• 2014 Cadillac CTS funnels engine note to interior
  • Will provide a sporty feel under acceleration
  • 2014 CTS reaches dealers this fall, priced from $46,000

The all-new Cadillac CTS will use an engine sound enhancement system that sends engine noise into the cabin. Cadillac recently announced this feature, noting that the system will provide "powerful and pleasant exhaust notes" in the 2014 CTS.

According to Cadillac, the system works with the car's selectable driving modes. Choose Tour, for example, and the engine note "purrs with refinement." Select Sport and prepare to hear the engine "growl with power." And in the high-performance Track mode, only offered on the sporty CTS Vsport, the engine roars "even more aggressively."

So how do they do it? Cadillac says its engineers studied acoustics to learn which sounds are the most pleasing to human ears. The brand also surveyed the sounds of competitor models before choosing the tones they wanted in the CTS. Then engineers created a system that would deliver engine noises to the cabin through the car's Bose audio system.

One thing Cadillac is quick to point out: The noises aren't fake. That's a complaint that rival automaker BMW has endured with a similar system in its cars. Cadillac says that while the sounds are coming through the speakers, they're derived from actual noises being made by the engine itself.

If you're interested in a luxury sedan, you might wonder why Cadillac spent so much time and effort sending engine noises into the CTS's cabin. Wouldn't they want to make it quieter?

Not necessarily. Cadillac is trying to improve its reputation among sport-minded car shoppers, and engine noise is one way to do that. By reminding drivers they're behind the wheel of a powerful sedan with a big engine, Cadillac may sway shoppers who think the competitors are just a little too quiet.

Cadillac is also adding the engine noise to keep up with rivals. BMW recently added engine noise to one of its models, and other performance-minded automakers -- including Porsche -- are doing the same. In other words, it's one way to remind drivers who want a sporty feel that Cadillac is increasingly a contender.

Cadillac says the 2014 CTS goes on sale this fall. Prices start around $46,000 with shipping -- a $9,000 increase over last year's model. With the increased price comes more equipment, more power and a larger car inside and out.

What it means to you: The 2014 Cadillac CTS is the sportiest CTS yet, and Cadillac wants to be sure you know that.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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