Together with the CT6, they are expected, over time, to replace the ATS compact, CTS midsize and XTS large cars. The new nameplates represent a bet that even in a sagging car market, Cadillac can find some magic in the stylish and powerful sedans that made the brand famous.
"Boring sedans are dead," said Andrew Smith, Cadillac executive director of global design. "I think awesome sedans are going to be around for a while."
Unlike the angular CT6 and recent Cadillac sedans, the CT5 has a smoother, more fastback silhouette. The fascia is in line with the design language expressed in the Escala concept car and the freshened CT6. Smith said the goal in this segment will be to offer a "driver's car" as an alternative to a market awash in crossovers.
When the CT5 arrives in showrooms toward year end, it will enter a competitive but declining compact luxury car segment — down 13 percent in 2018, and 15 percent this year through February — against such established nameplates as the BMW 3 series, Mercedes-Benz C class and Audi A4.
The car will be powered by a standard 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbo engine or optional 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V-6 engine, both mated to a 10-speed transmission. Cadillac did not give performance specifications, but on the larger CT6, the 2.0-liter is rated at 237 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque, and the 3.0-liter at 404 hp and 400 pound-feet of torque.
Like the new XT6 large crossover, the CT5 will feature a new Cadillac badging convention that identifies powertrains based on their torque rating in newton-meters.
Both new cars will be built in Lansing, Mich. The CT5 is based on GM's Alpha platform, which debuted with the ATS. The CT4 is expected be on that platform as well, but GM did not confirm that.
The two new sedans are the third and fourth new or redesigned nameplates as part of a product overhaul for the brand that includes the introduction of a new or redesigned vehicle every six months on average through 2021.