LA 2009: Cadillac CTS Coupe vogues, dazzles

2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe - Click above for high-res image gallery

Cadillac invited us down to a dance hall south of downtown Los Angeles and the convention center for a little lunch and a lot of talk concerning their new CTS Coupe. In fact, they brought a CTS Coupe along with 'em. A production CTS Coupe we should point out. The exact same car you'll be able to purchase from Cadillac in just a few short months (most likely May 2010 as a 2011 model).

First thing is first and WOW – what a fabulously stunning automobile. Those of you in the LA area owe it to yourself to schlep down to the Staples Center just to see this here Caddy Coupe live in the flesh. Yes, it is another in a long lined-trend of modern vehicle that looks ten times better in person than in photos. For reals, this Caddy Coupe is a knockout. Make the jump to continue reading.

Live photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.
We've long been of the opinion that the second generation CTS has the best front end fitted to an American car since the late '30s Cords, but the rest was just kinda... not bad, per say, but a little generic and totally not up to the front end's snuff. All of that changes with the CTS Coupe, as the commonality between the CTS models starts at the tip of the Caddy Crest-in-grille and ends at the A-pillar.

The star of the CTS Coupe show is the rear three-quarter view. While Caddy cut a couple inches out of the roof, they added a couple of inches to the rear track. Visually, this manifests itself in gorgeously flared fenders and wider (and more coupe-like) rear wheels. We love the wrap-over taillights; have mixed feelings about the trapezoidal, centered exhaust tips; and simply cannot believe that rear bumper passes 5 mph crash tests – only it does.

As mentioned, Cadillac actually chopped two inches out of the roof of the coupe (compared to the sedan and/or wagon) to give it a sleek, lowdown stance. While this does cost coupe owners a bit of headroom (the seat is lowered a little to give some of it back), Cadillac felt maintaining the form of the CTS Coupe Concept was crucial to the production car. As CTS Coupe Program Engineering Manager Fernando Kramback told us, the Coupe is a, "Statement of where [Cadillac] is going."

Yes, there is a risk that a chopped roof might alienate some in the blue haired Miami set who feel a Caddy needs room for a top hat. But so what? Constantly compromising is exactly where Cadillac's been. Going with that, we asked Kramback if in fact the CTS Coupe should have, would have, could have been badged an Eldorado. Like most car guys, Kramback's face lit up at the mere mention of the legendary moniker, but he quickly regained his composure and politely said it had been mentioned, but they're sticking with CTS, thank you very much.

Quickly, there is nothing badge-wise to differentiate the Coupe from the sedan. Or the wagon for that matter. Kramback mentioned that he felt it might have been worthwhile to do something like "cTS" for the Coupe, but as it stands, all three cars get CTS on the left of the trunk and 3.6 (denoting the V6's displacement) on the right.

In CTS-V Coupe news, yes sir it's coming. When? Like the CTS Coupe, it will go on sale sometime in 2010 as a 2011 model. We'll hazard a guess and say Q3 of next year. As far as we can tell, the power train is simply getting swapped over from the CTS-V sedan, meaning that yes, pretty soon you'll be able to buy a two-door Caddy with 556 hp and a six-speed manual. Pretty amazing, no? Will the CTS Coupe's shorter length (and therefore shorter pipes) mean a little extra oomph when compared to the sedan? No one's saying.

No word on price either, but expect the CTS Coupe and CTS-V Coupe to be a couple of thousand bucks more than their four- and five-doored brethren. Finally, we mentioned to the Caddy boys that we've been hearing rumors about a CTS-V Sport Wagon. To which everyone at Cadillac replied, "We've heard those rumors, too."

Press Release


LOS ANGELES – Cadillac today unveiled the 2011 CTS Coupe, the latest and most dramatic of the brand's series of new designs to reach production. Slated to arrive in Cadillac showrooms in the spring of 2010, the CTS Coupe is a new luxury sports coupe designed to become the centerpiece of the brand's revised lineup.

"CTS Coupe is the new focal point of Cadillac, expressing both our technical and design capabilities," said Bryan Nesbitt, Cadillac general manager. "It is intended to appeal to a new generation of car enthusiasts."

The Coupe joins the CTS Sport Sedan, the 556-horsepower (415 kW) CTS-V and new CTS Sport Wagon as the foundation of Cadillac's lineup. A high-performance V-Series edition of the Coupe will also be released in 2010.

