Cadillac Once Again Confirms Smaller RWD Sedan Is Coming56
We’ve heard for about four years now that Cadillac will bring a sub-ATS-sized model to market, and the brand’s President, Johan de Nysschen, once again confirmed it’s coming.
He commented on the car in an interview with Jalopnik and specifically noted its top-spec trim, likely a V-Sport or V-Series, “will certainly lap the Nürburgring faster than anyone of our competitors in that category, if they care about that.”
The sub-ATS model will likely rival the BMW 2-Series, Mercedes-Benz CLA and Audi A3. Only the BMW comes with standard rear-wheel drive, and Cadillac has been adamant about developing its competitor with an RWD layout as well.
The fact that a smaller sedan than the ATS is still in the pipeline begins to clarify what Cadillac’s sedan portfolio will look like in the near future. The ATS replacement would likely become this smaller sedan, possibly called the CT3, while the CTS, soon to be CT5, plays in the compact and mid-size sedan segment.
The CT6 will sit as the largest offering, which would give Cadillac the space it desires between its sedans. Right now, the three cars overlap each other just a tad. The XTS should die off in the coming years, and Cadillac has reportedly given the Escala concept a green light for production.
Meanwhile, the 2019 XT4 will serve as its compact crossover, and we should see an XT6 bridge the gap between XT5 and Escalade.
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This is great news. Excited that Cadillac is committed to RWD. However, as more models come online, I wish Cadillac would tweak the naming structure for better spacing and to clean up the portfolio, similar to Audi and BMW’s use of numbers. Something like this:
CT2 – Small RWD sedan
CT4 – Replacement to the CTS
CT6 – Current model
CT8/Escala – Halo sedan that just got the green light 🙂
Coupes and convertibles can fill in the odds numbered models (like Audi)
XT2 – Subcompact crossover
XT4 – The compact crossover on the way
XT6 – Replacement to XT5, slightly larger than XT5
XT8 – Three row crossover just below Escalade
Coupe-like SUVs can fill in the odds
I think a pattern would be better for customers to understand the models as the Cadillac lineup starts to fill in.
S’funny, when JDN first moved for level-numbering, everybody said it was awful, names are better, and downvotes were cast.
Now, people are ‘correcting’ the numbers, and that gets all upvotes…
No wonder JDN doesn’t give a stuff about us internet commenters.
I never said I was against the alphanumerics. I actually liked them from the beginning. I’m just making a constructive comment, which is the purpose of the discussion section on these articles. JDN is free to do what he wants with Cadillac, but I’m also free to share my ideas here.
Thanks, I appreciate your comment, I’m sorry it was incendiary.
I was interested in the upvote/downvote disparity with the historical trend in names vs numbers for Caddy names. Apologies again.
I’m sorry mine was incendiary. Yours was not incendiary, it was legit, of course.
For the record, I still dislike the Cadillac letter-number thing just as much as when it was started. Yes I realize the Cadillac used numbers prior to the 1960’s, but the current system is strictly imitative of the Germans, not an homage to Cadillac history.
Pretty soon JdN may rename Cadillac as “CMW” as a way to copy BMW. They’ve already gotten rid of the wreath and the birds, they might as well get rid of the name itself.
The Cimarron was such a great idea in its day = to copy the Germans with a small cramped underpowered joke of a “Cadillac” – that they’ll be going it one better now with the sub-ATS. Cadillac is meaningless under JdN, just another German wannabe. So much for “Daring Greatly” by building actual Cadillacs, rather than copying the Germans in every size, spec, drive mode, driving dynamics, appearance, and naming convention.
That pattern blows. Why skip half the numbers in our base ten system?
XT5 won’t go anywhere. It will stay and will be RWD in its second gen.
XT6(FWD) – will be also rwd in the second gen. Its gonna be a 7 passenger SUV.
Btw, we will see some spy pics soon.
XT7(RWD) – X5/Cayenne rival.
