A bunch of new Cadillacs is on the way in 2009.
Three new models--the CTS Sport Wagon, a new SRX and the CTS Coupe -- will launch every few months starting in the first quarter of next year as General Motors' luxury brand looks to reinvigorate and expand its lineup with fresh, eye-catching products.
The Sport Wagon will be the first new Cadillac to hit the market in the spring. It will be shown on the auto show circuit this autumn.
The Sport Wagon's tall taillights give the wagon the look of having fins, reminiscent of the great Cadillacs of yesteryear.
The multipart, vertical light pipes extend from the lower fender all the way to the top of the sloping roof line, giving the car a sleek look. A wagon was not initially part of Cadillac's plans for the CTS cars, but quickly became part of the full lineup.
"This is one of those projects Ed [Welburn, GM design vice president] said if you have the chance, what else would you do?" said Clay Dean, Cadillac design director.
The Sport Wagon also promises utility, with room for five passengers and 25 cubic feet of cargo space. The 3.6-liter engine and interior and front-end sheetmetal are shared with the two other CTS cars, which GM chiefs say allows them to cut costs while broadening the product portfolio. Rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive versions will be available.
It will come with two powerplants, a direct-injection 304-hp V6 with variable valve timing (which also is in the new Chevrolet Camaro) and 263-hp unit. A choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions will offered. It also gets 17-, 18- or new 19-inch wheels.
A V-Series model likely will be available, though the time line for that is unclear.
Other features include a chrome detail on the roof for the utility rack, rear backup camera and dual exhaust. The car will compete against the BMW X5, Mercedes M-class and Audi Q5 and Q7.
Though it looks larger, the Sport Wagon actually is shorter than the CTS sedan. They ride on the same wheelbase.
Cadillac has sporadically sold wagons during its long history and currently sells a BLS wagon in Europe. The Sport Wagon will be a global vehicle, and a 2.9-liter turbo-diesel V6 rated at 250 hp is being developed "primarily" for Europe and Asia.
Admittedly, GM knows there are some pitfalls. The new Cadillac immediately will draw comparisons with the Dodge Magnum, another head-turner that ultimately is being killed off by Chrysler as consumers shift to smaller vehicles.
"If you look backwards to how wagons have done in this country, this is a really dumb idea," said John Howell, Cadillac product director.
Still, GM says the Sport Wagon can capture customers on the other way down--people shifting from large SUVs to smaller, but not completely compact rides.
Cadillac's SRX is a wagon-like vehicle in its current from. When the remade version launches in the second quarter of 2009, it is to be based heavily on the Provoq concept that has made the auto-show rounds this year. That vehicle is more boxy and has an SUV-like appearance, though it will actually be similar in size to the Sport Wagon.
The new SRX will be debut at an auto show later this year and have room for five passengers. Much less is known about this vehicle, but it will hit the market in the middle of the 2009. It will be aimed at a different set of buyers than the Sport Wagon. The SRX is expected to offer front-wheel and all-wheel-drive configurations, Dean said.
"They're really going to target two different people," he said.
The CTS Coupe, shown at the Detroit auto show and publicly green-lighted by CEO Rick Wagoner this summer, is due in the third or fourth quarter of 2009. The new cars come as GM reportedly ponders the future of its larger sedans, the DTS and STS.