The all-new Cadillac BLS range of executive saloons, which goes on sale in the UK next week, presents customers with a choice of 12 models featuring one diesel and three petrol engines, each with manual or automatic transmission, and three equipment levels.
The right-hand drive BLS extends the American luxury brand’s model lineup with a premium midsize saloon designed in Europe, manufactured in Europe, for the specific requirements of European and UK consumers. Arrival of the BLS will accelerate Cadillac’s successful renaissance, which last year saw sales in Western Europe increased by 73 percent.
First shown by General Motors at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2005, the new front-wheel drive BLS offers expressive design, an outstanding ride and unrivalled acoustic comfort, and marks a new era in the brand’s history as the first-ever Cadillac with a turbo diesel engine.
The Cadillac BLS design was conceived by an international team of designers led by GM Vice President of Design Ed Welburn. The vehicle has clear, sharply defined contours, a striking wedge shape profile and an elegant interior. Its development focused on matching customers’ expectations of performance, ride, handling and refinement to Cadillac’s unique ‘Art & Science’ design language.
The Cadillac BLS is available with a choice of an advanced common-rail diesel and three petrol engines, all with turbocharging and four-valve-per-cylinder technology. Every engine is available with a manual or an automatic transmission, with five- or six-speeds – depending on engine type.
The new BLS is the first-ever Cadillac with a turbocharged diesel engine. The 1.9-litre TD, 150 hp, four-cylinder power unit delivers a dynamic driving performance and low consumption. Strong torque, 320 Nm (236 lb ft) from 2000 to 2750 rpm, ensures brisk responsive acceleration for safe everyday overtaking ability. Acceleration to 62 mph takes just 9.5 seconds and top speed is 131 mph with the six-speed manual transmission. Fuel consumption is 46.3 mpg on the combined cycle and 39.2 mpg with the six-speed automatic.
The BLS’s two all-aluminium 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engines develop 175 and 210 hp respectively, and share the same basic design characteristics. The maximum torque of 265 or 300 Nm (195 or 221 lb ft), is available at just 2500 rpm, which means high pulling power at low and medium engine speeds. With a manual transmission, acceleration to 62 mph takes 8.5 seconds (175 hp engine) and 7.7 seconds (210 hp), while top speeds are 137 mph and 146 mph. Fuel consumption on the combined cycle is 37.2 mpg and 33.2 mpg respectively.
The new aluminum 2.8-litre V-6 petrol engine has a twin-scroll turbocharger and a maximum output of 255 hp. Part of a new generation of engines used globally by GM, this V6 offers plenty of power in all driving conditions, thanks to a maximum torque figure of 365 Nm (258 lb ft) generated at a low 2000 rpm. With a manual transmission, acceleration to 62 mph takes 6.7 seconds and top speed is 155 mph. Fuel consumption on the combined cycle is 27.7 mpg.
The BLS is the first Cadillac in the premium midsize segment and its handling has been tailored specifically to satisfy the requirements of European and UK car drivers. As a result, this front-wheel drive model emphasises vehicle dynamics and driving enjoyment, and features a chassis tuned for agility. With a wheelbase of 2675 mm and a wide track of 1524 mm (front) and 1506 mm (rear), the BLS provides the right foundations for balanced handling. The fully independent suspension features MacPherson struts in front and a four-link system at the rear, which ensure that the BLS has dynamic handling without compromising ride comfort.
For BLS buyers who prefer an even sharper drive, the range-topping ‘Sport Luxury’ model comes with an enhanced handling package fitted as standard for UK models. The package includes a firmer sports suspension and 18-inch diameter wheels with lower profile 225/45 R18 tyres, plus a tyre pressure monitoring system.
The Cadillac BLS’s sophisticated all-disc braking system features state-of-the-art electronic aids. The StabiliTrak electronic stability system is fitted as standard on all BLS models for the UK market. In critical driving situations, this ESP-type system assists the driver in ensuring that the vehicle follows the intended course.
The BLS interior creates a 100 percent Cadillac ambience, with luxury features executed in high quality fabrics and materials, and has gleaming decorative elements (in ‘piano black’ design) with tortoise-shell on the upper-level models. A red walnut wood veneer is available in combination with leather seats and heated and electronically adjustable front seats with memory for both driver and passenger.
The multi-adjustable front seats have a wide range of movement and the BLS cabin will seat up to five adults in considerable comfort. Adjustable head restraints and three-point seatbelts are provided for all five occupants. The boot capacity of 425 litres can be increased by folding forwards part or all of the 60/40 split rear-seat backrest.
Cadillac’s luxury midsize BLS saloon promises customers high levels of quality and comfort with generous specifications across three equipment levels – SE, Luxury and Sport Luxury – plus highly competitive pricing, across the 12-strong model line-up.
The standard trim level, ‘SE’ includes: 16-inch alloy wheels, three-spoke leather steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, climate control air-conditioning, one-touch front and rear electric windows, and seven-speaker audio system with CD player.
The intermediate trim level, ‘Luxury’, has all the above SE features, plus the addition of 17-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, auto rain sensor / wipers, driver and passenger eight-way adjustable powered heated front seat with memory, dual-zone climate control, leather trim and red walnut wood veneer interior trim.
The top of the range ‘Sport Luxury’ trim level has additional standard equipment which includes 18-inch alloy wheels with 225/45 R18 tyres, sports suspension, bi-xenon headlamps and a nine-speaker Bose audio system.
With its combination of brisk acceleration, powerful performance, agile handling, excellent road holding, traction control, StabiliTrak and all-disc braking system with electronic back-up, the Cadillac BLS is fully specified with ‘active’ safety equipment to enable drivers to avoid everyday motoring hazards.
The BLS features a comprehensive range of ‘passive’ safety equipment in case an accident becomes unavoidable. Standard ‘passive’ features include: front, side and curtain airbags, ‘active’ front seat head restraints, head restraints and three-point seatbelts for all five seating positions, plus pyrotechnic seatbelt tensioners and force limiters on the front seats and out-board rear seats.
Cadillac BLS prices
BLS SE 1.9TD (150 hp) 6-speed manual: £21,473
BLS SE 1.9TD (150 hp) 6-speed auto: £22,933
BLS Luxury 1.9TD (150 hp) 6-speed manual: £25,073
BLS Luxury 1.9TD (150 hp) 6-speed auto: £26,533
BLS SE 2.0T (175 hp) 5-speed manual: £20,728
BLS SE 2.0T (175 hp) 5-speed auto: £22,078
BLS Luxury 2.0T (175 hp) 5-speed manual: £24,278
BLS Luxury 2.0T (175 hp) 5-speed auto: £25,628
BLS Luxury 2.0T (210 hp) 6-speed manual: £25,678
BLS Luxury 2.0T (210 hp) 5-speed auto: £27,028
BLS Sport Luxury 2.8V6 (255 hp) 6-speed manual: £30,998
BLS Sport Luxury 2.8V6 (255 hp) 6-speed auto: £32,398