You Might Not Want It, but That Doesn't Mean There Isn't a Case to Be Made for a Hotter Cadillac XT4

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
em you em might not want it but that doesnt mean there isnt a case to be made for

Exactly were the Cadillac XT4 lands in terms of sales volume remains to be seen. The brand recorded its first sales of the just-released compact crossover in September, with 212 examples leaving U.S. lots.

Offered with just a single engine (a healthy turbocharged 2.0-liter four) and single transmission (nine-speed automatic), the XT4 is Cadillac’s desperately needed entry in the premium compact CUV market — a hot segment where Cadillac’s tardiness puts it at a disadvantage. But perhaps this XT4 is just a starting point.

A rendering spotted on Cadillac’s XT4 show-and-tell page suggests the brand may hold loftier performance expectations for the little ute.

First noticed by GM Authority, the sketch and associated rendering shows a V-Sport variant of the XT4, albeit one that’s not about to slip from drawing to showroom unaltered. Obviously, Cadillac’s not about to turn the XT4 into a hulking widebody, complete with dragster-width rubber and tailpipes like howitzer barrels.

Still, more performance and more power is a go-to tactic to ensure more eyes fall on a particular model. There’s also that ATP-boosting factor. Sporting trims are expected in the premium crowd, and the looming elimination of the letter “V” from all Cadillac models save the full-size CT6 sedan makes a hopped-up XT4 all the more likely.

As for what engine would power an XT4 V-Sport, start guessing. The existing mill’s 237 hp and 258 lb-ft isn’t sufficient for the task, as a V-Sport badge isn’t meant to form part of a gutless appearance package. V-Sport models require additional pep. GM Authority claims the automaker has ruled out a V6 engine for this application, meaning we could be looking at a higher-output 2.0-liter or perhaps, maybe, possibly the 2.7-liter TriPower four-cylinder launched in the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado. That’s a big maybe, as GM designed that engine specifically for truck use, mating it to a 10-speed automatic used only on rear-biased vehicles. Could it make that marriage work?

It’s all speculation at this point, but Cadillac certainly hoped its rendering would be seen and pondered by the buying masses. We await GM’s decision.

[Images: General Motors]

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2 of 47 comments
  • Afedaken Afedaken on Oct 22, 2018

    Plugin Hybrid Electric tuned for some oomph? Cram a bunch of batteries in the hump, drop in a pair of wheel motors, turn the amps WAAAAAAAY up, and you could get some stonkin 4 wheel burn-outs, and the green creds that everyone seems to want lately.

  • Bd2 Bd2 on Oct 22, 2018

    Wouldn't expect too much of a performance hike in the XT4 V-Sport; one of the reasons JdN departed from Cadillac was b/c he had a difference in opinion (from Reuss) in what powertrain should go into a higher performance variant. Same reason why the current regime renamed the CT6 V-Sport the CT6-V when it doesn't really have the power of a proper V-model.

  • Johnds Years ago I pulled over a vehicle from either Manitoba or Ontario in North Dakota for speeding. The license plates and drivers license did not come up on my dispatchers computer. The only option was to call their government. Being that it was 2 am, that wasn’t possible so they were given a warning.
  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.
  • Art Vandelay Best? PCH from Ventura to somewhere near Lompoc. Most Famous? Route Irish
  • GT Ross The black wheel fad cannot die soon enough for me.