In the 90s when Cadillac was marketing the Cadillac Seville STS alongside the Cadillac Eldorado ETC, magazines at the time would often compare/contrast the two. Besides the obvious fact that the STS had 4 doors and the ETC had 2 doors, they also were targeted at somewhat different audiences.
The ETC was viewed as a classically American personal luxury vehicle. It had more American touches — more chrome, more color.
The STS was described as a more European luxury vehicle. Less chrome, more mono-color design cues, more muted styling.
When you look at the Cadillac CTS of today, it uses a variety of chrome accents — on the door handles, the seat back, the trunk — to recall the classic Cadillacs of yesterday. Certainly it has unusual, look at me styling. The first generation CTS styling was inspired by the Stealth Fighter (F-117 Nighthawk). That aircraft had sharp creases and angled surfaces as a way to minimize radar cross-section. The current, second generation CTS is an evolution of the original design, merging in elements of the Cadillac Sixteen look and styling.
I don’t think anyone would claim the Cadillac CTS is not ‘American’ enough. I think it instantly suggests to most knowledgeable viewers visually that it is an American car. Certainly in the V-Series you also get the classic American approach to muscle — there is no replacement for displacement. With the LSA Supercharged 6.2L V8 making 556 hp it is hard to argue with the ‘too much is just enough’ approach to power plants. In today’s market however, the base 3L V6 with 270 hp and the Performance/Premium CTS with 304 hp seem well heeled, until you consider the competition. Many of the competitors in this market sport 330 hp – 385 hp powerplants with similar fuel economy to the CTS V6 Sedans.
Clearly it is time for Cadillac to task GM Powertrain to step up their game. Even a 3.6L with the same tuning and efficiency of the current 3.0L V6 would make 324 hp. So I don’t think it is a problem that the engines are not capable. If Cadillac can’t get the power needed from the 3.6L then send in the Supercharged 3.6L, or offer the 6.2L LS3 V8 as an option. The high feature 3.6L V6 likely costs MORE for Cadillac and GM than the LS3 V8 does to produce due to the higher feature set of the V6. So my personal favorite best of both worlds would be to offer the LS3 V8 as a $2K SAVINGS off the current base CTS — a CTS V8 for less money lol.
American Luxury cars — Cadillacs — historically bring MORE power than needed. The current CTS V6 powerplants are adequate. Adequate is not enough in this class. Luxury Performance cars need plentiful power, and Cadillacs should have class-leading horsepower. Bring it, Cadillac!