For the past decade, Cadillac has been transforming itself from a brand that built big, floaty old-school luxury cars for old-school customers into something much more contemporary to compete with the best premium brands from Europe. Unfortunately for General Motors, the process has been only partially successful. The Escalade has been a huge sales success for the brand and the CTS has achieved both critical and commercial acclaim. The STS and the first generation SRX, however, never quite struck a chord with the market and the DTS is just old.
A new SRX debuted last year, but now it's time to flesh out the rest of the lineup. The CTS in sedan, coupe and sportwagon forms is one of Autoblog's favorites. It's time to spread that goodness to both a smaller and larger sedan. Last August we saw styling concepts of both those cars, dubbed the ATS and XTS during a visit to the GM design studios. GM isn't publicly showing the 3 series-sized ATS just yet, but the XTS is debuting today at the Detroit Auto Show. The XTS Platinum concept is a preview of Cadillac's new flagship that's expected to start production in early 2012. Read on after the jump to learn all about it.
OK, so sleek and stylish rarely equate to muumuu, but bear with us. For starters, ignore the powetrain. It's a concept fercrissakes. Cadillac says the XTS Platinum Concept uses Cadillac's 3.6-liter V6 Direct Injection gas engine paired with a "plug-in hybrid system" — whatever the hell that is. To us that sounds a lot like a Volt-like Converj — which bores us a bit. No, the real story here is where this takes the Cadillac design language for the DTS and STS sedans — the current Cadillac of old fogey-mobiles.
The concept previews a new integration philosophy guiding the development of future wreath-and-shield models' in-car electronics. The intent is to progress Cadillac's intuitive in- car electronics systems from deployable touch-screen navigation systems in the CTS and SRX product lines to a minimization of traditional buttons and switches. Designers blended the display screens into a flowing instrument panel they call a "dead front" design, because the panels appear black until the car is turned on and the screens illuminate. Also, because in the XTS concept's current incarnation — the STS and DTS — it's probably the last car many owners will ever own because they're in their 80s.
On the outside, the XTS Platinum Concept has a distinctive proportion that supposedly "transcends the traditional aesthetic of luxury sedans and carries the brand's Art and Science design in a more progressive manner." We think the sleek profile and short, high deck lid makes it look like a spaceship on steroids. We kinda like it — but only in that "wow, look, it's a techno-barge from the 21st-and-a-half century" kind of way. It's the kind of thing we hope we never end up buying, but it we did, we'd play with all the toys and run our hands over the piano black instrument panel until we'd rubbed the gloss right off. Because frankly, it's just damn sexy. Is that American luxury? Not lately it hasn't been, no.
Alright so I reserved my opinion until I saw the car and I am now going to say that these pictures are not promising! I'm sorry this does not cut it, especially the side profile which is atrocious. Not only that but less than 204in, and a wheelbase only an inch longer than the W-Body Impala? Even the current DTS has a wheelbase in excess of 115in. I can't even begin to start. Short hood, LaX-ish side profile, nonexistent rear deck (a big Cadillac should have a noticeable decklid) all seem to spell out a smaller car with much less interior space and no doubt another 12cu ft. trunk at the expense of styling. Sure it might look better in person like the Terrain but I don't know how well I am going to warm up to this car.
That being said the interior does show an impressive attention to detail which will hopefully transfer to the production model.
Edited by Dodgefan, 12 January 2010 - 01:07 AM.