General Motors' luxury brand Cadillac has launched a version of the STS sports sedan specially tailored for Chinese buyers.

The brand was launched in China two years ago and the new SLS sedan, lengthened 100mm to add rear seat room in a market where most buyers employ drivers, joins the CTS sedan, XLR roadster, SRX crossover - and the Escalade SUV also being launched now.

"The SLS interior is designed to meet specific local needs in this primarily chauffeur-driven luxury segment," GM said.

Three engine options will be available - 2.8-litre V6, 3.6-litre V6 and Northstar 4.6-litre V8.

The new SLS is built at the Shanghai GM plant.

"The Cadillac SLS is a very important addition to our line-up in China as it meets very specific market needs," said Jim Taylor, general manager of Cadillac. "Cadillac reacts to country specific requirements and is proud to offer the SLS to Chinese luxury customers who demand extra space in the rear and other features."

Earlier this year, Cadillac introduced the new Swedish-made, Saab 9-3-based BLS sedan in Europe and other international markets to satisfy the need for a smaller Cadillac model and a turbodiesel engine option.

"The new Cadillac SLS and Escalade as well as the new offering from Wuling will strengthen our position as the market leader in China. GM's multi-brand approach in China enables us to successfully compete in all important segments of the fastest growing market in the world. I am looking forward to finishing 2006 as another year of record growth for GM in China," said Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China group.

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