General Motors’ flagship brand, Cadillac has launched in Australia at the 2008 Australian International Motor Show with the acclaimed Cadillac CTS sedan and the Australian premiere of the CTS Coupe Concept.
Synonymous with luxury and performance, Cadillac’s return to Australia after 70 years marks the latest step in its global expansion, led by a growing portfolio of luxury vehicles that aim to compete at the highest levels in markets around the world.
“With cutting edge design, serious performance and a comprehensive package of luxury appointments, Cadillac will appeal to prestige car buyers and offer a genuine alternative to the traditional European brands,” said Director of GM Premium Brands, Parveen Batish.
Cadillac’s product renaissance has created tremendous global expansion for the brand. Following the launch of the CTS in the United States in September 2007, sales increased by almost 60 percent.
Continued growth in Europe and emerging markets like China and Russia, paired with the brands introduction in South Africa in 2007, have supported Cadillac’s total sales growth this year outside of the United States of 11.5% through to July 2008.
For over a century, Cadillac has built a reputation for design and innovation. Cadillac was the first automaker to use a self-starter, the first with an independent front-wheel suspension and syncromesh transmission, as well as being the first to introduce vehicle streamline design.
Cadillac’s resurgence is based on a design theme and brand ethos called ‘Art and Science’. Beginning in 1998 with a concept car called Evoq, the new design language was surprising, even shocking, for the brand and is driven by signature styling that continues to break new ground.
Born out of the desire to set Cadillac apart from the pack and reposition the brand to a new generation of luxury consumers, a decade later Cadillac has established a global design centre in the US that directs the styling of Cadillac for all markets around the world, while also serving as the symbol of the brand’s renewed emphasis on technology, craftsmanship and performance.
Cadillac is recognised as the standard of excellence and has undoubtedly attained the status of popular culture icon. With appearances in movies, music, television and fine art, Cadillac has a true global status of luxury and success.
No stranger to Australian shores, Cadillacs were built and sold in Australia during the 1930s. Initially exported in right-hand drive from Detroit between the years of 1927 and 1934, Australia soon began to receive the ‘CKD Chassis’ or complete knock-down kits for assembly in Australia. Assembled in Adelaide, the LaSalle Series 50 sedans and the Cadillac Series 60 models received Holden built bodies, which were designed to look much like those in the US.
Spearheading Cadillac’s Australian introduction is the new-generation CTS. Named ‘2008 Car of the Year’ by the prestigious Motor Trend magazine in the US, the CTS delivers a comprehensive package based on dramatic design, stunning interior appointments, serious performance and sports car handling.
The new CTS has been a strong contributor to Cadillac’s global growth. ”Cadillac sales have exceeded our expectations and have been growing steadily,” commenting on the CTS, Cadillac general manager Jim Taylor said.
“We believe the CTS will be an appealing choice for those seeking a compelling combination of luxury and performance.”
“The all-new CTS embodies all of the hallmark Cadillac cues: a striking design, entertaining luxury and rewarding performance,” said Taylor. “We’re confident that this CTS meets the discriminating tastes and demands of luxury customers, no matter where they live.”
The rear-wheel drive Australian CTS will be powered by a 3.6-litre V-6 direct injection petrol engine with variable valve timing, which generates 227 kW* and 370 Nm* of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Direct injection fuel delivery enables very efficient combustion, helps reduce emissions and allows higher compression ratio to maintain fuel efficiency. Unlike many of its competitors, the 3.6-litre engine requires only regular unleaded petrol, resulting in additional savings for the owner.
Australian customers will have the choice of two performance-tuned suspension packages. With the demands and needs of global luxury buyers in mind, the CTS was developed and tested on city streets and country roads across China, North America and Europe, including the famed Nürburgring track. The result is a finely tuned global car that combines power with smoothness, efficiency and technical sophistication.
The 2008 CTS builds on Cadillac’s reputation for safety with an impressive range of standard features, including Stabilitrak® electronic chassis/stability control system and front, side and curtain airbags.
The Cadillac interior boasts hand-cut and sewn interior trim components, an innovative ambient interior lighting system, integrated iPod®/MP3 compatibility and an advanced audio system with an integrated 40 gigabyte hard drive.
“The CTS design is contemporary rather than traditional and the dramatic and sharply tailored exterior adds unique passion and attitude,” Mr. Batish said. “Inside, Cadillac has combined advanced technologies and electronics with outstanding craftsmanship. CTS has been designed and engineered to challenge the very best in the world.”
The Cadillac CTS will go on-sale in early 2009 and pricing, full technical and feature specification and certification details will be available closer to the on-sale date.
Cadillac CTS Coupe Concept
The CTS Coupe Concept, which was unveiled at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in January 2008, extends the dramatic design of its sedan predecessor to cast a striking road presence.
Designed under the direction of Michael Simcoe, former head of GM Holden Design in Australia, the CTS Coupe concept possesses fast-rake styling blended with hand-sculpted bodywork to project a profile unlike anything else on the road.
Exuding the design cues of a carefully cut diamond, the CTS Coupe has classic Cadillac cues such as vertical headlamps and tail lamps to acknowledge the brand’s heritage combined with a forward-looking design.
A classic 2 + 2 interior environment enhances the CTS Coupe’s personal feel. It shares the hand cut-and-sewn instrument panel and centre console with the CTS, but features unique front and rear seats, a continuous console running between the front and rear seats, and custom door panels.
Like the sedan, the CTS Coupe concept’s interior is home to a host of technologies, including a premium Bose audio system, and a 40-gigabyte hard drive to support iPod®/MP3 functionality and – like the CTS – features a screen that rises out of the centre of the instrument panel.
The CTS Coupe has the same 3.6L V6 engine as the sedan, including the 227kW Direct Injection power plant, and has also been designed to take other engine variants. A six-speed manual transmission backs the engine and a sport-tuned suspension gives it a slightly lower ride height than a production CTS.
The production CTS Coupe is confirmed to join the Australian Cadillac model line-up in late 2009.
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