After the massive success of the 2013 ATS, anything Cadillac did this year was bound to be noticed. Still, at the introduction of their third generation CTS sedan earlier this month, Cadillac stopped by traffic—literally—by lifting and placing one by crane onto the third storey terrace of Toronto’s Shangri-La Hotel. Later, from below, a group drove other CTSs into the autumnal Ontario countryside for a day.
With its rear-wheel architecture the CTS has the BMW 5-series in its crosshairs. It’s slightly lighter and closer to the ground than the previous generation, though 127mm longer with a 30mm extension in the wheelbase. Yet it still maintains that chunky and aggressive look.
There are three engines to choose from, each progressively more powerful: the 2.0L turbo DI with a six-speed transmission achieves 272hp@5,500rpm and 295lb-ft of torque@1,700-5,500; a 3.6L V6 DI with eight speeds that produces 321hp@6,800, 275lb-ft @4,800; and a heroically powerful 3.6L V6 twin-turbo with the eight-speed produces 420hp@5,750 and 430lb-ft@3,500–4,500. This last model only comes in rear-wheel drive but the other two also offer all-wheel.
Kudos to Cadillac for going to such extremes. It’s hardly practical.
But the story’s about more than power and how fast you can go. The ride is balanced and precise. Each mode, Tour, Sport, and Track, provides a unique experience.
Steering is firm and true, bolstering confidence in turns. The paddle shifting positively affects the feel of the drive though the accelerator is so responsive, you may not use them much. Open it up and you will wake the neighbours, even if the noise in your cockpit is actually enhanced by microphones.
There’s plenty of space in front, rear and in the trunk. Getting in and out is easy despite the loss of height.
However, it’s not easy of the gas. On the day of the event our hosts talked about power, dynamics, engineering, acoustics and competition, but made no mention of fuel efficiency. No wonder. The ‘small’ two-litre engine with rear-wheel drive (it’s lighter than all-wheel) gets 10.7L/100km in the city and 6.7 on the highway. The V6 twin-turbo? 12.3 and 8.0! Furthermore, with all that engineering and power, you will constantly be tempted to do much worse than those numbers.
You’ve been warned. Enjoy.
Though a co-owner and former editor of DailyXY, Steven Bochenek is actually an advertising writer who does some journalism on the side. In 2011 he was accepted into the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. His other interests include playing music, long-distance running, skiing and writing in the third person.
Photo courtesy of YouTube.