Cadillac revealed the 2014 CTS sedan at the Rose Theater in New York City on the eve of the New York auto show. Usually home to jazz concerts and other musical performance, the Rose Theater's stage was taken over by three examples of the new, larger CTS. The car fits between the sporty ATS and the bigger XTS, and will compete with large German sedans like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
The 2014 Cadillac CTS is the sort of car that looks much better in person than in photos. On the stage, the car's myriad creases and lines are more cohesive than photos might suggest. The crisp, sharp lines neatly bisect the car's large body panels and create lots of small geometric shapes; there are few solid, flat pieces of metal or plastic. The CTS looks like an extremely long car, in part because its proportions appear to have been stretched from the B-pillar back, with large rear doors and a big trunk. Cadillac parked an ATS next to the new CTS and it was amazing how similar the two cars look. From a distance the only discernible differences are fender design and lighting elements. Up close, the two are more easily distinguishable, especially due to the difference in length.
That extra length results in decent leg- and headroom in the back seat -- more than enough for my five-foot nine-inch frame -- and the CTS is noticeably roomier than the ATS. Up front, the cockpit feels identical to the Cadillac ATS testers we've seen. The CUE touchscreen interface consumes the center stack, while LCD displays supplant traditional instruments. The materials are excellent, and the leather seats feel just as comfortable as those in German luxury sedans. I especially liked the carbon-fiber trim fitted to a silver 2014 CTS.
Cadillac clearly paid attention to the small details on the 2014 CTS. After all, if the CTS is to target the 5 Series and E-Class, it needs to be special enough to attract buyers. The rearview mirror is the same cool, frameless design that we saw on the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro. The rear doors, in addition to the fabric window blinds seen on many luxury cars, also have small blinds for the tiny quarter windows. Both are small touches, but they make the CTS feel a bit more special and luxurious than the old car.
Cadillac also showed off a cutaway of the new twin-turbo V-6 engine that will endow the 2014 CTS with 420 hp. The eight-speed is an Aisin design and will be imported from Japan. The fact that GM has publicly announced plans to build a bespoke, in-house eight-speed automatic in Ohio by 2014, however, signals that this Aisin box will only be used for a few years.