Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Number of doors: 4
Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Tan
Naples, Florida, United States
Bridging The Gap With Power And Poise
As you read these words, West Coast Editor Michael Harley is preparing to drive the brand-new 2014 Cadillac CTS along the gorgeous, sun-drenched roads of Southern California. And while I'll wait for Harley's full report before I put words in his mouth, I'm willing to bet he enjoys the hell out of Cadillac's new CTS. In fact, I'm sure of it.
I say this with confidence because, about a month ago, I spent the better part of a day flogging the new CTS Vsport around the 2.9-mile Milford Road Course - a challenging circuit laid out in the infield of an oval test track at GM's proving grounds in southeast Michigan. The MRC was built about a decade ago after Bob Lutz was lured out of retirement to work closely with GM's product development team, and thus, this circuit is known informally as the "Lutz Ring." The main objective of the MRC was to have an in-house facility for engineers to fine-tune vehicle dynamics, without having to constantly schlep cars over to Germany's infamous Nürburgring. (Of course, they still do.)
Compact luxury sedans are fast becoming the trend among upscale automakers. Mercedes has the new CLA (and its many platform-mates), BMW has the 1 Series and 2 Series, Audi has the A3 and, though Lexus apparently isn't interested in anything smaller than its CT 200h, Infiniti is getting in on the action with a compact model of its own. It would only follow logically, then, that Cadillac should launch a competitor, and according to the latest reports, that's just what it has in store.
Speaking with Car and Driver, Cadillac marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus confirmed that such a project is in the works. But unlike its rivals, Cadillac aims to go with a rear-wheel-drive layout. This despite research that apparently indicates that a surprising 80 percent of owners think that their BMW 1 Series is front-drive. It's the driving dynamics and styling proportions that motivate Ellinghaus and his colleagues to stick with rear-drive, however.
The new model would in all likelihood be based on the same GM Alpha architecture that underpins the ATS and CTS - a platform that has helped Cadillac keep the weight down on both models and which is expected to underpin the next-generation Chevy Camaro, as well. The sub-ATS could be positioned as a four-door 2+2, however, as the ATS grows a little larger in its next iteration in order to make room for its new baby brother.
People are a weird sort. Even after registering over 70 recalls through the first three-quarters of 2014, General Motors saw its best Q3 results since Jimmy Carter was in the White House, registering over 2.4 million global sales between June and September on the back of strong results in the US and China.
US sales were marshaled by good results for GM's pickups, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, which bumped the manufacturer's truck market share to 35.6 percent, up nearly three points from Q1 2014. Buick has seen healthy growth as well, with the Encore dominating its segment for the sixth month running.
It was China, though, that really bolstered GM's sales, as the company's efforts to top last year's record-setting 3.16 million units continued apace. Small SUV sales saw massive growth, with Encore, Chevrolet Trax and Captiva figures jumping 90 percent in Q3. Brand-wise, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick all saw sales gains in the PRC, with each recording double-digit year-over-year jumps. Cadillac sales alone were up 63 percent compared to the first nine months of 2013.