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2016 Cadillac CT6 Will Have an Aluminum Body

It’ll also be the first GM car to use a new engine family.

Will the new Cadillac CT6 have the rakish, expressive styling of the Elmiraj show car, or will it be a conservative evolution of the luxury brand’s current design language? While those questions will linger probably until the CT6 is unveiled later in 2015, AUTOMOBILE has learned this about the sedan, which uses General Motors’ new Omega full-size rear-wheel-drive platform: It will have an aluminum body.

The Cadillac CT6, which will be a bit smaller than a Mercedes-Benz S-Class but larger than the midsize CTS, also will be the first to use an engine, or engines, from GM’s upcoming four-/six-/eight-cylinder family. We have learned that while a CT6 Vsport has been approved for production, there’s no word on a CT6-V yet, so some sort of turbocharged- or supercharged-six seems likely.

The aluminum body, which potentially keeps the new sedan in or close to the CTS’s 3,700-4,100-pound weight category, suggests that the CT6 is designed to aim for the Mercedes CLS-Class, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, and Audi A7 even if its styling doesn’t classify it as a so-called four-door sport coupe.

In an interview with AUTOMOBILE last September, Cadillac’s new president, Johan de Nysschen, revealed plans for the new engine family and indicated that the division was working on a larger sedan beyond the then-unnamed CT6. It’s fair to speculate that the larger sedan, which may be called CT9, is the Mercedes S-Class fighter.

A sedan that’s larger and more prestigious than the current, third-generation Cadillac CTS had been rumored for years. The rumor mill had GM debating internally whether that car would be an S-Class competitor or a slightly smaller, more expressive car. Now it looks like product-starved Cadillac (especially when compared with the quickly proliferating Mercedes, BMW, and Audi brands) will do both, with the S-Class rival arriving late in the decade and sharing the CT6’s Omega platform.

General Motors was also known to be working on a new overhead-cam V-8 for Cadillac, though the project was put on ice about the time of the 2009 bankruptcy. The engine obviously is back on, with four- and six-cylinder variants to make for a better business model. Even among luxury brands such as Mercedes and BMW, V-8s have become relatively low-volume engines, with fours and sixes offering ample power for midsize cars and crossovers as well as larger models.

The 2016 Cadillac CT6 is not scheduled for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this coming January, but it will probably premiere later in the year ahead of its late-2015 on-sale date; the Geneva, New York, or even the fall show in Frankfurt are possibilities.

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