After many long months of speculation, anticipation, and perhaps some measure of reservation, we now find ourselves waiting in the wings at the eleventh hour before the 2016 Cadillac CT6 is revealed at the 2015 New York International Auto Show.
But how is it that the CT6 manages to command so much of our engagement? What makes this product so much more definitive for the American luxury brand than the ATS or the CTS?
Because it could very well redefine the Cadillac brand. As Automotive News explains, the 2016 Cadillac CT6 will be perhaps the first car from the GM luxury division in recent memory which doesn’t engage in the fool’s errand of chasing after competitors from rival German brands. While certainly tremendous cars, the Cadillac ATS and CTS are more clearly entities defined by how they measure up to comparable European luxury sedans.
Cadillac’s plans for the CT6 are to be somewhat more disruptive than all that. Or, as Will Churchill, Dealer Principal at Frank Kent Cadillac in Fort Worth, Texas told Automotive News: “We spend our whole life chasing others in this market. For once, we’ll be the ones planting a stake in the ground and sort of creating a new niche.”
We’ve seen some signs of this already, with regard to how much recent press releases have stressed the technology of the CT6’s stiff, lightweight body structure. As a result of this dedication to weight-watching, the CT6 will not only be lighter than the Mercedes-Benz S class, Audi A8, and BMW 7-series, but ought to be 200 pounds lighter than even the BMW 5-series mid-size sedan. That should lend the car inherently better driving dynamics, on top of a considerable boost to efficiency. Going along with the lighter weight is also the optional all-new 3.0L twin-turbo LGW V6 engine, which will send a class-leading 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels of the CT6. Between the low weight and the new engine, the 2016 Cadillac CT6 might be the best driver’s car the full-size segment has seen in a long time.
Says GM Executive VP of Global Product Development Mark Reuss: “We will create with the CT6 the world’s most advanced body structure.” The result will be a car “much more quiet, much more refined, [with] better ride and handling than anybody in the world.” And then there’s the price tag, estimated by GM to hover around $60,000 to start, topping out at around $90,000. Compare that to the Mercedes S class, which can readily top out above $200,000 with the V12-powered AMG model.
For a marque attempting to reinvent itself as a “luxury brand that happens to sell cars,” Cadillac is certainly making a recipe for a true driver’s car — initially at a lower price point, and to a further extent, than bloated rivals from BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz have ever dared attempt.