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Cadillac product blitz rolls on
New STS is aimed at import owners
By Ed Garsten / The Detroit News



WARREN — Cadillac is putting power to all four wheels in a major bid to win over affluent buyers who prefer foreign vehicles.

The next-generation STS — the luxury brand’s newest import-fighter that debuts Wednesday at the New York International Auto Show — will become the first rear-wheel drive powered Cadillac to feature all-wheel drive when it goes on sale this fall.

The STS replaces the venerable Seville and will be assembled along with the CTS sedan and SRX crossover at General Motors Corp.’s Lansing Grand River plant.

It will share the same underpinnings as the CTS and SRX, but will become the first existing GM model built on the automaker’s new Sigma “architecture.”

The all-wheel drive option will be available initially on the V-8 version, then later on models equipped with a V-6 engine, according to Jim Taylor, vehicle line executive in charge of prestige vehicles at GM.

Prices have not been released.

With the all-wheel drive option, Cadillac is aiming the STS at well-equipped import models such as the BMW 5 and 7 series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6 and Lexus GS 330, GS 430 and LS 430.

As part of a $4 billion product renaissance, Cadillac is aggressively courting so-called “conquest” customers from Asian and European rivals, as well as Lincoln and Chrysler.

Jay Spencian, global products marketing director for GM, said about half of Cadillac’s latest customers previously owned another luxury model, including Lincoln.

But only 20 percent of new buyers are trading in a BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi or other upscale import — short of Cadillac’s goals.

“It’s a tough segment,” Spencian said.

Cadillac’s efforts to capture BMW and Mercedes owners won’t be hurt with the new STS, said Art Spinella, president of Bandon-Ore.-based CNW Market Research Inc.

“We’re seeing positive response to anything Cadillac does,” Spinella said. “Cadillac is on (shopping) lists more than ever.”



Cadillac is winning over younger buyers, too. Three years ago, the average Cadillac buyer was 58 years old. Today, a typical new customer is around 54, according to the Power Information Network, the market research arm of J.D. Power and Associates.

“If we could stay in the mid-50s for the next five or six years, I’d be thrilled,” said Mark LaNeve, Cadillac general manager.

Cadillac’s U.S. sales are up 10.6 percent to 51,175 units so far this year — putting it in contention again as a leading luxury brand alongside Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. In March, sales jumped 16.3 percent from the year-earlier month.

As Cadillac’s newest offering, the STS represents a melding of power and poshness.

Two engines will be available on the STS — a 320-horsepower, 4.6-liter Northstar V-8 and a 255-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6. Both are mated to an electronically-controlled five-speed automatic transmissions.

“We think we’ve achieved a pretty sporty sedan that’s got a lot of attitude,” STS design director Kip Wasenko said. “It’s sophisticated.”

While final pricing hasn’t been released, LaNeve said the STS will start at about $43,000, with a loaded version topping out around $65,000.

The STS’s interior is punctuated by eucalyptus wood trim and all-leather seats, which are available heated and ventilated. A premium Bose 300-watt audio system featuring the first factory-installed surround sound layout is available.

The STS will features several high-tech gadgets such as Intellibeam and Smart Remote Start.

Intellibeam uses a tiny camera and light sensor mounted on the rearview mirror to switch the headlamps from high to low beams, depending on the presence of oncoming traffic.

It will be available on models with high intensity discharge headlamps.

A remote start feature will allow STS drivers to start the car from as far away as 200 feet, and automatically adjust the car’s climate control system and seat heat or ventilation, depending on outside temperatures.

Despite its curb appeal, comfort and technological extras, it may be difficult for the STS to stand out in a market segment already crowded with solid contenders, Jim Taylor admitted.

“(The) medium-size luxury market is exploding,” Taylor said. “Everyone is just dividing the pie and it’s going to be harder to carve out a share.”



source
 

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The picture at the bottom - suddenly the styling is working for me. The grill looks way more aggressive than in those first pics. Now that's a Caddy fonrt end! And the lower grill looks great. And the whole front end looks way more aggressive.

I think those first pics (now gone) had two flaws. One, it appears they were taken from a low angle, which minimized the foward thrust of the nose and the folded planes of the hood. It looked kinda square and plain. Second, the car was silver. Todays heftier cars, and particularly Cadillac's crisp lines, look much better in dark colors. And in this particular instance, the silver grills blended in with the rest of the car and disappeared.

I'm thinking, based on that blue STS in the background, that I'm going to like this car WAY more than I first thought I would. Phew! I WAS worried there.
 

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It looks like it has a version Sixteens grill (which looks a hell fo alot better) and that mesh insert down @ the bottom....could that mean we're looking @ the V-Series???, but unfortunately it still doesn't help the fact it's suffeting from that ugly a$$ed wedge design that makes the front wheel well look bigger and higher up than the rear wheel well. :(
 

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They all have the mesh grille in the bottom of the fascia, but the main grille does look interestingly different.
 

