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Cadillac CTS Coupe

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On: Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 11:29AM | By: Chuck Arehart

Cadillac CTS Coupe

A funny thing about auto shows is that some of what a manufacturer displays as "concept" is obviously going to be built. Such was the case with the Cadillac CTS coupe originally unveiled at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. The CTS coupe on display appeared as if it could have been driven off the floor and into your driveway, a no-brainer to receive a green light from GM management.

Fast forward to 2011 when a CTS Coupe arrived in my driveway for review. The GM design team hit another home run by adapting the CTS sedan to coupe form. An array of angular lines define and shape the coupe as unique and almost private. The slope of the backlight is at just the right angle and the tail lamps protrude just enough to evoke a hint of Cadillac styling from the '50s. Center-mounted tail pipes and a vertical crease in the decklid are details that definitely impress.

True to coupes derived from sedans, the doors are larger than the front doors of the CTS four-door sibling, but are not unruly or overweight. Exterior door handles are replaced with the technology of touch pad activation and further clean up the overall design. However, it made me wonder if the opening mechanism has enough force to overcome the ice from an overnight winter storm.

Subtracting two doors and shortening the wheelbase creates a feeling of intimacy inside. You'd rather meet a couple at the restaurant for dinner instead of having them ride along, even if they lived next door. Yet, if you are the designated driver, they'll be comfortable sitting in the back as long as they are Mr. and Mrs. Short. Another coupe trait possessed by the CTS is a rear seat compromised for space. Oddly, the driver's seat feels flat and less supportive than that of a Chevy Cruze ECO.

Power comes from the same 3.6 liter V6 engine found in the CTS sedan that delivers 304 hp and the test car was equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. Cadillac hasn't forgotten performance car shoppers that don't want to make the jump to the CTS-V models by providing a 6-speed manual transmission with a dual-mass flywheel as standard equipment. A note to 2012 model year shoppers: the engine increases 14 horsepower and drops 20 pounds to increase performance and efficiency. The test car's powertrain was smooth with quick power delivery, provided a muted though distinct performance exhaust note and delivered 23 mpg in overall driving.

While the CTS coupe steers with accuracy, there is a feeling of being disconnected. Overall, there is a once-removed sensation from the driving experience. The filtered response is strange considering the stream of recent GM products that make the driver an integrated part of the vehicle. You simply don't feel what the CTS is doing as well as you do in other vehicles. The 19-inch summer tire performance package ($2090) adds stickier tires and more aggressive brakes that deliver sharp handling.

For a base sticker price of $42,605,the CTS coupe includes amenities such as HID headlamps with adaptive function, remote/keyless start, heated seats, Bose sound system with a 40GB hard drive, and the usual barrage of airbags. The performance luxury and navigation package adds major equipment that includes a nav system, rear camera, cooled seats, and heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescope function for an extra $4,020.

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AutoHistory | 6:21PM (Mon, Sep 19, 2011)

To expensive! Coupes always drive me crazy with pricing. More money for less car. :-/

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