2016 Cadillac LTS Future Car
Consumer Guide's Take on the 2016 Cadillac LTS
Is this a good time to launch a new ultra-premium car? That's the question facing General Motors about its long-rumored "flagship" Cadillac. Though work is underway on what may be called LTS, the biggest, most opulent Caddy in years is not yet a done deal.
What It Is
The 2016 Cadillac LTS is Consumer Guide's updated forecast for the so-called "flagship" Cadillac sedan that's been rumored off and on since the expansive Sixteen concept appeared at Detroit back in 2003. Though the project is not yet a go, several sources report that General Motors is again giving serious consideration to a large, ultra-premium Cadillac as a direct counter to the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, Lexus LS, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Where It Fits
According to Car and Driver, the LTS--or whatever it's called--will ride a new Cadillac-exclusive platform to be shared with at least three other large vehicles bearing the wreath-and-crest badge. Now being developed under the reported codename Omega, this architecture will take over from the Sigma platform that dates from Cadillac's original 2003 premium-midsize CTS. Engineering is said to be along the same lines as the rear-drive Alpha structure that hosts Cadillac's new 2013 ATS premium-compact sedan. C/D notes that while both architectures are scaleable, Alpha is limited to compact and midsize vehicles comparable to the BMW 3-Series and 5-Series, whereas Omega-based models can be made somewhat wider and stretched to around 207 inches overall, a footprint similar to that of BMW's long-wheelbase 7-Series premium-large sedan.
Engineering, Powertrains, and Features
Like Sigma, the Omega architecture is being designed for rear-drive and all-wheel-drive powertrains, but in such a way that any Omega derivative can be built alongside Alpha-based models, a provision that increases manufacturing flexibility as a hedge against sudden market swings. The Alpha kinship implies that Omega Cadillacs will employ a front-strut and rear-multilink suspension carried on noise-isolating front and rear subframes. Most suspension components should be made of weight-saving aluminum and high-strength steel for the sake of both handling precision and overall fuel economy. Electro-mechanical steering assist can be taken for granted. Ditto large 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, an integrated antiskid system with traction control, and GM's Magentic Ride Control shock absorbers that automatically adjust firmness in real time to suit various driving conditions and driver preferences.
Why It's Being Built
As noted, GM intends the 2016 Cadillac LTS to match or beat top-line premium-class rivals for size, power, performance, luxury, even craftsmanship and exclusivity. This reflects GM's ongoing struggle to make Cadillac a true global brand with equal or higher status than established premium players--a genuine "Standard of The World" and then some. We can also see the LTS being marketed as a more sensibly priced but no less worthy alternative to the vaunted likes of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur and Rolls-Royce Ghost.
What It Might Cost
If the celebrated Bob Lutz were still GM's product guru, we suspect he'd price the LTS on par with Germany's finest big sedans, which means high-$70,000s to low-$130,000s for 2012 models. He would certainly position Caddy's flagship well upstream of today's largest Cadillac car, the XTS, which occupies the comparatively modest $44,000-$60,000 range.
The Sixteen concept was too much a fantasy to have any hope of production, but it's easy to imagine a showroom version of the striking Ciel concept, even if it's a sedan and not a convertible. Sure, this might seem a bad time to launch a big new luxury-liner, especially for still-recovering GM, but premium and ultra-premium cars have shown surprising sales strength despite ongoing market uncertainties and that could clinch the business case for green-lighting a 2016 Cadillac LTS.
*Full Article at Link