Cadillac's recent and historic resurgence has brought it back to the top tier of luxury auto brands, but it was only the beginning. The next epoch in Cadillac's renaissance begins with the all-new 2008 CTS - the next generation of the popular luxury sport sedan that is intended to challenge the world's best.
Designers and engineers focused not only on the overall package, but on the myriad of details that would allow the CTS to transcend being simply an excellent sedan. CTS is infused with distinctive character traits, and attention to detail intended to generate desirability. The '08 CTS launches in August of 2007, marked by dramatic design, serious performance and thoughtful technology and craftsmanship.
A new 3.6L direct-injection V-6 engine : More power while maintaining fuel economy and lowering emissions sounds like a daunting engineering challenge, but CTS delivers via gasoline direct-injection technology. A cousin to the system favored by the latest diesel engines, direct-injection technology delivers fuel more precisely to increase the efficiency of combustion. This means less fuel is consumed - and lower emissions created - compared to conventional combustion systems doing the same work. With the CTS' 3.6L V-6, this means more power, with 304 horsepower (227 kW), no loss of fuel efficiency and a 25-percent drop in cold-start hydrocarbon emissions.
All-wheel drive and six-speed transmissions: For the first time, CTS offers the choice of rear-wheel (standard) or all-wheel drive. CTS also offers the choice of a six-speed manual and automatic transmission. Inherited from Cadillac's STS-V, XLR-V and Escalade, the six-speed automatic features driver shift control, which enables on-demand clutchless manual shifts.
Signature headlamps with adaptive forward lighting: The lighting on CTS is about seeing clearly, but it's also about being seen. CTS employs low-energy LEDs and crisp, high-intensity discharge xenon lamps that swivel in concert with vehicle steering. The lighting carries a signature appearance, day or night. LED light pipes provide a crisp border and a bit of flair on both the front and rear of the car.
Sixteen-inspired grille: CTS makes an entrance. The more vertical, dual-textured grille is dramatic. But it is also more sophisticated, faceted and three-dimensional. If it looks more "concept car" and less "traditional luxury car," that's understandable. It was inspired by Cadillac's landmark Sixteen design concept.
Sculpted fenders and side air extractors: The car's more athletic form is characterized by the sculpted fenders that emphasize the car's wider track and enhanced chassis dynamics. The front fenders feature side air extractors that recall a styling element from Cadillac's past that was revived on the Sixteen concept and the new Escalade.
Coupe-like roofline and Ultra-View "double" sunroof: CTS has a "faster" and nearly coupe-like profile, owing to both its increased performance potential and more evolved styling theme. A "double" sunroof borrows a page from Cadillac's SRX crossover, enabling both front and rear passengers a sky view.
Sharply tailored exterior: Aiming for the quietness and appearance of the finest "prestige" sedans, engineers lavished attention on sights and sounds of the body construction. An innovative laser brazing technique affixes the roof panel more crisply. The windshield glass is free from visible rubber seals and joints. The hood borrows techniques from door panels to improve sealing and noise control. The doors themselves are triple-sealed. Sound levels were analyzed inside the cabin not just for reduced quantity, but also for increased quality.
Hand-crafted instrument panel and door trim: Old world, meet new world. Even in a technology-laden cockpit, there is something about the intrinsic quality and feel of hand-craftsmanship. In a 21 st century rebirth of a great Cadillac tradition, Cadillac interiors are increasingly using hand-cut, sewn and wrapped surfaces inside the cabin. Hand-crafting enables top-quality tailoring and the addition of details like fine French stitching.
Sports car handling with luxury car smoothness: With a wider track, new geometry and ideas and components inspired by Cadillac's landmark V-Series of performance vehicles, the new CTS chassis represents a union of performance and luxury. The hardware is all there: four-channel ABS and StabiliTrak, structural enhancements via a tower-to-tower brace, larger brakes and premium steering. But the keys are arguably the people and the process.The 2008 CTS, and the engineers who developed it, are veterans of Germany's famed Nürburgring circuit. This high-speed proving ground is the world's best, and now two generations of CTS sedans have been proven there. Prototype cars also traveled the countryside of China, and countless tracks, highways and streets in North America.
New interior design theme: Equal parts sport and luxury, the entirely new cabin is pleasing to the eye and the touch. Metallic finishes, chrome accents and available Sapele Pommele wood envelop the interior. The instrument panel sweeps forward and away from passengers for more real and perceived space. Instruments and controls are compact, yet easily visible and intuitive. The center stack flows seamlessly into the console, creating a cockpit-like space.
