Cadillac has talked about building a true flagship for years—the beautiful Sixteen concept, shown above, dates to 2003—and it appears that a rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan is finally taking shape. The brand’s bosses have realized that the XTS, a stretched derivative of the front-wheel-drive Epsilon platform also underpinning the Buick LaCrosse and Saab 9-5, will not quite be enough to scare the Audis and BMWs of the world, let alone cement the automaker’s position building the Cadillac of automobiles.
According to insiders, Cadillac’s new flagship model will be built on a standalone rear-drive platform, dubbed Omega, rather than sharing underpinnings with the CTS or upcoming ATS. As we predicted in the past, it will be powered by six- and eight-cylinder engines, and all-wheel drive would be optional. A hybrid version could follow later, a diesel— which would account for the bulk of the vehicle’s sales in Europe—won’t. The new, impressively styled sedan will be launched in 2014 as a 2015 model.
Naturally, offering rear-wheel drive and a V-8 won’t be sufficient for Cadillac to take on the world. A Cadillac flagship pointed squarely at the Mercedes-Benz S-class and BMW 7-series will need to be jam-packed with safety and comfort technology, and requires cabin accommodations indulgent enough to make Buckingham Palace’s interior designer weep.
And Now, to Rolls-Royce
We also have learned that General Motors is considering an even more exciting use for the Omega platform—though it’s one we’re skeptical will see the light of day. Our sources tell us that Cadillac is looking at building a super-luxury sedan to compete head-on with the likes of the Rolls-Royce Phantom. (Yes, someone at GM actually referred to Rolls-Royce’s locomotive.) It’s far from a done deal, but it would be great to see such a halo car fighting for American supremacy in billionairemobiles.
No matter what happens, we’re guessing the Cadillac Sixteen’s 13.6-liter V-16 engine won’t be nestled in the engine bay. What a shame.Tags: Cadillac, Cadillac ATS, Cadillac Omega, Cadillac XTS |