Cadillac Readies Its Grand XTS Flagship for a Springtime Debut

Cadillac has a long history of crafting unapologetically large—and unabashedly luxurious—top-line models. From the great Town Sedans of the 1930s to the finned flagships of the ‘1950s, the luxury division of General Motors has built its reputation on uncompromised grandeur. And this spring, Cadillac delivers the next in this storied line: the XTS.

The sedan, which Cadillac calls the most technologically advanced model in its 110 years (one that likely will inspire the next generation of Presidential State Car), replaces the aging DTS at the top of the model range. Long and wide with a dramatic side swoop, the XTS cuts an impressive profile, and the spacious interior offers supreme comfort to five fortunate occupants (Cadillac claims the XTS offers four inches more rear-seat legroom than the BMW 5-series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans).

Among the XTS’ many standard features—a list that includes xenon headlamps, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, and perforated leather seating with cut-and-sew dash trim—is Cadillac’s innovative new CUE connectivity and entertainment system, which presents a bright capacitive touch interface, similar to the screen of an Apple iPad.

Every XTS benefits from Brembo brakes, a rear air suspension, and GM’s impressive Magnetic Ride Control, which reacts instantly to road imperfections, speed, and steering input, delivering a ride that’s pillow-soft when appropriate, taut and controlled when required. The system uses dampers filled with a magnetorheological fluid that becomes more or less viscous and, in turn, causes the damper to become more or less compliant in response to a varying electrical charge.

Providing the motivation for the XTS is Cadillac’s direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6. The engine spins out a smooth 300 hp and drives the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. An available Haldex all-wheel-drive system shunts power to the front or rear wheels, or from side to side, as slippage is detected.

Cadillac’s grand new flagship starts at $44,995, a price that pits it against the very fine Chrysler 300C, which was new for 2012, and the Lincoln MKS, which sees a complete makeover for 2013. Buyers will choose from base, luxury, premium, or platinum option packages, with the latter including such niceties as a panoramic moonroof, 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, and upgraded interior trim with an Alcantara headliner. (www.cadillac.com)

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