It might be an understatement to say that we’ve been looking forward to the day that Cadillac would unveil the refreshed CT6 after all kinds of spy shots, rumors and speculation. Opportunely, that day is finally here: meet the updated 2019 Cadillac CT6, which features updates to the exterior, interior, in-vehicle technology, as well as a new high-performance CT6 V-Sport model.
The 2019 CT6 takes on the latest Cadillac design direction introduced by the Escala Concept. The full-size sedan retains a dominant vertical light signature while adding horizontal elements to give the front end a more aggressive appearance. That theme is also visible at the rear with horizontal lighting elements joining the vertical ones. Cadillac tells us that the new rear lighting graphic is very distinguishable at night.
On non V-Sport models, new horizontal high-lumen headlights and a revised taillight design refresh Cadillac’s signature lighting, inspired by the Escala Concept.
The 2019 CT6 also gets a new engine option in the all-new Cadillac Twin-Turbo V-8. Displacing 4.2 liters, the new motor delivers 500 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque in the non-V-Sport CT6. In the CT6 V-Sport, on which we will touch on later, the new eight-cylinder makes 550 horsepower and 637 pound-feet of torque.
The Cadillac Twin Turbo V-8 is matched to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The transmission boasts a very broad, 7.39 overall gear ratio spread, enhancing off-the-line performance and contributing to reduced engine speed on the highway for refinement and efficiency. Narrow steps between the gear ratios also help the engine maintain the optimal speed for maximum power at almost all vehicle speeds.
New Trim Strategy
The 2019 Cadillac CT6 introduces Cadillac’s new “Y” trim strategy for models. The strategy allows each model to have Luxury and Sport trims with distinct personas and features.
What the trim level structure of the 2019 Cadillac CT6 will be in light of the Y trim level strategy is currently unknown. We’re reached out to Cadillac for clarification and will update this article when and/or if we get a reply.
Cadillac has not yet shared any specifics about the interior of the 2019 CT6, instead focusing all attention on the updates to the sedan’s technology. We will update this section as needed if the vehicle’s cabin is updated.
Touchscreen version of CUE, or the Cadillac User Experience, have perfected the art of dissatisfying owners since the system’s introduction in 2013. This is despite Cadillac updating the system over the years in order to improve it.
Well, the touchscreen and touchpad duo on the 2016, 2017 and 2018 CT6 models are replaced by two physical controllers on the 2019 CT6 – which is exactly what we’ve been asking for all along. Hallelujah!
The smaller controller is used for volume, seek forward/back controls for the audio system as well as shortcut buttons for fast access to the most frequently used apps such as Audio, Phone, Navigation (if available) and Home. The large center dial is used to operate primary features of the most frequently used apps, scroll menus and lists and select other apps to be displayed.
Both controllers drive the latest Cadillac User Experience infotainment system (now at version 3.0) to deliver a highly-connected environment. Compared to previous generations, the new system features a more intuitive user interface, faster response and improved voice recognition. It was first introduced on the 2017 CTS.
The system now leverages the cloud and embedded high-speed 4G LTE connection for higher levels of personalization, connected navigation and news, as well as marketplace and entertainment applications via the app store.
In addition, the 2019 Cadillac CT6 also delivers three notable improvements to existing technologies:
- A second-generation Rear Camera Mirror that does what the first-gen system did, but now has a new frameless design for the mirror along with zoom and tilt features, plus
- A next-generation, 5-watt wireless charging with larger charge area for better phone compatibility (the current system is not compatible with some devices, such as the Apple iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X)
- Electronic Precision Shift (EPS), which removes the physical connection between the gear selector and the vehicle’s powertrain
Additional technologies on the CT6 include:
- Super Cruise, the first truly hands-free driver assistance feature for the freeway, is available (non- V-Sport only).
- The 10-inch diagonal Cadillac user experience interface screen has 1080p HD resolution.
- Available Cloud-connected navigation that provides real-time traffic and routing.
- Rear-seat Infotainment that has media input through USB, HDMI or Wi-Fi connection to a phone.
- The full suite of available active safety features that includes:
- Forward Collision Alert
- Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert
- Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Forward/Reverse Automatic Braking
- Safety Alert Seat
- Available Surround Vision, which provides a 360-degree camera view around the vehicle, displayed on the Cadillac user experience screen, helping the driver avoid nearby objects during low-speed maneuvering
- Available industry-first Surround Vision Recorder video recording system that can record front and rear views while driving, and 360 degrees of recording if the vehicle’s security system is activated.
- Night Vision, which identify people and large animals via heat signatures on a display in the driver information center.
- Available Automatic Parking Assist with Braking that steers the vehicle and applies the brakes at idle speed to help park in parallel or perpendicular spaces while the driver follows text commands, selects gear, and overrides braking and acceleration as needed.
- Available Front Pedestrian Braking, which provides pedestrian detection indications, alerts and automatic braking to help avoid collisions or reduce the harm caused by one.
- New available Rear Pedestrian Detection that alerts the driver, when in Reverse, of an imminent collision with a pedestrian by providing visual notification on rear view camera display.
We expect the 2019 Cadillac CT6 to begin reaching dealers by the end of the 2018 calendar year. The vehicle will continue being made at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Hamtramck, Michigan.
The Cadillac Society Take
Though we don’t yet have complete details, we can already conclude that this is a serious refresh, and that we like what we see.
What’s more, the 2019 CT6 is the first display of the work being done by Cadillac President, Johan de Nysschen, and his team over the past few years, and we really like what we see. More of the above, please.