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The 2016 Cadillac CT6 luxury sedan officially debuted Feb. 29 at the opening of the exhibit floor at the International LCT Show. It drew a steady stream of curiosity seekers throughout the three-day event.
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Cadillac formally launched its upper-tier CT6 luxury sedan
to the limousine industry last month with a show floor debut and detailed panel discussion about how the model complements its livery fleet.
The CT6 is not a replacement nor successor vehicle to the Cadillac XTS livery sedan, introduced to the industry in 2013, but a premium level option in a Cadillac Professional Vehicles fleet line up that also includes the Escalade and the XTS stretch limousine.
Cadillac has placed the CT6 to compete in what it calls the mid-level luxury sedan category that would include the BMW 7 Series, the Mercedes-Benz S Class, and the Audi A8L. The CT6, which started retailing in March, is 10-inches longer than the XTS.
“The CT6 is easy to get into and out of, it has one inch more headroom, and it’s a bit wider than the XTS,” said Ray Bush, Cadillac Professional Vehicles Program manager, at the start of a March 1 panel discussion during the International LCT Show in Las Vegas.
The CT6 enters a market where sedans overall are struggling to maintain previous sales levels as SUVs, crossovers and pick-up trucks gain wider market share throughout the U.S. automotive industry. Enhancing the luxury sedan experience with added technology, comfort amenities and advanced engineering helps sedans stay competitive.
The Cadillac team of (L to R) Matt Scarlett, Ray Bush, and Eric Angeloro prepared a presentation March 1 at the Show detailing the CT6 specs and the new overall Cadillac brand strategy.
“The CT6 is a brand-shaping vehicle driving forward and signals the return of Cadillac to large sedan market,” said Eric Angeloro, Launch & Lifecycle assistant marketing manager for the CT6 and XTS. “It’s meant to take on the German competitors.”
About one third of Cadillacs on the road today are models the OEM no longer makes, said Matt Scarlett, the Launch & Lifecycle marketing manager for the CT6 and XTS. Cadillac set out to modernize its traditional luxury brand and create a basis for growth with redesigned models that provide a “unique and rewarding experience,” Scarlett said.
The CT6 launch dovetails with Cadillac’s “Dare Greatly” advertising and branding campaign (DareGreatly.com) with a message centered on daring to drive the world forward.
“The videos and website include stories about people featured to reach younger buyers,” Scarlett said. “Four out of five luxury buyers will be Generation X or Y by 2020, and they have a different view of luxury than Boomers. You must have a young, progressive attitude with vehicles that make a statement and investments in every customer touchpoint.”
The CT6 has more fuel efficiency, lighter weight and better handling than German vehicles. “We’re not trying to out German the Germans with this vehicle. We are doing things our own way.”
The CT6 comes in at 3,657 pounds and a length of 204 inches, compared to heavier European sedans that range from 206 to 207 inches. The wheelbase measures 122.3 inches. Width is 74 inches. It has 40.4 inches of rear seat legroom and cargo volume of 15.3 cubic feet. The base price is $53,495, with the livery price reaching about $62,000 to $63,000, depending on options. Cadillac’s goal is to capture about 20% of the mid-luxury vehicle market segment by 2020. “The CT6 is a flagship vehicle. That’s what brings in the customers,” Angeloro said.
Engineered With New Design
In designing and engineering the CT6, Cadillac created a strong, lightweight advanced body architecture with RWD instead of FWD. A total of only 13 castings make up chassis and body panels, with the vehicle using simplified spare parts. The frame is lighter but stiffer because it joins high strength steel and aluminum together. 62% of the body structure is aluminum.
Because of its construction, the CT6 cannot be cut and stretched into limousines. The XTS will remain the base chassis for CMC-approved stretch limousines. Because of sonic welding and aluminum, it makes it impossible to stretch without corrosion and structural issues.