General Motors has green-lighted the development of a large flagship sedan for Cadillac, sources say, part of its plan to position its luxury brand's lineup to take on the German luxury stalwarts in every key sedan segment.
The flagship sedan is to be built on a new rear-wheel-drive platform and arrive by 2015. The long-rumored rwd flagship would challenge the BMW 7 series and Mercedes-Benz S class and is a key to GM's ambitions to expand Cadillac in China.
Until recently, Cadillac's car lineup had been winnowed to just the CTS sedan. It's being replenished fast with the addition in June of the XTS large sedan and next month's launch of the ATS compact sedan.
Next year, a redesigned, bigger CTS sedan is expected to arrive. That car will match up better with the Mercedes E class and BMW 5 series.
Here are highlights of Cadillac's plans for the 2013-15 model years.
ATS: Cadillac's new compact sedan arrives in showrooms next month as a 2013 model. It's the first vehicle to be built on GM's new Alpha rwd platform.
GM likely will introduce an ATS coupe in 2014, when a V-series performance model also is a possibility. A convertible has been designed and engineered but has been put on hold as GM sizes up the business case for that variant.
A wagon isn't planned but likely will be considered for the next-generation ATS in five years if Cadillac sales gain traction in Europe. A diesel engine is planned for Europe, but it's unclear whether GM will introduce it in the United States.
CTS: The next-generation CTS is scheduled to arrive in the second half of 2013 as a 2014 model. It will be built on the same Alpha platform as the smaller ATS and feature a longer, sleeker design than the current generation.
A coupe variant, which has been a popular model for the current CTS, should arrive by early 2015. GM likely will stop making the wagon.
The engine lineup for the redesigned CTS should include a 2.0-liter turbo, possibly as the standard engine, as well as a 3.6-cylinder V-6.
XTS: Cadillac launched the new 2013 XTS large sedan in June to replace the phased-out DTS and STS sedans. It marks the debut of Cadillac's new infotainment system, the Cadillac User Experience. GM could add a hybrid version for the 2014 or 2015 model year.
Omega flagship: Sources say GM executives have green-lighted the development of a large, rwd flagship sedan to rival the BMW 7 series and Mercedes S class. GM already is sourcing parts for the car, which is to be built on a new platform dubbed Omega. The launch target is sometime in 2015.
The car likely will take styling cues from the Ciel open-air sedan concept that Cadillac showed at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in August 2011. The engine lineup could include a 3.6-liter V-6 as well as a V-8 option. Expect an eight-speed transmission and an all-wheel-drive option.
SRX: A restyled 2013 SRX will go on sale this fall with the Cadillac User Experience system and other interior improvements, including active noise cancellation. Exterior changes include a restyled grille and the addition of front fender vents and LED headlights.
Expect a redesigned SRX to arrive by late 2014 or early 2015 as a 2015 model. A plug-in hybrid is a possibility.
Large crossover: GM plans to add a large crossover to the Cadillac lineup using an upgraded version of its Lambda platform, which also underpins the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia. It's expected in time for the 2015 model year.
Escalade: The next generation of the large SUV is expected to be launched in the second half of 2013, along with its platform siblings: the Chevy Suburban and Tahoe and the GMC Yukon. GM is expected to scrap the Escalade EXT pickup; the automaker has already confirmed that it will kill the Chevy Avalanche, built on the same platform.
The Escalade is expected to get GM's fifth-generation small-block V-8 engine. An eight-speed transmission is possible.
ELR: The coupe, which is based on the Chevrolet Volt's plug-in hybrid technology, is likely to be launched in late 2013 as a 2014 model. It could feature a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine and is likely to have more power and a longer electric range than the Volt's 38 miles.