14 April 2004

Cadillac is another step closer to re-inventing itself after the unveiling of its all-new STS luxury flagship.

Yet the car maker has once again decided against offering another key new model to British buyers by not building the car with right-hand drive. The STS will follow the new XLR luxury roadster and the high-performance 400bhp CTS-V in being available only in mainland Europe. Cadillac general manager Mark LaNeve said that anticipated low demand in right-hand-drive markets, like Japan and the UK, meant it wasn’t worth engineering the STS with the steering wheel on the right.

Unveiled at last week’s New York Motor Show, the new STS is based on a stretched version of GM’s Sigma platform used on Cadillac’s smaller CTS saloon. It is believed the project was delayed by six months after GM product boss Bob Lutz sent the original hard-edged design back to the studio for ‘softening’.

When the new STS goes on sale in the US in September it will be offered with a re-engineered version of Cadillac’s 4.6-litre Northstar V8 producing 320bhp, or a new 3.6-litre 255bhp V6.

The luxury four-door will also feature GM’s impressive semi-active Magnetic Ride Control system, which adjusts damper settings to react to varying road surfaces.

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