Platinum baby! As if it were lacking in previous years, Cadillac has brightened up its lineup for 2008 with more sparkle than ever. And bringing a large portion of that sparkle is the availability of platinum packages on the STS, DTS, and XLR roadster. Platinum-equipped Caddy’s have exclusive paint, extra chrome, and plusher interiors.
More important than the Platinum packages is the debut of the completely redesigned CTS. Looking even better than the previous model (which aged quite gracefully), this new car has a bigger grille and crisp body lines that make most cars look flabby by comparison. Power comes courtesy of two 3.6-liter V-6 engines that make up to 304 hp, available with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Insatiable power addicts will have to wait for the CTS-V model, which arrives sometime next year with huge horsepower. Other goodies include swiveling headlights, voice-activated navigation, park assist, and keyless entry and ignition with remote start capabilities.
Big brother STS was not left out when it came time to go shopping for new clothes for the upcoming year. The most prominent change to the middle child’s appearance is the huge new grille complete with a chrome Cadillac wreath. The STS also gets a 302-hp version of the CTS’s direct-injected V-6 as its new base engine. The supercharged, 469-hp STS-V remains the most powerful Cadillac ever.
The elderly DTS staggers on mostly unchanged for 2008 using the same Northstar V-8 and 4-speed transmission it has for years. It does receive a few new safety features, like lane departure and blind spot warning systems. These are valuable features, considering the average Cadillac DTS driver is 140 years old and can use all the help they can get behind the wheel.
The angular XLR hard-top convertible gets a new appearance package later in the year, called the Alpine White Limited Edition, and the Escalade is still basking in the afterglow of its redesign last year. A hybrid version of the big SUV will debut later in the year.
Caddy’s other SUV, the SRX, received a completely new interior last year. This year, its coolest – or warmest – new feature is an adaptive remote starting system that can bring the cabin to a pre-set temperature, engage the defrosters, and switch on the heated (or cooled) seats.