Spy Shots: Cadillac CTS Coupe caught with no door handles!

Click above for more high-res spy shots of the Cadillac CTS Coupe

Not long after Car and Driver snagged the first shots of the production Cadillac CTS Coupe, we now have new spy shots showing the coupe's profile and front end, and a few surprises were awaiting us at these angles. For one, this preproduction prototype has no door handles, instead incorporating the same door-opening mechanism used on the Corvette in which the recess for the door latch comes after the door and is completely flush. The Cadillac CTS Coupe Concept also featured this type of door handle, though we honestly didn't expect it to see it on the production version. Also of note that wasn't totally obvious in the C&D images is that the CTS Coupe Concept's fastback profile will make it to production intact. Some, including us, were worried that Old GM could resurface and cost cut the production CTS Coupe to the point that it became the sedan with a longer pair of doors. This doesn't seem to be the case, as the production CTS Coupe appears to feature completely different sheetmetal than the sedan from the A-pillar back. While the front end and front fenders don't exhibit quite the level of flare seen on the concept, the production car will retain a center exhaust, sporty side sills and new wheels. Check out the spy photographer's notes after the jump and all the pics in the gallery below.

[Source: KGP Photography]

KGP Photography: Cadillac CTS Coupe

We caught our first glimpse of the production Cadillac CTS Coupe through the trees of its secret holding pen. With these first-ever front-3/4 and profile shots of a real-world CTS coupe prototype, we can now assess the changes Cadillac designers have made to translate the striking Detroit concept into a production vehicle.

Thankfully, it appears that the majority of the CTS Coupe concept's lines have been faithfully duplicated on this production model. Some feared that the concept's radical fastback design might be watered down, revealing the Coupe's sedan roots, but our profile view proves these fears as unfounded. It appears that the production version may have a slightly more pronounced rear deck, but if that's so, it's not enough to significantly alter the concept's silhouette. The CTS coupe prototype retains a remarkably flat backlight.

The CTS Coupe prototype further separates itself from its sedan donor thanks to the elimination of a conventional door handle, adopting instead the concept's Corvette-style design which hides the door trigger behind the door's aft cut-line. The concept and production similarities continue with the Coupe's revised lower side sill, and the distinctively sculpted waistline, which begins at the A-pillar/fender vent, and narrows as it stretches rearward. The camouflage hides whether or not the line terminates into the concept's razor-sharp point at the C-pillar, but it looks likely that that's another design convergence between the show- and production cars. Earlier photos also confirmed that the concept's bold central exhaust will also reach showrooms.

There are some visible differences between the Detroit Show Standout and the production model. Cost and feasibility studies have killed the concept's glass-to-glass side windows, in favor of a visible B-pillar on the production model. The rest of the changes are found in front of the A-pillar. The concept coupe's large, CTS-V-style hood bulge is gone on this prototype (although we'd love to see it return on a future full-blow CTS-V coupe). And the show car's reshaped front fenders--which sweep more voluptuously to a revised front bumper, tweaked front ground-effects, and more dynamic headlight and fog-light clusters--appear to have been replaced with stock items from the CTS sedan. It looks to us like the CTS Coupe and sedan will share identical front fenders and front fascia designs. From there, back, however, the cars could scarcely be more different. The drama of the CTS Coupe concept is alive and well, and on its way to Cadillac showrooms.

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