The Cadillac STS was a four-door mid-size luxury car available from 2005 to 2011 model years in most market countries, and from 2007 to 2013 model years in China.
Cadillac STS The Beginning of the Cadillac STS
While the STS moniker first appeared as a limited-edition run of the 1988 Cadillac Seville, the late 2000s era STS was its own model. It now featured rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, the first rear-wheel drive Cadillac in 25 years and the first all-wheel drive Cadillac in history. The engine choices were a 3.6L V-5 producing 255 horsepower, or an optional 4.6L Northstar V-8 with 320 horsepower. Both had duel overhead camshafts with variable valve timing and remote ignition. It was built on the GM Sigma platform and had magnetic ride control suspension. Optional upgrades included a heads-up display and a 300-watt Bose stereo system with MP3 capability.
Ultimate Performance: The Cadillac STS-V
In 2004, Cadillac made the first in a V-series lineup by producing the CTS-V, an ultra-high-performance version of the flagship CTS. The Cadillac STS was the second vehicle to join the V-series and started production in 2006. The Cadillac STS-V came with a supercharged four-cam 4.4L Northstar V-8. It produced a whopping 469 horsepower and 439 lb ft of torque with up to 12 psi boost from the supercharger. Additional engine modifications included a reduced compression ratio of 9.0:1, stronger rods, and reinforced block with a bore reduction (hence the 4.4L compared to the original 4.6L). Even so, the Northstar V-8 has a reputation for having electrical problems and being costly for repairs. Many other upgrades were made in comparison to the base STS to set the STS-V apart from the crowd, including six-bolt wheels, a mesh grilled, stiffer suspension, quicker steering gearing, reinforced cradles, and larger Brembo brakes. Higher flowing intake and exhaust systems were fitted to increase air flow and power. The STS-V weighed approximately 4,300 pounds, yet still offered a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 5 seconds and a respectable top speed of 165 mph. Not quite a drag-strip king, but a high performing luxury sedan at the minimum. The STS-V was short-lived and ceased production after the 2009 model year, and instead the focus was put back on the CTS-V as the ultra-high-performance Cadillac offering. Only about 2,500 units of the Cadillac STS-V were ever produced. There is potential for these to become desirable classic cars for collector purposes, but the market does not indicate that has yet happened. Perhaps some of the rust-free states have some low-mileage STS-V’s hiding in garages and barns to be discovered in future years. Time will tell.
Later Updates and Changes to the STS
In 2008, the STS received an exterior styling update with an enlarged grille and chrome vents on the fenders. A few minor changes happened to the interior, but for the most part, the STS remained unchanged. The V-6 engine, however, did receive direct fuel injection, increasing horsepower to 302 and torque to 272 lb ft. It was paired with an improved 6-speed automatic transmission. Enhanced safety features were brought to the Cadillac STS, including lane departure warning system, blind spot monitoring, and an improved stability control system that utilized both automatic steering and braking in emergency situations. Some options that were reserved for the V-8 were now also available on the V-6, including HID headlamps and heads-up display.
Chinese Version: SLS
Available from 2007 to 2013, Cadillac created a long-wheelbase version of the STS which is called the SLS, specifically for the Chinese market.