First drive: 2017 Cadillac CT6 in the UAE
Cadillac recently changed their naming system yet again, and their first sedan to adopt it is the all-new 2017 Cadillac CT6, set to go on sale in the UAE and other GCC countries very soon. We had a chance to drive their new flagship sedan at an event in Abu Dhabi.
The CT6 will be a unique offering in the UAE. While in the North American market, the CT6 is set to go up against the likes of BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8; here in the GCC, it will be going up against the midsize segment in terms of price. This is because the GCC only gets the long-wheel base versions of those German models, as preferred by customers in this region. There is no stretched CT6 version yet, which puts a CT6 in a rather limited category in this region, where price-wise it sits on par with higher-trimmed luxury midsize sedans, but with the interior space of a full-sizer.
The exterior follows the new updated design language of Cadillac. Among them are the new LED “blades” in front which extend down to the bumper. The chassis is made up of steel and aluminium, with the exterior body panels being all-aluminium. Cadillac claims that this new “Omega” platform makes it just 8 kg heavier than a CTS and on par, if not lighter, than a BMW 5-Series or an Audi A6. They achieved this largely by poking holes in chassis parts that are hidden from view, thereby reducing the amount of metal, while carefully computer-modelling loads and stresses on the unibody. Cadillac claims that the structure still ends up being stiffer than that of the CTS.
Stepping inside, the interior offers a stylish coherent design across the cockpit, with a mix of leather and wood achieving a very premium look and feel. The dash and upper half of the doors are wrapped in leather with soft-padded arm-rests. However, the lower half of the doors are covered in hard plastics, hinting at a touch of cost-cutting that makes the price so competitive. We found most of the tech easy to use, with most functions being controlled via a touchpad located next to the gear lever as well as a touchscreen. The navigation was easy to set up as well. One of the highlights was also the 34-speaker Bose Panaray sound system which is one of the best we have ever heard. Also, both front and back seats had massage functions.
On the road, we had a go in the 400 hp turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, both of which are made in house by Cadillac and not found in other GM brands. The steering was light, but sharp. The rear-wheel-drive CT6 was surprisingly nimble for its size, also thanks in part to the four-wheel steering which comes standard in the turbo model. The acceleration from a stand-still is geared more towards smoothness than performance, but it still throws decent numbers, with 650 Nm of torque helping it do the 0-100 kph run in under 6 seconds, as per Cadillac. A naturally-aspirated 335 hp 3.6-litre V6 engine will be the base option available in the GCC.
Driving around the streets of Abu Dhabi, the CT6’s magnetic ride control offered up a very smooth and comfortable ride. Body roll was at a minimum when switched into Sports mode as we took a few fast turns on off-ramps and roundabouts. The cabin was also very quiet, even at speeds of up to 140 kph.
The Cadillac CT6 isn’t the kind of flagship sedan you thought it was, served up as more of an extension to the CTS range. If interior space and comfort are at the top of your list, the full-size CT6 is a great option, with pricing and features similar to that of a well-specced German midsize premium sedan.
Check out UAE prices and GCC specs in the Cadillac CT6 buyer guide..
Photos by General Motors Middle East.