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Interview: Jim Taylor talks CTS-V Coupe, STS/DTS future, SUVs

Cadillac may not be revealing any new models at this year's New York Auto Show, but General Motors' luxury division has plenty going on. From the CTS Coupe to the future of its popular SUVs, Leftlane got the inside scoop from Jim Taylor, General Manager of Cadillac -- the man who heads it all up.



CTS Coupe -- "V" model to arrive at launch

The CTS Coupe concept reveal was arguably one of the best reveals of this auto show season, and its popularity has it on the fast track for production. While Mr. Taylor made sure to emphasize that the CTS Coupe concept is just that at this point -- a show car -- he also indicated that its push towards production is well underway. A major factor helping the CTS Coupe to production -- which, according to Taylor, could be as soon as a year from now -- is that the front clip of the car is basically taken straight off of its sedan counterpart, which ultimately reduces design and tooling times.

And because the CTS-V already exists, the CTS-Coupe V (CTC-V?) will be available at launch, not several months after, Taylor said.

As for the Coupe's diesel engine, it will likely make production, although its U.S. availability is up in the air. In other parts of the world, the CTS is available with a diesel engine, so it would make sense that those regions would also see a diesel CTS Coupe -- making it an "international" car.

That being said, a U.S.-spec diesel-powered CTS Coupe isn't out of the question. Because of Cadillac's price point, Taylor says that Cadillac would be the "natural spot" to launch GM's line of passenger car diesel engines. The diesel option would cost a few thousand more than a gas version, but Cadillac buyers are better positioned to absorb the additional cost. But Taylor also indicated that Cadillac would monitor Mercedes-Benz's success with its BlueTEC line of vehicles before it made the jump into the diesel luxury segment.

Confirmed: STS/DTS to become one

As for the future of the STS/DTS, Taylor confirmed that Cadillac is working on consolidating the two. The new car will benefit from CTS-esque styling and will cater to a younger crowd. As far as size, the new car will rival the BMW 7-series, but will be priced like a 5-series. The new sedan will use a rear-wheel drive setup -- with all-wheel drive a likely option -- but Taylor failed to mention when we might see the new vehicle on the road.

SUVs to shrink

We also asked Taylor about the future of Cadillac's SUVs. It's no secret that the Escalade is one of the most popular SUVs on the market, but the upcoming CAFE regulations mean that it can't continue on unchanged. Cadillac has acknowledged this fact, but is still searching for the best solution. However, Taylor hinted that the brand could be considering a diesel version of the Escalade. The move to a diesel Escalade seems to make sense, as GM could use the diesel powerplants from its line of pickup trucks, and it would net better fuel economy.

But overall, Cadillac's range of SUVs will likely be shrinking in the next few years. Taylor says the Provoq concept is an accurate depiction of the future of Cadillac SUVs, and that the brand will be launching a vehicle to compete with the likes of the BMW X3 and Infiniti EX 35.