Geneva Preview: Cadillac goes to Switzerland

Click on the photo above for a gallery of high-res images of the 2008 Cadillac CTS

General Motors upper-crust Cadillac division has been trying to make some headway on the home ground of its rivals from Stuttgart, Munich and Ingolstadt for over a decade with only limited success, or outright failure if you consider the case of the BLS. Cadillac will be having a big European re-launch at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, showing a bunch of new and revised products. The new 2008 CTS that was unveiled to much praise in Detroit in January will make it's European debut in Geneva. The SRX cross-over has been something of a wallflower for Cadillac since it's initial introduction, gathering little attention or sales. A revised version will debut in Switzerland likely wearing a new grille, similar to the the one that adorns the new CTS, and definitely equipped with the upscale cut-and-sew interior. The SRX also inherits the six-speed automatic from its STS-V and XLR-V brethren.

[Source: General Motors]

Even though it's been on sale since January (although who in Europe would buy one of these behemoths?), the new Escalade will get it's first Euro auto show presence in Geneva. The STS gets an all-wheel-drive variant for the first time in the European market, and the regular V-8 model also get the 6L50 six-speed auto-box from the V series model. The barely-selling BLS (it didn't even break into 4 digits in '06) that's based on the Saab 9-3 will also get some new variants for 2007 to try and spice things up. An 18-inch wheel-equipped Sport model will also have its wood interior trim replaced with aluminum and gain a six-speed manual gear box. Finally, the the STS-V and XLR-V will be dropping by ahead of their European sales launch in April.


Cadillac at the 2007 Salon International de l'Auto in Geneva

* European premiere of the all-new CTS Sedan
* New interior and powertrain options for SRX crossover
* New Escalade has arrived in Europe
* All-wheel drive available for STS with Northstar V-8 engine
* New Sport package for BLS
* High-performance STS-V and XLR-V available in April

GENEVA - Cadillac will open the next chapter of its 21st century product story, as the 2008 CTS sedan makes its European premiere at the 2007 Salon International de l'Auto in Geneva, Switzerland.

The new luxury sedan is scheduled to begin production in the United States, in late summer of 2007, with European sales to follow in the fall.

"The all-new CTS has a mission to bring the striking design of a concept car, the performance of a sports car and sophistication of an elegant sedan right into the heart of the luxury market," said Cadillac General Manager Jim Taylor. "Cadillac is injecting more dramatic character into the normally reserved luxury sedan category."

With a design inspired by Cadillac's landmark Sixteen concept car, the new CTS reinterprets the brand's traditional grandeur in a very contemporary design. CTS employs lessons learned from Cadillac's acclaimed V-Series of high-performance cars, combining sports car-like performance with the poise of prestigious luxury sedans.

Advanced direct-injection gasoline technology helps deliver an estimated 223 kW (300 horsepower) with good fuel efficiency and reduced emissions from its new 3.6L V-6 engine.

The all-new CTS chassis was developed with extensive testing around the globe, from famed German raceways to roads in China and the United States.

Cadillac's first-generation CTS built a strong record of success on many levels, beginning with its debut in 2002. There are about 275,000 CTS owners worldwide, and industry researchers say they are among the most satisfied in the automotive market.

SRX receives exterior, interior refinements

The SRX luxury crossover enters 2007 with exterior refinements and a completely redesigned interior. The all-new cockpit is more luxurious and spacious, featuring a new instrument panel, hand-wrapped upper trim, console, center stack, door trim, wood trim, analog clock and steering wheel.

The instrument panel and door trim use Cadillac's new cut-and-sew interior process. The vehicle's new cockpit is hand-built, in the same painstaking fashion Cadillac applies to the limited-production STS-V and XLR-V models, bringing elite craftsmanship into the heart of the luxury marketplace.

New for 2007 is the Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission, which provides increased performance and fuel efficiency. First introduced on Cadillac's acclaimed STS-V and XLR-V Series in 2006, the new transmission is now standard for the all-wheel-drive V-8 model. A new and competitively priced rear-wheel-drive V-6 model also enters the SRX lineup.

Next-generation Escalade debuts

The all-new 2007 Cadillac Escalade, the next generation of the iconic luxury SUV, establishes new levels of power, style and elegance.

Based on General Motors' all-new full-size SUV architecture, the '07 Escalade features new powertrain, chassis, safety and interior systems. These integrated systems deliver a powerful, efficient luxury SUV in the segment, led by a new 6.2L all-aluminum V8 engine with variable valve timing technology, delivering 301 kW (409 horsepower) and 565 Nm (417 lb-ft) of torque.

The Escalade has a sleek, clean and athletic form with improved aerodynamics. It is instantly identifiable and incorporates styling cues from Cadillac's landmark Sixteen concept vehicle, including a more detailed signature grille, front fender vent ports and chrome accents.

A feature-packed, spacious and all-new interior is a cornerstone of the new Escalade, and it sets a new standard for refinement. The warm and inviting interior is complemented with premium materials.

The Cadillac Escalade went on sale in Europe at the end of January.

STS adds all-wheel drive

The STS luxury performance sedan delivers sophisticated luxury in a contemporary package. For 2007, Cadillac is making available all-wheel drive - in combination with the Northstar V-8 engine - to meet the growing demand for this technology.

New for 2007 is the Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission that provides increased performance and fuel efficiency; it is standard on AWD and RWD V-8-equipped models. The new transmission features a generous 6.04:1 overall ratio that delivers strong launch acceleration yet provides "tall" overdrive ratios that decrease engine rpm to enhance fuel economy and reduce noise levels while cruising at highway speeds. Estimates by GM engineers have shown an approximately 7-percent improvement in 0-100km/h (0-62 mph) times and up to a 5-percent improvement in fuel efficiency.

BLS range expands

The 2007 Cadillac BLS range will be extended by the BLS Sport, which features 18-inch wheels and lowered sport suspension. The revised chassis tuning ensures dynamic handling performance without compromising comfort, and is designed to take full advantage of the BLS range's powerful engines.

The front-wheel-drive BLS offers expressive design combined with outstanding ride and acoustic comfort. It also marks a new era in Cadillac's history by offering an optional direct-injected, common rail turbo-diesel engine that is fitted with a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter. Like the turbocharged gasoline engines (129 kW / 175 hp; 154 kW / 210 hp; and 188 kW / 255 hp), the turbo-diesel (110 kW / 150hp) offers the dynamic performance customers have come to expect from Cadillac.

All BLS models equipped with manual transmissions have six speeds. For all gasoline and diesel models equipped with an automatic transmission, a standard Sport Mode button allows the driver to select a sportier transmission shift pattern.

The BLS Sport interior is highlighted by the use of stylish aluminum trim instead of wood and the circular instruments have white numerals and red needles on a black background. A three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel and analog clock in the center stack are standard. Optional refinements include leather seating surfaces.

XLR-V and STS-V combine power, performance

The supercharged 2007 Cadillac XLR-V and STS-V are Cadillac's most intense expressions of power and performance. Both high-performance vehicles feature Cadillac's cut-and-sew approach to interiors, with extensive use of leather-wrapped interior surfaces created by craftsmen who cut, wrap and sew leather components individually. Each supercharged Northstar V-8 engine powering the XLR-V and STS-V is hand-assembled by a single expert craftsman to exacting standards at GM's Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich., USA.

The 2007 Cadillac XLR-V is a landmark car in Cadillac's long history. XLR-V elevates the performance and luxury attributes of the brand's growing V-Series lineup to the fullest extent; it is the quickest, most agile and most exclusive Cadillac model ever offered. The supercharged Northstar V-8 engine delivers 331 kW (448 hp) and 561 Nm (414 lb.-ft.) of torque, elevating the luxury roadster into the exclusive club of vehicles that are capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h (0-62 mph) in less than five seconds.

The 2007 STS-V has the sophistication of its STS sibling, but with the uncompromising performance driving experience for which the V-Series is known. The STS-V delivers 350 kW (476 hp) and 595 Nm (439 lb.-ft.) of torque - and is the most powerful Cadillac ever. Like the XLR-V, the STS-V is capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h (0-62 mph) in less than five seconds.

Both XLR-V and STS-V will be in European Cadillac showrooms in April.

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