Cadillac’s Future Plans: More Product, Larger Portfolio

Cadillac is ready to make a move and expand its lineup past the successful CTS and SRX models. What’s next? Smaller and larger sedans, new SUVs, and more V-series cars are coming, and the wreath and crest is aiming them all directly at BMW.

ATS: Starting with the smallest, Cadillac will field a 3 Series-fighter starting late next year as a 2013 model year vehicle. The car known as the ATS (although that name has yet to be confirmed) will be offered in rear- and all-wheel drive configurations. The ATS will ride on General Motors’ new Alpha rear-wheel drive platform, which will also underpin the next-generation CTS (and potentially the next iteration of the Camaro, as well). According to Automotive News, the ATS will launch with both sedan and coupe bodystyles, although a wagon is also a possibility. Expect an engine lineup similar to that of the CTS, with 3.0-liter and 3.6-liter V-6 engines, along with a new four-cylinder option. By 2015, the ATS line should be fleshed out with V-series models. Production should be handled within GM’s Grand River Assembly plant in Lansing, Michigan — the same facility that currently builds the CTS — as the automaker has recently announced several upgrades for the facility designed to handle the new “premium small car.”

CTS: Cadillac’s CTS will be undergo a complete transformation come for model year 2014. Like the ATS, the CTS will move to the new Alpha platform, but while the former targets the BMW 3 Series, the latter will grow larger, allowing it to fill the gap left by the discontinued STS line and compete directly against the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Both coupe and sedan variants will be offered, and a V-series model won’t follow far behind. No word yet on whether or not the CTS wagon will make a return, but our best guess is that the wagon will be relegated to the ATS lineup.

XTS: Slotting above the CTS is the new XTS sedan, which Cadillac dealers are already making room for. Previewed by the XTS Platinum Concept at last year’s Detroit auto show, the XTS should make its debut in the coming months and launch in the middle of 2012. The large sedan will ride on a stretched version of the Epsilon II platform (usedin the likes of the 2010 Saab 9-5 and the upcoming 2013 Chevrolet Malibu) meaning that it will likely be sold with your choice of front- or all-wheel drive. Expect the same 3.6-liter V-6 shown in the concept to reappear underhood, although we wouldn’t be surprised if some sort of hybrid setup — either a form of GM’s mild hybrid system or a bespoke plug-in hybrid powertrain like that found in the show car — is eventually added.

Flagship Sedan: Talk of a Cadillac flagship has lingered for years, although it seems the idea is once again gaining traction within GM’s product planning ranks. The model will likely be a large, premium rear-wheel-drive sedan designed to battle the likes of the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and the Audi A8. The car was allegedly green-lit for production; if so, it could ride on a stretched version of the current Camaro’s Zeta platform. We won’t see it any time before 2015 at the earliest.

SRX: The SRX crossover will soldier on for the foreseeable future, according to AN. We previously reported the 2012 SRX willditch the 3.0-liter V-6 in exchange for GM’s direct-injected 3.6-liter V-6. Model year 2013 will bring a refresh for the car’s exterior and interior, but it will otherwise continue on with the same mechanical underpinnings used since 2009. Since the SRX is still fairly early in its product cycle, we don’t expect to see an all-new iteration until 2016 or 2017.

Escalade/ Crossover: Rounding out the SUV lineup will be two new full-size choices: a new Escalade that will continue to be based on GM’s full-size truck platform. AN reports that it will use advanced aerodynamics to help increase fuel economy. For buyers who need the space but not the fuel bill, Cadillac will introduce a large crossover based off the Lambda platform (also used in the GMC Acadia, Chevy Traverse, and Buick Enclave) with room for seven for the 2014 model year.

Previously, such a vehicle was expected to replace the Escalade altogether, but it now appears it will supplement the Escalade. The new crossover will go up against the Audi Q7, the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, and the upcoming Infiniti JX, allowing the Escalade to fight the Lexus LX570 and Infiniti QX56 for customers.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)


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