With the debut of the Cadillac CT6, GM’s luxury brand is launching itself directly at competitors with a new lightweight range-topping sedan that combines cutting-edge technology with a strong-yet-sophisticated look. If you guessed there was a V8 under the hood though, you guessed wrong, as GM will be offering three engines, but none with more than six cylinders.
“The CT6 is nothing less than an entirely new approach to premium luxury – and an approach only Cadillac can offer,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Cadillac. “It is a bold endeavor with unmatched dynamism that reignites a passion for driving in large luxury vehicles. In short, it is prestige luxury reimagined.”
So how does one reimagine “prestige luxury” you might be asking? For the Cadillac CT6, that means an all-new “aluminum-intensive” chassis architecture that utilizes 11 different high-strength, low-weight materials. GM boldly claims that this is one of the lightest and most-agile full-size luxury performance sedans, with GM saying the CT6 is about 218 pounds (99 kgs) lighter than a comparable vehicle.
That’s a good start to be sure, but to be called a performance car, the CT6 must offer, ya know, performance. At the onset, buyers will have the option of three engines; a 265 horsepower 2.0 liter turbo, a 335 horsepower 3.5 liter naturally-aspirated V6, and a 400 horsepower 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6. Power can be sent to either the rear-wheels or all four wheels through a new all-wheel drive system through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6 also has the distinction of being the first turbocharged V6 engine to utilize cylinder deactivation, in theory boosting fuel economy.
A solid entry into the field of premium luxury sedans, no doubt, but it still feels like a missed opportunity. At a time when more and more automakers are adding plugs to their luxury performance sedans, GM seems more determined to downsize its engines. If the CT6 is to be the Cadillac halo car, I think it says a lot that the only powertrain options don’t stray too far from tradition. Don’t get me wrong, a 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6 will be much less thirsty than the big V8s Cadillac was once known for.
But if GM really wants to be a leader in vehicle electrification, shouldn’t it’s most-premium vehicle at least offer the option of a plug? This writer thinks so.
Will update with live shots later.