That's pretty much the effect Cadillac wants. "The coupe is relevant as a statement of confidence," says Bryan Nesbitt, Cadillac's new chief. "It's a visual manifest of everything that we want to achieve with the brand." With CTS sales slumping of late and the wagon adding only a few hundred units per month despite critical acclaim, this statement is no small gamble. Cadillac recently showed a preview of the replacement for the DTS and the STS, the XTS Platinum, and the company has confirmed that it is hard at work on a smaller rear-wheel-drive model to compete more directly with the BMW 3-series. But for now, and for the near future, the brand's prestige - and much of its volume - rests on the CTS's chiseled shoulders. The money spent on this coupe could very well have gone toward a thorough freshening, but Cadillac clearly thinks that this injection of style is a better investment. We do, too, but not just because we're seduced by the new coupe's sexy profile. Rather, the striking design finally gives the CTS the halo it needs to draw attention to what has long been a very satisfying car.
On sale: June
Price: $40,000 (est.)
Engine: 3.6L V-6, 304 hp, 273 lb-ft
Drive: Rear- or 4-wheel