Drive Type: REAR
Brentwood, California, United States
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Only a flatworm would not have predicted the Cadillac ATS would help increase sales for America's erstwhile luxury brand of record; however, even the best automotive oracles didn't realize by how much: The ATS fueled a 49-percent increase of the brand's year-on-year sales in March, the sixth straight month of growth for Cadillac. The momentum helped push General Motors to post a 6.4-increase in sales in March versus 2012, leading its domestic competitors.
Dealership salesmen are among the first to register the shift occurring at Cadillac. A Texas dealer related an incident in which he helped a mother affix a baby seat in a car for a test drive, explaining that as opposed to the older buyers that are still a Cadillac mainstay he's getting "a pretty diverse group that's coming through the door now" who are "younger and better educated." Aided by incentives on the ATS, Cadillac's sales are up 38 percent so far this year, overtaking Acura as the fourth best selling luxury brand, and GM stock is benefiting with incremental gains because of it. Based on early response, the new 2014 Cadillac CTS should keep things going in the same direction.
The trend at the Wreath and Crest is part of a larger sales trend happening among domestics - with other models like the Dodge Dart and Ford Fusion doing well - and overall US car sales. Head over to Bloomberg for the big picture and role the ATS plays in it.
The ink is still drying on the all-new 2015 Cadillac Escalade sales brochures, but that hasn't stopped Texas-based Hennessey Performance (HPE) from leaping out of the gate with its own high-performance variant. In stock form, the big fourth-generation Cadillac flagship arrives with a new small block naturally aspirated 6.2-liter Ecotec3 V8 delivering 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Fresh out of the showroom, the 5,900-pound SUV will sprint to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.
While that is plenty fast for some owners, others don't want to be shamed by a 550 horsepower Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG or a 510 horsepower Land Rover Range Rover Sport - both will leave the stock Escalade at a stoplight.
The team at HPE has come to the rescue with its HPE550 supercharger upgrade, which includes a belt-driven supercharger, air-to-water intercooler, recalibrated engine management software and a three-year/36,000 mile powertrain warranty. With 6 psi of boost, the direct-injected 6.2-liter is tuned to deliver an impressive 557 horsepower and 542 pound-feet of torque - gains of 32 percent and 18 percent, respectively, over stock. Although HPE isn't releasing performance figures as of yet, our math says that should be enough power to put the two Europeans in the Cadillac's rearview mirror. The company also offers a set of 20-inch lightweight H10 forged monoblock wheels, to further improve performance.
A little more than a year and a half ago, former weekend editor Alex Nunez and I were talking about how sweet it would be for Cadillac to offer a CTS-V in the Corvette's Supersonic Blue paint, and as if General Motors eavesdropped on our conversation, this showed up. And while the Stealth Blue car you see here isn't an exact duplicate of the hot-looking sedan GM showed off in prototype form, it's really close. And really sweet.
New for 2013, the Cadillac CTS range gets two new colorful editions, starting with the Stealth Blue package available on the CTS-V (in sedan, coupe and wagon bodystyles) as well as the naturally aspirated CTS coupe. In addition to the unique paint, blacked-out grille and dark satin wheels, Stealth Blue cars can also be done up with an optional Twilight Blue leather interior. (And you thought blue-on-blue color schemes died in the '90s.)
Cadillac is also offering a new Silver Frost package, but it's a bit more exclusive. Only 100 examples will be built, all in CTS-V Coupe form. The Silver Frost paint is a low-gloss matte finish, in that while it technically has a clearcoat covering, it's reduced in a way that the surface still appears flatter than standard paint. Even so, Cadillac states that the car should be hand-washed only.