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Wagon trail: Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon is expected to come to Australia in 2009.

CTS Sport Wagon and SUV fill out Cadillac’s Oz-bound portfolio

18 Aug 2008

CADILLAC pulled the covers off the CTS Sport Wagon and SRX SUV at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California last weekend, with both destined for an Australian debut over the next two years.

First Cad off-the-rank following the CTS sedan’s September launch will be the Sport Wagon, due sometime next year in a specification that should shadow that of its promising sibling, which has been well-received in the United States.

This means it is powered by a Canadian-built direct-injection version of the 3.6-litre DOHC Alloytec V6 with variable-valve timing, producing 227kW of power and 370Nm of torque.

All-wheel drive versions will be offered, although these are likely to remain as US and Europe-only alternatives to the standard CTS rear-wheel drive set-up.

However, we should see the VM Motori-devised 184kW/550Nm 2.9-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine slotted in, though not for some time.

Both engines will use GM’s Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission with a Tiptronic-style sequential shift function.

Like the CTS sedan, the Sport Wagon rides on a development of GM’s rear-drive Sigma Architecture, which has evolved to encompass many components from the Zeta Platform that underpins the VE Commodore and WM Statesman – so there may be more than a few similarities under the skin with the recently-released Commodore Sportwagon.

163 center imageTop to bottom: CTS Sport wagon and SRX SUV.

Mirroring the Holden is the fact that the CTS sedan and wagon share the same (2880mm) wheelbase, while the suspension is by MacPherson struts at the front and a five-link design at the rear.

Other Sport Wagon details include a 720-litre cargo capacity behind the rear seats, a powered tailgate and adjustable in-floor compartments, plus the availability of a large panoramic roof and 19-inch wheels.

An innovative and integrated roof-rack system has been devised for the angular Cadillac, which keeps the flow of the wagon roofline without unsightly bars and racks, but also forms part of a sharp trailing edge along the roof flanks that Cadillac says is a modern-day reinterpretation of the brand’s famous fins of the 1950s.

“They’re not fins in the classic sense, but they work to help disguise the cargo load system and, yes, they acknowledge Cadillac’s design heritage,” said brand global design director Clay Dean. The Sport Wagon will be built alongside the sedan in Michigan.

Equipment levels will include six airbags, latest-generation stability and traction controls, an electronic park brake, paddle-shift gearbox availability, High-Intensity Discharge headlights, interior ambient LED lighting, a Bose 5.1 sound system and a 40GB hard drive for multi-media functions.

Jim Taylor, general manager of Cadillac, said that the CTS Sport Wagon is GM’s response to changing consumer tastes and proves that the century-old American luxury marque is keeping up with the times.

“This is an important step in Cadillac’s ongoing global expansion and, of course, in international markets like Europe wagons have been and continue to be very significant,” he said.

US sales will not commence before the second quarter of 2009, so a late-2009 arrival is the earliest Australian timeframe for the Sport Wagon.

That is still at least a year ahead of the second-generation Cadillac SRX, the mid-sized crossover SUV shared with the upcoming Saab 9-4X.

Built in Mexico and slated for a production-ready debut later this year, SRX II sales start in the middle of 2009.

Based on the Provoq Concept car and built on the Theta platform that also underpins a host of other GM crossovers and SUVs, it employs a transverse engine layout, seats five and is aimed at the BMW X3/Audi Q5 end of the luxury SUV segment.

The Provoq Concept’s E-flex plug-in hybrid drivetrain is understood to be in the mix for future versions of the SRX that will also be coming to Australia.

Following the SRX will be the CTS Coupe – one of the highlights of the Detroit show this year – although Cadillac has yet to confirm it for production, and there is no guarantee that the sleek two-door Cadillac will be built for right-hand drive.

According to GM Premium Brand spokesperson Rebecca Clout, Holden will assess public reaction to the CTS sedan before confirming the arrival of future Cadillac iterations, including the Sport Wagon and SRX.

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