XT8 – an SUV flagman. It won’t be below the Escalade. It will go global, while the Escalade is mostly the local cash cow.
CT7 – is a coupe.
I don’t understand all the love for RWD on this message board. When the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado became the first mass-produced luxury car with FWD, the FWD was a big advantage and the car was a major hit. Now so many people act like FWD is a negative. Is that because this is what the professional auto press tells them to believe, or have so many people independently come to this conclusion?
RWD is more expensive to build, it robs the car of legroom, it’s bad for gas milage, and it’s a horror show in snow and slippery conditions. So the first of those might not matter on a top of the line luxury car, since anyone paying for “the best” might not mind paying a little more to get RWD. But is RWD really “the best” in a large luxury car? And in smaller cars, price (and milage) matter more to the buyers (who presumably have less money to spend), and smaller cars also do even more poorly in the snow when equipped with RWD.
Then there are the CUVs. The best selling luxury CUV by far is that Lexus RX, and its FWD. Cadillac’s current best-selling vehicle is the XT5, and that’s FWD. Do people really think that changing to RWD in a future generation will result in increased sales? Cadillac’s own experience in sedans is that every time they’ve replaced a FWD sedan will a RWD one, sales have decreased. Sorry but that’s the reality, whether you want it to be true or not. But maybe people here are more interested in what they want personally in a vehicle, rather than looking at the business side of the equation?
I understand that it’s very popular on this website to espouse one’s love for RWD. There’s no doubt in my mind about that. I expect to get heavily thumbed down for even asking this question. But what I’d like to know – do people really feel a need to feel they are “Speed Racer” or “Fast n Furious” when driving a luxury vehicle, including even a CUV? Do the alleged benefits of RWD on a perfect day, outweigh the negatives of cost, legroom reduction, excess fuel usage, and loss of control in snow/slippery pavement? Is that how the people who post here drive on a daily basis? Or is this just one of those things where “BMW does it so we should do it”, or “the professional auto writers love RWD so they must know something”.
For me, it’s easy to outweigh the drawbacks of RWD vs FWD when the cars beg you to get playful with them. I understand there’s some great FWD drivers cars out there (looking at Mazda, VW golf, etc…) but even the most spirited FWD cars would be more fun RWD. Most drivers don’t even know, though. It’s more of an enthusiast crtitique. Look at Audi vs BMW. People compare the two all the time. No normal person would ever be concerned about platform layout.
FWD cars look fugly. That is the biggest and the main problem for me. Ugly proportions.
Let’s hope it spawns a small Chevy RWD sedan too. It would help spread out the costs of the platform.
Yeah, and it would help unspread the profits for the Caddy version, as people flock to the cheaper version of the same platform, as they have gone for Alpha-Camaro over Alpha-ATS-Coupe.
Sorry to rain on this parade, but a sub-ATS Cadillac sounds like a really bad idea. The ATS itself does not sell very well, never has. Why is he doubling down on a loser, with an even more un-Cadillac sized car?
And as much as I hate RWD, it’s even worse on a small car. RWD robs legroom that’s already at a premium in a small car, and small RWD cars are even worse in snow than big RWD cars. Plus there’s the extra cost to develop and produce RWD, not a great idea in a cost-conscious segment.
If I were Mary Barra, the mere idea of a sub-ATS RWD Cadillac would be enough to fire JdN. The guy just does not understand the Cadillac brand, let alone how to make big profits on a premium brand. But if she doesn’t fire him now, he’s likely to go when his sedan sales continue to be weak.
The Escalade and CUV sales are likely to be strong, but those aren’t really the cars JdN wants anyway. He especially doesn’t want the FWD CUVs, despite the fact that the XT5 (and the SRX before it) is the best-selling Cadillac today. When he brings his beloved RWD and hard sport-ride to the CUVs/SUVs, goodbye sales and profits.
Thank god you aren’t Mary.
Why the hell would you buy a tiny, RWD coupe to use in the snow and for seating people in the back?
