Remember that “accidental” pre-show peek of the 2013 Cadillac XTS sedan last week on Cadillac’s website? Turns out it’s the real deal, as Cadillac continues to showcase the evolution of its “shock and awe” design language first unveiled over five years ago with the sharp-angled CTS. At the auto show, we found the XTS’ exterior design exudes modern car contemporary chic—maybe not as sharp edged as the CTS—but fronted by an in-your-face chrome grill worthy of the Cadillac SRX crossover or the full-sized Escalade SUV.
“The Cadillac XTS represents a new formula for luxury, driven by advanced technology,” says Don Butler, vice president of Cadillac Marketing, at the press conference. “XTS showcases the evolution of our Art & Science philosophy, merging the best technical ideas with the continued refinement of Cadillac design.”
Who It’s For
The 2013 Cadillac XTS sedan is said to be the new flagship of GM’s luxury brand, replacing the aged DTS, which was retired last year. Starting with the 2003 Cadillac CTS, GM has been gunning for BMW as its main competitor and benchmark. Originally we thought the front-wheel drive XTS would not have the luxury street-cred to go up against the rear-drive BMW 7 Series, but all-wheel drive is available.
General Motors made sure the 2013 Cadillac XTS matched the competition in all salient points, which include:
- Standard Magnetic Ride Control. Usually found in sports cars like the Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro, the system provides one of the smoothest rides in all segments.
- CUE, Cadillac’s answer to the BMW’s iDrive and Mercedes-Benz COMAND infotainment system
- Front wheel as well as available all-wheel drive
- Standard Brembo brakes
- Six-speed automatic transmission
- 3.6 liter V-6 that generates 300 horsepower with an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city/ 28 mpg highway
- Safety tech like “virtual” bumpers which activates the brakes if it senses someone in a blind spot like a child’s tricycle.
- Heated and cooled seats
- Available driver side heads-up display
Finally, we won’t be surprised when news of a long version of the XTS hits the autosphere in the near future.
What We Think
Cadillac started strong with the CTS back in 2002 but seemed to stall a bit as General Motors, facing another energy crisis, falling sales, and finally bankrupcy, scaled back in its revitalization efforts in all its brands. Now rebounding, we find the Cadillac XTS, like the all-new Buick and Chevrolet Cruze, to be competitive and GM’s strongest lineup for decades. Our biggest concern is that GM may slip from its current momentum. We also have questions regarding the XTS size: though GM states its competitive, space-wise, against the Big Boys (ala 7 Series and S-Class), we thought it a little odd to compare interior space against the Audi A6. Also, no available V-8 at this time?