Gap-filler: Cadillac to Debut XT6 in Detroit

2019 Cadillac XT4

It’s no wonder the Cadillac brand is having a rocky time of late — the marque fields only two crossovers, and one of those, the XT4, only reached lots at the end of September. Having pledged to return its headquarters to its ancestral homeland of Detroit, Cadillac also plans to unveil a new vehicle there in January.

The XT6, not to be confused with the marked-for-death CT6 sedan, will bow at NAIAS 2019, the automaker has stated. With this vehicle, Cadillac gains considerable coverage of the light truck field.

Confirmed by Automotive News, news of the XT6’s Detroit debut comes on the heels of spy shots of the three-row crossover that revealed a longer body (obviously) than the two-row XT5 and an interior that bears a striking resemblance to that of its smaller stablemate.

Narrow, horizontal headlights are part of the deal, though the overall package doesn’t seem that dissimilar to the XT4, though the taillights appear in a traditional location. It’s very, very likely the XT5’s 3.6-liter V6 and nine-speed automatic will find its way into the entry-level XT6, though Cadillac might have something else in mind for its topmost trim. Maybe there’ll be a “V” badge to affix, who knows.

More than ever, a brand’s future lies in trunkless vehicles, and that’s what Cadillac needs. After car sales plunged in the middle part of this decade, one of former president John de Nysschen’s gripes was that GM brass wasn’t greenlighting the products Caddy needed to grow in a timely manner. One would think that Cadillac would have filled this product gap by now. Still, better late than never.

The lion’s share of Cadillac volume comes from the XT5 and range-topping, body-on-frame Escalade, which is nowhere near the midsize XT5 in terms of size or price. Of the 113,240 vehicles Cadillac sold in the U.S. in the first three quarters of 2018, 65.7 percent came from these two models. The XT4’s arrival should further skew the take rate towards light trucks.

The XT6 arrives as GM pushes the ATS, CTS, XTS, and CT6 towards the grave, with two yet-unseen sedans to serve as replacements. By showing up at NAIAS, Cadillac won’t have to worry about rival Lincoln taking some of the spotlight away from it — the Aviator, which will occupy the same segment as the XT6, appeared in L.A. last month.

[Image: General Motors]

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