One of my earliest automotive memories is of my father’s 1986 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. As a wee lad, I remember a car that was seemingly endless in size, power and presence. Awash in leather and chrome, this was clearly a vehicle whose main mission in life was to announce to the world that the owner had arrived – both literally and figuratively. As the current flagship model of the Cadillac brand, in many ways the XTS is the spiritual successor to that Fleetwood. But where the Fleetwood had a more or less singular design goal from the onset, the XTS Vsport is asked to do a number of things well – some of which are intrinsically opposed to one another.
The Cadillac XTS isn’t known as the most exciting vehicle in the brand’s lineup. In fact, it’s a rather dull, but luxurious, offering. Actively avoiding the production of dull cars seems to have become a bit of an obsession at Cadillac, though, so it’s gone ahead and dropped the 410-horsepower, biturbocharged V-6 from the all-new CTS under the graceful hood of the XTS. The result is a large Caddy that we’d be happy to drive.
Cadillac’s 3-Series fighter is a winner. We try to avoid bombastic statements here at Winding Road, but it’s quite difficult when a vehicle is as good as the ATS. Never before have we seen a vehicle that seems so able to dethrone the mighty 3-Series, and in turn become the new measuring stick for the sports sedan segment. It’s great to look at, both inside and out, but more importantly it is absolutely excellent to drive.
Cadillac has been producing some really fantastic sedans as of late. We’ve been fans of the CTS (particularly the monstrous V-badged version) for some time now. Recently, we fell head-over-heels in love with the brand’s new compact sedan, the ATS. Now, Cadillac has seen fit to toss us the key fob to its large XTS, and let us draw our own conclusions. We can tell you, without giving too much away in the first paragraph, that this car really honors the marque’s new tradition of thoroughly enjoyable, thoroughly American luxury sedans.
With a lineup that has, for years now, focused on variants of the mid-sized CTS and the hot-selling SRX crossover, we’re happy to report that, by the time you read this, Cadillac’s first all-new large car in eons will be just days away from your local dealership’s showroom window. Better news: the new large car, the 2013 Cadillac XTS, is a fine automobile.
GM’s product renaissance is set to continue well into 2012, with the launch of two new Cadillac models. The ATS will be a dedicated competitor to other entry-level, rear-drive luxury sport sedans. As of right now, the ATS’s launch is planned for the summer of 2012, with production planned at the Lansing, Michigan Grand River Assembly Plant. We can’t see much from the teaser image, but smallest Caddy looks to refine the CTS’s design language, with similar sharp angles and creases. We’d expect to see the ATS debut at one of the big four American auto shows (LA, Chicago, New York, or Detroit).
The aging Cadillac STS and DTS are long overdue for a replacement. Today, we get the first glimpse of what’s to come by way of the XTS Platinum concept, an all-new flagship model for Cadillac that builds on General Motors’ strong plan to include direct injection and hybrid technology in its lineup moving forward.