Just 12 hours or so before its official debut at the New York Auto Show (or sooner if it leaks, which it probably will) Cadillac showed off a photo of the 2016 Cadillac CT6 hiding under a sheet. That's kind of silly since everybody kind of knows what it looks like, so let's explore instead why the CT6 is a big deal.
Contrary to what everyone first thought, the CT6 won't be a top-tier competitor to the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7-Series and Audi A8 — it's more like an Audi A6 or A7 or a BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe. A larger Cadillac sedan is coming in a few years that will fill that role, but until then the CT6 will be the flagship.
It's powered by an all-new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that puts down 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, but where the CT6 really shines is in the area of weight reduction. It's GM's largest application so far of using a mix of lightweight steel, aluminum and other materials to keep mass down, so it's lighter than the CTS and about 200 pounds lighter than it would be if made of steel.
That construction method will be a big deal for GM down the road as other models use the CT6's new platform, according to Reuters:
GM engineers are studying variations on the CT6’s multi-material construction for at least four other future vehicle architectures and other models could be derived from the CT6's “Omega” architecture, Travis Hester, CT6’s chief engineer, said in an interview.
Omega platform! I like how ominous that sounds. We don't know which four or more vehicles could use it, but in addition to the obvious guess of more large Cadillacs, the lovely Buick Avenir concept from the Detroit Auto Show (remember that?) was also on the Omega platform. Sadly GM says they have no plans to build the Avenir at the moment, but I wouldn't be shocked if we got a big Omega Buick at some point.
Expect more details on the CT6 when it's unveiled today, if not sooner.