dean, global director of design, for Cadillac. "The CT Coupe Concept is the next great design, carrying the baton from the Evoq Concept that ushered in the Art and Science era in 1999."

A design gem

Among the CT Coupe Concept's signature design cues are a number of elements that suggest the look of a carefully cut diamond – particularly at the rear. These elements are seen in everything from the chrome header above the rear license plate holder to the indents that comprise the basic form of the rear fascia.

"The diamond-cut elements enhance the sleek profile of the car," said John Manoogian II, director of exterior design for Cadillac. "The CT Coupe uses the elements, along with other nods to classic Cadillac cues – such as vertical headlamps and taillamps – to acknowledge the brand's heritage without resorting to nostalgia. It is a forward-looking design in every sense of the term."

Although based on the sedan, the CT Coupe shares only the instrument panel, console, headlamps, front fenders and grille with the production model. Unique elements include:

  • Classic hardtop styling, with no B-pillar
  • CTS production windshield laid at a faster angle to create a sleeker profile
  • Chrome, split seven-spoke wheel design; 20-inch front wheels and 21-inch rear wheels
  • Sculpted lower front fascia with unique brake-cooling vents
  • Slim-profile outside mirrors
  • XLR-type hidden door handles with proximity remote opening
  • Unique front fender vents
  • Diamond-cut rear fascia with mesh lower grilles and center-outlet exhaust
  • Taillamps with a subtle fin profile and are highlighted with LED lighting technology with light pipes
  • Rear spoiler integrated into the center high-mounted stop lamp
  • Sculpted roof-mounted antenna for OnStar, XM Satellite Radio, etc.
"The cliché is to say that there were no compromises in the design, but that is absolutely accurate in the case of the CT Coupe," said Manoogian. "Each line and angle of the bodywork was carefully honed, and the final design's proportions were judged by the eyes of the design team, not computer-generated math data."

The surfaces of CT Coupe Concept are complex, inviting careful inspection. The rear fenders, for example, were sculpted by hand in the design studio until they provided a perfect, muscular form that wrapped tightly over the wheels. At the top, the rear fenders are beveled – owing to the diamond-cut theme – and become part of a horizontal plane that runs from the leading edge of the taillamps and merges into the roof.

"At first glance, the design appears effectively simple, because there are no extraneous moldings, spoilers or other protrusions, but the more you look at it, the more complex it becomes," said Manoogian. "The angles and bevels were carefully carved to enhance the car's sleek shape, but aren't 'busy' or distracting – there's really nothing quite like it."

Personal passenger environment

A classic 2+2 interior environment enhances the CT Coupe's personal feel. It shares the hand cut-and-sewn instrument panel and center console with the CTS, but features unique front and rear seats, a continuous console running between the front and rear seats, and custom door panels.

"The CT Coupe is a personal car – something a customer would choose to reward him or herself – and the passenger environment reflects that," said Eric Clough, interior design director. "The interior uses the already excellent CTS design and takes it to a new, bolder level."

Custom-trimmed sport seats from Recaro are located in all four positions. They support the grand-touring nature of the car and are covered in rich, black and suede-like microfiber material, with yellow ochre-colored inserts. The yellow ochre color provides dramatic contrast with the black surrounding trim, but is a subdued hue consistent with the interior's overall feeling of refinement. Yellow ochre stitching also is used throughout, including the seats, instrument panel, shifter knob and more.

Black microfiber fabric covers the front armrest, as well as an armrest located between the rear seats. The armrests are part of a continuous console that stretches from the instrument panel to rear seats. Carbon-fiber trim accents the console. The interior also features ambient lighting throughout, creating a distinctive environment at night.

Like the sedan, the CTS Coupe Concept's interior is home to a host of technologies, including a premium Bose audio system, 40-gigabyte hard drive and XM Satellite Radio. OnStar with Turn-by-Turn Navigation enhances the vehicle's onboard navigation system, which – like the CTS – features a screen that rises out of the center of the instrument panel.

Performance-bred powertrain and suspension systems

As is the case with its design, the CT Coupe extends the acclaimed capabilities of the sedan in terms of performance technology. This includes the capability to support a broad engine range of gasoline and diesel engines.

