AboutThatCar.com: 2016 Cadillac CT6

Frank S. Washington | 10/3/2016, 9:16 a.m.
On guy asked if he could sit behind the steering wheel while another got in the back seat and a ...
2016 Cadillac CT6

DETROIT – On guy asked if he could sit behind the steering wheel while another got in the back seat and a third stood outside the car checking out the lines of the 2016 Cadillac’s CT6. You expect that sort of reaction out of young boys but these were fully grown men.

The CT6 is one of the eight all-new vehicles that Cadillac will spend $12 billion on to launch by 2020. That’s four years from now. And if the CT6 is any indication, and it surely is, then Cadillac will rejoin the front rank of the world’s luxury brands.

When Cadillac introduced the CT6 last spring, it said the full-size sedan integrated performance, efficiency and agility unseen in a large luxury car. The CT6 was a different kind of luxury car.

Our test car was powered by a twin turbocharged V6 engine that made 400 horsepower and a matching 400 pound-feet of torque. It was mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine had cylinder deactivation which we wouldn’t have known was there unless we read it; that’s how smooth the engine ran. The car had an EPA rating of 18 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg combined.

This car was a driver’s car and that has as much to do with weight than anything. Cadillac used what it called an “aluminum-intensive” architecture that incorporated 11 different materials for strength. The full-size CT6 actually weighs less than the mid-size sedans of its competitors and yes, we do mean the Germans. Although spacious, sumptuous even, the CT6 was agile; it handled like a midsize sedan. The turning radius, aided by rear-wheel steer, was a comparative 37 feet.

The car bristled with so much technology that Cadillac didn’t pay much attention to the interior, at least not in the press materials. But that’s where you convey luxury and interior designers did a pretty good job.

The CT6 had a digital instrument display and it is the first one we’ve seen that was attractive. Stylists used real half rings to house digital odometer and temperature and fuel gauges inside. The speedometer was in the middle. And rather than pop up the digital instruments fold faded in and fold faded out. Interior trim was carbon fiber and there was lots of it on the doors and the dash.

Most striking was the infotainment layout. Cadillac has downsized its CUE system and made the touch screen seem bigger than its 10.2 inches. The CT6 also had a pad on the console that could be used to control the features without touching the screen. It basically was a mouse pad.

The front seats were heated and cooled while the rear seats were heated. The car also had a dual moon roof. The front was retractable and the back fixed. There were shade screens for the rear side windows as well as the rear window.

Since we had the twin turbo V6, the test car had all-wheel-drive. The two features are sort of joined at the hip. The CT6 like all Caddy cars except the XTS is rear-wheel-drive. But this system called active on demand all-wheel drive features a continuously variable clutch that can deliver up to 959 pound-feet of torque to front wheels.