You’re nuts. Look at the 2 series, the CLA, the A3, and the Cayman. You’re going to argue those aren’t profiting nameplates?
“Look at the 2 series, the CLA, the A3, and the Cayman.”
Those are all German cars, and they all arguably degrade their brands. Cadillac is known for a roomy comfortable ride, not a cramped joke of a ride.
Also, the past failure of small Cadillacs like the ATS and the CImarron shows that just because Americans will buy tiny German cars, they don’t necessarily buy tiny American “luxury” cars.
Cadillac used to mean something more than “let’s just copy the Germans”. But I don’t expect a guy named Johan who doesn’t understand American culture to understand what Cadillac means to Americans.
The only way this would remotely make sense would be to use Henry’s idea of putting in two comfortable seats only, rather than four cramped ones. But even so, I think Henry was envisioning a car no smaller than the ATS for that, just with two seats.
Meet the Cimarron 2.0. Or is that 3.0, since I guess the ATS was Cimarron 2.0.
It isn’t called “copying” it is called benchmarking.
The Germans have been leading the luxury market easily in the US for 10 years, so that is why they are the benchmarks.
While I agree about the cheapening of the brand, they bring in new customers.
“Cadillac used to mean something more than “let’s just copy the Germans”. But I don’t expect a guy named Johan who doesn’t understand American culture to understand what Cadillac means to Americans.”
He clearly has a better grasp of United State’s culture than your sad, confederate ass. If you don’t like this country, leave. If you want a shitty old barge instead of a modern Cadillac, buy an old DS.
Your old, racist, welfare-dependent existence is a bad image for Cadillac and any brand would be smart to ostracize your kind.
_vorg wrote: “[Johan de Nysschen] clearly has a better grasp of United State’s culture than your sad, confederate ass. If you don’t like this country, leave… Your old, racist, welfare-dependent existence is a bad image for Cadillac and any brand would be smart to ostracize your kind.”
That’s some serious venom, _vorg. Do you actually HATE EVERYONE who has a different viewpoint than you have, and then imagine all sorts of negative things about them to justify your bizarre rage? That’s the definition of bigotry itself.
All I’ve pointed out is that a guy who grew up in a country far from the USA, effectively isolated from the world during that time, without access to Cadillac products, does not understand the USA, it’s culture and the Cadillac brand as well as I think the head of Cadillac should. That’s simply an opinion. And while you may think that there’s a worldwide experience where every culture views every product the same way, and that every product is equally well suited to each part of the globe, most marketing experts will tell you that there are some differences along with the similarities. That’s not racism, that’s observation.
I admire Elon Musk for successfully launching a new brand and new type of car in the US, and he’s South African also. I’m not against South Africans or anyone else selling in the USA. But I don’t think anyone but someone who grew up in the USA, appreciating Cadillac, is the right person to run such a well-established and iconic brand. JdN is treating Cadillac as if it’s a new brand, recently launched to imitate BMW, and that’s not working because Americans already have a strongly ingrained perception of the Cadillac brand. Besides which, there is already a BMW selling cars in the USA, and if Americans want a BMW they’ll get the real deal, not the wanna-be.
But instead of just addressing my views head-on, you prefer to launch nonsensical diatribes such as “racist”, “old”, “anti-American”, “confederate”, and “welfare-dependent”, “troglodyte” among others. What’s with that? How exactly am I “racist”? Because I don’t prefer to drive a car designed for German roads in the USA? Because I don’t think someone who grew up in South Africa and then had a 20+ year career with German car brands can understand what Cadillac means to Americans? I happen to be of significant German ancestry myself (also significant Irish ancestry, and I’m taking time out on St. Patrick’s day to write this). I’m not anti-German or anti-anybody, as long as they are not against me.
