The Cadillac CTS Sedan returns for 2015 with enhancements that build on the package of engaging performance, elevated luxury and sophisticated technology that helped make it the 2014 Motor Trend Car of the Year.
Indeed, with its striking design and lightweight, rear-wheel-drive-based architecture – offered with three powertrains – the CTS stands out among the world’s best midsize sedans with a distinctive, satisfying blend of luxury and sport. It is lighter than its primary competitors, enabling the most agile driving dynamics in the class, and its range of power-dense powertrains underpin its performance, including Cadillac’s Twin-Turbo engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.
Inside, a roomy, driver-centric cockpit interior with integrated technology and hand-crafted appointments complements the exterior and supports the CTS sedan’s driving experience. Eight interior environments are offered, each trimmed with authentic wood, carbon fiber or aluminum. Leather seating is available, including available full semi-aniline leather, with hand-crafted, cut-and-sewn executions.
The 2015 CTS lineup is offered in well-equipped standard models, as well as Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections – and Vsport, which features the twin-turbo/eight-speed transmission combination as its exclusive powertrain. It helps the CTS Vsport reach 60 mph in an estimated 4.4 seconds and achieve an estimated top speed of 172 mph (277 kph).
New OnStar with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, as well as enhanced features for Cadillac CUE, bring greater connectivity and convenience to CTS drivers and passengers.
CTS design and exterior features
Linear elements, including an uninterrupted feature line that runs from the headlamps to the taillamps, emphasize the CTS’s long, lean proportion and contribute three-dimensional qualities to its surface. The sense of flow over the CTS sedan is furthered, too, with a “trapped” hood design – surrounded completely by sheet metal – that eliminates the forward cut lines between the grille and headlamps.
Cadillac’s signature bold vertical lighting elements – including LED front signature lighting details – evolve with headlamps that flow up and with the hood line. The headlamp housings incorporate crystalline LED light guides in the upper and lower forward corners, bringing uniform white illumination without hot spots and serving as the daytime running lamps.
Projector-beam halogen headlamps are standard and high-intensity discharge headlamps with Adaptive Forward Lighting System are available.
At the rear, first-, second- and third-order bezel elements within the taillamp housings offer a distinctive rear signature for the CTS when illuminated. LED lights within crystalline blade structures ensure a crisp, uniform appearance and the Cadillac script is etched in the upper illumination blade.
Additional exterior features include:
- Revised grille design with new Cadillac crest for 2015; Galvano chrome finish on base model grille and black chrome finish on Vsport grille
- Active aero grille shutters standard on base, Luxury and Performance Collections (not included when Driver Assist package is selected on Performance Collection; not included on Vsport)
- Available illuminating door handles with Galvano polished aluminum finish
- Rainsense automatic windshield wipers included with Driver Awareness package
- Seamless Galvano aluminum trim around the side windows that reinforces CTS’s craftsmanship with the “line weighting” of an artist’s pencil – it’s thicker in some areas and thinner in others to emphasize different proportions
- Chevron-shaped center high-mounted stop lamp is inset in the leading edge of the trunk lid for a more elegant, integrated appearance
- Through-fascia trapezoidal exhaust ports are accented with chrome trim
- Seventeen-inch wheels are standard, with 18- and 19-inch wheels available.
Ten exterior colors are offered: Dark Adriatic Blue Metallic (new), Crystal White Tricoat (new), Red Obsession Tintcoat, Phantom Grey Metallic, Majestic Plum Metallic, Radiant Silver Metallic, Black Raven, Black Diamond Tricoat, Opulent Blue Metallic and Silver Coast Metallic.
CTS interior design and features
The CTS’s roomy, driver-centric cockpit interior blends technology and hand-crafted appointments to support the driving experience. It’s an intuitive and connected cabin, with asymmetrical features that focus the controls and displays on the driver – reinforced with authentic materials and refined amenities to give it character that is distinctive in the segment.
An industry-exclusive, one-piece wrapped upper instrument panel flows from the base of the windshield down to the base of the center stack, while the “brow” over the instrument cluster reaches across the center stack, exemplifying the asymmetrical cues. The center stack and the wider center console that blends with it are designed around Cadillac’s CUE connectivity and controls system, which features a high-resolution eight-inch touch screen.
In front of the driver, a blend of analog gauges and a 5.7-inch driver information center display is standard, while other models feature a 12.3-inch color reconfigurable screen with four levels of information displays: simple, balanced, performance or enhanced.
Eight distinctive interior environments – including six two-tone combinations – are offered, each trimmed with authentic wood, carbon fiber or aluminum. Leather seating is available, including available full semi-aniline, with hand-crafted, cut-and-sewn executions. The range of interior environments reflects the ambience of customers’ driving experiences, from relaxed touring to serious performance.
Interior color and trim choices include:
- Light Platinum with Jet Black accents
- Jet Black with Jet Black accents
- Twilight Blue with Jet Black accents
- Light Cashmere with Medium Cashmere accents
- Jet Black with Morello Red accents
- Kona Brown with Jet Black accents.
CTS sedan also offers full-leather, 20-way adjustable front seats, which includes 14 power-assisted adjustments, a manual cushion length extension and four-way manual headrests. The 20-way full-leather seats are available, with 16-way adjustable seats standard with leather seats. The CTS’s standard seats feature 14-way adjustment and all seats were designed to deliver segment-leading comfort and craftsmanship. Heated and ventilated front seats are standard with leather seating and rear heated seats are available.
Additional interior features include:
- Heated and ventilated front seats with leather seating surfaces and heated steering wheel
- Hand-wrapped and motorized cup holder lid in the center console that operates with a light touch, much like inserting a disc into a DVD player
- Adaptive remote start feature that also activates the climate control system
- Electrically actuated and locking glove box – with LED lighting and two tiers of storage – leads a list of multiple storage compartments that also includes a compartmentalized storage area in the center console, lit map pockets in all doors and a hidden storage area behind an articulating climate control/radio control panel
- Storage under the center armrest includes auxiliary power points, including SD card, auxiliary jack and USB ports
- Available indirect LED ambient lighting in the instrument panel, door panels, foot wells, door map pockets, various storage locations and the front door sills – where the Cadillac script is illuminated
- Available tri-zone climate system includes vents in the rear of the center console for greater rear-seat comfort
- Available manual rear door shades and power-operated rear window shade
- Electronic park brake
- Standard Bose eleven-speaker sound system and available Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system with 13 speakers.
The CTS Sedan offers Automatic Parking Assist, which enables the car to park itself in parallel and – new for 2015 – perpendicular spaces. It uses ultrasonic sensors to locate a suitable space and maneuver the car into the space, with the driver only required to select the gear and apply the accelerator and brake pedals. Ultrasonic rear park assist is standard.
Cadillac CUE and new OnStar 4G LTE
Cadillac CUE is the centerpiece of the CTS’s comprehensive collection of technologies designed to enhance the driving experience and complement customers’ increasingly connected lifestyles. It is standard on all models and collections, with features including new Text Message Alerts. With a compatible smartphone with Bluetooth profile (M.A.P.), you can listen to important texts and respond with a preset message. It enables voice-controlled connectivity to help keep phones in pockets and hands on the wheel.
The new, available Cadillac DockSpot magnetic inductive charging system is a wireless phone charger that allows users to simply place their phone on a small mat in the CTS, where it charges without the need to plug it in.
The heart of CUE is the eight-inch LCD multi-touch sensitive screen, integrated into the top of the central instrument panel and featuring a motorized, fully capacitive faceplate at the bottom concealing a 1.8L storage area. CUE’s vibrant LCD screen resembles a smartphone’s screen, with large, easy-to-target icons to execute commands. A navigation system is also available with the standard model and Luxury Collection; it is standard with the Performance and Premium Collections and Vsport models.
Complementing CUE to enhance the CTS’s connectivity is new OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. It provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial.
4G LTE is the most current and fastest mobile data network – 10 times faster than 3G and 100 times faster than the previous generation of OnStar hardware. And with OnStar, it also offers stronger, broader coverage than smartphones on the same network and it’s easy to use: If the vehicle is on, the connection is on.
At the time of purchase, one year of OnStar Directions and Connections includes all of OnStar’s advisor-based safety and security features, including Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Assistance, as well as Turn-by-Turn navigation.
Five years of OnStar Basic Plan includes RemoteLink Key Fob Services, allowing owners to remotely start and lock/unlock a car (if properly equipped), and activate the horn and lights from anywhere with a data connection. It also includes OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics, which runs monthly checks of a vehicle’s engine, transmission, anti-lock brakes and more, and Dealer Maintenance Notification, which sends a diagnostic report directly to a preferred dealer, simplifying service scheduling.
The engine lineup starts with a standard 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder and an available 3.6L V-6. The Vsport is powered by the exclusive Cadillac Twin-Turbo engine and eight-speed automatic transmission powertrain combination. The eight-speed automatic is also paired with 3.6L/RWD models.
The CTS’s award-winning 2.0L Turbo is rated at 272 horsepower (203 kW) and 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm), while the 3.6L V-6 is rated at 321 horsepower (239 kW) and 275 lb-ft of torque (373 Nm). Each features direct injection and dual overhead camshafts with continuously variable valve timing, which help optimize power and efficiency, as well as reduce emissions.
At 136hp/L, the 2.0L Turbo is one of the most power-dense engines in the industry, delivering 90 percent of its peak torque from 2100 rpm to 5400 rpm and the full 295 lb-ft of peak torque (400 Nm) from 3000 to 4600 rpm. The broad torque band is supported by boost levels as high as 18 psi (1.26 bar) in the speed range, which is designed to give the lightweight CTS an exhilarating feeling of immediate power on demand.
The CTS Vsport’s Twin-Turbo V-6 is the most power-dense six-cylinder engine in the midsize luxury segment – a 3.6L with 118 horsepower per liter (88 kW/liter) – and the eight-speed automatic enhances fuel economy and acceleration over a six-speed automatic.
