As the all-new, 2019 Cadillac XT4 nears its official launch in the North American market, GM’s premium brand has shared some details of the luxurious compact crossover’s engineering. Half of the XT4’s winning recipe is its all-new, turbocharged 2.0L engine, which you can read about here. The other half? A brand-new compact CUV architecture that leverages high-strength steel, a five-link rear suspension, clever steering vibration cancellation, and available Active Sport dampers to provide an apt blend of agility and refinement in a range of different driving scenarios.
Technically speaking, the 2019 Cadillac XT4 is built on the not-quite-new E2XX platform that underpins cars like the current Chevrolet Malibu and Buick Regal, but this represents its first deployment in a crossover utility vehicle. Cadillac calls the architecture “robust, stiff, and comparatively lightweight,” thanks in part to its use of press-hardened high-strength steel.
Cadillac was dead set on making the feeling of rigidity and agility palpable for the driver, paying special close attention to how the steering components connect to the chassis. The variable-assist electric steering system is attached to a solid-mounted front cradle and a lateral cross brace, adding stiffness that reduces the crossover’s body movement during steering maneuvers and provides a nimble, direct feel. Unseemly vibrations from the road and the propulsion system are filtered out by a Cadillac-first tuned vibration absorber integrated into the steering wheel airbag, which has its advantages over, say, adding extra weight to the wheel to dampen harshness.
Among them, the tuned vibration absorber enhances the perception of structural rigidity, while providing a more comfortable feel, says Cadillac.
“The steering system’s immediate responses to inputs offer a greater feel of connection to the road,” says Cadillac XT4 Chief Engineer Todd Pawlik. “It’s an attribute that enhances the driver’s confidence behind the wheel and gives the XT4 a sporty character.”
Sport models of the 2019 Cadillac XT4 will also offer an Active Sport Suspension system with Continuous Damping Control, capable of adjusting damping at each wheel 500 times every second. The system automatically adapts to provide a soft, supple ride on smooth pavement, and to control the XT4’s pitch, roll, and vertical motion on less-than-smooth surfaces, or whenever the driver decides to get a bit spirited behind the wheel.
“XT4’s available CDC takes the XT4’s driving dynamics and control to a higher threshold,” Pawlik says. “It is the ultimate in ride control and refinement for this all-new SUV.”
In addition to the above, the chassis of the all-new, 2019 Cadillac XT4 also includes:
- MacPherson strut front suspension with rebound springs, allowing for a “more refined calibration” of the struts with superior body-roll control and weight transfer under acceleration.
- Five-link independent rear suspension mounted on an isolated rear cradle that dampens road noise at the rear.
- Specially-developed Continental all-season tires providing a balance of grip, handling, braking, and quietness. Both 18-inch and 20-inch wheels are available.