Words: Don Cheng
Photography: Don Cheng
Published: May 15, 2017
The hills around Ontario are lacking to say the least. It’s hard to find some decent hilly areas for driving in the summer, and during the winter it’s particularly difficult to find some meaningful elevation to strap two long sticks to your feet and barrel down.
So what’s one to do when they want some fun during the long winter months? Simply grab the keys to your car and make the trek to Mount Tremblant in Quebec. It’s the perfect duration for a road trip too – six hours in a car is enough by anyone’s standard. Out there you can strap on any number of sticks to your feet and go down the mountain at whichever speed you like, and that’s precisely what we did this past February. Our steed of choice for this trip to the mountains was the Cadillac CT6 Platinum.
One look at the CT6 and it’s easy to see why it would fare well gobbling up highway miles. Its low waistline and large 20-inch wheels give it a boulevard cruiser-like profile. Despite the lack of a wreath around the badge, the front fascia of the CT6 still captures the attention from bystanders.
Two vertical LED strips sandwich Cadillac’s signature grille drawing your eyes to the redesigned badge in the middle. Unlike the German rivals in the segment, Cadillac’s approach features less design flairs. There aren’t any superfluous swoops or curves in the body panels. Instead, everything there is purposeful, simple, immediately striking and absolutely elegant.
Out back, the luxe-sedan maintains the motif with an unobtrusive bumper. Peek down a bit lower and there’s a set of quad exhaust tips - a tease of what’s to come. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, this is the renaissance of Cadillac.
Step inside and the story is much the same, premium materials surround the spacious interior. Leather adorns most major surfaces in the vehicle. There’s an odd bit of space surrounding the shifter and the cup holders that feel disconnected from the rest of the interior design.
The Panaray sound system offers a rich aural experience for all passengers too. It’s not as good as the really premium stuff from Mercedes, but it doesn’t leave the user feeling like they are missing out. Controlling all that is still Cadillac’s CUE.
The General has iterated (and iterated) on the experience and as it sits now, with the larger 10.2 touchscreen and revised HVAC, it has made leaps and bounds in ease of use. All the gauges inside this big daddy Caddy are digital too, and the piece de resistance is the digital rear camera mirror. Flip the little tab (as you would to tilt the mirror and reduce glare at night) and it switches on a digital camera that projects its wide angle of view onto the mirror.
It may seem pretty cool at first, but it quickly becomes evident that the digital display’s close proximity to your eyes makes it rather taxing on your vision. It takes a moment for your eyes to focus on the display, and then another moment to focus back on the road. The constant switch makes it quite difficult to use full time. Throw the car in reverse and the backup camera takes over the 10.2 inch CUE infotainment display relegating the tiny little mirror to nothing but a party trick to impress backseat guests.
Speaking of which, they get to ride in a plush cocoon of reclining and massaging seats. When it gets cold (as it inevitably does in Quebec), heated seats keep all occupants happy too. See why the CT6 makes such a good road-tripper?
While everyone loves riding in style with full massaging features – it’s pretty useless if the car doesn’t have the grunt to chew up the miles and get you there. So does the CT6 deliver? Fret not, under the long hood is a 3.0L V6 that hauls like a small block V8 with twice the displacement. Output peaks at 404 hp, torque just 4 less. The tremendous amount of torque comes thanks to a pair of turbochargers bolted to the motor, aiding in all 400 lb-ft arriving as early as 2,700 rpm.
Call it the business-express as all that grunt gets sent to four wheels via three driver selectable configurations. In the vehicle’s default tour mode, torque split is 40/60 front/rear. Put it in Sport and the torque bias sends 80 percent to the rear axle. In snow (as was our entire our trip back from Quebec) the torque is split 50/50 to maximize grip.
But some computer wizardry re-vectoring the torque isn’t what makes the configurations on the CT6 so effective. Each individual setting makes adjustments to the vehicle’s magnetorheological dampers, which offers radical adjustments to the firmness of the ride. Tour mode, while stiff, never felt overly so, even on the harsh roads of Montreal. Sport mode ups the ante further for the big luxo-barge, almost overly so. But then, this is the renaissance of the marquee, and sophistication is the hallmark.
With the help of the rear-wheel steering, the CT6 punches well below its weight-class, dancing through corners with agility and verve. The rear steering is prominent in low speed turns, whereby it helps to tighten the turning radius (perfect for U-turns when you’ve missed the GPS notification). In higher speed turns, it aids in keeping the vehicle stable and boosting confidence behind the wheel. It feels weird to say it, but it does give the illusion that you’re driving something much smaller.
Winding through the back roads to our overnight cabin, the CT6 felt nimble. Body roll was well managed, and remained composed in the sweeping switchbacks - even when loaded down with all our luggage. Steering lacked communication and feedback but that’s an expected inherent behaviour of a full-size luxury vehicle.
All is forgiven by the otherwise phenomenal chassis tuning and explosive power of the twin-turbo V6. Power comes on strong and peak torque comes early enough in the rev range, meaning you’ve always got gobs of power on tap. Squeeze the throttle and the car darts through the corner. If anything, this is an appetizer for what Cadillac’s V vehicles can offer.
The Platinum trim meant that our tester was the top dog in the full-size’s line-up. Dressed in a Dark Adriatic Blue tuxedo, our tester rings out to $103,595 and comes fully loaded with everything the General has to throw at it - including 20-inch aluminum wheels.
If you’re a conscientious shopper looking for value, the Genesis G90 is it. Those looking to make a statement with their luxury goods, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series have everything to suit your needs. What this Cadillac has though is flexibility. The MSRP for the AWD CT6 starts $64,140. That’s a lot of wiggle room for you to option it out just how you like it.
型号 Model: 2017 Cadillac CT6 Platinum
顏色 Paint Type: Dark Adriatic Blue
試車售價 Price as Tested: $103,595
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 3,109
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 5,182 / 1,880 / 1,471
引擎 Engine: 3.0L twin turbo V6
最大馬力 Horsepower: 404 hp @ 5,700 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 400 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 8-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD