A look at the 2014 Cadillac CTS

The Cadillac CTS was the model that helped transform Cadillac from the car company your Grandfather swore by to the standard bearer of American luxury. Arguably, Cadillac had always produced better premium cars than any other Detroit-based automaker, but the CTS helped up the ante, bringing the Cadillac nameplate on par with European rivals like BMW and Mercedes Benz in terms of respect – two brands that had long ago left Caddy and Lincoln in the dust.

When the sedan was introduced back in 2003, it came hot on the heels of the Escalade – a massive SUV that had become a status symbol among rappers, businessmen and soccer moms alike. The timing was fortuitous, as SUVs would soon lose favor among consumers and Cadillac was depending heavily on its truck options to anchor sales.

The CTS was unlike any other car in the Caddy lineup at the time, as it was the first model to follow GM’s chief design guru Bob Lutz’s “Art & Science” design philosophy. While all of the other models in the lineup were boats rocking nameplates that had been in the Cadillac stable for generations, the CTS was svelte, angular and at least appeared compact, despite being a pretty sizeable model.

Today, there isn’t a bad model in the Cadillac lineup, as every car now has the stacked headlamps, toothie grill and streamlined silhouette that was first introduced way back in 2003 with the CTS. The car got an overhaul in 2008 with a slightly less adventurous but no-less attractive makeover that has been the look ever since. That’s all about to change, however, as GM unveiled the next generation 2014 CTS at this week’s New York International Auto Show (NYIAS).

The design philosophy the company seems to have taken with the all-new CTS is as groundbreaking as it was with the model Cadillac introduced back in 2003. The designers took the “Art & Science” philosophy a step further with this model.

Let’s start with the hood, which lays flat and square over a beefy front section without any unnecessary hub-flares or swoops. However, there are subtle induction scoops starting from the grill and going all the way up the hood up until the cowl: These designs are both decorative but not necessarily gratuitous – a beautiful combination of art and science.

This car owes a lot to the Sixteen concept car that was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show a few years back when it comes to profile and dimensions. Since the new CTS doesn’t feature a 16-cylinder engine like the concept car, the front section is understandably much more compact. But the front and rear fascia on this beast are actually even more attractive and modern than the glamorous Sixteen.

The proportions of the grill almost have a Chrysler 300 feeling to them, as it is big, rectangular and toothy, but the amount of chrome and the beautiful crest make sure the distinction between this car and the lesser Chrysler is clear.

The headlamps are much smaller than those on the current CTS, though they still swoop back along the hood vertically. However, instead of having stacked dual headlights on either side of the grill, this new creature features only a single pair of eyes.

Do you think this new CTS will help Cadillac reclaim its status as the world’s premier luxury brand, or that they still have a long way to go before they’ll ever come close to beating the European makes for the title? Leave your thoughts below: