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Cadillac flagship to begin new naming regime

New Cadillac CT6 flagship sedan to be launched late in 2015

Published: September 26, 2014, 11:00 AM
Updated: October 15, 2014, 9:13 PM

Cadillac Elmiraj Concept Car

Cadillac has not only confirmed its plans to offer a new top-of-the-line sedan model for the 2016 model year, it has already given it a name.

Rather than calling it LTS as has been rumoured, which would be a logical progression of the current model nomenclature, the new flagship will be called CT6.

It will expand the Cadillac range upwards, slotting above the current top-of-the- line XTS to compete with other large luxury cars such as the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Like those cars, it will be "RWD-oriented," Cadillac says.

"This Cadillac will be the lightest and most agile car in the class of top-level large luxury sedans," said Travis Hester, executive chief engineer for the car. "Using the lessons learned from our dynamic ATS and CTS product lines, we have developed an entirely new vehicle architecture for the CT6."

It is said to use advanced, lightweight materials and new body construction techniques to reduce fuel consumption while enhancing driving dynamics and safety.

It will also be the first model to adopt a new naming taxonomy for the brand, in which the letters CT designate passenger car and the numbers identify its place in the hierarchy – not unlike BMW's sequential Series numbers.

Adopting this new identification regimen will help consumers place the cars within a structure, as they compare cars both within the Cadillac showroom and across the market generally, according to Uwe Ellinghaus, Cadillac's chief marketing officer.

It's a strategy also adopted by Infiniti under the leadership of Johan de Nysschen, who left Infiniti to become president of GM's Cadillac division this summer.

In other parallels to his Infiniti experience, Cadillac has now spun off from General Motors (although still very much part of the corporation) to be operated as a separate business unit, with headquarters in the SoHo district of Manhattan rather than in Detroit.

De Nysschen moved Infiniti's headquarters from Tokyo to Hong Kong.

The New York office will be primarily a marketing base as design and engineering functions will remain in Michigan, as will the manufacture of the CT6. It will be built in GM's Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which is undergoing a $384-million (US) overhaul for the purpose. Production is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015.