Cadillac's unveiled the second reskinned Saab 9-3 model that will grace Cadillac dealerships in Europe, the BLS wagon. Caddy's still trying to convince Europeans, who know Cadillac more for tailfins than for its Art and Science design language of late, that the brand stands for global luxury. The BLS also gets the honor of being the first wagon in Cadillac's history (not counting hearses), considering the ground-clearing SRX is technically a crossover SUV. Is it an appropriate extension of the brand or a symphony of brand destruction?
Cadillac Extends European Portfolio with BLS Wagon
* Further commitment to grow Cadillac's presence in Europe
* Expressive design combined with elegance and versatility
* Three turbocharged gasoline engines and one direct-injection diesel engine
* Sales expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2007
DETROIT - Cadillac reinforced its commitment to grow its brand in Europe by announcing it will add the BLS Wagon to its portfolio later this year.
"The Cadillac BLS Wagon is an appealing addition to the Cadillac portfolio for customers preferring dramatically designed luxury vehicles that offer versatility and performance along with outstanding ride and handling characteristics," said Cadillac General Manager Jim Taylor. "This is the first Cadillac wagon in our 104-year history, and we think it will do well in many European markets where consumers desire a high degree of versatility and functionality in their performance luxury vehicles."
Cadillac signature style
Clear, clean, crisp and sharply defined contours are Cadillac design signatures. An international team of designers, under the leadership of Ed Welburn, GM vice president of Global Design, created a BLS Wagon with a striking wedge shape that is emphasized by the tapered lines of the side windows.
"The whole team was very excited to apply Cadillac's design language to a wagon for the first time," said Welburn. "The V-shaped chrome-plated grille, a Cadillac hallmark, is picked up
again by the shape of the rear window, and the body side character lines make it unmistakably a Cadillac."
The BLS Wagon also features jewel-like headlamps, fog lamps integrated into the body-colored bumper and a wide air intake below the grille. A narrow chrome strip runs along the side windows and the latest LED technology is used in the center high-mounted stop lamp, which is prominently positioned in the rear spoiler. Vertical taillamps, another Cadillac hallmark, play a prominent role in defining the elegant rear proportions of the BLS Wagon.
Luxurious, flexible interior and state-of-the-art infotainment systems
The BLS Wagon interior is highlighted by a three-spoke leather steering wheel and an analog clock in the center stack. The circular instruments have white numerals and red needles on a black background.
Flexibility and versatility define the rear seats and cargo area, which are designed to support a wide variety of luxury and leisure interests.
State-of-the-art infotainment systems include high-quality audio units from American sound specialist Bose, among others; a DVD navigation system with touch-screen operation; a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone system with a hands-free kit; and remote controls on the steering wheel.
Turbocharged diesel and turbocharged gasoline engines
The front-wheel-drive BLS Wagon is offered with a turbo-diesel and three turbocharged gasoline engines. The 1.9L four-cylinder diesel engine, with common-rail direct-injection technology, is fitted with a maintenance-free particulate filter and delivers 110 kW (150 hp) of power. The range of gasoline engines includes two 2.0L four-cylinder versions (129 kW / 175 hp and 154 kW / 210 hp), and a high-tech, 2.8L V-6 (188 kW / 255 hp) that features a twin-scroll turbocharger and variable phasing of the intake camshafts.
The BLS Wagon offers six-speed manual transmissions and five- or six-speed automatic transmissions, depending on engine. For BLS models equipped with an automatic transmission, a standard Sport Mode button allows the driver to select a sportier transmission shift pattern.
Comfort and driving dynamics
The chassis, which features MacPherson struts in front and a four-link rear axle, is designed to provide the agility customers expect from a luxury wagon. The chassis tuning ensures dynamic handling performance without compromising comfort and load capacity.
Available in Europe in the fourth quarter of 2007
The Cadillac BLS Wagon will be in European Cadillac showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2007.
"The BLS sedan created a significant amount of showroom traffic at Cadillac dealerships across Europe," said Taylor. "With the new BLS Wagon, we intend to build on this interest and appeal to customers who are looking for more flexibility to meet their individual lifestyles.
More Power for The Euro Caddy: The BLS Sport [internal]