The 2016 Cadillac CT6 went where Cadillac hadn’t been in a long time, if ever. True, Cadillac had full size-sedans before, and Cadillac had rear-drive cars. And Cadillac had full-size, even mega-size, sedans with rear drive and all-wheel drive.
But for Cadillac, the 2016 Cadillac CT6 goes beyond that with a full-size rear-drive sedan that can compete with rear-drive models from BMW, Volvo and Jaguar. The CT6 is roomy inside, but unlike the nominally front-drive Cadillac XTS (all-wheel drive is optional), the CT6 “drives small,” almost like a Cadillac CTS—and it easy to mistake for one, and surprisingly sporty. We know, that latter wouldn’t seem out of place describing, for example, a bigger Bimmer. But a full-size Cadillac?
The CT6—we find the name annoyingly close to CTS—is actually slightly smaller than the 7-Series, which has a wheelbase stretching out to 126.4 inches, or even the Genesis (nee Hyundai) G90, measuring at 124.4. The CT6, on the other hand, 122.4 inches.
That’s significantly longer between front and rear wheels than the XTS, which is only 111.7 inches, largely because of the XTS’s front-drive drive train layout. The two Cadillacs are only two inches apart in overall length, 202 inches versus 204 inches.
Naturally, the Cadillac CT6 reprises Cadillac’s Art and Science design language, with its sharp creases and vertical lines front and rear. The grille is subtly pentagonal, wrapped brushed metal and set in bodywork that bends down from the hood. The front corners have the vertical—thought swept back—column of LED’s. Headlights are small, and bright and focused LED’s that Cadillac calls “Indirect Fire.” Taillights are LED, of course, though instead of the usual Cadillac vertical stripe, the CT6 has a checkmark. The C-pillar/rear window slants down, not quite coupe-like, to parallel the high belt line that hooks into the taillights. The rear deck is short but opens wide for easy access.
Cadillac calls the structure under the skin “aluminum intensive.” Indeed. The CT6 has thirteen high-pressure aluminum die castings in the lower body construction. Cadillac claims the aluminum structure saves about 218 pounds—or about one adult male—compared to high-strength steel. Beyond aluminum, Cadillac uses different materials and processes including a patented aluminum welding process involving 28 robots and timing welds so that the compensate for vibrations in the welding process. Special connectors are used to join dissimilar materials. Cadillac brags that a single robot arm lifts the “entire vehicle from one part of the assembly line to an upper-level conveyer. In addition to welds and fasteners, the CT6 uses about 591 feet of advanced structural adhesives.