The CT Coupe, of course, ascertains the sedan's 3.6L V-6 engines, including the 304-horsepower (227 kW) Direct Injection power plant. The Coupe Concept also is designed for a new 2.9L turbo-diesel being developed for international markets. This new engine, tailored for use in the CTS, will deliver an estimated 250 horsepower (184 kW) and 406 lb.-ft. of torque (550 Nm).

A six-speed manual transmission backs the engine, sending torque to an independently sprung rear axle. The CT Coupe's sport-tuned suspension gives it a slightly lower ride height than a production CTS – a look enhanced by the car's rakish shape and large, 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels.

Behind the chrome, split-spoke, aluminum alloy wheels is a set of high-performance brakes, featuring cross-drilled rotors. Six-piston calipers clamp down on the front rotors, while four-piston calipers grab the rear rotors. All of the rotors have a distinctive, yellow-painted finish.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      wow looks sick... anyone know the release time? just awsome..
      • 7 Years Ago
      Cadillac and Audi are the two makes that are really at their design pinnacle right now with a clear design direction and relationship across their line.

      The previous CTS was one of the only domestic cars to really stand out for me and the updated version is a total knock-out. I really like this coupe version, but I admit I also love hatchbacks (I'm a little euro). The c-pillar at first was a bit awkward and reminded me of a Delorean, but it is starting to grow on me how flat the surfacing is. I love the angularity of the DLO and the surfacing details of the rear.

      The one thing I absolutely hate is the interior. It seems like the interior and the exterior team aren't communicating at all. While the exterior is all about simple, angular, carved surfaces, the interior looks like a collection of those really horrible Ferrari branded clothes and merchandise which aren't designed by Pininfarina. The interior looks cheap and overdone which is exactly what the exterior isn't. Redo the interior to have more of the simple elegance and strength like the outside and they have a winner.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I just bought a 4 door CTS4 and now I will have to tell my wife why I need a freeken 2 door. This is not fair, first GM can't make a car I would buy and now they make two I can't live without! Did I just type that? Please Mr. Lutz can you give me a part time job to pay for these things..... I also like the complete Saturn line I think they may be putting something into my coffee...........
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow the roofline has a faster rake than expected...almost like a hatchback. The interior is great and woo..more fins! They own that styling element more than any other make, so glad to see they are doing something with it, in a cool way, at last.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree with you. Other than that it is fantastic.
      • 7 Years Ago
      YES! Best reveal of the show, IMO.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Judging by the amount of GOOD comments there are (an Autoblog first for a domestic), naysayers are smoking something seriously good.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks nice, but I wonder why they even bothered to put windows in the darn thing. They are so tiny as is, why bother? Also, the rear looks odd. But better than in the Buick.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Love it!
      • 7 Years Ago



      Its stunning. Now just give us a convertible!!!!!!!
        • 7 Years Ago
        YOU STOLE MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY...Holy mother of god! this is what the Eldorado should have been! cut off the top, get it on the lots so I can get me one!
        Absolutely stunning looking vehicle! Way to go Caddy! Now don't make us wait 5 years for this thing!
        • 7 Years Ago
        YES, That is the KEY, BUILD THIS NOW.

        This will change the game. Built this, then the (REAL) SIXTEEN and Cadillac will have done IT.
      • 7 Years Ago
      At first I wasn't too sure how I felt about the "hatchback" look but, I'm going to have to say that I really like it.

      Damn you GM! I've been looking at the CTS Sedan for a little while... I've even test driven like 5 different ones... I'm almost getting ready to order one since I can't find one I like... Then you come out with this number?...
      • 7 Years Ago
      in the press release GM is calling it the "CT Coupe Concept".. but the badges say CTS... so i dunno
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have this gut feeling GM is going to water down the production version.
        • 7 Years Ago
        if you look at the picture, closely, of the CTS on the tarmac, you can see larger head restraints, standard clear headlamp lenses, a "B" pillar and the tell tale "GM" badge right behind the front wheel opening. Folks, that picture IS the production model. GM is showing us, in a sneaky way, the production model.
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