Words: Calvin Chan
Published: April 16, 2019
The ATS and the CTS have been axed but in their place is the newly unveiled Cadillac CT5 four-door sedan that slots between the two. To make it even more confusing, there will be an even smaller rear-wheel drive sedan to fight the 3 Series in the near future, possibly named the CT4. This was expected, as Cadillac loves to carve out its own little segment with vehicles that are slightly larger than the current market crop. The same goes for the XT5, which is slightly bigger than the comparative BMW X3, and the XT4, which is slightly larger than the comparative BMW X1.
The CT5 sits on the Alpha rear-wheel drive platform that currently underpins the CT6 and Camaro, and wears the corporate design language well, modernized enough to appear refreshing and unique amongst this crowded premium sedan segment. Similar to XT6 with its vertical LED lights, the roof tapers off rather aggressively for that fastback-coupe silhouette inspired by the Escala concept car.
Inside, drivers can expect a similar cabin style to the current XT4 but with better integration of the large 10-inch infotainment screen into the dashboard. It’s a clean, sleek, and modern take with a host of technology including massaging seats and Cadillac’s Super Cruise hands-free driving system (you can read our full experience of that here) for limited-access highways.
The 2020 Cadillac CT5 will be available in three trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport, with a Platinum package available on Premium Luxury and Sport models. Sport models will be easily differentiated by darker accents and performance-inspired details, including unique grilles, fascias, rocker extensions, spoiler, standard 19-inch wheels, and steering wheel.
Engine options include a standard 2.0-litre turbo-four (237 hp, 258 lb-ft) and a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 (335 hp, 400 lb-ft) that is available on the Premium Luxury and Sport models. We’ve seen both of these engines before in current Cadillac models. Both are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, optional all-wheel drive, and modern features like cylinder deactivation, direct fuel injection, and automatic start/stop technology.
While we have yet to see sedan sales take a turn to the positive, this could this be the platform that will launch the American brand into the stratosphere. Stay tuned for more coverage at the New York Auto Show for a closer look at the CT5. Expect it to go on sale in 2020.
FULL PRESS RELEASE:
This all-new compact sedan advances the brand’s award-winning legacy with a distinctive fusion of design, performance and comfort, supported by Cadillac’s latest technologies — including Super Cruise, the world’s first true hands-free driver assistance feature for limited-access freeways.
“The first-ever Cadillac CT5 showcases Cadillac’s unique expertise in crafting American luxury sedans,” said Steve Carlisle, Cadillac president. “Its details elevate every drive and reward the senses.”
An all-new fastback design underscores the CT5’s refined ride, complemented with a driver-centric interior that blends high technology and high-touch elements. Luxury and Sport models allow customers to tailor the car to their style preferences with unique design and trim.
“Cadillac is dedicated to building the world’s most exhilarating luxury sedans,” said Carlisle. “Every element of the CT5 is focused on delivering an unrivaled experience, from the 10-speed transmission to Cadillac’s Super Cruise technology. The expansion of Super Cruise to CT5 reinforces our commitment to bringing the most innovative technologies to our customers.”
Cadillac CT5’s Super Cruise technology will be available in calendar year 2020 on select models.
A New Design Profile
With a fastback profile inspired by the Escala concept, the first-ever CT5 charts a new direction for Cadillac sedan design that leverages the natural proportional advantage of the vehicle’s rear-drive platform to communicate power, presence and performance.
“From every angle, the CT5 exudes athleticism, sophistication and confidence,” said Andrew Smith, executive director of global Cadillac design. “Cadillac’s signature hard-edge cues have evolved to a more sculptural and fluid expression of the brand’s design language.”
A long, 116-inch wheelbase (2,947 mm) and lengthened side glass accentuate the car’s long, low proportion and sweeping fastback profile. Body sculpturing, including taut character lines, contributes to the car’s strong stance and speaks to Cadillac’s legacy of craftsmanship and technology.
An all-LED exterior lighting strategy features signature vertical lights at all four corners of the vehicle.
Bright exterior accents and unique grilles and fascias distinguish the CT5 Luxury and Premium Luxury models, while the Sport model is differentiated by darker accents and performance-inspired details, including unique grilles, fascias, rocker extensions, spoiler and standard 19-inch wheels.
High-Tech and High-Touch Interior
CT5’s interior features elegant, wide surface lines and simple interfaces, focusing on quality, attention to detail, authenticity of materials and impeccable craftsmanship.
Everything from the instrument panel to the centre display is focused on the driver and essential touch points, emphasizing control. That includes a prominent, 1080dp high-definition full-color 10-inch-diagonal touchscreen mounted high within the instrument panel for visibility.
Intuitive Technology and Connectivity
CT5 delivers thoughtful technology integration by offering an intuitive in-vehicle experience with a heightened sense of control. This is provided in everything from vehicle controls that conform to the driver’s driving style to the latest, more personal Cadillac user experience2, which provides more intuitive ways to interface with the system, including phone pairing via Near Field Communication and a new rotary controller.
CT5 also features standard Adaptive Remote Start and an available hands-free power-release decklid to further customers’ convenience and comfort. Adaptive Remote Start automatically activates features such as the available adaptive heated/ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel and other climate systems, depending on the temperature. The hands-free decklid uses a motion sensor with Cadillac crest target projection that allows customers to activate the trunk release with their foot, supporting easy access.
CT5 is powered by a 2.0L Twin-Scroll Turbo engine and 10-speed automatic transmission with Electronic Precision Shift. This standard propulsion combination offers responsive off-the-line performance with excellent low-end torque. The twin-scroll turbocharger and a unique three-step sliding camshaft help the engine optimize performance across the rpm band for a greater feeling of on-demand power at all speeds.
Cadillac’s powerful 3.0L Twin Turbo V-6 is available on Premium Luxury and Sport models, rated at an estimated 335 hp (250 kw) and 400 lb-ft of torque (542 Nm)5. Low-inertia turbochargers and a manifold-integrated liquid-to-air intercooling system help the engine produce exceptional power with virtually no lag and sustain it across most of the rpm band. Like the 2.0L Turbo, it is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission with Electronic Precision Shift.
Both engines employ technologies such as direct injection, camshaft phasing, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and automatic stop/start to balance performance, refinement and efficiency. Sound tuning via mechanical and electronic sources contributes to CT5’s optimized effect on the senses, with engine sounds tuned to augment the driving experience in a refined manner, while helping to minimize unwanted noise in the cabin.
Evolved Driving Dynamics
Building on the strengths of the superb RWD architecture that underpins Cadillac’s award-winning rear-wheel-drive sedans, the first-ever CT5 is designed to deliver an exhilarating driving experience while maintaining the brand’s signature blend of performance, comfort and refinement.
Evolutionary enhancements of the front and rear suspensions, including Cadillac’s signature double-pivot MacPherson-type front suspension, are designed to improve road isolation and driver feedback. At the rear, a five-link independent suspension contributes to the car’s excellent feeling of control.
Additional chassis and driving dynamics features:
Standard customer-selectable drive modes allow CT5 to adapt even better to driver preferences and changing road conditions. The modes — Tour, Sport, Snow/Ice and new My Mode — can alter the calibrations for transmission shifting, steering and brake feel, front/rear torque split (with the available AWD system) and vehicle sound character to customize the driving experience.
CT5 can handle a variety of road conditions no matter the climate, thanks to all-wheel drive available on every model along with a diverse range of tire choices, including 19-inch all-season run-flat tires and 18-inch Michelin self-seal tires. All tire options allow drivers to continue driving during most punctures that would sideline conventional tires, for immediate replacement/repair.