Cadillac has revealed two new vehicles for the increasingly important Chinese market, neither of which are set to be offered in its home market of the US.
The new GT4 isn’t some track-ready sports car, but rather a sleek crossover that will open the Cadillac range in China, while the CT6 is a new-generation flagship sedan.
Both models had already been revealed courtesy of Chinese Department of Industry and Information Technology filings, but they’ve now been officially detailed by GM’s luxury brand alongside the Chinese-market version of the recently facelifted XT4.
The GT4 is the new entry point to the Cadillac range in China, priced from ¥219,700 – ¥10,000 less than the base price of the recently facelifted XT4, the brand’s Audi Q3 rival.
It debuts a new GT prefix. Cadillac debuted a new naming structure in 2016 with the CT6, whereby all cars were prefaced with CT and all crossovers were prefaced with XT.
GT now appears to be for sleeker SUV designs like this GT4, which measures 4633mm long, 1878mm wide and 1536mm tall on a 2800mm wheelbase, with 129-131mm of ground clearance.
For context, that’s 94mm lower with around 20-30mm less ground clearance than the XT4.
Slim LED lighting elements up front are said to draw inspiration from the electric Lyriq, while inside there’s a more overt resemblance to the larger EV with a wraparound 33-inch display featuring 9K screen resolution.
Some of the switchgear also appears borrowed from the Lyriq.
The GT4 offers a choice of two powertrains, both featuring a 48V mild-hybrid system and a nine-speed automatic transmission.
A turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine with 155kW of power (@5500rpm) and 270Nm of torque (@1750-4500rpm) is offered with front-wheel drive, offering a claimed 0-100km/h time of 8.9 seconds.
A more powerful 2.0-litre four with 174kW (@5000rpm) and 350Nm (@1500-4000rpm) brings with it all-wheel drive and a quicker 7.8-second sprint to 100km/h.
All models feature MacPherson strut front and five-link independent rear suspension, with a choice of 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels depending on the variant, wrapped in Bridgestone self-sealing tyres.
There’s 289L of luggage space, expanding to 1190L with the second row folded – around 170L less than the XT4.
Available equipment includes a 15-speaker AKG sound system, heated and ventilated front seats, a power tailgate, digital rear-view mirror, surround-view camera, 26-colour adjustable ambient lighting, crystal interior trim and a panoramic sunroof.
A suite of active safety technology is also available, including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist.
The first-generation CT6 exited production in the US in 2020 as GM retooled its plant for electric vehicle production, but it continued to be produced in China.
The second-generation CT6 is understood to continue on a version of the outgoing model’s Omega platform; the CT6 was the only vehicle to end up using these new rear/all-wheel drive underpinnings.
While the first-generation model was offered in markets like the US at various points with naturally aspirated V6, twin-turbo V6, twin-turbo V8, turbo four, and a plug-in hybrid turbo four powertrains, there’s only one engine in the new CT6.
It’s a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 174kW of power (@5000rpm) and 350Nm of torque (@1500-4000rpm), mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
All CT6s are rear-wheel drive, with a claimed 0-100km/h time of 7.47 seconds. Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 features in the flagship sedan.
The CT6’s angular, imposing lines have been softened somewhat. The roofline appears rounder and the front fascia smoother. Cadillac’s trademark plunging LED daytime running lights remain, but the horizontal lighting elements are slimmer. The headlights feature matrix LED technology.
The sharp crease running in line with the door handles has been swapped for two feature lines – one below the door handles, another running from the tail lights before trailing off on the rear doors.
Down back, Cadillac has de-emphasised the horizontal section of the tail lights, in a nod to several decades’ worth of vehicles with pronounced vertical tail lights.
Dimensions are virtually unchanged. The CT6 measures 5223mm long, 1890mm wide and 1473-1480mm tall on an identical 3109mm wheelbase to its predecessor, putting it between the latest BMW 5 Series and 7 Series in size.
It rides on either 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels, depending on the variant.
Inside, there’s a wraparound 33-inch 9K screen array like that in the latest Cadillac models.
Jet Black and Whisper Beige interior colourways are joined by a racier Renaissance Red, while there are various knurled metallic accents plus available open-pore wood trim and Nappa leather.
Available features include automatic parking assist, a surround-view camera, 26-colour ambient lighting, heated steering wheel, a digital rear-view mirror, panoramic sunroof, a 19-speaker AKG sound system, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats.
Safety equipment includes autonomous emergency braking with junction assist, blind-spot monitoring, lane centring, rear cross-traffic alert and reverse AEB.
GM’s Super Cruise driver assist technology, previously exclusive to North America, features on the Chinese CT6.
Cadillac has sold more cars in China than in the US every year since 2017. Last year, it sold 134,703 vehicles in the US against 194,100 in China.
The line-ups are slightly different, with Cadillac China missing out on the Escalade, for example.
GM has been selling Chinese-specific vehicles across its brands for decades now.
It started local production in 1998 as part of a joint venture with Chinese giant SAIC Motor, producing a version of the American Buick Regal sedan.
The Buick brand has long enjoyed an enviable reputation in China. Its sales there overtook those in the US all the way back in 2006, and GM has graced its premium brand with various Chinese-specific vehicles over the years like the Velite 6 EV wagon and GL6 and GL8 people movers.
Vehicles have also lived on here after having been discontinued in the US, much like the Cadillac CT6. These include the latest LaCrosse, while the Regal – once sold here as the ZB Holden Commodore – continues to be sold there but nowhere else.
Chevrolet has also received some Chinese-exclusive models like the electric Menlo wagon.
While the new GT4 and CT6 are unlikely to be exported from China, it’s possible Cadillac could return to Australia, with a local trademark filing appearing recently for the Lyriq – a model also spied testing in right-hand drive.
Cadillac last officially sold vehicles in Australia in 1969, but 40 years later it came extremely close to returning to the local market with the second-generation CTS.
It officially announced the luxury sedan’s launch in 2007 and obtained local certification for its sale, with multiple dealers signing up to carry the brand which would have been sold alongside Hummer and Saab models.
GM even imported several dozen CTS sedans, only for them to be diverted as the company cancelled plans to sell the brand in January 2009 just weeks before they were due to go on sale.