Big­ger Caddy pack

The US gi­ant’s as­sault has an­other weapon, writes PAUL GOVER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

LESS than a month since the Aus­tralian come­back by Cadil­lac, the Amer­i­can lux­ury brand has filled the sup­ply pipe­line with its next mod­els. Cadil­lac will launch its first full-scale Aus­tralian fac­tory ef­fort in the mid­dle of Septem­ber with the mid-sized CTS sedan. It has now re­vealed the CTS Sport Wagon for next year and pre­viewed the SRX cross­over it will put into pro­duc­tion in 2010.

The Sport Wagon and SRX are yet to be con­firmed, but the Aus­tralian head of GM Pre­mium Brands says they are on the wish list.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously, we like the look of the Sport Wagon and the SRZ. But what we have to do is launch the sedan first, see how it’s ac­cepted, then re­view those fu­ture pro­duc­tions for next year,’’ Parveen Batish says.

‘‘Our pri­or­ity is to get the brand launched, then we’ll re­view all the prod­ucts.’’

The CTS wagon is a new-age fam­ily ma­chine with a com­pact tail end, much like the Com­modore Sport­wagon, rid­ing on the same wheel­base as the sedan but with a body that is 7mm shorter. Cadil­lac claims 720 litres of lug­gage space.

The wagon has an elec­tric tail­gate, a rear roof spoiler, 19-inch al­loy wheels and a car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity that in­cludes roof bars and ‘‘ad­justable in-floor con­tain­ment’’.

The CTS Sport Wagon goes on sale in the US in the first half of next year.

‘‘All fu­ture prod­ucts from Cadil­lac are be­ing built with right-hand drive in mind,’’ Batish says. ‘‘That doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean ev­ery car will come into Aus­tralia. We have to as­sess what’s right for the mar­ket­place.

‘‘We knew the Sport Wagon was go­ing to be built, but we still have to as­sess it. We need to look at the pre­mium five-door mar­ket and see where we might fit in and how that would work. It’s a ques­tion of where your crit­i­cal mass is. It’s ob­vi­ously de­pen­dent on prices, and en­gines, to see the size of the mar­ket.’’

But Cadil­lac head­quar­ters in the US has no wor­ries about the Sport Wagon.

Cadil­lac gen­eral man­ager Jim Tay­lor says: ‘‘This is an im­por­tant step in Cadil­lac’s on­go­ing global ex­pan­sion, and of course in in­ter­na­tional mar­kets such as Europe, wag­ons have been and con­tinue to be very sig­nif­i­cant.’’

And Cadil­lac has tried to cre­ate a wagon with pre­mium ap­peal, says global de­sign di­rec­tor Clay Dean.

‘‘The more you study the rear of the CTS Sport Wagon, the more you see,’’ he says. ‘‘Func­tion­al­ity was cer­tainly a guid­ing fac­tor dur­ing de­vel­op­ment, but so was the idea to in­ject emo­tion into the nor­mally se­date wagon cat­e­gory.’’

The SRX Cross­over is only at the ‘‘sneak peek’’ stage of de­vel­op­ment, even though it is planned for show­rooms in the sec­ond half of next year, and Cadil­lac in­tends to use it as a mo­tor-show hero for about a year.

It will be cloned into a forth­com­ing Saab fam­ily wagon but re­flects the new de­sign di­rec­tion at Cadil­lac, with a more youth­ful body and plenty of ver­sa­til­ity.

Wag­ons ho: the Cadil­lac CTS Sport Wagon has a com­pact tail end with 720 litres of lug­gage space. It is due here next year.

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