Big derrieres can be hot if they're attached to the right body. We're talking about cars here, specifically wagons whose ample rumps allow you to haul more cargo while hardly carrying the stigma of a libido killing minivan. Wagons are still very popular in Europe, so Cadillac had the bright idea of building a wagon version of its BLS, a front-wheel drive entry level luxury car that's a Saab 9-3 beneath its skin. Don't call this a Sport Combi though, as the BLS gets it own sheetmetal, and the wagon unveiled in Frankfurt wore it well. It looks very much like a first-gen CTS that's been starving itself.
Cadillac is hoping that by offering European customers more choices, it will sell more cars, so in addition to the Wagon it's also offering Stabilitrak as standard equipment and two new engines for the BLS in Europe next year. The first is a 1.9L two-stage turbodiesel producing 180 HP and 295 ft-lbs., and the second is a 2.0L Flexpower engine that produces 285 HP and is able to run on E85 ethanol. Since the BLS is largely sourced from Saab, it should come as no surprise that the Flexpower engine is really one of the Swedish automaker's Biopower engines.
Check out GM's tiny press release after the jump and view our full gallery by clicking below.
Cadillac BLS Wagon Makes World Premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show
• First station wagon in Cadillac's history
• New 2.0L bio-ethanol fuel option with 200 hp / 147 kW
• New two-stage turbo diesel engine with 180 hp / 132 kW
• StabiliTrak becomes standard on all trim levels
FRANKFURT – The 2008 Cadillac BLS family improves with standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control, a new wagon version and the addition of a new bio-ethanol engine and an extra powerful turbo diesel engine. These moves demonstrate Cadillac's commitment to continued growth in the European market.
The BLS sedan and wagon are offered with two direct-injected, common rail turbo-diesel engines that are fitted with a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter. The engines offer the dynamic performance customers have come to expect from Cadillac. The latest addition is a 132 kW (180 hp) turbo-diesel engine with either a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic transmission. The diesel will be available on all BLS models, starting in December 2007. The two-stage turbo-diesel engine delivers 400 Nm of maximum torque, giving the BLS a top speed of 220 km/h and 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration in 8.7 seconds.
The BLS wagon and sedan will also be the first Cadillac models to be offered in Europe with the option of a low-emission, bio-ethanol engine. The BLS 2.0L Flexpower will go on sale in November (Wagon) or December (sedan) 2007. Like the three turbocharged gasoline engines and the two turbo-diesels, the 147 kW (200 hp) Flexpower engine offers the dynamic performance customers have come to expect from Cadillac, while using Bio-ethanol (E85) as an alternative to traditional gasoline.
Exterior: expressive design and Wagon versatility
As the first station wagon in Cadillac's 104-year history, the BLS Wagon marks a new milestone for the brand. Clear, crisp and sharply defined contours, characteristic Cadillac design features and a striking wedge shape that is emphasized by the tapered lines of the side windows all make the Cadillac BLS Wagon an appealing new entry in the midsize station wagon segment.
"The BLS Wagon is an appealing addition to the Cadillac portfolio for customers seeking dramatically designed luxury vehicles that offer versatility and performance along with outstanding ride and handling characteristics," said Cadillac General Manager Jim Taylor. "We think it will do well in many European markets where consumers desire a high degree of versatility and functionality in their vehicles."
From the front bumper and Cadillac hallmark V-shaped chrome-plated grille, to the trademark vertical tail lamps with the latest LED technology and rear bumper, the Cadillac BLS Wagon measures 4,716 mm, compared with 4,680 mm for the BLS sedan. At 2,038 mm wide (including exterior rear view mirrors) and 1,543 mm in height (including roof rails and roof antenna), the BLS Wagon combines a compact, sporty shape with a high degree of versatility and functionality.
The BLS sedan and wagon also feature jewel-like headlamps, fog lamps integrated into the body-color front bumper and a wide air intake below the grille. A narrow chrome strip runs along the side windows.
Interior: luxurious atmosphere and state-of-the-art infotainment systems
The Cadillac BLS Wagon offers plenty of interior space to support a wide variety of luxury and leisure interests. With the rear seats in use, the boot measures 419 liters loading space, with an additional 12 liters below the floor. With the rear seats folded down, the total amount adds up to 1,285 liters of flexible and versatile cargo space.
Wagon-only equipment consists of silver roof rails, dark tinted glass rearward of the B-pillar, a tailgate opening with a chrome sill plate, a cargo cover, cargo net and chrome cargo hooks.
The interior of both the BLS sedan and Wagon is highlighted by a three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel and an analog clock in the center stack. The circular instruments have white numerals and red needles on a black background. Optional refinements include leather seating surfaces and heated seats.
Four trim levels are available: Business, Elegance, Sport and Sport Luxury. The standard Business trim level offers 16-inch alloy wheels, Cadillac's StabiliTrak electronic stability program engine immobilizer, front, side and head curtain airbags, driver trip computer, three-spoke leather steering wheel with control buttons, cruise control, air conditioning, a seven-speaker audio system with CD player and "Piano Black" interior decor trim.
The intermediate trim level, Elegance, features additional standard equipment, including, wipers with rain sensors, eight-way power seats, dual-zone climate control and 17-inch alloy wheels. Red walnut wood veneer trim enhances the interior decor.
The Cadillac BLS Sport adds 18-inch wheels and lowered sports suspension for the front MacPherson struts and four-link rear axle. The chassis tuning ensures dynamic handling performance without compromising comfort. 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.
The Sport Luxury level is available in combination with the 2.8 V6 engine and the 1.9 Turbodiesel engine. In addition to the Sport content, it includes Bi-Xenon headlamps, heated and electrically adjustable leather seats with memory function and wood trim, instead of aluminum trim.
The popular Prestige Package, applicable to both sedan and Wagon, includes leather seat upholstery, a Bose sound system, DVD navigation system and wood interior trim option on BLS Business.
The high-quality audio system from premium American audio company Bose is combined with a new centerpoint simulated surround sound and additional rear-door speakers. The DVD navigation system with touch-screen operation includes newly added countries of Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Engines: three gasoline, two turbo-diesel and one bio-ethanol engine
The front-wheel-drive BLS sedan and Wagon are offered with a large range of power units, giving consumers the choice of two turbo-diesel, a turbocharged bio-ethanol and three turbocharged gasoline engines. The 1.9L four-cylinder with common rail direct-injection technology develops 110 kW (150 hp). In addition, a powerful new 1.9L four-cylinder two stage turbo-diesel engine with common-rail direct-injection delivers 132 kW (180 hp) and 400 Nm of maximum torque.
The gasoline engine offerings - all turbocharged - include two, 2.0L four-cylinder versions (120 kW / 175 hp and 154 kW / 210 hp) and a high-tech, 2.8L six-cylinder engine at 188 kW (255 hp), which features a twin-scroll turbocharger and variable phasing of the intake camshafts. The new 2.0L four-cylinder turbo-charged bio-ethanol engine develops 147 kW (200 hp). The BLS offers a six-speed manual transmission and five- or six-speed automatic transmissions, depending on the engine.
All BLS models now have StabiliTrak electronic stability control as standard. Model year 2008 also brings Tire Pressure Monitoring as standard equipment on the Sport and Sport Luxury trim levels.
The chassis of the BLS Wagon has been developed to provide both the agility and comfort customers expect from a Cadillac. Fine tuning of the McPherson struts in front and a four-link rear axle ensures dynamic handling performance without compromising ride or load capacity.