The CTS Coupe's design carries over virtually unchanged from the concept car that was introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2008.

The Coupe is a classic 2+2 layout bolstered with advanced technology, such as a
rear-view camera system and a performance-oriented suspension system coupled to rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.


CTS Coupe emerged as a proposal inside Cadillac's dedicated design studio, where designers develop and evolve the brand's Art and Science design philosophy.

"Cadillac has always been an emotional brand – it's about delivering art regardless of body style," said Max Wolff, director of exterior design for Cadillac. "With the CTS Coupe, it was about taking something very strong – the CTS Sport Sedan – and extending its potential."

The coupe has the same wheelbase as the CTS, but an overall height that is approximately two inches (51 mm) lower and an overall length that is two inches
(51 mm) shorter.

Although it draws from its sport sedan sister, the CTS Coupe shares only the instrument panel, console, headlamps, front fenders and grille. Key design
features include:

  • Classic hardtop styling, with no conventional B-pillar

  • Touch-pad operation for the doors removes the need for conventional door handles, creating a technical, clean profile

  • A windshield laid at a faster angle (62.3 degrees) and a long, nearly horizontal backglass area combine to create a dramatic profile

  • Sculpted lower front fascia with unique brake-cooling vents

  • Rear fascia with mesh lower grilles

  • Center-outlet exhaust with twin dihedral-shaped tips that pass through
    the rear fascia

  • Signature vertical lighting, highlighted with LED light pipes

  • Rear spoiler integrated into the signature center high-mounted stop lamp

  • Sculpted roof-mounted antenna for OnStar and XM Satellite Radio.

At first glance, the shape of CTS Coupe is refreshingly simple, yet amplified with intricately carved details. Distinctive and original Cadillac signature cues combine with hand-sculpted forms, artfully articulating the confidence of the chassis. For example, the rear fenders were purposefully developed by hand in Cadillac design studios to visually acknowledge the RWD powertrain. The gestured profile, coupled with Cadillac's vertical taillamps and pronounced rear centerline, aim to achieve the most visually confident coupe in the segment.


The CTS Coupe extends Cadillac's emerging performance credentials. The CTS Coupe's standard powertrain consists of a direct injected 3.6L V-6 and six-speed manual transmission. Direct injection technology delivers fuel more precisely to increase the efficiency of combustion, enabling more power while maintaining fuel economy and lowering emissions – including a 25-percent drop in cold-start hydrocarbon emissions.

The 3.6L DI engine is rated at 304 horsepower (227 kW) and offers EPA-estimated fuel economy of 27 mpg on the highway. It also runs on less expensive regular unleaded gasoline.

The powertrain's performance is channeled through a chassis that delivers sports car performance without punishment. The hardware includes an independent short/long arm (SLA) front suspension system, with hydraulic control arm front bushings; and a multi-link rear suspension mounted on a fully isolated subframe. Also included are four-wheel disc performance brakes, premium steering and limited-slip differential.

Two suspension-tuning levels are available: a Performance Package with 18-inch wheels and all-season tires (available in both RWD and AWD,) and the Summer Tire Performance Package, with 19-inch tires and wheels and a higher level of road holding capability. StabiliTrak, the advanced electronic chassis control system, is standard.

The 304-horsepower (227 kW) 3.6L V-6 Direct Injection engine will be standard, equipped with a six-speed manual, featuring a revised clutch and dual-mass flywheel that offers better clutch pedal feel and improved engine isolation. A 6-speed automatic transmission with Driver Shift Control (and available steering wheel mounted shift buttons) is optional.


CTS Coupe blends handcrafted luxury with a contemporary, driver-focused interior that supports the car's high-performance capabilities. The interior includes hand-sewn accents covering the door, center storage console and instrument panel trim. 14-Way adjustable Recaro sport seats, previously exclusively offered on Cadillac's V-Series model, will be offered on all CTS Coupe models as an option.

The car offers a host of customer driven technologies, including:

  • Integrated iPod/MP3 capability

  • 40-gig hard drive, including the ability to store music and pause-and-replay
    live radio

  • Pop-up navigation system

  • Adaptive forward lighting system

  • Bluetooth connectivity

  • Standard Keyless Access and Smart Remote Start

  • Rear Camera system

  • Bose 5.1 Cabin Surround™ audio system

As with other Cadillac models, the CTS Coupe comes standard with OnStar with
Turn-by-Turn Navigation, the first factory-installed, fully integrated GPS navigation system from OnStar.

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