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THE CONTENDER AND THE CREATORS - Page 2

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Mon, Oct 22, 2007

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

THE CONTENDER AND THE CREATORS By Zoran Segina

Creature Comfort "Our starting point was studying the best interior designs, such as Acura's for example. We tried to find out what represents the best in terms of luxury and performance" Eric Clough's hand sweeps across the immaculately finished dashboard, over the center console, following the lines of the passenger door. Eric's title is Director, Interior Design, and his team created the elegant interior of the black FE-2 type CTS, a mid- level-performance model that is taking us through twisty roads of the Salinas Valley toward our initial departure point. The past two days were filled with events. I am telling Eric that despite several hundred miles in the various Cadillacs over the last two days, my bad back did not complain once. He is crediting highly sculpted side bolsters that provide lateral support for spirited driving without sacrificing comfort. The front seats even have a signature V-shaped medallion imbedded as a decorative touch. The FE-2 suspension is beautifully firm, but not uncomfortable. I am playing with the shifter, switching from fully automatic to manual/hydraulic. A day before, during some hot laps at Laguna Seca, a legendary Monterey racetrack, the professional drivers who took us for orientation laps simply left the stick in the full auto mode. Needless to say, my subsequent laps were much slower, no matter what I tried to do with the transmission. Moreover, on one's first approach to the famed Corkscrew - when the asphalt disappears and a panicked journalist is trying to remember to which of the trees on the other side of the hill they told him to point the car for the racing line - the finer points of electronic shifting are not foremost on the driver's mind. As the pulse and blood pressure return to more reasonable levels, I am impressed by the notion that the Cadillac team brought its signature sedan to a racetrack - an idea that not so long ago would have seem inconceivable. As a driver spends more time in the car, an inescapable conclusion arises - the 2008 CTS is designed to challenge the Europeans. And the global nature of the GM automotive production makes this it a very attainable objective.

Sticker "But she did not tell you about the sticker." As I am about to step out of the last CTS, I share the story about the "Airbag" plate with John Zinser. He is leaning toward me, gesturing toward the center of the car. Down there, at the lower point of the front seat, barely visible in the recess between the dark colored cushion and the B pillar, is a small textile sticker, again with an "Airbag" warning on it. It too was subject to a redesign, because the size of the original sticker was not acceptable. There is a story about a man on a remote island. Even though he lived alone, every evening he would change into his tuxedo before supper. Nobody could see him, but - the story goes - as a true gentleman, he simply owed it to himself. As I am leaving, I can sense John's smiling behind me.

Competition Board meeting on the top floor of the office building somewhere in Bavaria. . . . "Herr Generaldirektor, we understand that the General Motors has redesigned the CTS for 2008. The car is said to have great performance, and the engine does not require premium gas. We are told they will be selling it in Europe." "That should not concern us. The Opel brand under which it is sold here, has not really been our direct competition." "Aber, herr Generadirektor, here is the file with the technical data. And they will be selling it for the first time under the Cadillac name." Rustling of papers. Muffled sounds of the Oktoberfest revelry in the distance. "Haben wir ein problem, meine Herrschaften? Do we have a problem, gentlemen. " More rustling of papers. Silence. Welcome back, champ.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT Lead, follow, or get out of the way. Cadillac choose to lead with its latest offering. For more information about Cadillac products go to www.cadillac.com 

SPECIFICATIONS  

Model:

2008 Cadillac CTS

Price:

$32,245 (base), $34,545 (Direct Injection)

  Engines         

 

2.8L VVT V-6 (RWD export models only)

3.6L VVT V-6

3.6L Direct Injection VVT V-6

Type:

2.8L V-6 VVT (variable valve timing) with port fuel injection

3.6L V-6 VVT (variable valve timing) with port fuel injection

3.6L V-6 VVT (variable valve timing) with spark-ignition, direct injection

Horsepower (hp / kw @ rpm):

210 / 156 @ 6500 rpm

263 / 196 @ 6200 rpm*

304 / 227 @ 6300 rpm*

Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):

194 / 263 @ 3200 rpm

253 / 343 @ 3100 rpm*

273 / 370 @ 5200 rpm*

EPA fuel economy:

TBD

17/26

17/26

Transmissions                               

Type:

Fully synchronized 6-speed manual with single overdrive

6-speed, RWD/AWD, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive with torque converter clutch

 Chassis/Suspension                                        

 

FE1

FE2        

FE3        

Configuration:

RWD or AWD

RWD or AWD

RWD

Front suspension:  

independent SLA with monotube shock absorbers; 24 mm hollow stabilizer bar (RWD); 33 mm hollow stabilizer bar (AWD)

independent SLA with monotube shock absorbers; 29 mm hollow stabilizer bar (RWD); 33 mm hollow stabilizer bar (AWD)

independent SLA with monotube shock absorbers; 29 mm hollow stabilizer bar

Rear suspension:

independent multilink with monotube shock absorbers; 18 mm hollow stabilizer bar (RWD); 19 mm hollow stabilizer bar (AWD)

independent multilink with monotube shock absorbers; 20 mm hollow stabilizer bar (RWD); 19 mm hollow stabilizer bar (AWD)

independent multilink with monotube shock absorbers; 20 mm hollow stabilizer bar

Chassis control:

4-channel StabiliTrak w/ brake assist

4-channel StabiliTrak w/ brake assist

4-channel StabiliTrak w/ brake assist

Wheels:

17 x 8-inch alloy

18 x 8.5-inch alloy

18 x 8.5-inch alloy

Tires:

P235/55R17 H-rated Michelin ALS

 P235/50R18 V-rated Michelin ALS

 P235/50ZR18 Y-rated Michelin high-performance

Brakes (type):

4-wheel disc; 4-channel ABS/TCS w/ DRP

4-wheel disc; 4-channel ABS/TCS w/ DRP

4-wheel disc; 4-channel ABS/TCS w/ DRP

Front rotors (mm):

315 x 32; vented

315 x 32; vented

346 x 32; vented

Rear rotors (mm):

315 x 26; vented

315 x 26; vented

340 x 26; vented

 Dimensions                                                         

Exterior:

 

Wheelbase (in / mm):

113.4 / 2880

Length (in / mm):

191.6 / 4866

Height (in / mm):

58 / 1472

Width (in / mm):

72.5 / 1842

 

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