With competition from the likes of the BMW 5-Series, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and the Audi A6, it’s clear that Cadillac faced an uphill battle when they brought the CTS into the midsized sport sedan fray back in 2002. Since then we’ve seen the CTS-V best the Germans on their own turf with a record-setting Nurburgring lap time and a steady series of tweaks and refinements as the car matured but, performance notwithstanding, there’s always been a sense that while the CTS made for a great midsized sports sedan, it still existed a step or two below its European rivals as an overall package. Last year marked the debut of the all-new third generation CTS, which brought with it a striking new design, a longer wheelbase, a lower roofline, and debut of the Vsport trim level which slots between the base model and the as-yet unannounced CTS-V. Even a brief glance at the new car made it clear that Cadillac was in it to win it with the new CTS, but with the firm foothold of the established players in the segment, would it be enough? We spent a week with the CTS Vsport to find out.
GM has had its sights set squarely on its German counterparts for a while now, and the next step in their plan of attack involves bringing their newest bag of tricks to the hotly contested battleground of compact sports coupes. To that end, at this year’s Detroit Auto Show Cadillac rolled out the ATS Coupe, a car designed to go to toe with the likes of the BMW 4-Series and the Mercedes Benz C-Class. If the specification sheet is any indicator of what to expect from the new diminutive Caddy, the Europeans would be wise to take notice of what’s in store from The General.
One of my earliest automotive memories is of my father’s 1986 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. As a wee lad, I remember a car that was seemingly endless in size, power and presence. Awash in leather and chrome, this was clearly a vehicle whose main mission in life was to announce to the world that the owner had arrived – both literally and figuratively. As the current flagship model of the Cadillac brand, in many ways the XTS is the spiritual successor to that Fleetwood. But where the Fleetwood had a more or less singular design goal from the onset, the XTS Vsport is asked to do a number of things well – some of which are intrinsically opposed to one another.