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2005 Cadillac STS

2005 Cadillac STS

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This is the first official photograph of Cadillac's 2005 STS. The replacement for the aging Seville sedan is designed to serve as the General Motors brand's flagship, and that's why you'll find the fingerprints of GM "Car Czar" Bob Lutz all over the new car. Lutz pushed back the project a few months in order to soften and add curve to the hard edges originally planned for the '05 STS — as can be seen in the doors and roof line, though overall, the luxury sedan bears an unmistakable similarity to the razor-sharp CTS. Inside, the car will feature a significantly refined cockpit, the first step in Cadillac's effort to upgrade its interiors.

The new STS will get its power from either a 3.6-liter V-6 engine or the 4.6-liter Northstar V-8. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive will be an option. A high-performance V-Series version will follow, perhaps a year to 18 months later, according to Cadillac sources. The new STS will be shown in the "flesh" at April's New York auto show and will go on sale in the third quarter of this year.

The STS is intended to provide an attainable halo around a brand that has "stopped the slide and gained momentum," said Cadillac General Manager Mark LaNeve, but there's plenty of work to do before Caddy can truly reclaim its long-held position as the "standard of the world." Propelled by a December surge in SUV sales, the automaker recorded volume of 216,090 last year, its best performance since 1990, LaNeve declared during the Automotive News World Congress.

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