Our ferry plied the gray waters around lower Manhattan and up the East River through a cool, late spring drizzle on its way from Battery Park to the former Brooklyn Navy Yard. At our destination, Duggal’s Greenhouse, a very important party awaited. On the eve of the media days for the New York International Auto Show, Cadillac had invited Pursuitist to join them for the unveiling of their new flagship sedan, the Cadillac Touring 6, or as it will be more commonly referred to, the CT6.
Designed to compete with full-size offerings from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen’s former employer, Audi, the CT6 is Cadillac’s new flagship and will carry the brand’s banner both in the United States and China. Given this mission the CT6 is big, not just figuratively, but literally as well. With an overall length of 204 inches, it sits right in between the S-Class and 7-Series. The car’s high beltline and low greenhouse, give it an imposing appearance.
The interior is cavernous, with plenty of room for four adults. It’s important for Cadillac that the CT6 do well in China, thus Cadillac’s designers spent as much time and attention to the back seat as they did in the front. The leather has been upgraded in this car as have the woods, metal trim and other details. The result is a balanced cabin that’s beautiful, roomy and comfortable. There aren’t many cars that I can ride comfortably behind a driver’s seat when it’s all the way back. This is one of them.
But room and comfort are a couple of things you expect from a big Cadillac. Where this car differentiates itself from the Fleetwoods and Sedan deVilles that preceded it, is in the revolutionary technology that is deployed throughout the vehicle.
The all new 3.0L V6 engine will make 400 horsepower thanks to its twin turbo design. In addition to all that power, it’s expected to deliver class-leading fuel economy thanks to start-stop technology as well as a cylinder deactivation mode that turns off two cylinders when you’re cruising on the highway, similar to the system that allows the Corvette to reach 30 miles per gallon. With this motor under the hood, owners of the big Caddy won’t have to pay a gas guzzler tax.
But here’s the big difference between the Cadillac and every other car in its class: its weight. The CT6 weighs nearly 650 pounds less than the 7-Series and a full 1,000 pounds less than the S-Class. That’s a huge difference, one that was achieved by using aluminum for the car’s body panels and replacing steel in the platform with lighter weight materials where it makes sense. In addition to being lighter, the frame is also stiffer. All this should result in a car that is both quiet and agile for its size.
Cadillac has not announced pricing on the CT6, but since they’ve stated that they believe their cars are every bit as good and valuable as the cars from its German competition, we’re assuming they’ll be priced accordingly. If they’re true to their word, we expect the CT6 price to start in the low $70,000 range reaching the high nineties or even low six figures in its top trim. Will they be able to pull it off? The proof will come in the driving. Because even though it looks good on paper, it won’t be until after we get behind the wheel when test drives begin later this year that we’ll know for sure if the CT6 delivers on its promise of being a world-class, full-size luxury sedan.
To quote the Magic 8-Ball, as of now, all signs point to yes.