The Cadillac CTS will enter the 2012 model year with a handful of changes and updates. Chief among the tweaks is a new grille for coupe, sedan, and Sports Wagon models. It features upscale finishes for the grille mesh, and a redesigned version of Cadillac’s “Wreath & Crest” logo with sharper colors and raised edges, which is said to lend the badge a more three-dimensional look.
The CTS’s mid-range 3.6-liter V-6 has been tweaked to produce 318 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, up from the current ratings of 304 horsepower and 273 pound-feet. The changes encompass new camshafts and intake valves, new connecting rods, and a new exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head. The tweaks mirror those announced for the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, which uses the same 3.6-liter V-6 as the Cadillac. There are no changes to CTS fuel-economy ratings.
The bad news for enthusiasts is that the 3.6-liter engine will no longer be offered with a manual transmission — a Cadillac spokesman tells us the powertrain combination didn’t sell in large numbers — leaving a six-speed automatic the only choice. A traditional six-speed manual will still be offered for the high-powered CTS-V, as well as CTS sedans equipped with the base 3.0-liter V-6.
A new Touring Package will be made available for all trims of CTS except the V cars. It adds a dark-finish grille, metal pedal covers, dark wood interior trim, suede seat inserts, plus a suede-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. Sedan and Sports Wagon models receive chrome door handles as part of the Touring package. Cars with the 3.0-liter V-6 get 18-inch wheels, while those with the 3.6-liter mill get 19-inch wheels and Recaro seats — the only way to get the sportier seats in a non-V model. Sedans equipped with the 3.6-liter V-6 and all coupes also get the redesigned third brake-light from the V models when equipped with the Touring package.
All trim levels will henceforth come standard with Bluetooth phone connectivity, and blind-spot warning technology becomes available on coupe models. Every CTS with a black interior also receives gray contrast stitching throughout.
The 2012 CTS will reach dealerships this summer, with pricing announced closer to the on-sale date.