The 2011 Cadillac CTS coupe goes on sale in August 2010, thirty-one long months after a thinly disguised concept-car version of it debuted at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. The good news is, the CTS coupe's exterior lines look just as good on the road in summer 2010 as they did under the hot lights of the Cadillac stand in January 2008, and there were plenty of heads turning on the streets of Ann Arbor when I drove it. Although this car is a serious performer, I imagine it will be purchased primarily for one reason and one reason only: it looks like a million bucks. Let me return to the April 2008 issue of Automobile Magazine, where our Design Editor, Robert Cumberford, sung the praises of the CTS coupe and its creators:
"Bob Munson, [the automotive designer] whose initial sketch was chosen for development, is a thirty-five-year veteran at General Motors Design, unknown to the wider world but much appreciated by his peers and his bosses....His work in maturing and refining the edgy, raw, faceted Cadillac design language is proof that nothing beats experienced talent. The exceptionally comfortable four-seat interior, the work of Eric Clough, feels more like a true luxury car should than have most recent models from the former self-proclaimed 'standard of the world.' It really does feel special to sit in this car.
"The long, low feel of the 1960s front-wheel-drive Eldorados is long gone; this coupe is actually pretty chunky, giving the impression of strength and solidity rather than useless mass and unnecessary volume. This car is smaller but has a bigger cabin. Some may miss the long hoods of yesteryear, but this is a more practical, logical, and elegant solution."
Thank you, Robert. Although I agree with Mr. Cumberford that the CTS coupe cabin is nicely designed, its similarity to the CTS sedan cabin means it's not as special as it might be, as that design is now three years old. But the fact that the CTS coupe even exists is a small miracle: it was supposed to debut a year ago, but GM's government-sponsored bankruptcy pushed off its arrival by a year. The CTS coupe was one of the gems that members of the Automotive Task Force discovered when they were given tours of GM's design studios; one member in particular, a former Wall Streeter named Harry Wilson, reportedly was enamored by the CTS coupe and I would imagine and hope that he is one of the first owners.
Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor