Monday, October 17, 2016

PowerSteering: 2016 Cadillac CT6 Review

What is the Cadillac CT6, and how is it different from the Cadillac CTS and the Cadillac XTS? Both excellent questions, especially given that all three carry base prices between $45,000 and $55,000, and one that even Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen can’t answer.

“Please don’t ask me why we have three cars in the same segment,” de Nysschen told industry trade journal Automotive News in 2015.

The XTS is a full-size sedan based on an older, front-drive platform and is a favorite among Cadillac’s older customers and livery companies. The CTS is a midsize sedan based on a newer, rear-drive platform, and is designed to compete with models such as the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Originally, the Cadillac CT6 was conceived as a flagship sedan, but the company has elected to price it more competitively, in the process turning it into what is sometimes known as a “tweener,” a model that straddles two different segments. Furthermore, the CT6 introduces Cadillac’s new naming convention for its passenger cars: CT and a number designating the model’s hierarchical position.

For this review, our expert evaluated a CT6 Premium Luxury with Dark Adriatic Blue paint, 20-in. aluminum wheels, the Comfort package, Active Chassis package, and a Bose Panaray premium sound system. The price came to $72,960, including the $995 destination charge.

Oozing superlatives to describe the design, performance, technology, and luxury of its new flagship sedan, Cadillac introduced the 2016 CT6 during the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), characterizing it as the brand's return to the "global prestige luxury segment."

Johan deNysschen, president of Cadillac, says the CT6 "reignites a passion for driving in large luxury vehicles" and represents "an entirely new approach to premium luxury, an approach only Cadillac can offer."

Cadillac will build the CT6 in both Detroit and China, and will sell the car in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Exterior Features
In describing the CT6, Cadillac uses words like "bold," "dramatic," and "distinctly Cadillac" to explain how the car's aluminum bodywork "commands attention."

With the new CT6, Cadillac design elements introduced with the latest CTS evolve with new grille detail, full-length LED light blades, and standard Indirect Fire LED headlights. Concierge welcome lighting illuminates as the driver approaches with the key fob, the trunk features hands-free operation, and the car rides on aluminum wheels ranging from 18 in. to 20 in. in diameter.

Sized like a BMW 7 Series but weighing less than a BMW 5 Series, the new Cadillac CT6 employs an aluminum-intensive structure using 11 different materials to provide "practically unmatched" strength, performance, and efficiency characteristics. As a result, deNysschen promises that the CT6 will deliver "the exhilaration of a true driver's car."

Interior Features
Cadillac's attention to detail with regard to the CT6's underlying architecture is claimed to produce "bank vault" levels of quietness inside the cabin. Designers deliver "curated environments" that Cadillac says will combine premium cut-and-sewn Opus leather, exotic wood, and carbon fiber in "unprecedented ways."

Optional Features
The CT6 will be available with "extended comfort" seating that features five massage programs and woven-in heating elements. An Articulating Rear Seat package provides heated, cooled, massaging, and reclining rear seats offering 3.3 in. of seat travel, lumbar adjustment, and tilting cushions. A center armrest contains media controls along with HDMI and USB ports.

Quad-zone climate control is also optional, and includes ionizing air purification. Occupants can enjoy a 34-speaker Bose Panaray professional audio system and a rear-seat infotainment system with independent device connectivity. The system is equipped with dual, articulating 10-in. viewing screens that retract into the front seatbacks.

Under the Hood
Three different engines are available in the new Cadillac CT6. A turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard, and is estimated to make 265 horsepower. It drives the car's rear wheels through a new 8-speed automatic transmission.

A familiar 3.6-liter V-6 engine is optional, paired with a new 8-speed automatic transmission and Cadillac's Active On-Demand all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. The engine is estimated to make 335 horsepower.

At the top of the engine range is a new, twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 motor. This Cadillac Twin Turbo engine delivers an estimated 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. Cylinder-deactivation technology is standard in order to improve fuel economy, as is an 8-speed automatic transmission and Active On-Demand AWD.

The new AWD system infinitely distributes power from the rear wheels to the front wheels depending on a multitude of driving and surface conditions. Driver-selected Tour, Sport, and Snow/Ice driving modes are also standard, and an Auto Vehicle Hold feature holds the CT6 in place once it has come to a stop so that the driver doesn't need to hold a foot on the brake pedal.

Cadillac also offers an Active Chassis System for the CT6, including Active Rear Steer technology. With this system, the full-size car's turning radius is comparable to the midsize CTS despite the CT6's nearly 8 in. of additional wheelbase. The car sits on a multi-link short-long arm front suspension and 5-link rear suspension, and includes standard Magnetic Ride Control damping.

Cadillac plans to offer a full range of safety features for the new CT6, along with several new technologies that debut in this model.

A new 360-degree camera system offers what the company says is a "true" 360-degree view of what's around the car. Enhanced Night Vision technology recognizes the heat signatures of pedestrians and animals that might be on the road ahead of the CT6, and a new Pedestrian Collision Mitigation system includes automatic braking.

In addition to the safety systems, the CT6 is equipped with a Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system with a 10.2-in. high-definition display that includes capacitive-touch and handwriting-recognition capabilities. The driver can also use a touchpad mounted to the center console to access and control CUE. Wireless phone charging and an OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection are standard equipment.

Other new technologies debuting with the CT6 include Advanced Park Assist technology that incorporates automatic braking with the automatic steering. A surround-view video recording system is tied to the vehicle's theft-deterrent system, and new rear camera mirror technology combines a traditional mirror with camera technology to provide a full, unobstructed view of what's behind the CT6.

MGCLS - LAX Car Service