When the all-new Cadillac XTS sedan made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year, more observant press members noted something immediately: the XTS was too small. Many recalled reports that the XTS was supposed to be the new flagship of General Motors luxury brand, replacing the larger Cadillac DTS which was discontinued back in 2010 as well as the mid-level STS Caddie. The Cadillac XTS, on the other hand, was scarcely larger than the CTS. GM representatives even inadvertently supported the notion during the press event, comparing the Caddie’s interior space to the mid-level Audi A6 instead of the larger BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class flagship sedans.
The wait for Cadillac’s “true” flagship may have to wait, though. Hitting the showrooms this summer is the Cadillac ATS, the brand’s answer to the BMW 3 Series. The ATS made its debut at this year’s Detroit Auto Show and is slotted under the Cadillac CTS, which moves to the middle of Caddie’s three-level sedan hierachary. The ATS will be the entry-level model for those new to the revamped Cadillac lineup.
GM then electrifies its luxury lineup in 2013 with the introduction of the Cadillac ELR. The ELR is based off the Cadillac Converj concept, a hybrid electric vehicle that utilizes the same powertrain as the Chevrolet Volt. While some journalists and reporters poo-poo the notion of the ELR, pointing to the Volt’s sales figures, GM execs think otherwise, believing potential ELR buyers won’t necessarily be put off by the price tag. A heavily refreshed Cadillac Escalade SUV will also debut in 2013.
A magic eightball is then required to figure out GM’s future plans for Cadillac from 2014 on. Is that when Caddie’s S-Class and 7 Series fighter will make its debut? Perhaps. More likely, though, will be the introduction of a large crossover based off the Buick Enclave. In the other direction, Cadillac may respond with a small crossover to challenge BMW X1 and Audi’s Q3.
Automotive.com’s take: While we like Cadillac’s current offerings, we don’t see Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz owner seriously cross-shopping the American brand given the paucity of available vehicles. Even Acura, notorious for its few vehicles as a luxury brand, currently has twice as many models than Cadillac.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)