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Cadillac’s 2014 CTS is bolder and more beautiful than a daytime soap star

IMG_8936 (edited)Hot on the heels of the surprisingly spry 2013 ATS, Cadillac has just unveiled the 2014 CTS sedan at the 2013 New York Auto Show.

The mid-size, third-generation sedan is based on the same rear-wheel architecture found underpinning the excellent ATS sports sedan, a car we thought nearly matched the heralded BMW 3 Series benchmark-setting performance chops when we reviewed it a few months back.

“The all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan delivers crafted design, thrilling performance and sophisticated technology,” said Bob Ferguson, vice president of Global Cadillac. “The car that has always been Cadillac’s centerpiece stretches figuratively and literally to challenge the world’s best.”

At its core, the new CTS is still a showpiece for Cadillac’s Art and Science design philosophy, but with some additional tweaks. Cadillac has given the body longer, lower, and more athletic proportions, stretching the wheelbase 1.2-inches and growing an additional five inches total over the previous model.

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Thankfully, that growth spurt doesn’t translate to the 2014 CTS’ overall weight; in fact Cadillac was eager to point out that weight loss is so significant, that the new CTS weights some 200 pounds less than the BMW 528i.

Part of the credit goes towards the automaker’s use of more lightweight material, like aluminum door structures, which Cadillac says is a first for the brand.

Up front, the CTS is unmistakable. The signature shield grille is adorned proudly and prominently, and it would appear Cadillac is clearly gunning for Audi’s title as the auto industry’s premier LED light designer with its outstanding horizontal strip.

The front daytime running lights flow upwards and are nothing short of striking, adding a greater level of detail and drama to the CTS’ already vibrant front end.

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For added fuel economy and performance aerodynamics, Cadillac says some models will come with active grille shutters.

We only got a brief moment inside the 2014 CTS but it appears every bit as bold and dramatic as the exterior.

The cockpit seems to flow organically towards the greenhouse with long, ergonomic dash sweeps in and around the cabin. The dipping head unit houses Cadillac’s CUE system with a large 12.3-inch LCD display while the center console divides the driver and passenger side with its dipping design.

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Readers hoping for any marked enhancements to CUE will be disappointed to learn there are none apart from some minor tweaks and upgrades to the infotainment system’s software.

That said, the CTS will come with a host of car tech including Cadillac’s first 20-way adjustable front seats, heated and cooled front seats and steering wheel, electronically locking glovebox, and an adaptive remote start feature that can also access the vehicle’s climate control on particularly frigid mornings or sweltering summer afternoons.

The 2014 CTS will also feature the debut of Cadillac’s automatic parking assist, which comes standard and allows the CTS to parallel park itself by using ultrasonic sensors adorned around the front and rear of the car.

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A driver awareness package similar to the one found in the 2013 ATS will also be available.

Given how positively received the ATS’ performance was, Cadillac will surely want to build on that growing pedigree for the CTS and it would appear, on paper at least, that it is well on its way.

Topping the engine lineup for the 2014 CTS is a new twin-turbo V6 mated to an eight speed automatic transmission. This will be Cadillac’s first-ever twin-turbo, as well as the automaker’s first eight speed automatic.

According to Cadillac, the twin-turbo produces 420 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. With the help of those two turbochargers, it should provide more immediate power on demand.

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The CTS will also be available with a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6 that should be good for 321 hp and 275 lb.ft of torque, as well as a 2.0-liter turbo producing 272 hp and 295 lb.ft of torque. Our automotive crystal ball tells us that the 3.6-liter V6 will likely be the runaway favorite as it was in the 2013 ATS.

The CTS will come standard with a rear-wheel configuration; however, all-wheel drive will also be available.

Underpinning the 2014 CTS will be a multi-link MacPherson strut suspension with a double-pivot design and a five-link independent rear suspension.

Cadillac has yet to announce pricing but with the 2014 CTS scheduled to enter production in the fall, we imagine that information will trickle out in the coming months.