LOS ANGELES -- As Cadillac prepares to launch the new CT6 large sedan, it's trying something different in its long-running bid to challenge the German luxury brands.
It's being different.
With almost every new entry in recent years, Cadillac has tried to match BMW, Mercedes and Audi. The Cadillac ATS and CTS sedans were developed almost inch for inch to the dimensions of their German peers, drop for drop to the engine displacement -- and yes, nearly dollar for dollar on sticker price. Same with Cadillac's go-fast V series variants, which took dead aim at the horsepower ratings and the 0-to-60 times of the German models.
But the CT6 that hits showrooms in March is its own animal. It's a fresh approach to the big-boy luxury sedan category, one that defies categorization in terms of its size, interior space and price. As Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen told auto journalists during a media test drive here last week: "It is a car like no other."
Big talk, for sure. But he's got some numbers to back him up.
Even though its dimensions straddle the midsize and large-sedan categories, the CT6 looks every bit the part of a large luxury car.
It's got serious road presence, with a long hood and low, wide stance. Its cavernous interior rivals BMW's 7 series and Mercedes' S class in space.
But General Motors' alternative approach to the CT6's chassis development has rendered it lighter than even the smaller CTS. GM is using a mix of aluminums and high-strength steels, largely welded together with minimal riveting and fewer overall components. That has enabled Cadillac to equip the CT6 with a powertrain lineup befitting that of midsize sedans and offer the promise of sprightly, agile performance in a big-sedan package. (Journalists who test drove it here were restricted from publishing reviews until later this week).