I happen to have ancestry that goes back to the Civil War on the Union side (only), so it’s pretty bizarre to call me “confederate”. I did grow up in the Midwest, and maybe that gives me a preference toward American cars more strongly than others. Though I’ve known plenty of people from other areas who also have a fondness for American cars, so it’s not just a Midwestern thing. I have as an adult lived in various parts of the USA, including the Northeast, the Mountain states, and even the former “Confederacy”. And I haven’t seen the kind of bigotry and hatred that you’ve exhibited yourself, except in some rare cases where a few misguided Northerners expressed hatred for the Southerners, despite never being there but imagining all sorts of negative things anyway. So congratulations on joining that club.
For the record, I’ve never collected welfare or taken any money from the US government (other than a tax rebate for overpayment); although if people find themselves in a circumstance where getting assistance is necessary, I’m not going to kick them while they are down, as you do. So again, I have no idea where this is coming from. But I can feel the hatred coming from you, and it’s obviously not healthy on your part.
As far as my being “old”, well I’m in my 50’s and quite fit. Maybe you see that as “old”, but I figure I will be buying cars for at least another 30 years. And I should have plenty of money to do so. I don’t think it would be wise for Cadillac to tailor all their product for millennials, and/or just copy the Germans step-by-step, always one car generation behind. That’s ultimately up to the GM shareholders, not you, me, JdN, or even Barra. Furthermore, there’s no reason a younger person can’t appreciate the classic Cadillac values such as roominess and ride quality. Yoshiaki who posts here has said he’s in his 30’s and loves the traditional Cadillac ride, preferring the XTS of the current line-up. Personally I’ve appreciated the Cadillac ride since I was a teenager, so the “old” thing doesn’t really match up with reality.
I don’t know what your background is, or what is making you so angry. Obviously you’ve got a lot of maturing to do, whatever your age or circumstances. Maybe you didn’t get enough participation trophies as a kid. I’d prefer that we discuss the Cadillac brand without the rage-filled venom, but if that’s your thing then have at it. Realize though that it’s unlikely to be good for your health or peace of mind. Have a great St. Patrick’s Day.
The ostracization should start with your uncalled for personal attack on Drew. Sean and GMA should remove your unprincipled comment
What kind of mentality gives a thumbs down to Drew and me over our responses regarding _Vorg’s inappropriate personal attack on Drew..
You’re example of a Cimarron kind of belies your ignorance here. That was a pathetic car, literally the same as the Chevy version but with a different grill and more interior bling. It drove the same way, which is to say, like a bad econobox. Even the Chevy version was a heap of junk.
The fact is that Cadillac (and especially Buick) still make the big road barges for which you pine. Why isn’t that enough for you? Why do you need Cadillac to also stop building sports sedans?
If Cadillac didn’t offer the ATS coupe then I’d just buy a BMW M240iX. The BMW is the better car since I can get the twin turb I6 with AWD, all at a lower price than an AWD V6 Cadillac (Cadillac can’t figure out how to add AWD to their twin turbo six), but I’d rather support an American manufacturer so the ATS is adequate for me.
Once Cadillac kills off the ATS they’ll have NOTHING that interests me at all. I HATE big cushy geezer sedans and if I’m going to drive a truck then I’ll just save $20K and drive a Chevy SUV.
“much as I hate RWD, it’s even worse on a small car.”
Don’t worry FCA, GM and now Ford hate fwd large luxury cars, i sense an Acura or Buick is in your future…
As i said a few post ago, all these rwd Caddys should spawn a performance, practical Chevy.
This is how you get people back to buying sedans over cuvs! Have Cadillac build all segments of their cars rwd and then let Chevy build a cheaper version of each segment.
Keep cuvs fwd and then watch the customers migrate from fwd cuvs back to rwd sedans!
Brian wrote: “Have Cadillac build all segments of their cars rwd and then let Chevy build a cheaper version of each segment. Keep cuvs fwd and then watch the customers migrate from fwd cuvs back to rwd sedans!”
