Cadillac CTS 3.6 Loses Manual Transmission For 2012
Cars like Cadillac’s 556 HP, rear-drive, manual transmission-equipped CTS-V SportWagon are the kind of offering that enthusiasts lust after, even if a relative “value-price” of $70k-ish keeps it in aspirational territory. And by offering a CTS “Performance Edition” with the option of mating a six-speed manual to GM’s well-liked 3.6 liter V6, Cadillac gives enthusiasts an appealing opportunity to bask in some of the V’s reflected glory. But apparently not many enthusiasts are interested in pursuing this opportunity, as InsideLine reports that the manual transmission option will be dropped from the 2012 CTS 3.6.
Rather than beating GM over the head with the underachievement of its 3.0 V6, we’ll ask all you manual-loving enthusiasts out there why you haven’t been buying enough manual-equipped CTS 3.6s. Is the CTS simply an underwhelming enthusiast option, when not tuned to its maximum V potential? Does the transmission involvement matter less in a vehicle of the CTS’s size (I never missed it when I drove an autobox V, but 556 HP helps with that)? For all the work Cadillac has done to promote the CTS-V as a brand halo, it will want to understand why that halo isn’t helping sell enthusiast-oriented, non-V CTS models.
It's nice to see mature, rational comments on the subject of automatics crowding manuals out of the market, particularly in the near-luxury and luxury segments. In the past we've been treated to repeated choruses of, "You say they won't sell? Well, I'd buy one!" Yeah,right. And quite possibly the comments of a 17-year-old who can barely drive Mom's Sonata. In this post-economic meltdown world - with still-lingering uncertainty - even enthusiasts recognize that automakers must make cars and make money. It's likely that the manual's sales volumes are simply not high enough to cover the cost of EPA certification, which must be done for each powertrain combination.
Lack of sales and CAFE along with arthritic left legs don't make this feasible. It's same group think that if two models have manuals, the third must have it too. Besides it's probably the same Aisin used in the 3.0!
I test drove the CTS coupe a few weeks ago, but the dealer did not have a manual transmission car to try. I am having a hard enough time coming up with a manual transmissioned A5 to test drive, let alone the Caddy. (The Audi dealer had a new A5 with a manual which I drove, but the new one only has a four cylinder, and I would like the previous version with the six). The Cadillac CTS Coupe just felt too much like a luxury car, and not sporting enough. My wife even felt that the A5 was a bit big and floaty, but it still felt more athletic than the Cadillac. I did alarm the CTS salesman a bit when I came back to the dealer at a pretty good clip and did a double downshift with the manumatic before pulling back into their driveway.
No surprises here, old people don't buy stick shifts. Buicks with stick shifts are poor sellers as well. Enthusiasts will buy stick shift cars and that's why BMW, Inifiniti and Audi continue to offer them.