While it has not exactly been a close kept secret that the 2016 Cadillac CT6 Sedan would make its official debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show, the slow and gradual teasing of this significant model only served to further build up the hype and anticipation surrounding the new levels of technology and prestige that the CT6 promises to bring to Cadillac showrooms.
The exterior styling of the CT6 shares much of its inspiration with the CTS, but unlike that car, the CT6’s bigger proportions as well as its distinct sense of identity (Borrowed from the Elmiraj Concept) allow it to stand out not only from that particular model, but also rivals such as the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes S-Class which both adopted a more conservative approach to their aesthetic presentations. While it will not beat the Jaguar XJ in terms of stylistic beauty, the CT6 is distinctively American and should please buyers looking for something different in their luxury purchase.
The interior of the CT6 aims to coddle occupants in world class luxury as well as an elegant atmosphere that Cadillac claims is as quiet as a bank vault. While we’ll have to wait until the CT6 arrives in dealerships to see if this comparison is indeed valid, buyers will certainly appreciate the leather trimmed seats that feature five distinct massage functions as well as the expected heated/cooled capability that has become a standard item in many luxury flagships. Other luxury touches include reclining rear seats, a 34 speaker Bose sound system, as well as Quadzone climate control which is the first time a Cadillac model has been equipped with such a feature. Buyers that aim to turn their CT6 into a budget luxury adorned limousine will greatly appreciate the optional Articulating Rear Seat package which allows the heated and cooled rear seat to travel 3.3 inches and also incorporates armrest mounted media controls. As a neat bonus, the package can also be combined with the optional rear seat entertainment system to make the backseat an enviable piece of real estate during long journeys.
As expected from a flagship model, the CT6 also comes equipped with extensive amounts of electronic features and driving assist systems that aim to add convenience and elegance to the CT6 driving experience. A piece of technology that stands out to us is the innovative fully digital rear-view mirror which is the first time such a unit has been equipped to a production car. Created to help improve rearward visibility, Cadillac’s mirror technology uses a special high definition camera that is integrated into the rear bumper which transmits the images it captures to a 1280 by 40 TFT-LCD display mounted in the mirror housing. Cadillac claims that special hydrophobic coating helps keep the camera clean at all times but it will face a formidable test in Michigan’s wild winter weather where salt and snowy grime may prove to be too much for it to handle. Drivers can also revert the mirror to a traditional electrochromatic mirror by flipping a small switch on the bottom of the mirror.
In addition to serving as a four wheeled resort, the CT6 was also designed to deliver an impressive amount of performance. This is thanks in part to its all new Omega architecture which will eventually make its way into Buick’s upcoming flagship sedan as well as a full-sized crossover. The lightweight materials in the platform as well as the use of aluminum body panels (a trick borrowed from the Jaguar XJ) allows the CT6 to weigh in at a featherweight 3,700 lbs. This is an impressive figure especially when compared to rivals such as the Audi A8 which weighs in at 4,300 lbs with the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series not far behind.
The other half of this potent performance combination is found under the hood where buyers can choose from a trio of engines that aim to give buyers a unique driving experience. Base models will arrive with the company’s familiar 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder which is good for 265 horsepower and promises to make the CT6 equally frugal at the pump. Buyers looking for a bit more muscle can equip their CT6 purchase with another familiar engine the naturally aspirated 3.6 liter V6 which is good for a solid 335 horsepower or opt for the range topping CT6 and its all new 3.0 liter twin turbocharged V6 which is good for a balanced 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.
All three engines channel their power through an eight speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission that promises silky smooth shifts and balanced fuel economy and performance capabilities. Four cylinder equipped CT6’s will be only available in rear wheel drive, while uplevel six cylinder variants flip the script and will only feature all-wheel drive. Look for the V6 model to be popular in northern states where snow and ice make AWD systems a must have item for challenging winter conditions. Regardless of which engine is selected, all models will feature a four-wheel steering system that helps reduce the car’s turning radius to 37 feet, while also sharpening the car’s high speed handling behavior on the freeway.
After it completes its tour on the Auto Show circuit, the CT6 will be produced in GM’s Hamtramck Michigan assembly plant with the first units arriving in showrooms before the end of the year. Chinese spec versions will not be built in the U.S. but instead be produced in a new local factory facility which is expected to go online in 2016.