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2013 Cadillac XTS: Caddy tries its hand at a large sports sedan

Cadillac's new large sedan, the 2013 XTS, debuts at the 2011 LA Auto Show.


LOS ANGELES--Cadillac killed two old birds with one stone today.

The old birds in question are the aging DTS and STS luxury sedan that will likely both be replaced by the new 2013 Cadillac XTS sedan unveiled here at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show this morning.

The XTS gets a healthy dose of Cadillac's Art and Science design language, so it's no surprise that the sedan ends up looking quite a bit like a larger, more upright version of the automaker's popular CTS sedan. The XTS also shares the 3.6-liter, direct-injection V-6 engine that lurks beneath its angular hood with the smaller sedan. Output is rated at "an estimated 300 horsepower," according to Cadillac's press release, which is odd because the smaller CTS' version of the mill outputs 318 ponies.

Power meets the road through all four 19-inch wheels thanks to a six-speed automatic transmission and a Haldex all-wheel drive system. (A front-wheel drive configuration is also available.) Meanwhile, an available Magnetic Ride Control system helps to keep those four wheels in contact with the pavement. Bringing the big sedan to a halt is a Brembo brake package that is standard on all XTS models.

2013 Cadillac XTS
The 2013 XTS' 'virtual bumper' can stop the vehicle short of an obstruction from low speeds. Josh Miller/CNET

Cadillac is also making the XTS available with a wide array of safety technologies split into two levels. The first level includes a selection of warning systems for lane departure, forward collision, side blind zone, and rear cross traffic. Stepping up to the second level adds more intrusive systems such as adaptive cruise control, automatic collision preparation, and a front and rear automatic brake system. Cadillac's representative referred to that last feature as a "virtual bumper" that can stop the car completely from a low speed when an obstruction is detected by its sensors.

In the cabin, the XTS will be the first vehicle to take advantage of Cadillac's new CUE infotainment system that takes aim at systems such as MyFord Touch with a configurable interface that is both proximity- and multitouch-sensitive.

The XTS will begin production in spring 2012. Pricing has not yet been announced, but we don't expect it to be too far off of the STS' $47,280 starting MSRP.