2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe

The thing about the 2011 CTS Coupe: Break out your geometry book, as Art & Science meets Math I’m not sure whether the designers of the 2011 CTS Coupe would feel good about this or look for the nearest window after having taken an elevator as high up as possible in the building where they reside at the GM Tech Center: My 18-year-old niece, upon spotting the car in my driveway, said, “That car would look awesome in Mary Kay pink.” Mind you, she is a normal college freshman who would no sooner wear Mary Kay makeup than she would voluntarily give up her Facebook account.

The thing about the 2011 CTS Coupe: Break out your geometry book, as Art & Science meets Math

I’m not sure whether the designers of the 2011 CTS Coupe would feel good about this or look for the nearest window after having taken an elevator as high up as possible in the building where they reside at the GM Tech Center:

My 18-year-old niece, upon spotting the car in my driveway, said, “That car would look awesome in Mary Kay pink.” Mind you, she is a normal college freshman who would no sooner wear Mary Kay makeup than she would voluntarily give up her Facebook account. And I must admit that I am fairly taken with the White Diamond Tricoat that the car in question is meticulously covered in, and I am probably more in line with the demographic that the Cadillac marketers have in mind—at least chronologically.

Anyway, the designers might be pleased that the car caught the eye of an 18-year-old co-ed. They might be concerned, however, that their car would be thought of in the context of Mary Kay rather than M-A-C.

 

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I suspect that the issue is predicated on the size of undifferentiated space that is the body side of the coupe. The vehicle has massive doors and massive rear quarter panels, neither of which has much in the way of form or detail. For example, there are no door handles on the side of the Cadillac. Rather, there is a somewhat triangular slot into which you insert your hand, thereby activity a touchpad that unlocks the door (assuming that the keyfob is on your person); you use the door itself to pull the door itself open. While one could describe the appearance as being “clean,” one could similarly say that it is “billboard-like,” in need of something else—and not the silly  vents in the front quarters, either.

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As I’ve previously written, I am a big fan of the CTS wagon; I think that its rectangular back really pays off the overall shape of the CTS’s edge-intensive architecture. The coupe has sort of a truncated trapezoidal shape in the back, which is far more polarizing, and which leads to a massive C-pillar, or at least it is massive if you’re in the car and trying to check that blind spot over your shoulder. And lest you think that I’m getting a little carried away here with the Euclidian geometry, it is worth noting that Cadillac describes the tailpipe tips as having a “dihedral” shape.

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The coupe is pleasant enough to drive, which I suppose could be construed as damning with faint praise, but which isn’t my point. The car driven has a 3.6-liter V6 and a six-speed automatic, and the combination provides something the far side of exhilaration in ordinary driving. But arguably, the people who’d be looking for a coupe with a price tag that wouldn’t lead to a bout of syncope would find it fully satisfactory. Others could opt for the CTS-V Coupe and get a 556-hp, 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that could cause their eyelids to peel.

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The interior is certainly suitable for a car that wants to compete with the likes of the BMW 335i Coupe and the Audi A5. There are leather, Sapele wood trim, carbon-fiber-like trim, LED lighting, and the like. And the clever 8-inch pop-up screen for navigation, audio, etc., is available.

With the departure of the XLR, Cadillac needs a coupe in its lineup. And given what the division has to work with in terms of available platforms, the CTS is pretty much it. For those who are looking for an American car in this category, well, Cadillac is it, as Lincoln doesn’t have anything like it.

Selected Specs

Engine: 3.6-liter DOHC V6 with direct injection

Material: Aluminum block and heads

Horsepower: 227 @ 6,400 rpm

Torque: 273 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm

Transmission: Hydra-Matic 6l50 6-speed auto with driver shift control

Wheelbase: 113.4 in.

Length: 188.5 in.

Width: 74.1 in.

Height: 55.9 in.

Curb weight: 3,909 lb.

EPA fuel economy: 18/27 mpg