Dramatic interior lighting: Not unlike the recessed or indirect lighting used by home decorators, the CTS cabin features a bit of ambience created by innovative uses of lighting. Several LED elements are recessed in strategic locations inside the cabin for indirect, soft lighting.
CTS design details
Inspired by Cadillac's landmark Sixteen concept car, the CTS front appearance is immediately recognizable, yet also new. The large, chrome, dual-textured grille is significantly more vertical in shape, and is both aggressive and intricate. A large center-positioned wreath and crest add to the three-dimensional face. The front fascia is balanced with vertically stacked headlamps with bright bezels stacked in a staircase-like array. The lower air intake is flanked on both sides with fog lamps and brake duct intakes.
Side air extractors located forward of the front doors are a modern homage to Cadillac's grand heritage. Additional bright details include chrome molding surrounding the side windows, and three-inch chromed exhaust outlets. Even on the rear of the car, where many sedans are ordinary, Cadillac designers injected charisma. The vertical taillamps are a Cadillac trademark. The roofline and rear backlight have a coupe-like profile. At the centerline, the decklid carries the angular and directional theme of the front.
Coupled with a new overall shape, the most evolutionary dimension of the 2008 CTS comes in the form of a two-inch wider track as a result of the addition of the new, optional all-wheel-drive configuration. The wider stance gives the new model a more planted, capable and well-grounded appearance that's exemplified by much tighter tire-to-fender relationships.
The wider stance also enables more tumblehome - the vehicle sides are sculpted inward - delivering an appearance of rear-wheel-drive performance with a lower roof line, without compromising headroom or a roomy interior. Additionally, a wider, tapering sail panel, lower, more sculpted hood, smoother wheel housing lips and a tighter wheel-to-body relationship help communicate the CTS' agility as well as its sophistication and substance.
Seven-spoke, 17-inch wheels or available nine-spoke, 18-inch wheels surround larger high-performance brake calipers and rotors. Both painted and machined finishes are available for the standard 17-inch wheels. The larger, 18-inch wheels are available in a premium multicoat finish or a high-polish finish.
CTS interior elements
The 2008 CTS represents a new design theme for Cadillac interiors, emphasizing technical precision with elegant, hand-crafted details. Dramatically different from the original, the interior design is decidedly more upscale, with added ornamentation, luxury and attention to detail.
Analog instrumentation that is tightly framed with a compact hood tri-tubular, chromed cluster, is defined by bright accents. An integrated center stack design, with either a satin metallic finish or genuine Sapele wood, blends into the lower instrument panel that sweeps forward and away of front-seat occupants. The hand-assembled center console leads seamlessly into the center stack, providing a sportier "cockpit" feel for the driver and passenger without compromising space.
Heated and ventilated seats incorporate new "thin-seat" technology for maximum occupant comfort and enhanced rear-seat leg, knee and foot room. A signature V-shaped medallion appears as a decorative touch on the backs of the front seats. French stitching is used throughout the interior, including the upper instrument panel, door inserts, seats and the shifter boot.
Clean, white ambient light emitting diode (LED) soft backlighting is positioned in the door pulls, foot wells and recessed between the upper and lower instrument panels. The result is a dramatic effect similar to recessed lighting used in contemporary homes.
The leather-wrapped steering wheel includes standard integrated controls for cruise and audio system.
CTS delivers a hand-crafted luxury interior that brings Cadillac tradition into the modern world of the luxury sports sedan. The new cabin utilizes Cadillac's new "cut-and-sew" interior process that combines advanced technology with the hand-rendered precision of expert craftsmen. Coverings for components such as the instrument panel, center console and door trim are cut, sewn and wrapped by hand. This enables details such as decorative French stitching, and the near elimination of gaps and seams for a superbly tailored appearance. This is the same painstaking process applied to Cadillac's limited-production STS-V and XLR-V models, and the SRX crossover.
Since its inception in 2002, CTS has been assembled at the award-winning GM Lansing Grand River Assembly Center. The subject of benchmarking visits from dozens of other top manufacturers across many industries, this Cadillac-specific assembly plant is among the finest auto manufacturing facilities.
