Earlier this morning, we brought you the most recent 2019 Cadillac XT4 spy pictures that show the upcoming compact luxury crossover testing with production lights in the front and rear. A closer look at the camouflaged prototype, however, shows what might be a new feature – deployable running boards integrated into the vehicle’s body.
Specifically, the 2019 Cadillac XT4 tester has a peculiar cutline a few inches below the bottom end of the front door, above the side sill – potentially suggesting that this area will “pop out” to form an assist step, otherwise known as a running board. By comparison, the Cadillac XT5, along with all current-generation crossovers from other GM brands, don’t have the aforementioned cutline. Instead, they feature a door that runs nearly the entire height of the body (vertically) while being broken up visually by a decorative element running horizontally. The automaker has touted a full-height door as having a convenience advantage, as it prevents occupants from sullying their pants or legs when getting in or out of their vehicle on what could potentially be dirty from snow or rain splash-back.
To date, no GM product has integrated a deployable running board integrated into the vehicle’s body. Other GM vehicles that have offered power-retractable running boards, otherwise known as assist steps, are full-size trucks and SUVs, including the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, as well as the GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade. We should also note that the 2016 Lincoln Navigator concept featured deployable running boards integrated into the body, but the feature didn’t make it into the production version of the all-new Navigator.
About Cadillac XT4
As rival luxury brands have introduced a barrage of crossover utility vehicles to complement their sedan offerings, GM’s Cadillac luxury brand has been severely in the department. To that end, the compact Cadillac XT4 will slot below the midsize Cadillac XT5 and represent Cadillac’s second crossover utility vehicle to take on the likes of the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class and Audi Q5 a from a size standpoint, while being priced starting in the low $30,000 range, in the vicinity of the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and Audi Q3.
The new crossover will ride on the GM E2 platform shared with the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick Regal/Opel-Vauxhall Insignia. It will likely be powered by GM’s turbocharged 2.0L LTG inline four-cylinder engine making in the vicinity of 250 horsepower. A plug-in hybrid variant will also be offered. The XT4 will be produced for North America at the GM Fairfax plant in Kansas alongside the current Chevrolet Malibu. In fact, the factory has already commenced production prep of the XT4. A Shanghai-GM plant in China will produce the vehicle for that market.
The vehicle will likely feature several unique-to-segment feature, including a hidden rear window wiper and the aforementioned deployable running boards integrated into the vehicle’s body.
Look for the XT4 to be revealed in April at the New York International Auto Show. It will be the first Cadillac product to be completely developed under the leadership of Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen.