CTS coupe may be headed for dealerships by 2008 By JENS MEINERS AutoWeek | Published 05/09/06, 11:55 am et Cadillac plans to re-enter the coupe segment with a powerfully styled CTS two-door, possibly by 2008 as a 2009 model. Cadillac had hoped to keep a lid on the project, which was pushed back because of General Motors’ financial situation. The program has not been officially approved, but work is well under way—and “Bob Lutz really wants it,” sources familiar with the project tell AutoWeek. “The biggest problem for this car is GM has other, more urgent business to take care of right now.” Insiders describe the coupe as a “bold and elegant” design statement. “This car is a new and powerful interpretation of the two-door coupe theme,” one source says. The coupe wears now-familiar Cadillac design cues—a big, V-shaped grille, a high, wedge-shaped beltline and vertical taillights on a short trunk. Cadillac’s coupe will be based on the upcoming, second-generation CTS sedan, which was partially unveiled April 2 by GM vice chairman Lutz on the CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes. On the program Lutz pulled back a car cover revealing a dramatic Cadillac grille and headlight cluster, along with a taillight, but stopped short of showing the rest of the car. Now that our spies have snapped these photographs of the actual next-generation CTS in testing, it is obvious the car Lutz showed on 60 Minutes was the 2008 CTS. The Cadillac coupe will share its platform, front end and fender styling with the CTS, along with some other sheetmetal, to help Cadillac keep down the cost of the coupe. The coupe could come to market following the 2007 launch of the next-generation CTS sedan. The same V6 engines offered in the CTS will power the coupe, but a V-Series coupe with a 400-hp-plus Northstar V8 under the hood is likely as well. Cadillac also is mulling over a convertible version. “It would add cost, but convertibles are where the volume is generated in this segment,” says a source. The shrinking coupe market could be a worry for Cadillac. Main contenders include the Mercedes-Benz CLK, BMW 3 Series coupe, Infiniti G35 coupe and the upcoming Audi A5, a 2008 model year coupe based on the next-gen A4. Cadillac’s problem: Its new coupe will be significantly larger than the CLK, 3 Series and G35, raising questions of pricing and market positioning against larger and more luxurious coupes like the A5 and BMW 6 Series. An insider estimates volumes of 25,000 to 30,000 cars annually. “They don’t know whether that is enough,” the source says. “It is a difficult market, with high initial volumes that tend to drop sharply after 18 months or so.” While the CTS-based coupe could be developed quickly, there is speculation of a larger coupe with a V12 engine that carries design cues of the Cadillac Sixteen concept car and could be sold in the $75,000 range. “The new vehicle is definitely a Cadillac,” an insider says. “There is a lot of enthusiasm for it within the company.” GM can probably expect that enthusiasm to extend to fans of the marque who appreciate its history. Cadillac has a rich heritage of high-class coupes, including the 400-hp, 500-cid Eldorado of the early 1970s, and the Pininfarina-styled and built Allante convertible of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Cadillac’s last coupe was the Seville-based Eldorado Touring Coupe that ceased production in 2003.