General Motors claims it has elevated the Cadillac CTS to “challenge the world’s best” executive saloons such as the BMW 5-series with this all-new model that has made its debut at this week’s New York motor show

The rear-drive CTS is based on a larger version of the architecture that underpins the 3-series-sized ATS, which was revealed last year. It will go into production in the US this autumn before going on sale in Europe in early 2014. 

However, Cadillac says there are still no firm plans to make the model in right-hand drive or offer it with a diesel engine, saying only that it “expects the line-up to be expanded within its lifecycle”. 

Cadillac says the new CTS will be the lightest car in its class in North America, weighing around 90kg less than an equivalent US-market BMW 528i at 1640kg. This is in spite of it being some 67mm longer than the 5-series at 4966mm long. The new CTS is also 127mm longer than its predecessor, 30mm of that extra length coming in the wheelbase that extends to 2911mm. 

The look of the CTS is instantly recognisable as a Cadillac, incorporating the latest evolution of its ‘Art & Science’ design theme. The front grille is wider and the angular front-end is flanked on either side by strips of vertical LED lights. 

The engine line-up includes a new 414bhp twin-turbo 3.6-litre V6 petrol mated to Cadillac’s first eight-speed automatic gearbox. This is sold in a CTS Vsport model, which gets a quicker steering rack, upgraded brakes, improved cooling magnetic dampers and an electronic limited-slip diff. A 0-60mph time of 4.6sec is estaiated.

Other engines include a 268bhp turbocharged four-cylinder and a 317bhp 3.6-litre V6. A six-speed auto’ is standard, with the eight-speed optional. All-wheel drive is also offered on all engines.

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