LE MANS, France - With barely five months of sales behind the CTS, Cadillac already plans to freshen the car's interior for the 2004 model year and add a V-8-powered model.
Also, a more powerful six-cylinder engine will be standard in the base model, said Jim Taylor, vehicle line executive for General Motors' luxury cars.
The CTS went on sale in January, the first of several rear-drive cars that Cadillac will introduce in the next several years as it aims to revive its image and sales.
Some auto journalists and others said after the introduction that the CTS needs more power and a more refined interior, and GM is responding.
"Each year the bar goes up and the luxury market gets more competitive," said Taylor, who spoke at a press event here. "Gone are the days when you introduced a new car and forgot about it for five years."
The high-performance sedan, called the CTSi, will be powered by a 5.7-liter V-8 producing about 350 hp. Sales begin in fall 2003.
Taylor said the CTSi will be aimed at high-performance enthusiasts and the first models will be offered only with a manual transmission. Cadillac expects to boost manual transmission sales in the CTS to 10 percent, up from 8 percent. An automatic will be available later for the CTSi.
The CTS' 220-hp, 3.2-liter V-6 will be replaced for the 2004 model year with a larger V-6. The V-6 bows in summer 2003. No horsepower figure was available.
Taylor said the car's interior will be freshened to give it more warmth, which will be achieved with special lighting, more chrome, more jewelry and luxurious grains. The interior changes evolved from clinics held in California.
In other Cadillac news, Taylor said no decision has been made on when or if Cadillac's top seller, the DeVille, will be replaced with a rear-drive sedan.
The front-drive DeVille will remain in the portfolio though the 2008 model year. The car will get new sheet metal for the 2006 model year.