Better late than never, and while it’s now going to face off against a wave of new compact crossovers, the Cadillac XT4 is likely to be one of the domestic luxury brand’s most important new entries in decades.
Though still two seasons away from reaching showrooms, the new SUV will make its first public appearance over the weekend during the widely viewed Academy Awards broadcast. The teaser spot will be followed by the XT4’s official debut at the New York Auto Show later this month.
“We’re excited to show the world what the future holds for Cadillac,” said Cadillac Director of Marketing Renée Rauchut. “The Oscars is a natural fit for the brand and the perfect stage to reveal our exhilarating new creative, including a preview of the first-ever Cadillac XT4 and a look at our industry-leading Super Cruise technology.”
Caddy could use some attention, especially in its home market. While General Motors’ luxury brand delivered 356,467 cars and utility vehicles in 2017, a 15.5% global gain – and the second-highest tally in its 115-year history – sales actually dipped 8% in the U.S., to 156,440 vehicles.
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Sales did jump 14% in the home market for February, largely driven by the brand’s two ute models, the XT5 crossover and the more traditional, body-on-frame Escalade SUV. That reflects the dramatic shift away from passenger cars in both the mainstream and luxury segments of the market.
Caddy has scaled back plans for its sedan line-up and is now planning to add at least three new utility vehicles in the next few years. The 2019 XT4 is the first in that wave and will slot directly below the midsize XT5 that joined the Cadillac line-up nearly two years ago.
The Detroit automaker has been tight with details about the XT4 which shares the same underlying platform as the latest-generation Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain utes. That will put it somewhere in the size range of the BMW X3, Lincoln MKC and Lexus NX.
The teaser images reveal vertical headlamps, in line with the rest of the current line-up, but here framed by distinctive, LED running lights. As with the CT6 sedan and XT5, the styling of the new XT4 appears to tone down the hard-edged Art & Science design theme introduced on the first-generation CTS sedan more than a decade ago, with a more curvaceous silhouette and subtle power bulges on the hood. Roof rails and a large rear spoiler have been spotted on some camouflaged models going through testing near GM’s engineering and test track facilities near Detroit in recent months.
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As for powertrains, Caddy chief Johan de Nysschen has hinted there could be an “entirely new” engine family breaking cover along with the XT4, and it is all but certain it will go with an all-turbo-four strategy, though a hybrid or even a plug-in might follow. That approach could prove critical considering new regulations in China, now Cadillac’s single-biggest market. Also look for both front and rear-drive options.
As for pricing, a starting figure somewhere under $40,000 is likely, though a well-equipped model may push into the high $40,000 range.
The 2019 Cadillac XT4 will arrive in showrooms by autumn and will mark the start of a much-needed product wave with four more new models following, one roughly every six months. That will include a three-row SUV that will ride on top of the current XT5 line.
(To see more about Cadillac’s plans to focus more on SUV sales, Click Here.)
As for its Oscars presence, Cadillac will run three spots over the course of the broadcast:
- “Future is Here” will kick off the evening by highlighting Cadillac’s innovations and its growing portfolio. (Click Here to check it out.) That will include both the semi-autonomous Super Cruise system and the XT4;
- The second spot, “Future Cars,” will put more emphasis on the Super Cruise technology while also recalling fantasy cars of the past using film and TV archive footage. (Click Here to watch it);
- The final spot, (Click Here),will specifically highlight the XT4 which will be shown to reporters at Caddy’s New York City headquarters on March 27, ahead of its official NY Auto Show premiere.