First Look: Cadillac XTS Concept

Although a car's exterior frequently attracts more attention than its cabin, when it came time to style the Cadillac XTS Platinum concept -- which makes its world debut at the 2010 Detroit auto show -- designers worked from the inside out.

"We envisioned this concept as an automotive personal headquarters," said Brian Nesbitt, Cadillac's general manager, "using advanced technology to enable new levels of connectivity and luxury."

Certainly, the XTS isn't lacking the latter. Cadillac's taken to putting "Platinum" badges on its most upscale vehicles, and it's safe to say this show car takes the nameplate to a whole new level. Cut-and-sewn materials (a hallmark of the Platinum range) run rampant throughout the car, as does laser-etched suede. The dashboard sports few physical buttons or gauges, relying instead on touch-screen organic LED displays instead.

Despite the attention paid to the cabin, designers thankfully didn't neglect the exterior, either. Billed by Cadillac, as the "active evolution" of its design language, the XTS incorporates the aggressive edges found on the likes of the CTS and SRX, but mixes them with longer lines, which help to soften the sedan's form ever so slightly. Although technically a large sedan, the XTS show car is approximately four inches longer than an STS, and four inches shorter than a normal-wheelbase DTS.

Both the high beltline and the large 20-inch wheels help to call attention to the XTS' all-wheel-drive configuration, but what deserves more attention is what, exactly, is sending power to all four wheels. GM won't reveal too much about the powertrain (it is a concept, after all), we're told the XTS Platinum show car uses a plug-in hybrid system similar to that developed for the stillborn Saturn Vue 2-Mode hybrid. A direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6 is mated to an electrically variable transmission, allowing the XTS to be driven by the gasoline engine, an electric motor, or a combination of the two. Cadillac says total output is in the realm of 350 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Cadillac says the XTS Platinum is simply a concept car, but it's no secret the brand is working on a replacement for its aging STS and DTS sedans. Coincidently, the XTS physically slots in between the two sedans. Expect something similar to reach production by the end of 2012.

Cadillac Xts Platinum Concept Rear Seats

Let me get this straight. According to the specification charts I have seen the XTS is the Flagship and is going to ride on a 111.7 inch wheelbase, approximetly two inches shorter than the CTS and 4 inches shorter than the current DTS? And it is expected to compete against European and Japanese fullsize luxury cars that ride on 119 inch to 126 inch wheelbases that have approximetly the same body length as the XTS? Longer wheelbase=better ride and more interior space, especially in the rear seat. Plus the XTS is based on front drive architecture which has east/west engine placement vs. north/south in all of the competition. I am not a GM or American car hater. I sincerely want to see them succeed. However, I am concerned how competitive the XTS will actually be in the big leagues. To be competitive the XTS needs to ride on at least a 124 inch wheelbase with an overall length of no more than 205 inches and should use rear wheel drive with an all wheel drive option. The look is great, nice lines with a beautiful interior. The dimensions and mechanicals are not going to cut it against the German and japanese fullsize luxury cars.Looks like Obama and the bean counters won (Government Motors) and Lutz and the car guys lost.
I've become a huge fan of Cadillac as of late, and have been anxiously awaiting the unveiling of the XTS. I must admit to being rather underwhelmed. In the evolution of their design language, Cadillac has seemingly found the [Ford] fusion of art and science -- especially when one considers the headlights and surrounding areas. The blue oval motif continues through the profile and rear, with smatterings of the Taurus and Lincoln MKZ. I do hope these initial impressions prove wrong; while the car is quite handsome, it just doesn't have the same jaw-dropping effect as Cadillac's latest offerings.

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