Once upon a time, car designers didn’t think twice about building land yachts like the 70s Cadillac Eldorado, which was more than 18 feet long and weighed close to 5,000 pounds. These days efficiency is in vogue, and the upcoming Cadillac CT6 full-sized flagship will use an aluminum body to keep the pounds off, reports Automobile Magazine.
Details have been slowly coming out about the CT6 ever since Cadillac poached former Audi US chief Johan de Nysschen, who has made some controversial decisions and remarks in his remake of the luxury brand. Among those is the approval of the CT6 as a tech-heavy flagship meant to launch the brand into the next decade, and will likely include a plug-in hybrid drivetrain with an emphasis on performance.
But performance would be hard to achieve with an excessively high curb weight, so aluminum will be utilized to try and keep the CT6 at or below the 4,000 pound mark, and possibly as low as 3,700 pounds. Compare that to a likely competitor like the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, which ranges in the 4,200 to 4,500 pound range, and Cadillac could carve out a serious advantage for itself.
While GM hasn’t been the fastest automaker to adopt aluminum in an effort to improve efficiency, the automaker could be adopting a top-down mentality by applying it to Cadillac first. Ford on the other hand went straight for volume sales by building an aluminum-bodied F-150, though the fuel economy figures were perhaps not as high as they had hoped. Cadillac has been similarly unlucky with ELR sales, which have only recently surged following huge discounts off the MSRP.
Once reserved for race cars and sportscars, aluminum is definitely becoming a lot more common in the auto industry. It might not be long before even the cheapest cars are made from old beer cans.