For the 2008 CTS, great attention was paid during the car's design and development to incorporate further refinements to the car's body structure and precision manufacturing. The use of advanced laser-brazing on the exterior roof surface delivers an uninterrupted, class-A surface across the top of the vehicle, free of ditch joints that are common on other vehicles. Areas such as the windshield and backlight are precisely installed and eliminate external appliques that are used on many other vehicles.
Detailed analysis of sound and vibration was lavished on the CTS, targeting the sound levels found in elite prestige luxury sedans. This analysis reduces overall cabin noise, via improved body sealing and sound insulation. It also focused on tuning the quality of the remaining sound, including - in some cases - adding to sound levels. A perforated pattern has been added to the inside of the tailpipes to increase resonance, adding more pleasing, low-frequency sounds to counteract high-frequency noise. Inside the cabin, tones were added to a few otherwise-silent switches and controls. Also, the hood includes sealing techniques normally used on vehicle doors, for greater noise and vibration control.
CTS technology highlights
The new 2008 Cadillac CTS luxury sports sedan combines advanced technologies and electronics with the elegance of old-world craftsmanship that honors the best attributes of Cadillac's past. Technology highlights include:
Integrated iPod/MP3 capability - Designed in consultation with the engineers behind the iPod and other computer and entertainment industry experts, the center console of the CTS is tailored for MP3 players, iPods or other digital music devices and can be charged via a USB port, which also enables playlists to appear on the car's touch-screen and steering wheel controls to be used to advance tracks.
Hard drive audio system: A 40-gigabyte hard drive allows pause and rewinding of live radio, as well as "ripping" tracks from CDs. The hard drive enables 60-minute "buffering" of the car's radio, meaning that passengers can "pause" a live broadcast in order to take a phone call, or even leave the car to run an errand, or simply rewind in order to listen again.
Leading-edge navigation: The "pop-up" navigation screen can retract into the instrument panel when not in use. The navigation system includes state-of-the-art additions, such as 3D imaging of more than 800 major landmarks in 39 U.S. cities, greatly improved points of interest mapping, voice recognition, and traffic and weather data. The system conducts route calculation 30 percent faster than previous systems, and conveniently displays freeway exit information (such as service stations, restaurants) via expandable icons. The optional system uses an eight-inch diagonal, high-resolution full VGA infotainment display head with full touch-screen operation.
Adaptive forward lighting system - When equipped with the uplevel HID headlamps, the CTS also includes an advanced forward lighting system that automatically adjusts headlamp direction for improved nighttime driving visibility. The system is capable of turning the headlamps a maximum of five degrees inboard and 15 degrees outboard on each lamp.
EasyKey and Smart Remote Start - The optional EasyKey system enables passive vehicle and trunk entry and keyless ignition via a personalized keyless fob. With the fob in a pocket or purse, a person can approach a locked vehicle, pull the door handle and open the door or trunk.
The optional Smart Remote Start system - which operates from as far as 200 feet - not only starts the vehicle via fob activation, but also activates the climate control and the optional heated and cooled seats, depending on temperatures outside and inside the car.
Bose 5.1 Cabin Surround(TM) audio system - Developed by Bose, this available sound system delivers concert-quality sound that's normally reserved for home theaters. The 300-watt, 10-speaker system incorporates the exclusive Bose Centerpoint technology, which makes two-channel audio information very rich and spacious. Even the base audio system is a Bose unit, and will include an eight-speaker arrangement.
Heated washer fluid and more - Other useful and significant electronic systems on the '08 CTS include a heated windshield washer system, rear ultrasonic park assist, heated and ventilated front seats and power rake/telescoping steering column.
The 2008 Cadillac CTS features GM's new 3.6L direct-injection V-6 VVT engine, delivering 304 horsepower (227 kW)* and 277 lb.-ft. (370 Nm)* of torque. This new powerplant is a compelling mixture of power, smoothness, efficiency and technical sophistication.
The 3.6L direct-injection engine will be the top-level engine option for the 2008 CTS, joining the existing 2.8L V-6 and 3.6L V-6. Designed to operate with regular unleaded gasoline, the new 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6 produces power similar to many V-8 engines, but with much better fuel economy. With direct injection, fuel is delivered directly to the combustion chamber to create a more complete burn of the air/fuel mixture. Less fuel is required to produce the equivalent horsepower, especially at normal cruising speeds, of a conventional port-injection combustion system.
