All three versions share a chassis that was developed on Germany's Nurburgring test track, giving it both good handing and responsiveness while remaining comfortable enough for daily road use--although a bit stiff for some tastes. GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability control is standard across the line.
The biggest news for 2011 is the addition of the CTS coupe, which features similar angular styling to the wagon and sedan, but with a look all its own which includes a steeply raked windshield, longer doors, and a clean quarter panel design. The body is nearly two inches lower and two inches shorter than the sedan, and the suspension has been tuned to further improve handling.
All CTS models come well-equipped. The 3.0L features 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, an 8-way power-adjustable seat, a tilt and telescopic steering column, premium vinyl seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an 8-speaker sound system as standard. 3.0 Luxury trim adds a power passenger's seat, driver's memory functions, heated seats, leather upholstery, a wood and leather steering wheel and Bluetooth connectiblility. 3.0 Performance adds 18-inch wheels, high-performance brakes, upgraded sport-tuned suspension, a limited-slip rear differential and HID headlamps. 3.6 Performance features the larger and more-powerful V6, and in addition to the items offered on the 3.0 Performance, adds a 10-speaker stereo with hard-drive based music storage and USB/iPod connections. A Luxury Level Two package is also available on top of the Performance trims, adding rear parking sensors, heated and cooled front seats, folding rear seat, keyless entry and remote start. Finally, 3.6 Premium adds a panoramic sunroof, hard-drive based navigation and a back-up camera.
The performance-oriented CTS-V again comes with an impressive 556-horse supercharged 6.2L V8 and the choice of either a 6-speed automatic or manual transmission. For 2011, the CTS-V is available in either sedan or coupe versions. GM's Magnetic Ride Control suspension is standard, which gives the driver two separate firmness modes. In addition to that, GM's Performance Traction Management helps wrestle all the V's power to the ground without limiting spirited performance driving. Special bold exterior styling touches complete the package, as well as unique interior appointments that include Recaro seats with 14-way adjustments and special suede-like leather wraps on the steering wheel and shift knob. A GPS navigation system is standard.