This is essentially already being tried at Cadillac. As Cadillac has switched from FWD to RWD sedans, sedan sales have declined. Today Cadillac has one FWD CUV and it outsells all 3 RWD sedans put together. There is one FWD sedan remaining and it outsells each of the RWD sedans.
The problem is that people who prefer RWD tend to think that the rest of the world prefers it too. They do not. It’s a little like some Democrats thinking “if only we could be more liberal, we’d get all the votes”, or some Republicans thinking “if only we could be more conservative, we’d never lose”. When you are a die-hard, you are a die-hard, but the public does not necessarily go along with you. Even if it “makes so much sense” to you personally.
The pro-RWD crowd has a view that’s massively out of proportion to how the general public sees their cars. A lot of people just want a vehicle to get from here to there in comfort, style, safety, reliably, and they don’t care if you think RWD is more “fun” to push to the limits. Believe it or not, most people want your kind of “fun” from their car about as much as they want it from their washing machine.
As to Chevy building cheap RWD vehicles, I can’t imagine that ever happening, unless Barra completely loses her mind. FWD is cheaper to build, gives better miles per gallon and provides more legroom; all important factors in cheap (and presumably small) cars. Not to mention all those inexperienced drivers crashing their RWD cars and suing GM. The demand for cheap RWD cars is just not there, except in sport(y) cars like Camaro and Mustang, which are already RWD.
Once JdN changes the current CUVs (such as XT4 and XT5) from FWD to RWD – and HE WILL – you’ll see Cadillac’s CUV sales decline. But he’ll say that’s ok, now the cars are in the “right driveways”.
I didn’t say cheap I said cheaper version then Cadillac! Which would sale like crazy! Don’t believe me how many rwd Full size dodge sedans are on the streets? Plenty!
Every time GM talks about building a rwd Full size car people go crazy wanting to buy. Now why didn’t the SS sale not enough versions. High price top of the line model and nothing else below.
You don’t understand rwd cars I don’t understand fwd cars. So who’s right? Well if you go by cost fwd will always win because people are cheap! But if you go by driving ability and driving pleasure rwd will always win.
This leg room and not being able to drive in the snow is crap and a joke! If that still bothering you then you can opt for a awd.
The question I addressed was what would it take to get people back into sedans instead of cuvs. The real problem is that there really isn’t a difference between a sedan and cuvs in terms of driving them mainly because they are built on similar platforms. The car companies should make people pay for choosing cuvs over sedans.
Make cuvs cost much much more
Make sedans rwd and force cuvs drivers to live with fwd.
Give sedans more powerful engine options compared to cuvs.
People can leave GM.
They also need to make it a coupe and not just a sedan. ct3 sedan only would be a bad move.
I hope the upcoming Cadillacs will be available as convertibles
Coupes and Convertibles are great but they first need to revive the Sedan.
It is a tough market out there and they need to fix the core first and then move to the window trimming once the core is in place to support it economically.
The interesting part is this new smaller car would be something smaller than Alpha. One has to wonder what that will do for the Camaro.
I just hope they don’t screw up the CTS/CT5. Its a great size car at a great price and a great car in general. My 2017 3.6 Luxury is my 4th CTS and I’ve loved everyone of them. Please JDN don’t make it too small and don’t cheapen it.
Smaller than an ATS?? I rode in an ATS a couple times, while the ride was not nearly as bad as the CTS and it was fast…. the car was way too f*&king small! I sat in the front seat and I felt cramped; I couldnt even fit in the rear seat (I’m only 5′ 8″). Unless this was a Coupe or Convertible 2-seater like the XLR, I would never even think about owning one.
That said, everyone seems to be talking about the Escala. Personally I think (and hope) that it will replace the CT6. I’m hoping that if Cadillac decides to make the new ATS smaller, and the new CTS a tweener like the second gen (a very good idea), that the Escala will replace the CT6 as a bit bigger of a car and the XTS will stay the way it is to fill the gap between the Escala and CT5 (awful name). Even if it is a limited production model, or a “special order only” model, I think the XTS should stay. Obviously its a pretty decent car, and with the refresh, all I hear is praise. Not to mention the XTS is the ONLY fleet vehicle now that the Lincoln Continental is going away.
