Cadillac CT6 arrives at New York. Should the S-class be worried?

Published: 01 April 2015

► Cadillac CT6 shown at New York
► A new S-class-rivalling luxury car
► First of eight new Caddys this decade

GM's upmarket brand Cadillac unveiled its new CT6 at the 2015 New York auto show - firing a warning shot across the bows of German luxury saloons.

This is the moment Caddy plugs the gap in its product line-up; it's been absent from the top of the premium sector for a while now.

And while it looks squared-off and chiselled in the best Cadillac fashion, the quality of the car on show in New York certainly looks up to scratch.

Lightweight: a party trick of the Cadillac CT6

One of the chief claims to fame for the new notchback is its dieting habit. With aluminium used throughout its construction, GM claims the exterior dimensions match those of a BMW 7-series yet the CT6 is lighter than a 5-series or Mercedes E-class. 

Allied to a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 offering 400bhp and 400lb ft of twist, the saloon should offer decent performance too. And with cylinder deactivation shutting down one bank - a first on a turbocharged V6, says Caddy - and a leggy eight-speed auto, emissions won't scare punters away.

Mind you, with pump prices on the floor again in the US, buyers are less likely to clamour for the lesser models powered by a 2.0-litre four-pot turbo or a 3.6 V6 without forced induction.

Four-wheel drive, magnerheological dampers and rear-wheel steering are all available, should you plunder the options list sufficiently. There's some nifty tech onboard too, including a 360deg view surround-vision camera to help avoid parking scrapes. No bad thing in a car nearly 5.2m long.

The Cadillac boss speaks

'The CT6 is nothing less than an entirely new approach to premium luxury – and an approach only Cadillac can offer,' said Johan de Nysschen, president of Cadillac who jumped ship from Infiniti last year. 'It is a bold endeavor with unmatched dynamism that reignites a passion for driving in large luxury vehicles. In short, it is prestige luxury reimagined.'

This is the first of eight new Cadillacs by the end of the decade, promises GM. It's spending $12 billion on new products, it claimed in New York.

And, once again, Cadillac plans to make inroads into the European market; we hear the CT6 is being prepared for sale in the EU by 2016. Hybrids and high-performance versions are also in the pipeline.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet