Cadillac lightens up? Typically heavy-handed carmaker focuses on LED tech, shaves pounds from CTS

Cadillac CTS

“Light” is a key new word for Cadillac. Though being downright massive, the 2014 CTS is all new and stands as the lightest car in its class, which is something we’d normally never say about a Cadillac – or any GM product, really.

Cadillac designers worked hard not only to make a car that was light on the scale but also visually lightweight, while also retaining the luxurious, masculine lines that Cadillac has become famous for with its “Art &Science” design language.

In a recent press release, Cadillac has focused on another light element of its new CTS: the actual lights, specifically the headlights. The new design makes extensive use of LEDs both for lighting the road ahead but also in accent lighting.

Audi was the originator of the LED accent headlight. As the German luxury brand pushes the boundaries of automotive lighting, other brands are scrambling to catch up. Hyundai, for example, simply copied the eyeliner design of Audi. Thankfully, Cadillac designers went a more distinctive direction.

Cadillac CTS headlight

Cadillac has used the LED lights to continue and accent the bodylines. Smartly, however, the lights are multi-functional. Next to – and extending above – the HID headlamp, 16 indirect fire LED lights are used as daytime running lights (DRL). The LEDs beneath the headlights pull the visual accent to the bottom of the bumper but also double as turn signals.

“The CTS is the first Cadillac to combine DRL and turn signal under the same lens,” said Brian Smith, CTS exterior design manager. “Giving the HID projectors a dual purpose allowed us to shorten the front headlamps and give the CTS the most dramatic signature lighting of any Cadillac to date.” Notably, the lights also pivot slightly during cornering.

We have not driven the new CTS yet but we’re hugely impressed with the vehicle on the whole and with its individual parts, like the headlight design. It would seem the GM of old is really gone. In its place is a smart, savvy automaker truly keen on making world-class – and lighter – cars.