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CTS Sport Wagon: Cadillac's Renaissance Takes A New Form


21st August, 2008

2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon
Image: Copyright General Motors Corp (used by Next Car Pty Ltd with permission)

Amidst the beauty and history of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California, USA, Cadillac treated car enthusiasts to a world premiere of its latest production car design. The 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon made its debut last weekend on the Monterey Peninsula, showcasing a dramatic design that elevates and updates the classic wagon body style.

Not unlike other historic Cadillac designs, the new CTS Sport Wagon has an unmistakable and dynamic presence. The car’s intricately cut rear profile injects fashion-forward design into the formerly utilitarian world of wagons. Cadillac’s upcoming wagon offers ample interior space and includes a range of six-cylinder engine choices, making it a compelling alternative to larger utility vehicles.

Based on the Cadillac CTS sport sedan and a 'sister' vehicle to the CTS Coupe Concept, the Sport Wagon extends the design-driven renaissance of Cadillac. Following this special premiere at Pebble Beach (California), the CTS Sport Wagon moves to the worldwide motor show circuit later this year – and into Cadillac dealerships in mid-2009.

“The addition of this dramatically-designed Sport Wagon is well synchronised with today’s changing consumer tastes as a compelling alternative to SUVs or other larger vehicles,” says Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager. “This is an important step in Cadillac’s ongoing global expansion and, of course, in international markets like Europe, wagons have been and continue to be very significant.”

A striking profile is provided with the CTS wagon, with a silhouette that suggests speed and aerodynamic efficiency. It rides on the same 113.4 inch (2,880 mm) wheelbase as the CTS sport sedan and is 0.3 inch (7 mm) shorter. However, it offers a generous cargo area of 25 cubic feet (720 litres) behind the rear seats. Design highlights include:

  • Large, vertical tail lamps with light-pipe technology
  • Power-opening lift gate (via key fob or in-vehicle button)
  • CHMSL integrated in subtle roof spoiler
  • Integrated roof load management system with cross bars for a seamless appearance
  • Cargo management system with adjustable in-floor containment
  • New 19-inch wheels
  • Larger panoramic rear sunroof (optional)

The CTS Sport Wagon, like its sedan predecessor, includes optional features such as all-wheel drive, a 40-gigabyte internal hard drive, pop-up navigation screen and a hand-cut-and-sewn interior with Sapele wood accents.

“The CTS Sport Wagon is an important expansion to the Cadillac line-up worldwide,” said Taylor.

Design details

Dramatic planes highlight the CTS wagon’s design, including a V-shaped motif carried throughout the vehicle and carefully integrated intersections of exterior surfaces. The elements coalesce in a dramatic fashion, providing tension that emphasises the vehicle’s performance.

“It’s a taut design that not only suggests sleekness, but delivers it,” said Clay Dean, global design director for Cadillac. “Indeed, the drama of the sedan is amplified in the CTS Sport Wagon, as the centerline cue that is part of the exterior and interior is more prominent and plays a stronger role in defining the design at the rear of the vehicle.”

The emotion of the CTS Sport Wagon’s design is carried by a number of nuanced details. The lift gate area, for example, is a confluence of angles and planes that typifies the vehicle’s design tension. Cadillac’s “V” motif is most prominent here, culminating in a spine at the centre of the lift gate that is accented with a subtle spoiler at the top of the backlight. The rear quarter panels extend slightly beyond the inward-angled planes of the V, providing a distinctive W shape at the rear of the vehicle. Large, prominent vertical tail lamps – with Cadillac’s signature light pipe technology – are the final, dramatic touches to the rear-end styling.

“The more you study the rear of the CTS Sport Wagon, the more you see,” said Dean. “Functionality was certainly a guiding factor during development, but so was the idea to inject emotion into the normally sedate wagon category.”

One of the more interesting integrations of form and function is found in the seamless roof load management system. Rather than stylised stanchions, brackets and cross bars that protrude above the roof line, the CTS Sport Wagon’s system blends with the roofline, maintaining an uninterrupted appearance. The centre section of the roof panel angles downward inside the roof edges, allowing an unobtrusive placement of the cross bars – and providing a subtle fin effect at the trailing edges of the rear panels.

“They’re not fins in the classic sense, but they work to help disguise the cargo load system and, yes, they acknowledge Cadillac’s design heritage,” said Dean.

The interior of the Sport Wagon is common with the sedan, including streamlined instrumentation, LED lighting and hand-cut-and-sewn accents with French stitching.


Direct injection technology helps the CTS offer more power while maintaining fuel economy and lowering emissions. It delivers fuel more precisely to increase the efficiency of combustion. This means less fuel is consumed and lower emissions formed.

With the CTS Sport Wagon’s 3.6L V-6, direct injection translates to 304 horsepower (227 kW)*, no loss of fuel efficiency and a 25 per cent drop in cold-start hydrocarbon emissions. It also runs on less expensive regular unleaded petrol. The standard 3.6L VVT engine that produces 263 horsepower (196 kW) and 253 lb.-ft. of torque (343 Nm) serves as the base engine in North America.

Just like the CTS sport sedan, the V-6 engines are matched with fuel-saving six-speed transmissions, including an Aisin six speed manual or an electronically controlled Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic. As is the case on the sport sedan, CTS Sport Wagon includes AWD as an option.

An efficient 2.9L turbo-diesel engine is being developed for CTS models primarily in European and Asian markets. It is a compact, dual overhead cam, four-valve V-6 engine from GM’s 'family' of diesel engines that delivers optimal fuel economy as well as reduced emissions and noise. The engine is rated at 184 kW (250 hp).

Driving dynamics

The robust and dynamic CTS chassis infuses the new wagon with a great balance of performance and luxury. It uses an independent short/long arm (SLA) front suspension system and a multi-link rear suspension.

The multi-link rear suspension features a fully isolated subframe that helps deliver excellent suspension kinematics, contributing to a superior ride and excellent handling.

Advanced chassis technology in the form of Cadillac’s StabiliTrak electronic chassis control system integrates the car’s standard four-channel ABS with the full-function traction control, hydraulic brake assist and engine drag control systems to deliver a safer, more confident driving experience. Additional chassis details include a structure-enhancing tower-to-tower brace under the bonnet; large, four-wheel disc brakes and premium steering.


Vehicle type:

four-door, five-passenger rear-wheel-drive/all-wheel-drive wagon

Wheelbase (in/mm):


Length (in/mm):


Width (in/mm):


Height (in/mm):


Track (in/mm):

61.8/1,570 (front); 62/1,575 (rear)


3.6L VVT V-6 (263 hp/196 kW) 3.6L V-6 VVT DI (304 hp/227 kW)


Aisin six-speed manual or Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic


four-wheel independent: MacPherson strut front; multilink rear, progressive rate coil springs, monotube shock absorbers


variable-assist rack-and-pinion


four-wheel disc; aluminium or iron dual-piston front calipers; aluminium or iron single-piston rear calipers


17-inch, 18-inch or 19-inch aluminium

EPA luggage capacity (cu ft/L):

25/720 (behind rear seats)

EPA total volume (cu ft/L):


Local Availability

Numerous Cadillac models will be released later this year in Australia. Although specific models have not yet been confirmed, it is safe to assume all right hand drive Cadillac models will be available in Australia in time.

Other Cadillac content: here.

Other General Motors content: here.

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