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First Drive: 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe is audacity in motion

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NewsFeeder    9

Filed under: Coupe, Cadillac, First Drive, Luxury

lead1ctscoupefd2011.jpg
2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe - Click above for high-res image gallery

There was a time when General Motors was a design leader. Before the Aztek, before the Catera, before the Sunfire and before the Citation, GM was synonymous with bold, strong, emotional automotive design. The General was so good at it that in the 1950s it was able to flood dealerships and stress factories just by tweaking a given model's sheetmetal a few shades. Imagine anyone caring about a new rear end on a 2011 Chevy Malibu. Yet the revised bodywork of the 1956 Bel Air was a major cultural phenomenon.

The name Harley Earl - the legendary head of GM design from 1927 until 1958 - still strikes reverence into the hearts of many. One glance at his famed Buick Y-Job, a 1949 Cadillac or the original Corvette is enough to see why. Earl's parting shot was the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado - the one with the tail fins that could nearly touch the moon. Then you have Earl's successor, Bill Mitchell, the man responsible for the third generation Corvette, the 1966 Toronado and the magnificent boattail Buick Riviera.

For a variety of reasons, in the 1970s General Motors and striking design parted ways. GM's styling wandered through the desert, swapping glitz, purpose and chrome for tighter profit margins, increased badge engineering and a large patina of plain ol' dull. All you need to do is take a gander at the third-generation B-bodies to see how far GM went in the wrong direction. Let's not even mention cladding.

For the last decade or so there have been signs of hope. Vehicles like the Chevrolet SSR, Pontiac Solstice, C6 Corvette and the new Camaro were proof that GM and great design are on the road to reconciliation. As a division, Cadillac has made the biggest strides with their Art and Science design motif, showing great signs of life. The front end of the second generation CTS is fantastic. From a pure design point of view, and with the possible exception of the now dead Pontiac Solstice, no General Motors product has been world class since Mitchell retired in 1977.

That changes now. Meet the 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe.



Photos by Damon Lavrinc / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

Continue reading First Drive: 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe is audacity in motion

First Drive: 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe is audacity in motion originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Jun 2010 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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SAmadei    224

What was wrong with the Sunfire design?!? Sure, it ain't no '57 Chevy, but it was one of GM's better '90s designs, especially for an economy car.

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Z-06    493

I like them wheels.

To their credit, the Cadillac folks acknowledged that the interior isn't world class – yet. They suggested several times that we should wait 18 months before issuing final judgment, whatever that means.

MCE you morons.

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PurdueGuy    72

I'm not quite sure I like the rear end on the coupe. Front & side are terrific, just not sold on the slab rear. Need to see it in person.

Re: the sunfire, which design are we talking about?

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SAmadei    224

Good question, people can't be happy about a gushing review about a GM product. No one cares about a $h!fire! :P

Its not just a review about the CTS Coupe... its also a bashing of everything GM has build since 1977... except the Pontiac Solstice... which ironically, seems to include the CTS Sedan and Wagon.

So, while you may not care for the Sunfire, which I don't feel is in the same dumpster class as the Aztek, Catera and Citation, you might what to question this author's idea of 'world class' design when his idea of world class includes a 1977 Chevy Vega.

There are plenty of articles gushing about GM product that can do it without resorting to bashing everything else GM in sight.

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Croc    268

Stop talking about Pontiac in a Cadillac CTS Coupe thread. Honestly.

I love this design, and since it looks like I cannot afford one yet, I'm glad there's an MCE in 2 years (18 months? Please, it'll be 2 years). Maybe I'll be less poor then :)

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Intrepidation    848

I'm still not sure what to think of it, it has really tall hips and looks stubby in some photos, sexy in others. I think its one of those cars I'll have to see in person to give my final verdict.

With that said, I'm glad there's finally a RWD Cadillac coupe again, and it has some very nice details. The mini tail fins, the hidden door handle, the way the lines intersect and combine, the central exhaust. Even if in the end I don't like it, I'm glad it exists.

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I'm still not sure what to think of it, it has really tall hips and looks stubby in some photos, sexy in others. I think its one of those cars I'll have to see in person to give my final verdict.

Agreed...it looks very dramatic from some angles, very thick and chopped-off from others... I think this is one of those cars that's very color sensitive also...in silver or white, it may look too thick in the rear, looks better in dark colors.

