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GM's New Coupe: Not Your Daddy's Caddy

If GM's IPO is as well-received as the new Cadillac CTS Coupe, the company will be off to a great start.
Author:

DETROIT (

TheStreet

) -- Not only did

General Motors

TST Recommends

file its IPO registration in August -- the automaker also unveiled the 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe.

If

GM's public offering

is received as well by investors as its new car has been by the automotive press, the public company will be off to a very good start.

>>For GM Investors, it Is Gut-Check Time

The 2011 CTS Coupe, which recently started arriving at dealerships, represents Cadillac's effort to compete in the luxury sports car niche.

"The Cadillac CTS Coupe stands apart," said Damon Lavrinc, senior editor of

Autoblog

. "It's angular, edgy and angry, and there's little doubt that clean, ultra-low mileage examples will be crossing the auction block in 30 years time, bound for collector's garages."

Of course, the CTS Coupe is not alone in its niche: it faces a variety of competitors, most of them produced by European manufacturers.

Read on for more about the Cadillac CTS and take a look at its competitors.

Cadillac CTS Coupe

The CTS Coupe, which GM says represents a new focal point for Cadillac in terms of design and performance, starts at $38,990 and comes with a 3.6L direct injection V6 engine that produces 304 horsepower.

First introduced in 2002, the CTS Coupe has long been highly regarded -- the 2010 model was named to the

Car and Driver

10-best list for the third consecutive year.

However, the car has a bit of catching up to do. Lavrinc said that the car's interior "is starting to feel its age" and that, as for driving dynamics, "the CTS Coupe has a hard time keeping up with the sportiest stalwarts of the segment."

But "driving a rolling piece of art always comes with tradeoffs."

2011 BMW 335i Coupe

BMW unveiled its model 3-series coupe convertible at the end of 2009. The BMW335i Coupe starts at $36,200.

"The BMW 335i Coupe is the class benchmark," Lavrinc said. "It's packing an upgraded, turbo-charged inline-six outputting 300 horsepower, a taut suspension and driving dynamics that are unmatched in the segment."

Its appearance could be nicer, though. "It doesn't look like much," Lavrinc said. "The interior is typical German minimalism and the exterior won't turn heads."

Nevertheless, "after a high-speed blast on your favorite mountain road, you understand why BMW's slogan holds true decades later," he said. That iconic slogan: "The ultimate driving machine."

2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 Coupe

The Mercedes-Benz E350 Coupe is not cheap: it starts at $48,050. The car has a powerful feel, said Lavrinc: "the sensation from behind the wheel is more Bahn-burning German than grippy sports coupe."

A bit of reconfiguring by Mercedes means that "the inside returns Mercedes to its former glory," Lavrinc said. The twin headlamp design, once a Mercedes staple, "has been pinched and squeezed, the rear fenders have a dramatic flair and the overall shape is at once subdued and aggressive."

2011 Audi A5 Coupe

The 2011 Audi A5 Coupe, which starts at $36,500, is "arguably one of the most attractive sports coupes in the segment," Lavrinc said. It features a low roofline and bold, low-slung bodywork.

Inside, he said, "the interior materials, ergonomics and fit-and-finish should be studied by every automaker's design team." A turbocharged four-cylinder engine means the A5 offers both an enjoyable driving experience with fuel efficiency.

2011 Infiniti G37

The 2011 Infiniti G37, which starts at $33,250, was recently redesigned and features a 3.7 liter V6 engine. The car "still looks modern three years in," said Lavrinc. "It's not the most bold or assertive coupe in the segment,

but the G37 rewards with a more manageable price tag and Japanese reliability."

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.