Unlike the CTS which is lauded as a sporty, nimble Caddy that shreds the pavement at Germany's famed Nurburgring, the Cadillac XTS focuses on space, comfort and luxury aimed at an older, mellower crowd, primarily in the U.S. and Chinese markets.
Only slightly modified from the XTS concept which appeared at the Detroit auto show in 2010, the 2013 Cadillac XTS writes the next chapter in Cadillac's Art and Science design formula. Lines are still sharp and distinctive, but this looming four-door lacks the severe angles found on earlier Cadillac models. As is the rage these days, the Cadillac XTS sports a chrome grille with a big, prominent badge, and 20-inch wheels that cut an imposing figure without looking too well-suited for a hip-hop video.
The 2013 Cadillac XTS will be available in either front- or all-wheel-drive versions and come in two trims: base and Platinum.
The XTS will be powered by a 3.6-liter direct injected V6 rated at 300 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Estimated fuel economy for the XTS is a humdrum 17 mpg city and 28 mpg highway for the front-wheel-drive version and 17/27 mpg with all-wheel drive. Although the 2012 Cadillac XTS will not use the plug-in powertrain featured on the concept model, we do expect another, possibly more fuel-friendly setup to appear down the road.
Inside, technology abounds; most notably the new Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system, standard on the Platinum trim. A refreshing change from the myriad buttons found on the last generation of Cadillacs, the CUE system controls climate, audio and other in-car systems using only three buttons and an 8-inch touchscreen, the latter of which has a proximity sensor which can tell when fingers are near the screen. The CUE system also displays the vehicle's gauges electronically via four selectable themes. A rearward-facing camera and a network of sensors work together to warn the driver if traffic, pedestrians or other objects are in the way. The driver can be alerted of impending hazards via a chime or a vibrating seat. The all-wheel-drive version of the 2013 XTS is equipped with an intervening braking system to help avoid collisions.
Interior space in the XTS is at the top of its class, so it's no surprise Cadillac will be pushing this as the new livery vehicle to replace the Lincoln Town Car. Headroom is generous, and rear legroom measures 40-inches, which is better than the BMW 5 Series. The trunk boasts 18 cubic-feet of cargo space. The ride is expected to be compliant and comfortable, with GM's HiPer Strut front suspension, Magnetic Ride Control, Brembo brakes, and rear air suspension all standard.
The 2013 Cadillac XTS is expected to go on sale in Spring of 2012. Pricing hasn't been released, but our best guess judging by the prices of the outgoing DTS and STS is around $48,000.