(from General Motors
Press Release) Cadillac's global footprint is set to move
up another gear: After the introduction of the CTS (2003), XLR and
SRX (both 2004), and shortly before the European sales start of the
STS, General Motors' premium brand will be at the 75th Geneva Motor
Show (March 3-13, 2005) to present the study of a new premium
mid-class model. Cadillac BLS is specifically targeted to meet the
needs of the European customer, as well as other global market
customers. The four-door sedan (length/width/height:
4,680/1,762/1,449 mm), with its clear, sharply defined contours,
striking wedge shape and elegant interior, continues Cadillac's
characteristic design language. The show car thus provides a clear
preview of what can be expected from the new Cadillac BLS, which is
scheduled to reach the market in spring 2006.
"Premium is not a question of vehicle size but purely of
excellence," said Bob Lutz, responsible at GM for product
development and Chairman of GM North America. "And in this aspect,
the Cadillac BLS will definitely be a top player in its league."
Among the particular strengths of this front-wheel drive sedan,
apart from its expressive design, are its outstanding ride and
acoustic comfort. From a technical point of view, this Cadillac will
ring in a new era in brand history: For the first time, a turbo
diesel variant will be available. Like the gasoline versions, the
turbo diesel variant will be positioned at the upper end of the
performance scale. Cadillac BLS will offer the dynamic driving
performance customers have come to expect from this brand. For
countries where the traffic moves on the left like the UK, the
Cadillac BLS will also be available with right-hand drive.
The exterior: Cadillac's unique style in European format
A design team led by GM
Designer Chip Thole designed the new Cadillac BLS show car and the
premium sedan is thus immediately recognizable as a member of the
Cadillac family. "The most striking feature is the emphasis of the
vertical lines on the front and rear," says Thole. "The
characteristic v-form of the chrome-plated grill is picked up again
by the trunk lid. The large side faces communicate a sense of
strength and solidity." Nineteen-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels
underline the impressive looks of the show car.
The unique style is further expressed by clear glass, vertically
positioned headlamps featuring bi-xenon technology, fog lamps
integrated into the body-colored bumper and a wide air intake below
the radiator grill. Another high-quality detail is the thin chrome
strip running along the lower edge of the side windows. The very
latest LED technology is used in the full width center high mounted
brake light, which is prominently positioned on the trunk lid. The
vertically positioned tail lights add to the various design elements
making Cadillac BLS another uniquely designed Cadillac.
The interior: Luxurious atmosphere and modern infotainment
Inside, the show car has
many details that signal its affinity to the Cadillac family. The
cockpit of Cadillac BLS is underlined by details like the
three-spoke steering wheel and the analog clock on the center
console. The displays for the circular instruments have white
numerals on black background, while the needles are red. All the
seat surfaces are covered with high quality leather, with the
visible stitching emphasizing quality. The outlets for the
ventilation/air conditioning adopt the brushed aluminum look used
for the frame of the center console.
The modern infotainment system consists of high-quality audio units
from BOSE, DVD-based navigation with touchscreen operation,
Bluetooth-capable telephone systems and remote controls on the
The engines: Turbo-diesel and three gasoline engines
To comply with the needs
of the European market, a turbo diesel variant will, for the first
time, be added to the list of available engines. The 1.9-liter
four-cylinder unit with common-rail direct injection technology will
feature a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter that will
comply with Euro 4 emission standards. The range of gasoline engines
- all of which are turbo-charged - will comprise two 2.0-liter
four-cylinder versions and one 2.8-liter six-cylinder unit. All the
power units can be combined with either manual or automatic
transmissions and all excel with Cadillac's typical high output.
The chassis: Emphasis on comfort and dynamic driving
The chassis, with a
McPherson strut in front and a four-link rear axle is tuned to the
powerful engines and the high demands that are made on a premium
vehicle. "The development of the chassis was focused to enable
dynamic driving, but at the same time ensuring a ride with comfort,"
explains Larry Craig, who, as Program Engineering Manager, shared
responsibility for the engineering of the Cadillac BLS.
"Apart from that, we also devoted attention to achieving effective
noise and vibration isolation," adds Craig. "Environmental
influences are, as far as possible, kept away from the passengers."
A number of measures have been taken to achieve this, and both the
diesel and the gasoline engines will reap the benefits. The rear
axle and the chassis, for example, are decoupled from one another
with the aid of special rubber bushings, and the wheelhouses, roof
and trunk are especially sound-insulated.
"Cadillac is on the fast lane in its U.S. home market with the best
sales figures since 1990. We managed to overtake another key
competitor in 2004 and are ready to globally hit the fast lane. With
the BLS, Cadillac will add a premium mid sedan to its model range
that is geared to the specific demands of European customers. The
new entry-level model underlines the brand's global ambitions and
its key role in the premium segment," said Cadillac's General
Manager, Jim Taylor.