For Sale By:Dealer
Exterior Color: Teal
Power Options: Power Windows
Interior Color: Teal
Number of Cylinders: 8
Ambler, Pennsylvania, United States
You don't have to be German to test your car at the Nürburging. You just have to be serious about beating the Germans on their own home turf. That's why Nissan tests its GT-R at the Nordschleife to challenge the Porsche 911, and why Cadillac - which is no less serious about putting up a fight to German performance sedans - has returned to the 'Ring once again with its latest.
This time it's the turn of the new CTS Vsport, the sportier version of Cadillac's new mid-range sedan that aims to bridge the gap until the arrival of the next CTS-V. So how'd it fare? At the end of what we're sure was an exhaustive test session, the new CTS Vsport clocked a time of 8:14.10.
To put that into context, General Motors points out that the time places the new sedan six seconds ahead of the first-gen CTS-V, whose 400-horsepower V8 engine was actually less potent than the Vsport's new 410hp 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6. That's still a good fifteen seconds slower than the outgoing CTS-V that clocked a 7:59 in 2009 with its 556hp supercharged V8, but only a second behind the E60-generation BMW M5 with its high-revving 500hp V10.
Here's some shocking news to no one: People love crossovers, including those living in China. Since introducing the Cadillac SRX there in 2009, the model's sales have gone through the roof. Now, the brand is considering moving some production of the next-generation model in China to eliminate import tariffs and make it an even bigger player in the market.
According to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, the crossover is leading Cadillac's Chinese growth, despite its US-equivalent price of over $67,000 after the country's high import tariffs. The CUV's sales are up 23 percent there so far this year, and it's responsible for over 40 percent of the brand's sales. John Stadwick, General Motors' VP of sales, service and marketing in China, told the WSJ that GM could "very possibly" build the next-gen model there.
The SRX is Cadillac's golden goose in China, and it just keeps pushing the brand's sales forward. "It's the vehicle that took us out of being a small niche in the market," said David Caldwell, Cadillac Communications Manager, to Autoblog. Before the CUV, Caddy was selling a little over 20,000 cars a year there, but partially thanks to the crossover's success, the brand sold 50,000 vehicles last year and could reach 60,000 this year. "The SRX is the most popular Cadillac in that market," he said.
The deaths of the Ford Crown Victoria and the Lincoln Town Car have meant overhauls of three high-profile American fleets: police, taxi and livery car. Just as police fleets are more open to considering other options and a Nissan van is the new face of the NYC taxi, livery car companies are looking at replacements for the Town Car beyond The Blue Oval. Ford, via Lincoln, has made an MKT Town Car (pictured), but an article in the Detroit News claims "it has failed to win over most of the big limousine companies." The upstarts trying to move in include livery and limo editions of the Cadillac XTS, and livery specifications of the Toyota Avalon and Chrysler 300.
Each of those challengers, however, faces challenges. The Town Car was a workhorse, American, rear-wheel-drive sedan with plenty of rear legroom. Cadillac has been in the livery space before but with decontented models that were about selling the brand, not its luxury. It is taking the opposite approach with the XTS, pointing out that its livery edition is "contented in the upper half of the XTS range." Still, the CEO of Michigan's largest livery company says "it's quite a bit smaller than what we're used to," and he also prefers rear-wheel drive.
The Chrysler 300 is rear-wheel drive, and American, which matters to some companies, but Chrysler hasn't yet revealed the livery package for it. The livery Avalon marks Toyota's first time getting into that business in the US, a natural step after having done so well with taxi clients and with the Town Car out of the way. Still, the livery client is a different to taxi buyers, so the Avalon could face other soft-touch hurdles.