The Cadillac BLS is a compact executive car that was marketed in Europe by Cadillac, sharing General Motors' Epsilon architecture, as a restyled variant of the Saab 9-3. Development was carried out by Saab and the car was manufactured in Trollhättan, Sweden, alongside the Saab 9-3 and the Saab 9-5. Sales of the saloon began in March 2006, with an estate joining the line for 2007. Starting in 2007, the BLS was sold in the Middle East, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. It was never sold in the United States or in Canada.
BLS production reached 3,257 in 2006and 2,772 in 2007. Production ended in 2009.
The BLS was available with a diesel engine (a 1.9 L turbocharged four-cylinder) and two petrol engines (a 2.8 L turbocharged V6 and a 2.0 L available with two power levels).
At 184.3 in (4,681 mm) in overall length, the BLS was almost six inches shorter than the CTS, the smallest Cadillac that was available in the United States or Canada.
Though a large percentage of BLS components were shared with the SAAB 9-3, the BLS was differentiated from the 9-3 throughout the exterior and interior.
The BLS is known by many as the "Bob Lutz Special" - a reference to Vice Chairman Bob Lutz who oversaw all GM product development at the time. Lutz, a supporter of badge engineering, wanted to leverage the SAAB 9-3 to fill holes in Cadillac's product range.
The reference to Bob Lutz can be viewed both as support and as criticism of his strategy. While the BLS was a market failure, many of the techniques of badge engineering employed in the BLS resulted in other GM product successes, most notably a significant improvement in overall passenger car product quality and performance output.
According to GM, BLS stands for "B-segment Luxury Sedan", being in a smaller class than the CTS mid-size saloon. This is consistent with the Seville Luxury Sedan, later known as the Cadillac SLS in China.
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