From the Pontiac Fiero to the Chevrolet Bolt, GM has a long history of killing cars once they’re perfected. The Cadillac CT6 is another great example. Before it bowed out in America, it got a 4.2-liter hot-vee turbocharged V8 engine, a plug-in hybrid option, and the Super Cruise hand-free Level 2 advanced driver assistance system. However, GM didn’t completely kill the CT6, it just moved everything to China. Clearly, the large sedan has experienced more success over there because there’s now a second-generation model for 2024. While it’s unlikely to make the trip halfway across the world, the new Cadillac CT6 should be sold in America.
The previous CT6 topped Cadillac’s range of combustion-powered four-doors, and the new one is no exception. This big sedan stays within an inch of its predecessor in length and width, coming in at 205.6 inches long and 74.4 inches wide, but it features a much faster greenhouse that’s more in-tune with the sedans of today. In profile, the new CT6 looks like the Escala concept car come to life, an implied promise left unfulfilled by the smaller CT5’s greenhouse fakery.
Up front, a split headlight setup frames a grille that plunges deeper into the fascia. While I’m not entirely sold on the mail slot high and proud on the fascia, the overall effect of the new front end is profound. Around the side, check out the rising surface ahead of the rear wheel arch, then form your own opinion on the split character lines running down the flank. Things are less divided around the back – from the ducktail to the squared-off exhaust finishers, the rear end is evolution in all the right ways.
Although the previous CT6’s interior, pictured above, represented a marked step up in interior materials for Cadillac, some of the corporate switchgear felt a bit cheap for what was a flagship sedan. While cherry-picking parts bin pieces isn’t a huge deal for marques with separate showrooms, the proliferation of multi-brand GM dealers certainly highlighted how, say, the push-button ignition switch on the old CT6 was exactly the same as on a Chevrolet Equinox.
The new CT6, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to share switchgear with vehicles from lesser GM brands. The bank of dashboard switches looks very Escalade, the remote infotainment controller very Lyriq. Even the window switches and seat controls have been re-thought, to the point where every button and knob in the cabin looks properly Cadillac.
Then again, switchgear probably won’t be the first thing people notice in the new CT6’s cabin. That would be the 32-inch 9K OLED screen, a single pane of curved glass encompassing the gauge cluster, infotainment system, and a small panel of virtual controls to the left of the steering wheel. It’s not dissimilar to what we’ve already seen on the Escalade and Lyriq, and it’s far more artfully-sculpted than the curved rectangle seen on BMWs these days. Unfortunately, the 34-speaker Bose Panaray audio system dies with this new model, as recent high-end Cadillacs all come with AKG-branded Harman audio setups.
While the interior seems to be a massive step up, the powertrain in the new CT6 isn’t likely to thrill. Order one of these in China and you’ll get a two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine whether you like it or not. While 233 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque in a car of this caliber would’ve been decent 30 years ago, we’re living in the age of 290-horsepower minivans. Thankfully, the CT6 is still built on the same rear-wheel-drive Omega platform as the old one, so a variety of sixes should also fit under the hood. That being said, the electronic shifter seems more oriented for comfort than performance. It’s a column-mounted shifter, a glorious throwback to velour-clad days of yore and a clever way of freeing up console room.
As a cherry on top, the CT6 is awfully well-priced for a full-size luxury sedan. While it’s difficult to directly convert currency due to tariffs, production costs, and all that jazz, CT6 pricing ranges from RMB 359,700 to RMB 469,700. That’s about $50,809 to $66,346, or the sort of money a well-equipped BMW 3-Series goes for these days. While large sedan sales aren’t exactly hot right now, it just makes logical sense for Cadillac to fill the gap between the midsize CT5 and mega-money Celestiq sedans. Beyond private customers, I could see livery companies jumping at a new large American sedan from a well-known brand to satiate clients, and there’s just something wrong about hearses based on XT6 crossovers. The CT6 could serve a similar role as the dearly-departed Lincoln Town Car, an anchor of dignified automotive normalcy in a crazy world. After all, isn’t stopping time the ultimate luxury?
(Photo credits: Cadillac)
Support our mission of championing car culture by becoming an Official Autopian Member.