The application of gasoline direct-injection technology on the 3.6L VVT engine contributes greatly to a 15-percent increase in horsepower; 8-percent increase in torque, and 3-percent improvement in brake-specific fuel consumption. Additionally, the application of direct injection reduces cold-start hydrocarbon emissions by 25 percent.
The current 3.6L VVT engine that produces 263 horsepower (196 kW) and 253 lb.-ft (343 Nm) of torque will serve as the base engine in North America and will be available in rear- and all-wheel-drive layouts. The 2.8L VVT engine will be available only on rear-drive models of the CTS offered outside the U.S. The all-aluminum, 60-degree DOHC, four-valve-per-cylinder engine develops 210 horsepower (156 kW) at 6500 rpm and 194 lb.-ft. (263 Nm) of torque at 3200 rpm.
For the first time, the 2008 CTS will be available in both rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations. Additionally, the transmission lineup now consists only of six-speed units: an Aisin six-speed manual or - new for CTS - a Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic. The Aisin six-speed manual transmission, introduced in 2005, is fully synchronized (including reverse) with a single overdrive. This allows for lower propshaft speeds and improved engine noise, vibration and harshness. A new short-throw shifter has been added for improved precision.
The Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic is the same transmission introduced on the Cadillac STS-V in 2005, and is designed to decrease engine rpm and enhance overall fuel economy. On vehicles equipped with the new all-wheel-drive system, the 6L50 will be equipped with a new active transfer case that automatically transfers torque from the rear to the front of the vehicle for optimal traction, safety and performance. A limited-slip differential also is available.
CTS driving dynamics
The 2008 CTS features a greatly revised chassis featuring a two-inch wider track and the application of all-wheel drive. The front track is increased to 61.8 inches (1,569 mm), and rear track is now 62 inches (1,575 mm). Wheelbase remains at 113.4 inches (2,880 mm). Three distinct suspension tuning levels are available: FE1, FE2 and FE3.
The use of aluminum in the upper and lower front control arms and knuckles helps reduce mass and contributes to higher limits in handling and dynamic wheel control. Front suspensions for the rear-drive model and the all-wheel-drive version, while similar, have been designed to best meet the chassis dynamics of the individual versions.
The engine cradle has six attachment points, two more than typically used on a performance sedan, to better handle heavier loads and engine vibration. New for CTS is a tower-to-tower brace that adds cross-car stiffness and enhances the overall steering feel. This is an innovation from the high-performance CTS-V model that has been modified and adapted for use in the 2008 CTS.
The multilink rear suspension, with a fully isolated subframe, is an uncompromising design with excellent suspension kinematics that delivers a superior ride with excellent handling. The rear suspension design is shared in both the rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive models, and has been extensively revised to accommodate the larger rear track.
The braking and steering systems for CTS are all-new, with extensive changes to increase responsiveness, premium "feel" and performance in spirited driving conditions.
The 2008 CTS features standard 17 x 8-inch aluminum wheels paired with Michelin H-rated (P235/55R17) all-season radials. The optional performance suspension includes an 18- by- 8.5-inch wheel with the all-new Michelin Pilot Sport 2 (P235/50R18) tire that can either be V- or Y- (summer) rated.
In addition to this finely tuned hardware, the 2008 CTS features advanced chassis technology in the form of Cadillac's StabiliTrak electronic chassis control system. StabiliTrak integrates the car's standard four-channel ABS with the full-function traction control, hydraulic brake assist and engine drag control systems.
The 2008 CTS is designed to and enhance Cadillac's reputation for providing safe occupant environments in luxury vehicles. Details include:
Dual-stage driver's front air bag
Segment-first dual-depth front passenger air bag
Driver and front passenger side seat-mounted pelvic/thorax side air bags
Roof-rail side curtain air bags, covers front and rear seating rows
Front safety belt pretensioners
Tire pressure monitoring system
Body structure with strategically place high-strength steels
As with other Cadillac models, the 2008 comes standard with OnStar with Turn-by-Turn Navigation, the first factory-installed, fully integrated GPS navigation system from OnStar. Turn-by-Turn allows consumers to talk to a live advisor, who in turn sends complete step-by-step directions to customers' vehicles through their OnStar system. These audio directions automatically play through the vehicle's stereo as needed, triggered by the OnStar system's GPS capabilities. This enables drivers to be led to their destination while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.