By on October 20, 2018

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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47 Comments on “You Might Not Want It, but That Doesn’t Mean There Isn’t a Case to be Made for a Hotter Cadillac XT4...”

  • avatar

    V-series models are not leaving Cadillac’s lineup, just the current versions of them (aside from the just-introduced CT6).

  • avatar

    I’ve being saying all along that Cadillac needs to offer a V-Sport version of the XT4, the standard engine is just to anemic to be interesting

    • 0 avatar

      More power than the CLA it competes against, and starts at a higher base price, and can be loaded up to a similar peak price.

      Just sayin’

      • 0 avatar

        I can get a CLA AMG if I want, so why not a XT4 V-Sport?

        • 0 avatar

          I’m confused that the 2.0T in the XT4’s platform mates has more horsepower than in this application.

          I still haven’t figured out why the XT4 should be down 12 hp compared to a 2.0T Terrain or Equinox.

          • 0 avatar

            This is not the currently used LTG 2.0T but a new engine. It is probably designed for more daily driving of a Cadillac owner and not peak power or torque.

          • 0 avatar
            el scotto

            @Norm, Cadillac; any Cadillac should have the most horsepower and torque within its GM class. If it’s not sitting on top of its GM food chain, it’s an epic fail.

  • avatar

    BuT tHe EdGe St Is PoInTlEsS aNd No OnE wIlL bUy It.

    • 0 avatar

      $48K for an Edge ST or $48K for a Cadillac.

      Do you see the problem now – and for the record, – HUGE fan of the Edge. Probably my favorite rental sled I can get and if you go to the what would you buy for $40,000 question a couple of weeks ago, the Edge was on my list.

      We can debate how ehem, “premium,” the Cadillac brand is but for me, $48K for a 5 passenger CUV that says “Ford” or the same money a similarly equipped Cadillac CUV – it isn’t a contest. But for $48K I can start looking at BMW, Audi and I’m deep deep into a loaded CLA, tickling AMG money.

      • 0 avatar

        Well, the XT4 Sport is going to be north of $50k when equipped with normal options. An XT4-V is probably going to start in the high $50k range or more. The Edge ST is appropriately priced for what it is, I think, and not out of its league.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Cadillac XT4 – 2.0 Turbo 4, 237 HP
        The Fiesta in my Garage – 1.6 turbo 4, 197 HP

        See the problem now? To quote an obscure 90’s band “Cracker” from an obscure song of theirs “Dr. Bernice”

        “That aint’ a real Cadillac, its a Delta 88, spraypainted Black…with fake leather seats from Juarez”

      • 0 avatar

        As a rental, fine. Spending this much on these vehicles when equivalent lux from Audi is available at the same price?


        GM and Ford are dreaming. As usual. The attention to detail just isn’t there as it is with other options.

    • 0 avatar

      Or buy one out of Michigan for $32-33K.

  • avatar

    Where is DW when you need him.
    At the Spartans game.

  • avatar

    Thank you for calling it a “rendering” and not a “render”.

    You draw drawings. You don’t draw draws. Ergo, it’s a rendering.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I would rather drive the Caddy in the “Vellum Venom” segment the other day. It looked and drove like a Cadillac. This looks like I went back in time, screwed something up, and returned to “Biffworld” like Marty McFly in Back to the Future 2.

  • avatar

    Lots of hay being made on the XT4 engine.

    Volvo X40 – 2.0L Turbo 4 – similar base price range – 187 HP
    Audi Q3 – 2.0L Turbo 4 – similar base price – 200 HP
    Infiniti QX30 – 2.0L Turbo 4 – lowest base price in class – 208 HP
    Mercedes Benz CLA 250 – 2.0L Turbo 4 – higher base price – 208 HP
    BMW X1 – 2.0L Turbo 4 – similar base price – 228 HP
    Lexus NX – 2.0L Turbo 4 – much higher base price – 235 HP

    Cadillac XT4 – 2.0L Turbo 4 – what we’re comparing – 237 HP

    Lincoln MKC – 2.0L Turbo 4 – similar base price – 245 HP
    BMW X3 – 2.0L Turbo 4 – higher base price – 248 HP
    Acura RDX – 2.0L Turbo 4 – highest base price on list – 272 HP

    The whole, “it’s a 2 liter that puts out weak power” argument is a canard. If a V-Sport model is coming, an optional engine is coming with it.

    Only the RDX puts out significantly more power and its number is an outlier in the class. Further, the RDX plays more in the XT5, LX350, Audi Q5 space. I put the X1 and X3 both on the list as the X1 is smaller in the class while the X3 is bigger.

    All HP data taken from manufacturer’s USA websites.

    • 0 avatar

      Check the power output of that same 2.0T in other GM products and you’ll see that the XT4 got the lowest rated version of that engine.

      Why it did, I have no idea.

      • 0 avatar

        …Check the power output of that same 2.0T in other GM products and you’ll see that the XT4 got the lowest rated version of that engine.

        Why it did, I have no idea…

        Quite aware of that.

        Something to do with start/stop?
        Flatter HP and or torque curve?
        Transmission calibration?
        Differentiation for second engine or optional engine with more power in a model year or two (something that almost every manufacturer does)

      • 0 avatar

        Isn’t the 2.0 liter the XT4 uses a Cadillac only motor?
        Also, GM (and many others) start with a base engine and over the years that engine becomes more refined and increases in HP and performance.
        The fabled 5.7 liter V-8 Hemi in all of the FCA products started out at what HP? and what does it make today? (I’m asking because I don’t know the exact number but I know it has increased)

    • 0 avatar

      Ford Escape – 2.0L Turbo 4 (same as Lincoln MKC) 245HP much lower price

      Chevy Equinox – 252-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four, much lower price

      • 0 avatar

        You’re comparing non-luxury marks and vehicles to the luxury class.

        You really think CLA buyers are cross shopping an Escape?

        You really think RDX buyers are cross shopping an Equinox?

        You really think NX buyers are cross shopping an Escape?!?

        Hey, I can buy a V6 Camry for way less money – but no one wants 4-doors and a trunk these days.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Lie2me, the Ford Escape 2.0L Turbo 4 is reasonably powerful and sometimes fun, but it makes rather unrefined non-luxury sounds.

  • avatar

    Now do other FWD-based GM products with a 2.0T offered between 2008 and 2018.

  • avatar

    Power is not the XT4’s problem – its the price.
    $57K fully loaded is simply not competitive in this sub-compact segment.

    That price is thousands more than top tier luxury brands charge for their sub-compact class offerings and on par with fully loaded examples of the next size class up. With loaded examples of the (larger & faster) RDX going out the door for $48K, what exactly is the rationale for Cadillac’s XT4 pricing?

    I hope the XT4’s hood can support all of the cash that will be required to move it off the lot.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Mad google-fu shows: Stelvio TI 44,195; Jag-u-war F Pace 47,000; Lexus NX F Sport 40,025. So why a Caddy?

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Cadillac is to luxury, excepting the Escalade, what Joseph A Banks is to suits. But hey, if you’re happy with both.

    • 0 avatar
      Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

      If Cadillac sedans and cute-utes are the vehicular equivalents to Jos. A Banks, the gilded-Tahoe Escalade is analogous to the damaged/defective rack at Men’s Wearhouse.

      Your point stands, though. None are viable considerations for those with truly discriminating tastes.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

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