That's a photoshop. That's third generation CTS There was no Catera for some time by the time that car was introduced.
There is no mention of the name Catera in any of the GM CTS literatures or press information. The only reference to the Catera was the word Catera on the backside of the gen 1 CTS's grille. A part which the design was assumably finalized before a the CTS name was finalized.
CTS stands for C series Touring sedan. This "series" acronym model name explanation can be found in a couple of GM press releases.
---------- If it stood for Catera Touring Sedan, why isn't the CTS coupe called the CTC? Cadillac wants nothing to do with the Catera nameplate.
Interesting. If that is a 3rd Generation CTS (I'm not well versed in CTS history) then yes it could be photoshopped (though who would bother?). It might be a styling studio mock-up prior to 1st gen finalization, naming, and production. When I researched my Catera history I read a GM Online release refering to the CTS as a Catera Touring Sedan, keeping in line with the STS (Seville Touring Sedan), DTS (Deville Touring Sedan), and ETC (Eldorado Touring Coupe) naming practice. The GM Online page with that reference is gone now so I can't prove it but GM has an undeniable history of backtracking and covering-up so that's understandable. I'll stand by the Catera Touring Sedan naming story until proven wrong.
I tend to agree with Elvin, the origin of "CTS" was originally Catera Touring Sedan. The idea that the name was C-class Touring Sedan is really ludicrous, considering that Cadillac thought the Catera was competition for the base level BMW 5 series and Mercedes E class in size and performance (which in fact it was). The CTS of today is really more of a an 5 series car than a 3 series car; the ATS really is the equivalent of the 3 series.
But the ignorant hatred of the Catera will always cloud those unfamiliar with the Catera memories of the car.
I've found mixed very vague descriptions for the "lettered" nomenclature. Yes photo shop might be the case here, but Seville, DeVille, Eldorado were all well revered models Cadillac were clinging to in those years. While striving to be more state of the art and not leaving behind the valued customers over the years, the 'lettered' models just confused the buyers even more. The Catera will probably always will remain the 'red headed step child'. A proving ground for the direction Cadillac needed to go in, yet the typical corporate way of executing a project in the most economic way possible. Then in the way most automotive companies deal with problems, turn a blind eye to the botched half assed re-designs, leaving the customer and poorly prepared dealership staff to deal with the remaining issues. The Catera was NEVER perfect. It was a very good attempt at the start of a new era for a staple of one of the best car divisions that needed a new direction. GM chose a car that had a sub par reliability record, yet had a good basic design platform. Had it improved the short comings early on the Catera would be a hero in Cadillac's history instead of being in the company of the Cimmaron. While I don't mean to insult any Cimmaron fans there is NO comparison between the two cars. The Cimmaron was not even close to an import car even in it's day. The Catera WAS a German car just re-badged and 'American-ized'. I've been a Cadillac owner for decades, as well as a Mercedes owner and the Catera is a perfect blend of the two with the exception of reliability. I'll put up with the headache because of the blend that it did so well.