Cadillac’s next-gen CT6 is testing in the U.S., but will it be sold here?
Though production of the CT6 ended in February of 2020 after only five model years, a new generation of Cadillac’s flagship sedan has been spotted prowling around Detroit under heavy camo. It’s possible, however, that this modern-day riff on the traditional Cadillac formula is returning only for certain foreign markets, like China.
Two things condemned the CT6 back in 2020: GM’s decision to repurpose the sedan’s birth plant of Hamtramck, Michigan, for production of the Hummer EV, and weak sales. Though the hope was that the full-size, surprisingly dynamic rear-drive sedan was the sort of car that could become a halo for Cadillac in the U.S., but its timing was poor. Americans, seemingly obsessed with SUVs, simply weren’t buying the thing. Chinese customers were, however.
GM already knows that China likes sedans. In 2021, the slightly smaller CT5 was the best-selling Cadillac on Chinese shores. In January 2022, China lifted restrictions that required foreign automakers to partner with local manufacturers, and now GM is readying a new menu of U.S. exports to present to the world’s most populous country. GM president Mark Reuss even indicated that GM would export a “pretty aspirational Cadillac.” From the mouth of a company man, that could refer to anything from the Escalade to the all-electric Lyriq… but what more aspirational Cadillac is there, traditionally speaking, than a luxurious, full-size sedan?
Wherever the CT6 is sold, it will likely appear on a new architecture. (Make that another new architecture, since the original full-sizer debuted as the first model riding on GM’s Omega platform.) The “VSS-R” designates GM’s platform for rear-drive cars with their engines mounted longitudinally, such as the CT6, its smaller CT5 and CT4 siblings, and the Camaro.
We can’t discern much about the new car’s styling under the camo, but its sharp-edged silhouette hews closely to that of the previous car. It’s a safe bet that the shield-shaped grille will grow in size, and that the lightning elements will glower in a squintier, more aggressive fashion. The exhaust pipes are trapezoidal, instead of the previous gen’s circular tips. Cadillac has gone to a lot of work to hide the hood, which could imply some exciting new sheetmetal contouring … or it could be just a matter of protocol. The mule seen here suggests greenhouse and wheelbase remain generous, with a slightly larger window opening behind the C-pillar, all promising a properly bright and spacious interior for passengers.
Could the U.S. have missed its chance to enjoy the full-size, four-door fruits of Cadillac’s labor? Time will tell. For now, we’re just pleased that the full-size Cadillac sedan is living on … somewhere.