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the blue caddy is really sweet B)
also i think the neutral colors that were used in the pics are more bland and take away from the design.
 

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Originally posted by casket_demon@Apr 4 2004, 04:51 PM
It looks like it has a version Sixteens grill (which looks a hell fo alot better) and that mesh insert down @ the bottom....could that mean we're looking @ the V-Series???, but unfortunately it still doesn't help the fact it's suffeting from that ugly a$$ed wedge design that makes the front wheel well look bigger and higher up than the rear wheel well. :(
I don't think it's a V-series. It has the currently standard Cadillac grill - that is, with slats. I think the nice trim on the lower opening is standard stuff. Great!
 

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Originally posted by coolcaddy@Apr 4 2004, 11:17 AM
The next-generation STS — the luxury brand’s newest import-fighter that debuts Wednesday at the New York International Auto Show — will become the first rear-wheel drive powered Cadillac to feature all-wheel drive when it goes on sale this fall.
GEEEEZ.... who wrote this press report!!!
I think the first "rear-wheel drive" powered Cadillac to "feature all-wheel drive" was the Escalade? :blink:

That sentence should ahve been reworded.
 

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that whole press report is poorly written. like this:

It will share the same underpinnings as the CTS and SRX, but will become the first existing GM model built on the automaker’s new Sigma “architecture.”
huh?
 

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From the looks of the second picture, I like the new STS's styling. It appears to be more refined and less chunky then on the CTS - which was too short to successfully pull off the same style as the STS.
 

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Originally posted by GM_Guy81@Apr 4 2004, 01:53 PM
that whole press report is poorly written. like this:

It will share the same underpinnings as the CTS and SRX, but will become the first existing GM model built on the automaker’s new Sigma “architecture.”
huh?
The CTS and SRX are brand new models, we already have an STS.
 

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Odd :blink: , I don't see that mesh insert on the lower portion of any of the other models.
 

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And doesn't the Acura TL have a surround sound layout in the speakers??
It has DTS sound in the system, and it would be kind of impossible to do it without proper speaker layout, so it can't be the first car to have this. I agree, this release is full of holes and shadily worded sentences. It does look like a sweet car, but isn't the navy car in the bottom a cts-v?? Looks like it.

Maybe not, the grille is different,
Oh, come on, you know they all look alike! LOL
 

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Originally posted by Dumb_Ass_2003+Apr 5 2004, 12:54 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Dumb_Ass_2003 @ Apr 5 2004, 12:54 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-GM_Guy81@Apr 4 2004, 01:53 PM
that whole press report is poorly written. like this:

It will share the same underpinnings as the CTS and SRX, but will become the first existing GM model built on the automaker’s new Sigma “architecture.”
huh?
The CTS and SRX are brand new models, we already have an STS. [/b][/quote]
the new STS has about as much in common with the old STS as the CTS had with the Catera.
 

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Originally posted by Maetrix66@Apr 5 2004, 06:37 PM
And doesn't the Acura TL have a surround sound layout in the speakers??
It has DTS sound in the system, and it would be kind of impossible to do it without proper speaker layout, so it can't be the first car to have this. I agree, this release is full of holes and shadily worded sentences.

Volvo has Dobly Pro Logic Surround Sound. Lincoln has THX surround sound. Lexus has Mark Levinson. I wish the new Cadillac had DVD-audio like the new Acura TL, which is better than any of the above and sounds amazing. The person who wrote this press release doesn't know much, if anything, about cars and even less about journalism.
 

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I think it's a regular STS. To make the dark blue car show up in the background and get LaNeve in the picture they had to light it differently than the press photos. That makes the upper and lower grill stand out.
 

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Originally posted by oaa9898+Apr 5 2004, 09:04 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (oaa9898 @ Apr 5 2004, 09:04 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteBegin-Maetrix66@Apr 5 2004, 06:37 PM
And doesn't the Acura TL have a surround sound layout in the speakers??
It has DTS sound in the system, and it would be kind of impossible to do it without proper speaker layout, so it can't be the first car to have this. I agree, this release is full of holes and shadily worded sentences.

Volvo has Dobly Pro Logic Surround Sound. Lincoln has THX surround sound. Lexus has Mark Levinson. I wish the new Cadillac had DVD-audio like the new Acura TL, which is better than any of the above and sounds amazing. The person who wrote this press release doesn't know much, if anything, about cars and even less about journalism.[/b][/quote]
The new STS does support DVD audio. This is a quote from the press release on Autoweek's website:

Of particular note is an available up-level infotainment system, which includes one of the industry’s first OEM-installed surround sound audio systems. The cabin is immersed with 15 speakers from Bose Corporation. The 5.1 Bose system also has an integrated six-disc CD/DVD changer and is capable of playing a broad array of formats including DVD-A, CD, and MP3. It includes an eight-inch VGA quality touch screen and advanced navigation. In addition, the system has Bluetooth capability, advanced voice recognition, and OnStar.
 
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