One detail I don't care for is the hidden door handle...hidden door handles always seem cheesy to me...

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smk4565    357

I still don't care for the design of the coupe, it looks to wide and high in the back, and somewhat slab sided. The back just looks chopped off too much, the car doesn't have a flowing look that a coupe should. It falls a little into the high belt-line small greenhouse trap that so many cars are going to. It has a bit of a love or hate look, that could be polarizing to buyers.

Then there is my typical complaint of all Cadillacs:

"CTS' innards are a large step in the right direction, you won't find yourself thinking "The Standard of the World" while sitting in the captain's chair. The wood is nice, and there's leather trim here and there, but there is also a whole mess of fake leather and real plastic. Competitive with Lexus or the Hyundai Genesis, sure, but in no way does the Coupe's interior approach the luxury level of recent, resurgent Mercedes-Benz."

Cadillac should not be competing with Hyundai, nor should they have a mess of fake leather and real plastic. It is Cadillac, not a Chevy or Buick. Cadillac is still handicapped by GM's bean counters and GM parts bin plastic. Autoblog said the nav screen was far worse than what you get in a Sync equipped Focus. Cadillac shouldn't be behind a Focus in technology.

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Drew Dowdell    5,169

I'm curious as to why they said the CTS NAV was worse than Sync. The only thing remarkable about SYNC is that it can recognise track names on your iPod, but I found the voice recognition of nearly any command to be lacking and menu items to be buried waaaay too deep.

The CTS's NAV system is also MS based, but doesn't have track name recognition. However I found it more able to understand my commands and a generally better layout of menu.

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FAPTurbo    1,096

I wonder how much they played with the Nav Screen's brightness/contrast/saturation settings before casting judgement, assuming it has those functions. It could very easily be that Ford's default settings are either brighter or more vibrant than GM's.

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siegen    20

Cadillac should stop beating around the bush and just come out and call their design language Transformers already.

The CTS Coupe is nice. It does look a little stubby and awkward. It's like the vehicle was built by two different design teams. One did the front, including the hood and fenders, and the other did everything from the front doors back.

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regfootball    252

I'm still not sure what to think of it, it has really tall hips and looks stubby in some photos, sexy in others. I think its one of those cars I'll have to see in person to give my final verdict.

With that said, I'm glad there's finally a RWD Cadillac coupe again, and it has some very nice details. The mini tail fins, the hidden door handle, the way the lines intersect and combine, the central exhaust. Even if in the end I don't like it, I'm glad it exists.

seeing a mid 90's eldo on the road recently really makes me appreciate or least look forward to seeing how the CTS coupe looks in the flesh.

the eldo i thought was a fabulous looking car but the CTS coupe while creased really goes in a futuristic direction with its exaggerated short overhang, drastic rear glass rake, and kicked up rear and dynamic lines. The eldorado was low, the contrast of the long hood and butt of the low eldorado next to a new CTS coupe will be interesting to see. The geometry of all the elements aft of the B pillar on the CTS coupe is fascinating yet in taillight view if you park an Eldo next to a CTS coupe they will be family. It will be one of thoser time capsule moments to see how a design theme for a company advances and stays constant in 20 years.

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I love this thing.... bumper to bumper it's a great design.

Except for the B-pillar & glued in glass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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siegen    20

This coming from the Acura lover?

I don't understand. How does a response like this follow from my previous comment? Are you indicating that the new TL has more transformers styling than the CTS? How would my supposed preference for an automaker, however false it may be, have anything to do with it?

That Acura is butt ugly, I saw a new RL (well it is like the 04 model with LED tail lights) and it is even worse.

2004 RL?

The new RL is ugly, but that's irrelevant. Nothing to see here folks, move along.

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Drew Dowdell    5,169

I don't understand. How does a response like this follow from my previous comment? Are you indicating that the new TL has more transformers styling than the CTS? How would my supposed preference for an automaker, however false it may be, have anything to do with it?

That is exactly what I'm saying. The TL's rear is basically a Transformer's face.

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pow    106

I like the CTS, coupe included, apart from the front end. I just can't stand that front grill. The V-version is okay. Hopefully the ATS's front end is less vertical.

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2QuickZ's    64

I snapped this on the Interstate the other day. The windshield distorted the picture so it looks a little odd but it actually looked pretty good in person. It's the first CTS-V coupe I've seen on the road.

0617001843.jpg

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