In this “down” sedan market you can bet Cadillac will not bring any additional sedans to market until they see how well the market responds to the CT5, for me personally the ATS is as small an interior cabin space that I would be willing to buy and I am not a big guy. JMO
Smaller than ATS? Great googly moogly is that a bad idea. ATS already WAY too small in my opinion How about a large Cadillac bigger than XTX/CT6 that is still affordable? You know something like the DTS was.
It might not actually be smaller than the ATS… it might be the same size.
“Still affordable” and Cadillac should not in the same sentence. Although you could argue that the XTS is affordable. But you want something even bigger then the XTS… yet there is no market for such a product.
It’s not about the Cadillac brand it’s about what will sale! And one of these days sedans will be in favor and they will sale in good numbers
Cadillac is taking over the luxury market! You’ll see!
Let’s be honest gm has a warehouse full of ELR frames just ready to be used. If gm drops anything its to sit on that platform and come in coupe. That ELR was very clean its just that no one believed or could afford a electric small vehicle.
Frames? Was the ELR a truck?
“Let’s be honest gm has a warehouse full of ELR frames just ready to be used.”
No they don’t.
The ELR was indeed a very nice car to look at, and I can’t find anyone who can fault it for it’s appearance. But the stamping dies are either in storage or destroyed, and the last thing GM (or any automaker) needs is a warehouse full of disused stampings sitting around collecting dust, just waiting to be relaunched 5 years after the initial production run where the car can’t be re-engineered to meet new crash standards.
Those stamings, if they were to go missing, wouldn’t have VIN’s, and if some yo-ho got ahold of one and tried to finish it as a complete car and then tried to sell it, GM would be open to huge liability risks.
Was the market asking for this and I missed it?
Not sure what need this fulfills.
The small CT2 could also come as a hatchback, similar to the Mazda 3, and hopefully powered by a 2.0T with over 350 hp in the “V” version. This could also have optional AWD
Why bother with a sedan smaller than the ATS when everyone will complain the rear seat’s even more cramped and unusable?
Built a small hard-top convertible, forget the coupe. Or a RWD CUV smaller than the XT4.
The CT4 or whatever will have better rear seat packaging than the current ATS due to the fact that Cadillac engineers discovered few years back in the architecture of the upcoming revisions of more rear seat space for the successor models.
” JdN is treating Cadillac as if it’s a new brand, recently launched to imitate BMW … there is already a BMW selling cars in the USA, and if Americans want a BMW they’ll get the real deal, not the wanna-be.”
Absolutely correct. And if BMW were an American company, most of its buyers wouldn’t.
Cadillac should at least offer an optional version of their cars with a softer ride. The over 50 crowd has more money than the <30s, and few of us want a sport sedan or an Escalade.
I don’t know if the CT3 and CT5 names are set in concrete but, I have my doubts. With the positioning move towards smaller offerings of Cadillac’s sedan lineup, I believe CT2 and CT4 are more likely candidates for the two upcoming Cadillac sedans’ nameplate.
Drew, the biggest advantage of RWD is the lack of torque steer when flooring the gas pedal on a high-powered car. IOW, about 0.01% of the time driving, but the most fun.
The current ATS was never designed to be a soft riding sedan, the closest it came to that was in the 2.5 base Luxury model with the non RF Michelin tires, this was a favorite loaner and test drive car at my dealership and I suspect many others, I had a loaner for a weekend while my SRX was in for service and that convinced me to buy the 2.0 turbo. First year sales of the ATS were excellent , I believe largely because of the styling compared to previous smaller versions of the full size caddy and the general buying public not being fully aware what they were actually getting in a performance “sport sedan” ride. JMO
Just call it a “Cimarron”, like the previous small Cadillac sedan.