Cadillac teases the new CT5 sedan

2020 Cadillac CT5 Sport front 3/4

Cadillac is readying the world for the CT5 sedan, which will have its first public showing at the New York International Auto Show next month. It’s positioned as a replacement for both the ATS and CTS sedans, and will likely be somewhere between the two in terms of overall size.

According to Automotive News a smaller model, named CT3 or CT4, could be coming to slot below the CT5, although those plans could change given Cadillac’s current focus on crossovers and a move toward electric vehicles slated for 2022.

The CT5 will be based on GM’s Alpha platform, the same rear- and all-wheel-drive structure that underpins the ATS and Chevrolet Camaro. Aside from a few photographs only the basic details have been divulged thus far, such as a standard 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder or an optional twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, both paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Part of Cadillac’s roll-out for the CT5 launch is a series of online videos titled “Sensory Symphony,” which Cadillac says are scientifically crafted to gain your attention by stimulating your senses. In the weeks prior to the New York show, a new video will be released every week, culminating with a full “Sensory Symphony” video, likely to be also used as a broadcast commercial, revealed along with the CT5 on April 16.

2020 Cadillac CT5 Premium Luxury badge
2020 Cadillac CT5 Premium Luxury front
2020 Cadillac CT5 Premium Luxury
GM
2020 Cadillac CT5 Premium Luxury

The marketing message centers around Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR. It is described as a sensation like an electrical charge that starts at the scalp and moves down your neck and backbone. In other words, a scientific description of what your grandparents may have called a “spine-tingling” experience.

Certain forms of sounds can trigger ASMR, and Cadillac would like to convince you that the CT5 can achieve that with its engine note or with music from its Bose branded sound system. Visual stimuli can also be effective, so Cadillac commissioned artist Darel Carey to design custom camouflage vinyl wrap for the CT5, which is slowly peeled away from the car in the videos. The “whispering” sound of the vinyl's adhesive being pulled away from the vehicle is supposed to accentuate the ASMR effect.

Cadillac's chief marketer, Deborah Wahl, said in a press release, “The Cadillac CT5 is meant to overwhelm all of the senses, and that’s why we’re using ASMR-style videos to showcase its features.The ‘Sensory Symphony’ videos are designed to convey for viewers the same satisfying feeling that arises from driving this car.”

We’ll know for sure whether this is marketing nonsense or luxury-inspired attention to detail when the Cadillac CT5 officially breaks cover in New York next month.