The folks at Cadillac aren’t shy about the markets that the first-ever 2019 XT4 crossover SUV is meant for. Specifically, it’s all about clinical success in China, the United States, and Canada. And while luxury goods are a universal language, Cadillac still seems reluctant to speak to customers in Britain, Japan and Australia – markets where cars have the steering wheel on the right side of the car. Together, those markets amounted to over 13 million vehicle sales in 2017, with Japan making up 5.16 million of that mix, India 3.61 million, the UK 2.9 million, and Australia 1.15 million.
According to Cadillac Society, the 2019 XT4 will be exclusively left hand drive, severely limiting its appeal in these markets.
Without question, Cadillac is still targeting the bulk of the market with left-hand drive, and, more importantly, is hedging its stagnation in the US market with a rather remarkable Chinese success story. Cadillac sold 175,489 units in China in 2017, up a whopping 50.76 percent. Meanwhile, Cadillac sold 156,440 in America, but seems to be regaining footing after growth in February and March of 2018. This is of what many analysts believe will be a down year for the automotive industry. As for Europe, Cadillac is a rarely-seen boutique brand.
The 2019 XT4 will only help Cadillac’s continued sales growth. But if you’re reading this from abroad, and wanted a Cadillac XT4 with right hand drive… sorry, mate.
About 2019 Cadillac XT4
The XT4 is a new crossover from GM’s Cadillac brand that will slot under the midsize XT5 as the brand’s second crossover utility vehicle (CUV). Underpinned by the front-drive-based GM E2 platform and assembled at the GM Fairfax plant in Kansas, the vehicle will have compact proportions such as the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, Audi Q5, while being priced in the range of smaller (sub-compact) crossovers such as the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, Audi Q3. The positioning makes the Cadillac XT4 somewhat of a segment straddler, placing it in direct competition with the Lexus NX and Acura RDX.
The 2019 Cadillac XT4 launches in the fall of 2018 with a standalone powertrain – an all-new 2.0L turbocharged engine assigned RPO code LSY making an SAE-certified at 237 horsepower (177 kW) and 258 pound-feet of torque (350 Nm). It’s mated to the GM 9-speed automatic transmission (9T50). Front-wheel-drive is standard, while a twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system is available. The system offers the convenience of decoupling entirely from the rear wheels when the driver chooses to do so, thereby eliminating drivetrain friction.
The XT4 also launches Cadillac’s new “Y” trim level structure that starts with the base “Luxury” model and then offers two trims – Premium Luxury and Sport, which build on the base model’s equipment and features while offering distinct personas and detailing. The Sport model, for instance, features an Active Sport Suspension with Continuous Damping Control that provides driving dynamics and control to a higher level.
The 2019 XT4 exterior delivers an evolution of the Cadillac design language, which was introduced with the Cadillac Escala concept. The most prominent aspect of the design direction are new horizontal lighting elements that join the vertical signatures that have been a hallmark of Cadillac design.
Inside, the 2019 Cadillac XT4 introduces several new features, such as the second-generation Rear Camera Mirror, NFC technology for effortless Bluetooth pairing between the vehicle and the smartphone, as well as Surround Vision. Standard on all models is the CUE infotainment system with new rotary controllers that address an ongoing dissatisfaction with touchscreen-based CUE systems.
From a business standpoint, the XT4 is of significant importance for Cadillac’s global sales growth plans, since it will fill a glaring hole in the brand’s vehicle portfolio. With just a single crossover (the XT5), Cadillac’s crossover lineup has been sorely lacking compared to competing luxury makes, all of which offer three models or more. In fact, some rivals, including BMW and Mercedes-Benz, offer up to seven CUVs/SUVs in their lineup as utility vehicle sales are experiencing rampant growth in the marketplace.
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