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Intrepidation

Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon production to begin early May, CTS Coupe still on track

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After speaking this morning with Cadillac's product communications manager, David Caldwell, we've fleshed out some near-term product plans for General Motors' luxury brand – in particular the timetable for the 2010 CTS Sport Wagon. The automaker's Lansing Grand River plant is scheduled to begin building the stylish rear-drive load lugger in early May, and the first examples should be at dealerships around Memorial Day (May 25), or perhaps early June.

Cadillac's first-ever U.S-market station wagon (no, the SRX crossover doesn't count) is expected to offer a reasonable 25 cubic feet of space beneath its rakish rear glass, and while it rides on the same 113.4-inch wheelbase as its sedan counterpart, the wagon will actually be .3-inches shorter. The model looks to be particularly important for GM's fortunes in Europe, where the luxury division is still struggling to gain traction against the entrenched domestics. While being something of a fringe interest in the U.S., sport wagons do solid business in Europe, and the overseas-only BLS Wagon has played largely to lukewarm reviews. Back home in the States, Cadillac expects just 20 percent of CTS customers to opt for the estate version, while the European model mix is slated to be more along the lines of a 60 percent/40 percent split in favor of the wagon.

So... what about the CTS Coupe? As we reported in January, the stylish two-door's production plans remain firm for next year, despite company-wide cutbacks and rumors to the contrary. While that's still later than Cadillac had originally hoped, officials say the delay will give them the opportunity to focus on launching the Sport Wagon as well as the 2010 SRX replacement. No official word on the likelihood of a CTS-V Coupe or Sport Wagon, but mules of the former have already been spotted, so perhaps we'll get lucky.

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I "just happened" to stop by the local Caddy dealer this evening. Was talking with my sales guy about last dates to order '09 models. He mentioned that they just ordered a CTS wagon in Crystal Red for inventory. He guestimated 7ish weeks. I will most certainly be stopping in for a closer look when it arrives!

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