Cadillac has been following the Germans, specifically BMW, for years now, trying desperately to have itself considered in the same realm of quality and performance, but to no avail. Recently, the introduction of the ATS and CTS have helped Cadillac’s cause, but while the two are very good sedans in their own right, when compared to their German rivals, specifically ones from Bavaria, they still fall a bit short. Not to say that Cadillac isn’t making great strides, because it is and will continue to do so. Especially with Johan de Nysschen taking the helm.
De Nysschen is a man who knows how to get things done and turn companies around. He did it with Audi, started doing it with Infiniti and is now working for the Wreath and Crest. The South African’s latest strike at the heart of Bavaria comes by way of the upcoming CT6 sedan. The CT6 will be a rival to the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and Mercedes S-Class. Cadillac promises the CT6 will be far more advanced than its competitors and come at a considerably lower price.
To start, Cadillac is claiming a dramatic weight loss for the CT6 in comparison to its big German rivals. Cadillac claims the CT6 will be not only the lightest in its class, by using a mix of aluminum and high-strength steel, but also around 200 lbs lighter than the BMW 5 Series. We’ll believe that when we see it, especially considering BMW’s new 7 Series will employ many weight loss techniques learned from the i8 hybrid supercar. However, not only is Cadillac claiming extreme lightness, but also torsional rigidity unmatched by any car before it. The folks in Detroit even released a video showing a team of advanced robots sporadically spot welding an aluminum body structure to display such rigidity.
This to me seems like a lot of chest pumping, but the results will likely be far less exciting. Considering that the CT6 will use a welded and bonded aluminum and steel structure, the claims of having “unparalleled body stiffness” are a bit arrogant, as there are cars like the BMW i3 which have solid carbon fiber body structures which are far stiffer than any made of welded aluminum, regardless of how stiff it may be, because it’s erm…one piece. Also the new BMW 7 Series will be using aluminum and high-strength steel as well, but it will also have some CFRP sprinkled about to help save weight. Audi will also be coming out with a new A8 which is said to be using Audi’s Spaceframe technology and will allegedly use composite materials in the design as well. So the CT6 better have some clever tricks up its sleeve if it wants to add more lightness than the Germans.
The CT6 is also said to have Cadillac’s autonomous driving technology, and will be able to pilot the CT6’s steering, throttle and brakes on the highway as well as in bumper to bumper traffic. Or something that BMW and Mercedes already have in their highest-end cars.
The real advantage the CT6 has, is price. Industry sources are claiming a starting price of the CT6 could be around $60,000 and topping out somewhere around $90,000, or where the 7 Series and S Class start. Considering the CT6 should have similar levels of performance from its 400 hp, twin-turbo V6 engine and supposed lighter weight, that price range would hit BMW, Mercedes and Audi right where it hurts.
I have no doubt that the CT6 will be a good car. Cadillac is making some really good cars as of late, and it stands to reason that its flagship car will be no different. However, Cadillac is making some truly lofty, and frankly audacious claims, towards being the best at everything. While there’s nothing wrong with that as each car company has its own chest-pumping taglines and claims, most car companies start doing that when they actually have a car to present. At the moment the CT6 is nothing by shadows and hearsay. We’ll see next week when Cadillac finally reveals some details about the CT6. But Cadillac better be packing enough bite to match its bark.