2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe Day 2

This week I’m testing a 2011 Cadillac CTS Performance Coupe provide by Crest Cadillac of Plano.

You can find my short summary after pickup here.

Cadillac CTS Coupe Console

Cadillac CTS Coupe Console

The test car is a Cadillac CTS Performance Coupe with the luxury and navigation package, so it has all the extras and the pop-up nav system.  I prefer a couple of stations on XM radio, including Watercolors Jazz (71); I was pleased to find that the test car had XM turned on, so that I could enjoy my music during the test.  Thanks XM!

For my next Cadillac I am shopping for a 2010 Cadillac CTS Sedan — the 4-door version of the CTS as opposed to the test model, which is the 2-door Coupe.  The Coupe has some beautiful styling touches, and I only *need* 2 doors most days.  So a Coupe could fit for my current empty nest lifestyle.  However, the Coupe started production in 2011, and the budget I care to spend on my next Cadillac only stretches to a 2010 model.

So how does the CTS Coupe drive in real life?  It is a marvelous car.  Beautiful, stylish exterior, with plentiful acceleration, and an amazing 6 speed automatic.  My 2005 CTS has a Corsa aftermarket exhaust, and so is louder, but the new CTS is much more refined in general as well.  I would prefer a bit more exhaust note, but I appreciate the work Cadillac has done in refining noise, vibration, and harshness.

The 304 hp LLT 3.6L V6 is an ideal power-plant for this car especially if you are the one buying the gas.  Now, that said, I do recall that during my CTS-V test drive I wrote that any gas that car needed served its purpose, due to the high level of fun the V generates.   At my house the difference between a Sedan budget and a V budget is significant, so I’m focused on the sedan or coupe.  If the V ever comes within reach, then I’ll figure out how to pay for the gas too perhaps.

The view out the back of the Coupe is supplemented by a rear-view camera that displays on the navigation system screen.  I find that this is useful for an initial review of what is behind the Coupe before moving, but then prefer to look directly out the back window while backing.  The Rear quarter windows are smaller in the Coupe, and I have to lean forward to peer to the rear quarters, but that is probably a familiarity thing that would become natural with use.

The CTS Coupe makes a perfectly delightful daily driver.  I love the Crystal Red Tint-coat on this car and highly recommend it.


I have met the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

Cadillac’s Nick Twork was on his way through Dallas from Detroit in a new, pre-production 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe and was nice enough to slow down and spend some one-on-one time with CaddyInfo.com.  Here is a photo of me and the V-Coupe; looks like we would be a good match!

Bruce Nunnally of CaddyInfo.com and the soon to be released Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

I like to think *I* look better in person than in photos, but the CTS-V Coupe DEFINITELY fits that description. In photos the rear of the Coupe especially seems very tall vertically, but in person it seems very well proportioned.

This example has the CTS Coupe specific Saffron interior, which is a two-tone yellow and black interior.  It looks very good in person.

There is a button on the top of the back of the passenger seat that makes it easy to electrically move the passenger seat forward to make space to climb into the back seat.   Once seated, the back seats are comfortable but have reduced head room compared to the CTS Sedan.  If you need rear seats and frequently have people in them, you should really get the Sedan instead.  If you really love the look of the CTS Coupe and want a 2-door but need back seats occasionally, welcome to the Cadillac CTS Coupe.

Rear Seat Access requires some flexibility

The back seat is also well detailed once you get into it (I climbed right in back for a size check).  There is plenty of leg room.  Because there are no rear door grab handles in the Coupe, it has trick pop-down hooks for hanging a suit jacket or other garment on either side.   These are a very nice touch.  The detailing of the rear seating area is very attractive.

The View from the Rear Seat of the CTS-V Coupe

Beneath the skin, the CTS-V Coupe has all the super car gear from the CTS-V Sedan — 556 hp Supercharged 6.2L V8, MR suspension, Brembo brakes, the whole package.

Outside, the CTS-V Coupe is a rolling work of art.

2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Rear

There is a group of Cadillac Buyers who want the room of a full-size, four-seat Cadillac, but who also insist on two-doors.   To some people that is a hallmark of a personal luxury car — the space of the Sedan, with the personal convenience and style of the Coupe.  I am glad that Cadillac is making this car and I hope that they sell a lot of them.

2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Rear

With storms along the way, Nick’s travel time became harder to predict.  When he called to link up, I was out sitting by the pool at a friend’s house, so after we met I headed back to enjoy the tranquility of the afternoon.

Relaxing by the Pool

Cadillac CTS Coupe options mirror how I would market the CTS Sedan

I like the way Cadillac plans to equip and market the new Cadillac CTS Coupe and CTS-V Couple.  The two will arrive in Cadillac show rooms this summer.

Where the CTS Sedan is offered with 3L V6 as the base model, and 3.6L V6 in the Premium or Performance models, the CTS Coupe comes only with the 3.6L in Performance or Premium, and then the CTS-V model.  One can select rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive in either Performance or Premium.

I appreciate that Cadillac wants a range for the CTS, but the 3.0L offers NO appreciable fuel economy difference, and must cost Cadillac the same amount to manufacture as the 3.6L.  I would prefer to see the CTS drop the 3L altogether, and offer the 3.6L throughout the range.  This would simplify the CTS Sedan order book to match the CTS Coupe selections.

For suspension options the CTS coupe offers the FE2 “Suspension, Sport”, with 18″ wheels, or the FE3 “Suspension, Performance” suspension tune, with 19″ wheels.  Both are good selections.  The CTS-V Coupe of course will get the FE4 “Suspension, Performance, with MR”, with 19″ wheels.  The MR suspension of course is a world-class magnetic suspension that is ideal in almost any application.

I wondered if we might see a bit more hp from Powertrain for the CTS Coupe.  But the engine outputs showing so far are identical to previous models:

  • CTS Coupe Engine, 3.6L Variable Valve Timing V6 DI Direct Injection (304 hp [226.7 kW] @ 6400 rpm, 273 lb-ft of torque [368.6 N-m] @ 5200 rpm)
  • CTS-V Coupe Engine, 6.2L supercharged V8 (556 hp [414.6 kW] @ 6100 rpm, 551 lb-ft of torque [734.9 N-m] @ 3800 rpm)

All CTS Coupe models will come with limited slip differential.  The CTS Coupe will receive a slightly more aggressive final drive ratio, which should improve acceleration.

Cadillac has not yet announced the CTS Coupe pricing, but one can expect it to be above the CTS Sedan 3.6L Performance Model at $43K and CTS Sedan Permium Model  at $49K.  I of course recommend that Cadillac re-price the entire line, dropping the 3L option for the Sedan and holding prices across the Sedan to $35K-45K.  I would also price the Coupe in the $40K-45K range, but I suspect that Cadillac will price it in the $48K-55K range, filling the gap between the CTS 3.6L Premium Sedan at $49K and the CTS-V Sedan at $62K.