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Old 04-01-2015, 11:49 AM   #1
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Cadillac touts big CT6 as driver's car

Cadillac is heeding the advice of its new advertising slogan, “Dare Greatly”: It’s daring to be different with the new CT6 large sedan.
When it arrives in showrooms in early 2016, the CT6 -- unveiled at an event Tuesday evening ahead of this week’s auto show here -- will enter a shrinking market for large, uber-luxury sedans, one dominated by the Mercedes-Benz S class and other well-established German nameplates.
To stand out, Cadillac wants to carve a niche as the driver’s car. It uses aluminum body panels and aluminum die castings in the lower body to produce a sedan that Cadillac says is the same size as a BMW 7 series (short-wheelbase model) but roughly 200 pounds lighter than the smaller BMW 5 series, providing nimble, precise ride and handling.

Developing a large, rear-wheel-drive sedan with the driving characteristics of a midsize was a deliberate move by Cadillac to give it a better shot at attracting import buyers, says marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus.
“Our archrivals have established great cars in this segment for a couple of generations, so finding customers would not be easy if we build a car that copies them,” Ellinghaus said in a recent interview. “We simply saw more potential to build an alternative to the Germans that’s a true driver’s car.”
The CT6 is an integral piece of Cadillac’s strategy to enhance its brand image through high-performance, niche models, hoping that success for high-volume products such as the ATS and CTS follows.
The brand is mired in a U.S. sales slump: Deliveries were down about 6 percent through February, matching last year’s decline.
Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen has called the CT6’s materials makeup “the rocket science of automobile construction and manufacturing today” and says it will deliver “something that has been lost in the segment: the exhilaration of a true driver’s car.”
“The CT6 is nothing less than an entirely new approach to premium luxury,” de Nysschen said in a statement.
The car will be built on a new architecture, code-named Omega, which features 13 “high-pressure aluminum castings” that Cadillac says create a lighter, stiffer structure and a “bank-vault” quiet cabin.

The powertrain choices include a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 265 hp and a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V-6, rated at 335 hp. Both are paired to GM’s new eight-speed automatic transmission.
The lineup is anchored by a Cadillac-exclusive 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6, which offers 400 hp and 400 pounds-feet of torque. It also uses the eight-speed.
Fuel efficiency is enhanced by what Cadillac says is the industry’s first application of cylinder deactivation in a V-6 engine, which shuts off the fuel to two of the cylinders under lighter driving conditions.

The car, stitched together with advance manufacturing techniques such as aluminum spot welding and laser welding, has several technologies to enhance ride and handling:
• An “active-on-demand” all-wheel-drive system that uses a continuously variable clutch to infinitely vary power to the front wheels, which Cadillac says improves stability in any driving condition. Awd will be standard on all V-6 models.
• The chassis system deploys GM’s magnetic damping system, selectable drive modes such as tour, snow/ice and sport and “active rear steer” to deliver what Cadillac touts as “segment-best ride, handling and isolation” of the interior.
• At the rear is a five-link independent suspension that uses multiple outer ball joints and cross braces for optimal handling and steering precision.
The CT6’s exterior design continues the evolution of Cadillac’s Art and Science motif used for the last 15 years. It’s got a wide stance, long hood and cab-rearward proportions that accentuate driving dynamics.
The interior is packed with technology, including what Cadillac says is an industry-first surround-view video recording system that records front and rear views while driving. A night-vision system helps the driver identify animals or people in the road through heat signatures that display on the instrument cluster.

Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system will be displayed on a larger, 10.2-inch, high-definition touch screen. The system also includes a console-mounted touchpad that allows the driver to execute commands without touching the screen.
The interior is a mix of leather, real wood and carbon-fiber trim. The front seats have five massage programs. The heated and ventilated rear seats recline and also have a massage feature. Ten-inch infotainment screens retract into the front seatbacks. The armrest has media controls and HDMI and USB ports.
The CT6 will enter a segment that has shriveled to about half the size it was before the economic downturn of six years ago. There were 108,627 large luxury cars sold in the U.S. last year, down from 220,031 in 2007, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
Cadillac will sell the car in several overseas markets, notably China, where it will begin production at a new factory there starting early next year. U.S. production will begin at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant at the end of 2015, GM says.
Cadillac also will sell the CT6 in Europe, Korea, Japan, Israel and other the Middle East countries.
Dealer Carl Sewell, whose Sewell Automotive Cos. of Dallas owns five Cadillac stores as well as Audi, Infiniti and Lexus outlets, has seen erosion in his sales of large luxury sedans since the recession. He thinks a less-expensive sedan that’s big on driving dynamics and innovation could be a winner.
“There is a segment clearly there for a excellent sedan with good room but is more understated with tech and innovation,” Sewell says. “We need something with a more contemporary feel that appeals to a younger buyer.”
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:40 PM   #2
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Re: Cadillac touts big CT6 as driver's car

I don't know how they're going to make that work alongside the German completion without a V8 as even an option, when that's standard equipment in a 7 series and a mid grade option in the S class. They also both offer twin turbo V12s. If Cadillac wants to claim the CT6 is a driver's car, they'll have to step it up. When they did the CTS they stepped it up with the CTS-V by tuning up the suspension and putting in a supercharged Corvette engine.
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