I spent part of my week in the nation’s capital so I could testify in front of Congress about a report I wrote.
Uh, sorry, that’s what Robert Mueller did. But I was there, mere blocks away in Georgetown, to drive the all-new Cadillac XT6.
When we stopped at a Virginia vineyard for lunch, Cadillac took the time to show us an updated version of the XT5 crossover (formerly known as the SRX).
When the original Cadillac SRX appeared for the 2004 model year, it rode atop a rear-wheel-drive unibody platform, offered three rows of seats, and asked a question rarely asked today: “V8 with that?”
Six years later, General Motors saw fit to yank the SRX out of that class and plunge it into the murderously competitive front-wheel drive, two-row luxury crossover field, shoving it in direct competition with the segment’s dominant sales king, the Lexus RX. Hand-wringing ensued, yet that iteration of the SRX sold nearly 100,000 copies globally in 2015. Not bad for a five-year-old model on the outs.
For 2017, Cadillac — drunk on the New York City skyline and “image spaces” in SoHo — introduced its CT6 sedan before turning its attention to updating its best seller.
Will Cadillac’s new utility, now christened XT5 and built in Saturn’s old Spring Hill digs in Tennessee, follow the brand’s relentless path to Audi-ization?
You don’t mess with the Johan.
Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen isn’t known for sitting back and letting armchair analysts pontificate on General Motors’ luxury brand.
In reply to The Detroit Bureau’s August 25th piece about Cadillac’s future product plans — which includes details on Cadillac’s aboutface on a planned flagship sedan — de Nysschen jumped into the comments and set the record straight.
The lowly Cimarron might be be a distant, nightmare-fuel memory, but Cadillac’s current sales strategy is still being impacted by a history of not measuring up to European rivals.
The luxury automaker’s newest offerings — the CT6 sedan and XT5 crossover — have been saddled with so-so resale values by residual forecaster ALG, according to Automotive News, making it more difficult for Cadillac to offer competitive lease rates.
Speaking to Automotive News, Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen said that the automaker’s strategy will be to price cars much lower than the Germans and eventually raise prices as the brand gains traction.
Cadillac has to heap incentives on its cars to move them off lots, he said.
“Knowing that, it seemed to be more sensible to price CT6 right and let the car gain traction,” de Nysschen told Automotive News. “We need to give the car time to establish a reputation. With a very compelling product offering and a good price, I think that’s the way to do it.”
When the 2016 Cadillac CT6 goes on sale in March, that car will cost nearly $55,000 to start — well below the BMW 7 Series, which starts at around $82,000 and the Mercedes S Class that’s around $95,000.
It didn’t take long after the North American debut of the 2017 Cadillac XT5 for people to ask, “What’s next?” for the crossover-starved luxury brand.
At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen told Automotive News that the next Caddy crossover will come in two years and would likely slot below the XT5, in terms of name — but not necessarily in terms of size.
Cadillac’s next crossover, the XT4, will likely go on sale in 2018 with a bigger, three-row crossover coming one year later to bookend the XT5. The battleship-sized Escalade will remain, and a smaller, subcompact crossover could arrive at the end of the decade to give the brand a full range to offer a crossover-crazed market.
Cadillac’s first next-generation crossover will sport a longer and lighter chassis than the outgoing SRX, the company announced Monday.
The XT5, which will be shown first in Dubai, will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week. The car will go on sale next year.
In addition to shaving nearly 300 pounds from the chassis, Cadillac announced that the car would be powered in the U.S. by the same 3.6-liter V-6 found in the ATS and CTS. Only a 2-liter turbocharged model will be available in China for the car’s first year. The XT5 will also sport an 8-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive.
If you looked into the Manhattan skyline last night, you may have caught a glimpse of Cadillac’s newest crossover flying through the air like a Swiss cow airlifted out of the Alps.
That was for fashion writers to see the car’s style (and aerodynamic properties?) and to announce Cadillac’s new partnership with design firm Public School, an Austin, Texas-based studio that’s probably hopelessly cool.
The car didn’t touch the ground, no one drove it, its powertrain is still somewhat of a mystery, and here’s why (via AdAge):
Chief Marketing Officer Uwe Ellinghaus said the goal is to gain the attention of fashionistas, rather than cater to car buffs, auto journalists and other petrolheads. Because in his view, younger customers are less interested in the technical details of cars, and don’t read car magazines as often as they used to. But “they are very interested in fashion. They are very interested in design,” he said.
Cadillac will release later this week the first “official” looks at its replacement for the SRX — the XT5 — before unveiling the car first in Dubai, and then shortly after in Los Angeles. Autoblog first reported that the XT5 would be shown in Dubai.
The Dubai International Auto show will be held Nov. 10-14, and the Los Angeles Auto Show will be held Nov. 20-29 for the public, with a preview for media on Nov. 17.
The XT5 has already been extensively photographed in the wild before (See above. And go ahead, Google it if you want to see more, we’ll wait right here) so the reveals this week and in November may be a little anticlimactic.
There will be big things for Cadillac next year, but they may not come in small packages, Automotive News is speculating.
In their series of what could be coming up for automakers, writer Mark Colias details a few models to be expected for Cadillac in the coming year. There may be not be a subcompact crossover next year, but there could be refresh for the ATS, including a Vsport variant.
Next year for Cadillac could be marked by its more traditional entries with new names.
Chevrolet will slot a new mid-sized crossover between the Equinox and Traverse in coming years, Automotive News is reporting.
Three sources within General Motors confirmed the new Chevrolet crossover would be dervied from Cadillac’s upcoming XT5, which is replacing the SRX next spring. The upcoming Chevy model’s architecture would be a shortened version of the Traverse, which is built on the Lambda platform. According to the story, GM will move the Equinox to the smaller D2XX platform — shared with the Chevy Cruze, Orlando, Volt, GMC Terrain and Opel Astra — by 2017 to make room for the three-row crossover.
The new, unnamed crossover will target the Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander and could be powered by a 2-liter turbo four, a 3.6-liter V6 or perhaps a hybrid power plant.
Kinja blogger saw930 stumbled upon the new SRX-replacing XT5 in NYC’s trendy SoHo district. The next new model from GM’s premium brand looks to be wearing a copy-and-paste version of the CT6 front fascia design, complete with wreath-less crest sitting front and center.
“Apple CarPlay will debut in 2016 Cadillac models featuring CUE’s 8-in multi-touch screen except the SRX Crossover, a model that will move to an all-new generation in early 2016.”
Leave it to Cadillac to bury news of their SRX replacement – fully expected to be renamed XT5 – on the second paragraph of a press release about Apple CarPlay. After all, the SRX isn’t Cadillac’s most popular model or anything.
Oh wait – actually, it is.
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