Seeing the import brands gaining ground in the near-luxury category, Cadillac made a countering move in 1997 with a repackaged rear-drive Opel known as the Catera. In making the transition to Cadillac, engineers added weight to the European-built sedan in the form of features and sound deadening, damping the performance of the modest V-6. Wrapped in dull sheetmetal, the Catera struggled along, never quite fulfilling the brand's hope to stake an American flag in the growing segment. A new strategy was used for the Catera's replacement model. The CTS was built Stateside off an all-new rear-drive platform named Sigma, which would underpin other Cadillac models to follow.
The car also introduced the razor-edged "Art & Design" styling that would be spread across the Cadillac portfolio in the ensuing years. The CTS' explosive launch party was conducted on the big screen in the 2003 film "The Matrix Reloaded," illustrating that things were changing at GM's premium domestic brand. With the 2004 addition of the high-performance 400-hp CTS-V, Cadillac has grounded itself as a major player in this red-hot segment.
The stealth-aircraft-inspired styling of the CTS is a blend of both forward-thinking design and traditional Cadillac style. The vertical lights, fore and aft, harken back to mid-Sixties models, yet the headlamps are truly modern, with a projector-beam type construction.... Read full article