Cadillac CT6 – first drive video

It’s the new Cadillac Flagship and pitches in clever tech, thrifty performance and a real sharp suit

By Shahzad Sheikh

See my first drive video review of the all-new Cadillac CT6 by clicking below:

This is the new Cadillac CT6 and it’s the new flagship for the famed American luxury (and now it would be fair to say, premium performance) brand. At least it is for now.

There are two pertinent facts to be note here. Cadillac says there are more models on the way. ‘CT’ (referring to ‘Cadillac Touring’) is the new naming convention for Cadillac saloons – all new cars will either be CT or XT, the latter representing SUVs (although the one exception will be the Escalade – which keeps its name). The number then represents the hierarchy of the model within the range.

Cadillac CT6 – first drive video

If you consider that BMW’s top saloon is a ‘7’ and Audi’s is an ‘8’ it stands to reason that Cadillac’s top dog will be a CT8 or perhaps even a CT9. Having said that, the CT6 certainly bridges the gap between the superb CTS and the range-topping Germans. The new Caddy is 25cm longer and 4cm wider than its sibling.

Visually this translates to long flowing and very elegant lines reminiscent of Caddy’s of old giving it a grace and majesty not found in its little brothers. The width – whilst not excessive – also gives it a more substantial road presence than the somewhat narrow-looking XTS – a car that previously was the range-topper and will now suddenly seem a little out-of-place in this new line-up.

Cadillac CT6 – first drive video

Whilst the XTS is based on the Chevrolet Impala platform, the new CT6 gets its own entirely new chassis that’s made up of steel (38%) and aluminium (62) – which endows the car with lightweight tipping the scales at just 1781kg (1853kg for 3.0 TT), excellent for a car this size. And yet it’s a stiff thing, stiffer in fact than the sportier ATS and CTS models

For now, and indeed for the foreseeable future (so stop asking about a V8!), there will be two engine options. The entry level is a 3.6-litre V6 which we’re already familiar with and puts out 335bhp. The range topper is actually a 3.0-litre V6, which obviously sounds wrong. But the 3.0 on the back is immediately followed by ‘TT’ which is to indicate Twin Turbo and that it puts out 404bhp.

Cadillac CT6 – first drive video

There’s an 8-speed transmission to distribute the torque to all four-wheels as standard as well as of course Magna-ride suspension. Most models will also get the Active Chassis – which includes rear-wheel steer.

Now that I’ve told you about this, I’ve got to mention that there are three driving modes. A slippery-surface mode that drivers the torque between the front and rear by a ratio of 50:50. In regular mode the split is 60:40 to the rear. Stick it in Sport though and it’s 80% to the rear. In Sports you also get sharper steering and transmission responses, the suspension firms up and the rear-wheel steer characteristics are different – turning in the opposite direction by between 1 and 4 degrees at speeds of up to 170kph (in Sports mode).

Cadillac CT6 – first drive video

There’s no shortage of high-tech inside the car either, as you’d expect. Present and correct is the heads-up display, fully digital and configurable instrument panel and the CUE infotainment system. The night-vision is back, and the thermal detection will warn you pedestrians and animals in your path. The CUE is improved of course and also gets a touchpad that you can use as a mouse to avoid getting smudges all over the large screen.

Two other firsts: there’s a full camera option in the centre rear view mirror which gives a much wider range of field of what’s behind and of course there’s no obstruction from rear passengers. It’s a great idea, but is best suited to healthy young eyes – if you need reading glasses this will be very hard to use as the focal point is too close. Hopefully they’ll introduce a refocusing feature in the next update.

Cadillac CT6 – first drive video

The other first is probably the most number of speakers in the terrific Bose ‘Panaray’ sound system numbering an incredible 34 in total! And it does sound splendid.

There’s a deep and wide booth and rear comfort is splendid with powered reclining seats with massage feature – as do the front seats. Watch the video above and it’s clear that sumptuous luxury comes as standard in the CT6.

What may be less obvious is how agile and astonishingly rewarding the car is to drive. The lightweight gives it an eagerness which when combined with the astonishingly agility afforded by the all-wheel steer belies its bulk and sees the mass melt away from behind the wheel.

Cadillac CT6 – first drive video

Verdict

Opulently appointed, plentiful performance and it manages to pull off a trick that BMW comprehensively fails to do with its new 7-Series – be a satisfying car from behind the wheel as well as in the back seat. An excellent new offering in the premium large luxury sector at a price you can’t afford to ignore when the chairman of the board demands austerity from his executives.

VLOG from the event:

 

2016 Cadillac CT6 – The Specs

Price: AED235k-285k ($64k-78k)
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 Twin Turbo, 404bhp @ 5700rpm, 400lb ft @ 5300
Transmission: 8-speed, All-wheel drive
Performance: 0-100kph 5.5 seconds (est), Top Speed 250kph (est), 11.2L/100km
Weight: 1853kg

Let us know what you think of the 2016 Cadillac CT6 below in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *