Click the image above for over 50 high-res pics. It's easy to write off a new model when clever ad campaigns and the PR machine work overtime to convince you that it's God's gift to tarmac. In the case of the new CTS, a hard sell is completely unnecessary. Eschewing the hype and the art-and-science drivel, you're left with a striking exterior and the driving dynamics to match. Surprised? We were. And after a day of merciless flogging though the undulating hills of the Pacific coast, followed by a two-hour all-out assault on Laguna Seca, we came away with a newfound respect for not only Caddy's 2008 sports sedan, but the automaker as a whole. %Gallery-6174% When the CTS was introduced back in 2001, the new knife-edge design vocabulary may have proved off-putting to some, but it was a sign of good things to come. For 2008, Cadillac has moved the bar northward more notches than we can count, and came away with one of the most compelling American designs of the 21st century. The hard lines found in the previous model gave way to a more smoothed out appearance which is still instantly recognizable, but strikes us as considerably more mature. The wheelbase remains the same, but the track has been widened by a full two inches, which not only pays dividends in the design department, but also offers considerably more grip than its predecessor. The front fascia is far and away the most striking exterior element, with its deeply downward drawn grille, high-tech headlamps and conservative chrome accents. Moving on to the side, the air outlets ahead of the A-pillar have been talked to death, so we'll just say that they're as handsome as they are functional. Viewed from both the front and rear three-quarters perspective, it's obvious that the design department was going for a pitched, coupe-like profile. And while the C-pillar may appear chunky at first, it integrates well into the trunk lid, and does little to hamper rearward visibility. All that said, the back end left us longing for something a bit more compelling, but the revised tail lamps, complete with LEDs and light bar, offset the otherwise moribund posterior. Pop open the hood and you're greeted with acres of plastic hiding away Cadillac's optional 3.6-liter direct injection V6. Producing 304 HP at 6,200 RPM and 273 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,100 RPM, this is the most powerful NA V6 engine GM has ever brought to market, and it fits the CTS like a glove. The high points include variable valve timing, aluminum block, cylinder heads and baffled oil pan, and an electronic throttle that does little to dampen enthusiastic squirts to the long pedal on the right. The direct injection system on the CTS increases output both in horsepower and torque (fifteen percent and eight percent, respectively) as well as lowering emissions and boosting fuel economy by a marginal level (three percent). The only problem: noise. As anyone who's driven or been around a …
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|MPG||17 City / 25 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||263 @ 6400 rpm|
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