After a week’s worth of leaks, we are finally looking at the official photos of the 2014 Cadillac CTS Sedan. For its third generation, the model that started the brand’s renaissance and introduced the Art & Science design philosophy enters the midsize luxury class, becoming more sophisticated, longer, lower, and leaner.
Based on the high-performing rear-wheel-drive vehicle architecture (Alpha) of the award-winning and highly-acclaimed Cadillac ATS sport sedan, the CTS will be the segment’s lightest car — enabling the most agile driving dynamics in the class. Propelling the lightest midsize luxury sedan in the segment will be a range of power-dense powertrains, with the all-new Cadillac twin-turbo engine V6 (LF3) and eight-speed automatic transmission serving as the range-topper (excluding the unannounced and unmentioned V-Series).
On the outside, the 2014 CTS evolves the brand’s Art & Science design philosophy while growing five inches (127 mm) in length and adding 1.2 inches (30.40 mm) to its wheelbase over the outgoing second-generation model; but even with these added dimensions, the roofline and cowl (base of the windshield) are about an inch lower. The larger exterior dimensions don’t add to the car’s curb weight: Cadillac says that the new CTS has a lower curb weight than the outgoing model, and weighs about 200 pounds (90 kg) less than the BMW 528i.
The light weight is achieved by a series of weight-saving features, including Cadillac’s first use of aluminum door structures, that contribute to the lower weight and nearly a 50/50 weight balance. And suspending all of that light weight is the highly-renowned Magnetic Ride Control. The real-time damping system is even available on base models.
Cadillac’s signature shield grille and vertical lighting elements (including the LED front signature lighting detail) progress the CTS’ design. The grille is now wider, with a more detailed texture, while the headlamps flow up with the hood line. Improving aerodynamic performance and enhancing fuel efficiency at highway speeds are active grille shutters that are included on some models.
Inside, the 2014 CTS features a driver-centric cockpit interior with integrated technology and hand-crafted appointments. The cabin is roomier, and eight interior environments are available, each offering authentic wood, carbon fiber, or aluminum. Leather seating is available (what is standard?), as is full semi-aniline leather, with hand-crafted, cut-and-sewn executions.
Serving as the top-of-the-line trim level is what Cadillac has termed “Vsport”. The trim level combines the new Cadillac twin-turbo V6 (LF3) engine good for an SAE-rated 420 horsepower and 430 lb.-ft. of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission — marking the first time Cadillac has offered both technologies. The CTS Vsport includes:
- 18-inch aluminum wheels with Pirelli summer-only performance tires (19-inch wheels with all-season tires are available)
- A quicker steering ratio
- Brembo disc brakes with aluminum calipers and high-performance brake pads
- Heavy-duty track cooling package
- Driver-selectable track mode with specific steering rate and Magnetic Ride Control calibrations for greater track performance
- Electronic limited-slip differential that enhances capability on the track – including optimal acceleration out of turns
Outside of the range-topping CTS Vsport line and its 3.6 liter twin-turbo V6 (LF3) is the naturally aspirated 3.6L V6 (LFX) rated at 321 horsepower matched to the new eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters (in RWD models). According to Cadillac, the eight-speed gearbox provides a 1.5-percent increase in fuel economy over a six-speed transmission, along with greater performance advantages; a six-speed automatic continues to be the transmission of choice for AWD models. The base engine of the 2014 Cadillac CTS is the 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder (LTG) rated at an estimated 272 horsepower; a six-speed auto gearbox is standard.
In engineering the suspension system of the 2014 CTS, Cadillac utilized a number of aluminum components in the front suspension system; the rear suspension is made mostly of steel. This setup helps offset the weight of the engine and transmission at the front of the car, contributed to less noise and vibration while delivering a near-perfect weight balance.
As far as interior technology goes, the 2014 CTS offers the familiar CUE infotainment system with an eight-inch high-resolution touch screen with haptic feedback. CUE delivers standard Bluetooth connectivity, USB and SD card ports, and natural voice recognition. Complementing the CUE infotainment system is the optional 12.3-inch high-res digital instrument cluster that offers four layouts, from basic to performance-oriented. A full-color, configurable head-up display is available.
Increasing the comfort level of the front passengers are Cadillac’s first 20-way adjustable seats that are heated and cooled (ventilated). A heated steering wheel and motorized cup holder, electronically-locking glove box, electronic park brake, and adaptive remote start round out the cabin’s amenities. The already-familiar Bose eleven-speaker sound system is standard, while a thirteen-speaker Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system is optional.
Safety technology is more than abundant in the 2014 CTS: for starters, the new midsize sport luxury sedan is the first Cadillac to offer Automatic Parking Assist that enables the car to parallel-park itself. Just like other systems from competing brands, the CTS uses ultrasonic sensors to locate a suitable space and maneuver the car into it; all that the driver needs to do is put the car into reverse, apply the accelerator and brake pedals. Best of all, ultrasonic rear park assist is standard (while leather is not; see the irony?).
A plethora of advanced safety features re supported by the ultrasonic sensors, radar technology, and cameras, including front and rear automatic braking. The technologies relies on short-range radar technology and ultrasonic sensors to help the driver prevent front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary.
An available Driver Awareness Package delivers Cadillac’s patented Safety Alert Seat technology that uses vibrating pulses in the driver’s seat to alert the driver to an imminent collision, or to vehicles in the car’s blind spot. The seat vibrates on the left or right side, or both sides simultaneously, depending on the direction of the risk.
In addition, the 2014 CTS marks GM’s first application of automatic safety belt tightening. The available technology automatically takes slack out of the safety belts when buckled and offers real-time, active adjustments during driving to ensure optimal tension and comfort. Additional available safety features on the new CTS include:
- Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
- Panic Brake Assist
- Forward Collision Alert
- Automatic Collision Preparation (with brake prefill)
- Lane Departure Warning
- Side Blind Zone Alert
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Rear Vision Camera With Dynamic Guidelines
- Adaptive Forward Lighting
- Active pedestrian protection system (in global regions where required)
Rounding out the safety features are ten standard airbags. The front-passenger units feature dual-stage low-risk deployment, which makes the most of the air bag trajectory and inflation rate based on the occupant’s size, position and severity of the crash. Not unexpected is one year of standard OnStar service.
Production of the 2014 CTS begins this fall in Lansing, Michigan.
2014 Cadillac CTS Specs
Stay tuned to GM Authority for more 2014 CTS news as we spend some quality hands-on time with the car at the New York Auto Show.