The 2017 Cadillac CT6 is built to be a big leap forward for GM's most prestigious product. It's a bold statement that announces to the world that Cadillac is among the world's heavy hitters in the luxury game; that it plays on the same plateau as Mercedes, Audi and BMW. This is the Cadillac for ground-bound executive-class travel.
But it's also a value proposition. It's priced closer to smaller, mid-size luxury cars, but it's got all the equipment and poise of a true flagship ? without compromising driving dynamics or efficiency. This is Cadillac's bold statement that Detroit will fearlessly take on Stuttgart, Ingolstadt and Munich.
Built around a stretched and fortified version of the smaller CTS structure, the engine in the CT6 is mounted longitudinally in front with a transmission behind it, sending power to the rear wheels. Yes, all-wheel drive is an option. But buyers won't be stuck with front drive if they decide they only need two driven wheels.
The standard powerplant in the CT6 is a 265-horsepower, 2.0-liter, direct injected and turbocharged four. A step up is a 335-horsepower, naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6. And the performance option is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 knocking out 404 horsepower. All the engines are backed by eight-speed automatic transmissions. If that sounds like a rerun of the engines offered in the CTS, it is.
Don't let what the CT6 has in common with the CTS distract from appreciating what makes it distinct and compelling. Though it weighs practically the same as the CTS, its wheelbase stretches 8.5 inches longer. That relatively light weight means the CT6 will hurry down a test track at about the same rapid pace as the CTS. And that 8.5 inches translates into generous rear legroom in a cabin tastefully trimmed in premium materials. This car feels like a thoroughbred, not a compromise.
The CT6 is available in four trim levels: base, Luxury, Premium Luxury and Platinum. The trims and a variety of optional packages bring safety, comfort, performance and entertainment features to the CT6.
The EPA fuel economy ratings prove out the obvious: The CT6 with the best performance is a rear-driver equipped with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine. It delivers an EPA rating of 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway). The fuel-hungriest CT6 is an all-wheel-drive machine running the 3.0-liter twin turbo V6. It gets 21 mpg combined (18 city/26 highway).
This is Cadillac's most fully realized sedan in decades, as it needs to be to take on some of the world's best cars. Take time to consider the dozens of alternatives and use Edmunds to find the CT6 that will fit you to a T.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.