A Crossover With No Name Is Cadillac's Hedge Against an Oilless Future

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
a crossover with no name is cadillacs hedge against an oilless future

Everyone else is doing it. And, if lawmakers on this side of the Atlantic start going the way of their European counterparts, traditional American luxury will need a shot of cleanliness. Even if they don’t, a fickle U.S. public might suddenly fall in love with the green lifestyle and give a big middle finger to internal combustion road cruisers.

Not wanting to be left without a savior in this future scenario, and needing some electric American prestige to sell to discerning Chinese buyers, Cadillac unveiled this piece of emissions-free hardware on the eve of the North American International Auto Show. It’s not vaporware, General Motors insists.

What you see above will be the first fully electric Cadillac, the automaker claims. It’s also tagged as the first vehicle built on the company’s upcoming BEV3 electric architecture.

As that platform is not yet part of GM’s inventory, the vehicle above is not mere months away from entering production. GM wouldn’t say when we’ll see this vehicle launch, though its BEV3 platform should come online in 2021.

Some time before that date, we’ll learn the model’s name.

“Cadillac’s EV will hit the heart of the crossover market and meet the needs of customers around the world,” said Cadillac President Steve Carlisle in a statement. “It will represent the height of luxury and innovation while positioning Cadillac as the pinnacle of mobility.”

Just days earlier, newly minted GM President Mark Reuss said the brand would lead the charge on GM’s electrification efforts, though CEO Mary Barra admits Cadillac won’t have to carry all the weight itself. While the Caddy crossover represents “just the tip of the iceberg,” trailblazer Chevrolet will continue playing “an important role” on the EV front, she said Sunday. It’s a family affair in the company’s quest for greener pastures.

Clearly, the automaker felt the need to show the public something — some tangible evidence of its commitment to its promise of 20 global EV models by 2023, even if the evidence was only shown in a video aired at the Cadillac XT6’s debut. BEV3, like Volkswagen’s MEB, can be tailored to accommodate a range of drive wheels and bodystyles.

With BEV3, GM can “respond quickly to customer preferences with a relatively short design and development lead time,” the company claims, adding that “the output of [future models’] battery systems will be adjustable based on vehicle and customer needs.”

As for this vehicle, driving range and grunt remains the subject of speculation. Assuming a 2021 launch, Cadillac will find itself playing a bit of catch-up in the premium, two-row EV crossover field. Blame the Germans, as well as the Brits. Jaguar’s I-Pace EV crossover is already on sale, while Audi’s E-Tron utility appears with window stickers in the second quarter of this year. Hot on their heels is the Mercedes-Benz EQC and BMW iX3, scheduled to arrive in 2020.

[Source: The Detroit News] [Images: General Motors]

Join the conversation
3 of 11 comments
  • Chicklet Chicklet on Jan 14, 2019

    And it has no name, hmmmm. Maybe that's good. How about Cimarron II?

    • Orioncanam Orioncanam on Jan 15, 2019

      I suggest "Caterra-ible", to pay homage to the Caddy that zigs.

  • Akear Akear on Jan 14, 2019

    This is a stunning design. Maybe it should be the new CT6. It would be a shame to waste this great design on a niche electric vehicle. BTW, it looks as if GM and Cadillac are going to save the CTS6 after all. I still believe it is the best sedan GM has ever produced in North America.

  • ToolGuy 2019 had better comments than 2023 😉
  • Inside Looking Out In June 1973, Leonid Brezhnev arrived in Washington for his second summit meeting with President Richard Nixon. Knowing of the Soviet leader’s fondness for luxury automobiles, Nixon gave him a shiny Lincoln Continental. Brezhnev was delighted with the present and insisted on taking a spin around Camp David, speeding through turns while the president nervously asked him to slow down. https://academic.oup.com/dh/article-abstract/42/4/548/5063004
  • Bobby D'Oppo Great sound and smooth power delivery in a heavier RWD or AWD vehicle is a nice blend, but current V8 pickup trucks deliver an unsophisticated driving experience. I think a modern full-size pickup could be very well suited to a manual transmission.In reality, old school, revvy atmo engines pair best with manual transmissions because it's so rewarding to keep them in the power band on a winding road. Modern turbo engines have flattened the torque curve and often make changing gears feel more like a chore.
  • Chuck Norton For those worried about a complex power train-What vehicle doesn't have one? I drive a twin turbo F-150 (3.5) Talk about complexity.. It seems reliability based on the number of F-150s sold is a non-issue. As with many other makes/models. I mean how many operations are handle by micro processors...in today's vehicles?
  • Ravenuer The Long Island Expressway.