As I drove along in the new Cadillac CTS my thoughts went to my Father. Dad loved his cars, but in particular, Dad loved his beige 1959 Cadillac with fins.
It's not that the CTS reminds me of Dad's Cadillac. It is the longevity of the brand itself, what Cadillac meant to my Dad. Back then it was Frank Sinatra and Cadillac was King of the Hill, top of the heap. If you owned a Cadillac you had arrived.
But today, fifty years later, we drive the Cadillac CTS. We met at the Bardessono hotel in Yountville, CA to start our journey. Bardessono recently received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification (Platinum). That makes them the 2nd in the nation to receive the platinum level of recognition and the 3rd hotel property in the world. An award Cadillac would love to achieve in their manufacturing plant and concept cars such as the Cadillac Converj.
- Standard ($38,990 RWD, $40,890 AWD): Six-speed automatic with tap up/down shifting, 18-inch wheels, performance suspension, rear park assist, Bose audio, MP3 input, EZ Key, remote start, power driver and front passenger seats.
- Performance Collection ($43,430 RWD, $45,330 AWD): HID Xenon headlamps, adaptive forward lighting, 10-way power leather seats, Bose 5.1 Surround Sound, USB integration, 40GB hard drive.
- Premium Collection ($47,835 RWD, $49,735 AWD): Interior ambient lighting, rear-view camera, heated/vented front seats, heated steering wheel, wood trim, Bose 5.1 Surround Sound with navigation, sunroof.
- V-Series ($62,990): 6.2L Supercharged V8, paddle shift controls, Brembo brakes, Magnetic Ride Control, 19-inch wheels with performance tires.
The Cadillac CTS is powered by a 3.6L direct injected V-6 rated at 304 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm and 273 lb.-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm.
If you buy the high-performance CTS-V Coupe you will receive the same, 556-horsepower @ 6,100 rpm and 551 lb.-ft or torque at 3,800 rpm, 6.2L supercharged V-8 found in the CTS-V Sport Sedan.
The CTS is a front-engine, rear-wheel drive or four-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe. The 2-door is only a couple inches shorter than the sedan, which allows for longer doors. When I think of cars with long doors I think rich; Rolls-Royce, Bentley. Names that are not competitors for Cadillac, but the coupe is dropped two inches lower than the sedan. Physics tell us that the lower the vehicle the more aerodynamic for fuel economy because it lowers the drag co-efficient.
You could add a Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but Cadillac says their major competitors are the BMW 335i Coupe, Audi A5, and Infiniti G37 Coupe.
The Cadillac CTS has the best turning radius of them all, and even better if you get the summer tire performance. Usually the turning radius is 35.9 feet, but with the rear-wheel drive tire performance Cadillac's spec sheet says the turning radius is 31.15 feet. Big difference in tight corners.
When it comes to fuel economy the Audi comes out the best by a couple miles per gallon. One reason might be because the Cadillac is so darn heavy. The CTS weighs in at 3,900 pounds! That's 300-600 pounds heavier than its competitors.
If you're looking for the most horsepower you would go with the Infiniti G37, or buck up to the Cadillac CTS-V, which will give you 556 horsepower.
Harley Earl would have designed my Dad's 1959 fin-tailed Cadillac. The CTS is a modern day American sculpture, designed by Max Wolff and his design group. The front windshield is laid at a faster angle of 62.3-degrees, while the rear glass lays practically flat, with no B-pillar, going for a sleek look.
The CTS Coupe shares only the instrument panel, console, headlamps, front fenders and grille with CTS sports sedan.
The CTS has technology my Dad's generation never dreamt of:
- Integrated iPod/MP3 capability
- 40-gig hard drive, including the ability to store music and pause-and-replay live radio
- Pop-up navigation system
- Adaptive forward lighting system
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Standard Keyless Access and Smart Remote Start
- Rear vision camera system
- Bose 5.1 Cabin Surround™ audio system.
I would have loved to drive this Cadillac over to my Dad's house and take him for a drive on Fathers day. He would have loved the ride, especially the cornering. But somehow, I knew that he was already in the car with me, smiling and remarking at how much car technology had changed.
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear- or four-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe
MSRP starting PRICE: $38,990 including destination charge
ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 217 cu in, 3564 cc
Horsepower:304 @ 6400 rpm