New ‘top end’ Cadillac sedan announced; arrives late 2015

Construction at Cadiallac's Hamtramck plant

General Motors’ Hamtramck plant having tooling installed to prepare for a new top-of-the-line Cadillac.

Cadillac has needed a premier model to complement the Cadillac CTS, the model that’s the linchpin of the brand’s revival. The CTS—sedan, wagon and coupe—has been joined by the compact Cadillac ATS and the full-size Cadillac XTS. But to square off with competitors such as the Audi A8/S8 requires Cadillac to go even further upmarket. And so General Motors announced today that a new “top end” Cadillac will arrive in late 2015.

1930 Cadillac V16 Fleetwood

The 1930 Cadillac V16 Fleetwood, when Cadillac was a full member of the premium class on the world stage.

Cadillac’s announcement said that the new sedan will be positioned above today’s CTS and XTS product lines, adding a new top-of-the-line Cadillac to rather than replacing any model in the current Cadillac lineup. The model name will be announced “soon,” according to Cadillac, the car making its public debut in the first half of next year.

“The objective for this upcoming model is to lift the Cadillac range by entering the elite class of top-level luxury cars,” said Cadillac’s president Johan de Nysschen. “Currently in development, this new rear wheel drive-oriented sedan uses completely new, custom-designed materials on a unique vehicle architecture.”

2003 Cadillac Sixteen concept

The 2003 Cadillac Sixteen concept, named for its V-16 engine, was a hoped-for Cadillac sedan.

Cadillac’s new chief de Nysschen is recently arrived from the top job at Infiniti, where he had spent two years after having run Audi of America, and it falls on him to take on Cadillac’s upwards expansion.

Of course, the projectwas already underway before de Nysschen arrived at Cadillac this summer. According to the statement, “the addition of this new Cadillac is part of a previously announced $384 million investment in the facility on Detroit’s east side. Tools and equipment unique to the Cadillac model were installed recently.”

1996 Cadillac Fleetwood

1996 Cadillac Fleetwood

Cadillac has also hinted off and on about a new line-topping model, with the Ciel, a four-door Cadillac convertible, whose future was blighted by the reported killing of an ultrapremium Cadillac, and the Cadillac Elmiraj concept coupe, dubbed “doable” and no doubt easily a stalking horse for a new sedan. Among other highlights was a 500-horsepower 4.5-liter  twin-turbo V-8.

The forthcoming sedan has not been named. We’d note that “DTS” is available and fits into Cadillac’s current alphanumeric naming system, but whether Cadillac would want a reminder of the Deville Touring Sedan is another matter. And then of course there’s always “Fleetwood.”

All photos General Motors.