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Potency Without Sacrifice: 2012 CTS Revealed

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On: Wed, Apr 20, 2011 at 9:46AM | By: Chris Salamone

Potency Without Sacrifice: 2012 CTS Revealed

Aside from living in San Diego, nothing says classy like driving a Cadillac. For 2012, Cadillac is making moderate changes to the CTS intended to boost horsepower and general cosmetics. A new grille showcases premium finishes with mesh and frame, and, of course, boasts the robust Cadillac Wreath & Crest logo.

The 2012 CTS will also feature a Touring Package which incorporates an exclusive Touring grille with a darker finish, larger wheels, metal petals, and dark wood and suede interior accents. But the critical feature of the 2012 CTS updates is the new 3.6L V-6 which is lighter and more efficient. Although fuel economy remains the same… horsepower goes up. That’s what we call a win-win.

Next year’s engine provides an SAE-certified 318 horsepower and 275 lbs. of torque, relative to 2011’s 304 horsepower and 273 lbs. of torque, and EPA fuel economy is estimated to equal previous years at 18 city/27 highway mpg. The engine improvements will carry through to all three CTS models: sport sedan, wagon, and coupe. However, official pricing is not yet available. GM’s recent press release suggests that dollar signs will be announced closer to the start of production.

In addition to engine modifications, the CTS’s front grille has been redesigned with a particular focus on highlighting an intricate frame and mesh combination. The distinctive Cadillac logo also received a face lift with sharper colors and raised ridges, apparently causing a three-dimensional quality—no movie glasses required.

In the past the CTS has appeared on Car and Driver’s 10 Best List, Popular Mechanics’ Auto Excellence Awards, and Automobile Magazine’s All-Stars List. The 2012 CTS aims to continue forward with similar success by accentuating the details of the current design while improving performance. Don Butler, vice president of Cadillac marketing, recently stated that “the changes for the 2012 model year give customers a fresh take on the CTS’s bold front grille and provide enhanced driving performance without sacrificing fuel economy.”

Engine statistics support Butler’s claims. The new CTS engine offers more horsepower and torque than comparable V6s in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Lexus S350. GM engineers were able to make these improvements by reducing weight, using larger intake valves, and enhancing the intake port design which allows air to flow through the engine more efficiently.

Also new to 2012 is the Touring Package which has an exclusive dark finish grille, dark Sapele wood trim and suede accents throughout the interior. The 3.6L version will have superior 19-inch polished wheels and Recaro 14-way adjustable performance seats, compared to the 3.0L which merely offers 18-inch wheels.

Considering the previously disastrous Cadillac Catera, the CTS is considered to be a world-class luxury sports car and the new 2012 model should only add to the CTS’s reputation. Next year’s updates are thoughtful, fun, and look nice on paper. Hopefully 2012 pricing will follow suit.

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