The United States of America, the country that arguably coined the term "SUV", has long gone without any true tailgate goodness. In fact, the only proper station wagon (crossovers are NOT wagons) that GM sells in the US is the Saab 9-5 SportCombi, which is about as American as a sensible approach to gun control. It's even worse for Ford, who peddles three kinds of soft-roader; while it seems that you can't even buy the pimp-tastic 300C Touring anywhere in the States.
Thankfully that's all set to change, as Cadillac has given the public a fresh preview of the very attractively styled and highly practical Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in Monterey.
Americans, its time to get some junk in your trunk.
Billed as a 2010 model, the Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon won't arrive in Caddy dealerships until sometime in the first half of 2009. However, once the wait is over, US motorists will be able to get their hands on one heck of a shooting brake.
The CTS Sport Wagon takes the (literally) edgy form of the 2008 CTS sedan and adds some serious rump to its rear, increasing luggage space to 720 litres with the seats up. It's not boxy though, as the sloping rear glass and declining roofline imparts a sense of speed to the design - much like our very own Holden Sportwagon. On the other hand, that C-pillar is simply massive and the integration of the vertical tail lights gives it a somewhat awkward shape from certain angles. While the Sport Wagon is an attractive beast, there's still room for improvement.
The engine bay is one such area that could use a little attention. Sure, the 196kW base 3.6-litre V6 is no slouch and the direct-injection 3.6-litre V6 boasts a substantial 227kW, but we here at TMR like big power and we can't help but notice the lack of a V8 powerplant in the Sport Wagon's line-up. Still, with a multi-link rear suspension, double-wishbone SLA front suspension, front suspension tower brace and low-profile Continental rubber, the 2010 CTS should still provide an entertaining drive. It looks like we'll just have to wait until a CTS-V version pops up for some serious muscle.
Thankfully Cadillac has kept a manual gearbox on the options list, with the Sport Wagon receiving a six-speed Aisin unit under the transmission tunnel. For those of you who prefer to outsource your gear-shifting duties, a six-speed GM automatic is also offered. All-wheel-drive is also an option for the Sport Wagon.
Chances are high that we'll eventually see the 2010 CTS Sport Wagon make its way to Australia, particularly given the imminent return of the Cadillac brand to our shores later this year. When (and if) the CTS arrives, don't be too surprised if the 184kW 2.9-litre turbodiesel V6 destined for the European market also finds its way into Australia-bound cars.
CTS SPORT WAGON PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
Vehicle Type four-door, five-passenger rear-wheel-drive/all-wheel-drive wagon Wheelbase (in/mm) 113.4 / 2880 Length in/mm) 191.3 / 4859 Width (in/mm) 72.6 / 1842 Height (in/mm) 59.1 / 1502 Track (in/mm) 61.8 / 1570 (front); 62 / 1575 (rear) Engines: 3.6L VVT V-6 (263 hp / 196 kW) 3.6L V-6 VVT DI (304 hp / 227 kW) Transmissions: Aisin six-speed manual or Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic Suspension: four-wheel independent: SLA front; multilink rear, progressive rate coil springs, monotube shock absorbers Steering: variable-assist rack-and-pinion Brakes: four-wheel disc; aluminum or iron dual-piston front calipers; aluminum or iron single-piston rear calipers Wheels: 17-inch, 18-inch or 19-inch aluminum EPA Luggage Capacity (cu ft/L) 25 / 720 (behind rear seats) EPA Total Volume (cu ft/:) 121.9 / 3452