Luxury cars

2020 Cadillac CT5 sedan to debut at New York Auto Show

Cadillac's starting the slow social-media tease for the car today.

The new CT5, shown in its Sport trim level.

Cadillac

Cadillac will introduce its next model, the 2020 CT5 sedan, in early April at the New York Auto Show. The company provided our first look at the CT5 on Monday, and over the coming weeks will show off more of the car with an online video series called "Sensory Symphony."

Any automaker introducing a sedan in this era of SUV worship seems to feel the need to justify its decision, and Cadillac President Steve Carlisle is no exception. At a presentation with journalists last week in Detroit, he said Cadillac won't give up on traditional cars because there remain many luxury shoppers who prefer them.

"We're very much committed to sedans, just to clear the air on that. We see it very much as part of our brand DNA," Carlisle said. "When we look at who buys sedans today, they're actually SUV and crossover rejectors."

He added that the luxury-sedan segment is still "considerable," and that in China, an important market for luxury automakers, sedan sales are still growing.

The Cadillac CT5 will be shown in both Sport and Luxury trims. This one is the Premium Luxury.

Cadillac

Andrew Smith, Cadillac executive director for global design, had a different take on why cars like the CT5 still have a future: "I'd say boring sedans are dead, I think awesome sedans are going to be around for a while."

The Cadillac CT5 uses what Smith describes as "a new generation of aesthetic language for Cadillac." As on previous "Art & Science" cars, the CT5 is defined by taut lines, strong proportions and LED lights, but the bodywork is simpler and not quite so jagged as some older Cadillac cars. It's a very different look than today's ATS and CTS sedans, but still there are recognizable Cadillac cues.

A low hood and flat nose give way to a wide grille, with LED strips running from the headlamps and down into separate light pipes in the lower fascia. The roofline curves starkly behind the B-pillar, plunging toward the trunk. There's a piece of plastic trim in the C-pillar that mimics the look of a quarter-window; it's embossed with a Cadillac script logo. Smith said designers paid extra attention to the rear of the CT5, ensuring it didn't look just the same as other Cadillac sedans.

High-quality wood trim, as well as this electric shifter and rotary infotainment controller, feature in the car's cabin.

Cadillac

Beneath the surface, the CT5 is built on a version of General Motors' well-known Alpha platform, versions of which have also been used for ATS and CTS, as well as the Chevrolet Camaro. Engine choices comprise a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, both paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Both rear- and all-wheel-drive variants will be offered.

The interior follows the trend of other recent Cadillac designs and will offer lots of leather and genuine wood trim. A tablet-style touchscreen with an updated version of the company's CUE infotainment software sticks up from the dashboard. It can also be controlled by a console-mounted rotary controller, as seen in the XT4 and XT6. The electronic shifter has been redesigned to be easier to use, active noise cancellation technology will be standard and a Bose sound system will be available.

As on other recent Cadillac models, the CT5 will be sold in a so-called "Y" trim strategy that splits between Luxury and Sport models. It will also use the torque-based powertrain badging recently announced for the XT6. Cadillac will build the CT5 at its Lansing Grand River plant in Michigan, having invested $221 million to upgrade the facility for the new car.

After its public debut at the New York show, the Cadillac CT5 will go on sale by the end of this year.