The New York Auto Show usually brings in a bunch of Wall Street types to scrutinize cars and provide analysis on the different auto companies that are on display. But year-in and year-out, we get the impression that there is a sense of detachment there, and that their impressions — while influential — are often misplaced. And that could mean that they are quick to assume that the 2016 Cadillac CT6 is going to tackle the Mercedes-Benz S-Class right out of the gate. Or they may get it twisted in the other direction and think it’s meant to tackle the BMW 5 Series and the like. We’re here to help alleviate that confusion.
What The 2016 Cadillac CT6 Is
1. A Highly Dynamic Full-Size Sedan
The 2016 Cadillac CT6 is nearly the same length as a BMW 740Li, while weighing around an estimated half-ton less than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, let alone the much smaller CTS. Meanwhile, its available four-wheel steering Active Chassis System allows for a turning radius of 37 feet, making it significantly more maneuverable than any of its full-sized rivals at low speeds, while the system allows for more stable motions at high speeds. Couple that with the impressive 3.0L twin-turbo V6 engine with 400 horsepower, and we’re sure to have an impressive power-to-weight ratio when the full spec sheet is published.
2. A Showcase Of GM’s Latest Engineering Techniques
The Omega platform underpinnings of the CT6 is a modern marvel combing the latest use of aluminum alloy and high-strength steel. And GM owns a lot of intellectual property that makes it possible. Aluminum spot welding, for instance, bonds pieces of aluminum together in ways that nobody else can do, while the steel is incorporated in areas where strength and sound insulation are needed the most. And just because it’s lighter than the lightest vehicles in the segment under it doesn’t mean that the CT6 is competing with them. It’s just showing what sort of weight savings has been achieved with no compromises, perhaps other than cost.
3. A Highly Promising Springboard Vehicle
With no V8 option or a long-wheelbase variant at launch, it’s hard to see the 2016 Cadillac CT6 reaching beyond $100,000. But give it time. Let the cadence happen, let the Omega platform mature and let Cadillac continue its climb up the luxury ladder. Because if this is the entry-level Omega Cadillac, there’s going to be a lot for the Germans to worry about in the not-too-distant future.
What The 2016 Cadillac CT6 Is Not
1. A Flagship
Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. If they do, they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Again, without any high-end powertrains or a stretched out version, the CT6 is pretty limited as to what it can compete with for now, whether we like it or not. But it would be foolish to think that such variants aren’t coming, as Cadillac hasn’t been bashful in mentioning that it will soon reveal more exclusive engines, including V8s. What’s more, since Cadillac has stopped short of officially labeling the CT6 as a “flagship,” you can bet that the flagship program is still in the pipeline.
2. An S-Class Fighter
Yes, the Cadillac CT6 much lighter than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and yes it has superior V6 engine offerings to the S-Class. But in the US market, where only the long wheelbase S-Class is offered, the German luxury sedan starts at $92,000, and will go all the way up to over $230,000 with the V12-powered S65 AMG. It’s unlikely the Cadillac CT6 will have a similar starting MSRP, despite its engineering breakthroughs. But a short-wheelbase BMW 7 Series, which starts at $72,000, may be a more realistic entry point for the CT6, give or take.
3. The Car That Will “Save Cadillac”
Ultimately, no single car will save Cadillac. Ultimately, Cadillac sticking to its $12 billion long-term plan of elevating its perception among buyers and expanding its product portfolio with home-run products will save Cadillac. Though if we must say, the CT6 seems like a helluva start.