Rated at an SAE-certified 420 horsepower (313 kW) and 430 lb-ft of torque (583 Nm), it is also the most powerful V-6 ever from General Motors. A pair of smaller turbochargers and an efficient charge air cooler help provide immediate power delivery. Additionally, approximately 90 percent of the Twin-Turbo’s peak torque is available from 2,500 rpm to 5,500 rpm, giving the engine a broad torque curve that customers will feel as strong, willing power in almost all driving conditions, such as accelerating or overtaking traffic on the highway.
The engine is a comprehensive upgrade on the 60-degree, 3.6L DOHC V-6 offered in the SRX, XTS and ATS. However, almost every component is unique, including:
- All-new cylinder block casting
- All-new cylinder head castings
- Strengthened connecting rods
- Machined, domed aluminum pistons with top steel ring carrier for greater strength
- 10.2:1 compression ratio
- Patented, integrated charge air cooler system with low-volume air ducts
- Two turbochargers produce more than 12 pounds of boost (80 kPa)
- Vacuum-actuated wastegates with electronic control valves
- All-new direct injection fuel system
- Tuned air inlet and outlet resonators, aluminum cam covers and other features that contribute to exceptional quietness and smoothness.
CTS driving experience
Excellent power-to-weight ratios and racetrack-honed suspension geometries established with the development of the ATS enabled engineers to advance CTS’s performance with greater feelings of feedback, control and response. The comparatively low curb weight helps make the most of the driving experience by allowing the use of lighter-weight chassis components, which reduces unsprung weight to enable more precise handling without compromising ride quality.
The CTS sedan’s low mass and optimal brake sizes give it braking performance that is among the best in the segment, with standard Brembo front brakes.
Suspension and driver control highlights also include:
- Multi-link MacPherson strut front suspension with a double-pivot design
- Five-link independent rear suspension
- Available all-wheel-drive
- Premium electric, variable-assist power steering gear from ZF Steering Systems
- Available Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping system
- Choice of 17-, 18- and 19-inch aluminum wheels.
A number of aluminum components are used with the suspension system, while the rear suspension is mostly steel. That helps offset the weight of the engine and transmission at the front of the vehicle, helping the CTS deliver its near-perfect weight balance and reducing noise and vibration.
Additionally, CTS’s all-wheel-drive system – available with the 2.0L Turbo and 3.6L V-6 – is designed to make the most of handling and stability in all driving conditions. It is an advanced, fully automatic and on-demand system that includes wheel-slip management.
The performance-oriented, rear-drive-only Vsport takes the CTS driving experience to a higher level, with these unique features:
- Eighteen-inch aluminum wheels with Pirelli summer-only performance tires
- Sport-tuned suspension with enhanced spring rates and stabilizer bars
- One-inch-wider rear wheels with P275/35R18 tires
- A quicker steering ratio with sport-tuned steering efforts and response
- Brembo disc brakes with aluminum calipers and available high-performance brake pads
- Heavy-duty track cooling package
- Driver-selectable track mode with specific throttle progression and Magnetic Ride Control calibrations for track driving
- Electronic limited-slip differential that enhances capability on the track – including optimal acceleration out of turns.
The Cadillac Twin-Turbo is paired with a high-performance, paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission that offers efficiency and performance advantages over a six-speed transmission – including 1.5-percent greater fuel economy.
The paddle-shift eight-speed delivers smooth, quick shift performance – as quick as 0.3-second on wide-open-throttle upshifts – with the quietness, smoothness and refinement Cadillac customers expect. Smaller gear steps – closer ratios – support world-class performance, with quicker, more imperceptible shifting.
CTS safety features
The CTS offers advanced safety based on Cadillac’s “control and alert” strategy that employs advanced technologies – including radar, cameras and ultrasonic sensors – to help prevent crashes. The safety features bolster driver vision and awareness of road hazards, and can even assist to help the driver avert potential crashes.
Among the most sophisticated of the features is front and rear automatic braking, which automatically applies the brakes in potential collision situations to help reduce damage or help avoid a collision with vehicles directly in front or behind.
Many of the advanced safety features are bundled in the Driver Awareness and Driver Assist Packages. The Driver Awareness package is standard with Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections, as well as Vsport. It includes:
- Safety alert seat
- Side blind zone alert
- Lane change alert
- Lane keep assist
- Lane departure warning
- Forward collision alert
- Rear cross traffic alert
- Rear-vision camera system
- Intellibeam® high-beam control
- Rainsense wipers.
The Driver Assist package is available on Performance and included on Premium Collections (include Vsport Premium) and includes all of the Driver Awareness package content, plus:
- Full-speed-range adaptive cruise control
- Automatic safety belt tightening
- Front and rear automatic braking.
The advanced technologies complement the CTS’s other safety features, including 10 standard air bags, safety belt pretensioners and load limiters, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with full-function traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel ABS, patented DuraLife FNC-treated brake rotors and auto-dry brake functionality.