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Cadillac Just Revealed the Brand New CT5 Ahead of New York

Cadillac sedans aren't dead after all, as evident by the brand new CT5 just revealed this morning ahead of its formal debut at the upcoming New York Auto Show. The reveal was done using "a social media campaign designed to stimulate the senses using autonomous sensory meridian response, also known as ASMR."... whatever that means.

Cadillac says that the videos are meant to trigger a physical response such as a spine-tingling sensation, which is great I guess if you're into that sort of thing. Unfortunately, the video seems to very light on detail, but at least some critical bits are revealed.


For starters, the current newest sedan in Cadillac's lineup is the CT6, which looks ancient now next to the CT5. I'm a big Cadillac fan - which shocks most people considering that I am a Mustang guy. But I like what they have been doing, particularly their V-series models. I also liked their "Arts & Science" design language and was worried that whatever they come up with next won't be as good, but I think they did a fantastic job evolving it. Speaking of evolution, while I did start by saying Cadillac sedans aren't dead, it does certainly look like the traditional sedan is.

The new CT5 is very clearly a fastback sedan, much like the Audi A5 Sportback and the BMW 4-series Gran Coupe. It may be larger than those, however, and closer in size to the A7 since the CT5 is meant to replace the CTS which was in the same class as the BMW 5-series, Audi A6, and Mercedes E-class. With that said, I suspect it will be a "tweener"; larger than a 3-series and smaller than a 5-series. The replacement for the ATS - Cadillac's current smallest sedan that has been axed - is still in development so the CT5 will likely hold potential Cadillac buyers over until a smaller sedan is offered so it has to slot in between.

Engine & Transmission

Like the dimensions, not much is known underneath the skin, except that there will be two engine options available at launch, a 2.0 litre turbo 4 cylinder and a 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6. Horsepower figures aren't revealed. The most powerful version of the 2.0 litre turbo engine currently makes 275 hp and 295 lb-ft torque in the entry-level Camaro and the most powerful version of the twin-turbo V6 makes 400 hp and 404 lb-ft torque in the larger CT6. Those figures will likely not change much and they do compare favourably with BMW's and Audi's equivalent offerings.

The only transmission offered will be the newest 10-speed automatic, which was co-developed with Ford. It is used in the Camaro and the Mustang as well as a number of other trucks and SUV's, including the mighty F-150 Raptor. Both engines will pair to RWD or AWD drivetrains. There will also be a "Sport" option, but no other details about that are revealed.


The car will be built on an evolution of the chassis that underpinned the Cadillac ATS, code named 'Alpha' chassis. It has been unanimously praised for its performance including handling, feel, composure, rigidity, lightweight etc., but criticized for its lack of refinement (and space). Cadillac no doubt have addressed those concerns, but only time will tell if the effort is enough.

Other Options

You can be sure that the car will eventually come with GM's excellent Magnetic Ride Control (magnetorheological dampers), and a V-series model down the road. A hybrid or plug-in hybrid is all but guaranteed as well, I'd say.

Inside, it appears that Cadillac's much decried Cadillac User Experience (CUE) system is getting a significant overhaul or replaced all together much like they did with the recently revealed XT6. Instead of controlling almost all function with touch sensitive buttons, there is a rotary knob controller in the centre stack that's very similar to BMW's iDrive controller. You can also see actual physical buttons for seat heaters, parking assist, and some A/C controls. I suspect touch-sensitive controls will still be there and the physical controls are redundant but it's a very welcome change.

Why It Matters

I typically don't pay much attention to all reveals but this is a big one. Cadillac has been making some of the best driving sedans you can buy lately but they just seem to lack some polish and cache that the German brands have. As a result, sales haven't been great and it would have been easy for Cadillac to just throw in the towel and give up, so it's nice to see they are taking another kick at the (sport sedan) can. GM said that it will be built at the "Lansing Grand River facility who have experience and talent in crafting American performance sedans" so they haven't gone back to building luxury barges just yet.

Cadillac will be posting a new one of those tingly videos every week until the reveal, so head over to Cadillac's YouTube channel and stay tuned.

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