Cadillac is working on a large, high-end luxury flagship sedan, as evidenced by these images from our spy photographer. The Cadillac flagship, which is codenamed 01SL, could go on sale as soon as the third quarter of 2015. It would compete with cars like the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Based on General Motors’ rear-wheel-drive Omega platform, the Cadillac flagship sedan is a large vehicle with an extremely long wheelbase, befitting its luxury pretensions. The car is likely largely inspired by the Cadillac Elmiraj two-door concept shown at Pebble Beach in 2013. Although reports suggested Cadillac would build a four-door coupe, the angled rear window and stubby trunk on this prototype result ina more traditional three-box sedan shape. Cadillac’s familiar chrome-trimmed grille is visible through the camouflage tape out front, along with vertical LED running lights that echo the headlights of the Cadillac ATS, CTS, and XTS sedans. Our source also says that a true coupe and a convertible could follow in 2016.
Though the Cadillac Elmiraj concept used a twin-turbo 4.5-liter V-8 engine good for about 500 hp, there’s no clear indication whether that powertrain will make it to production. Cadillac said the V-8 was derived from the twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6 engine already offered in the CTS and XTS, although that 410-hp V-6 itself is also reportedly a strong possibility for a production flagship. An automatic transmission will be standard, and could have anywhere from eight to ten forward speeds.
As for positioning, all indications are that this 01SL/ Cadillac flagship sedan will be slightly more reasonably priced than the planned six-figure, ultra-luxury halo sedan that was to be codenamed the Cadillac 01LL; That model has reportedly been put on hold. Nonetheless, with 2014 Cadillac XTS pricing starting at $45,525, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see this new Cadillac flagship start around or even above the $70,000 mark.
As for names, Cadillac has trademarked the “LTS” badge, which would better fit the brand’s current pattern of three-letter nomenclature (the Escalade is the only exception) than the Elmiraj badge applied to the concept car.