Home » These Spy Shots Actually Show The Cadillac CT4, Not The CT5

These Spy Shots Actually Show The Cadillac CT4, Not The CT5

These Spy Shots Actually Show The Cadillac CT4, Not The CT5

Yesterday, we brought you the newest spy shots of the upcoming Cadillac CT5. In fact, we believed that prototype shed some camouflage, thereby giving us a better look at the future Cadillac sedan… except that we were wrong, and the camouflage fooled us into mistaking Cadillac’s upcoming sub-CT5 model for the CT5.

We currently do not know whether the sub-CT5 sedan will be called CT4 or CT3, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s refer to it as the CT4 for the time being.

Hood outlines of Cadillac CT4 and CT5 prototypes. Photos not to scale.

The first clues that the prototype is not the CT5 are at the front. Despite the heavy camouflage covering up anything worthy of noting, there are some major differences for those who look for them. Take a good look at the lines on the hood – which the camo tape doesn’t mask – and you’ll see that the two vehicles have very different hood treatments.

In addition, both testers also have different side mirrors, with those of the CT4 being larger than those on the CT5. The score parallels the difference in mirror size between the current ATS and CTS sedans, respectively. But don’t put too much credibility in the mirror differences just yet, since they could be the result of regulatory differences for various global markets. For instance, the third-gen CTS is equipped with sleeker mirrors in North America and larger units in Europe.

The fact that we’re looking at the CT4 also explains why the model is wearing place-holder headlights rather than production units. Meanwhile, the last time we saw the CT5, it was wearing headlights destined for production.

Door and greenhouse outlines of Cadillac CT4 and CT5 prototypes. Photos not to scale.

The tell-tale sign that the model we saw yesterday is different from the CT5 we’ve seen previously (not once but twice) is in the side profile: despite having similar shapes, the greenhouse and door cut-lines of what we believe to be the CT4 is significantly different from that of the CT5.

To wit: the CT4 has a shorter rear door with an integrated vanity window and no other elements in the C-pillar. And though we took some liberty in tracing the CT5’s heavily-camouflaged C-pillar, it is obvious that there is a vanity window of some sort within the C-pillar.

The Cadillac CT5 could feature a C-pillar treatment similar to the one found on the 2019 Cadillac CT6, including the rear vanity window. 2019 Cadillac CT6 Premium Luxury pictured.

We presume that the CT5’s C-pillar treatment will likely be similar to that of the Cadillac CT6, which features a small window aft of the rear door. This specific technique gives the vehicle a longer appearance, as it extends the length of the greenhouse further rearward.

Rear license plate cutouts of Cadillac CT4 and CT5 prototypes. Photos not to scale.

The final clues lie at the rear, as the two prototypes have license plate cutouts in entirely different locations: the rear plate of the CT5 is integrated into the vertical part of the decklid, while that of the CT4 is positioned lower on the rear bumper cover.

So while one could chalk up the differences in exhaust treatments to be the result of different trims, equipment groups or performance levels of the same model, it’s difficult to make a case for using entirely different rear end designs on the same model. 

The Cadillac Society Take

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and in this case, there is enough to suggest that we are looking at prototypes of two different models – the CT5 and the CT4 (or perhaps the CT3, depending on how Cadillac will ultimately call it). As such, this marks our first look at the Cadillac CT4.

Notably, both the CT4 and CT5 will ride on short and long versions, respectively, of Cadillac’s second-generation Alpha platform known as Alpha 2. The models will serve as indirect replacements for the current ATS and CTS. Which of the two CT models will spawn variants such as a coupe and convertible is unknown at the moment, but we believe that it will be the CT5.

We are providing the high-res photos in the galleries below for those who would like to examine the images closer; be sure to follow the greenhouse and door cutlines of both models.

Cadillac CT4 Photo Gallery

Written by
Alex is the founder of Cadillac Society. He has a deep passion for automotive business strategy and enjoys driving his ATS sedan on twisty mountain roads.

17 Comments

  1. I’d love to get a better understanding of its size. This car is supposed to be a “tweener” also, right? Between C & D segments?

    Reply
    • That could be price-wise, not size.

      Reply
    • Exactly. It is designed in the short version of the second generation of the Alpha platform (A2SL) but, unlike the ATS, it will be positioned in the C segment with smaller displacement engines (without V6) and a more adjusted price range.

      I estimate that the CT4 will have a size similar to the standard ATS, even slightly lower if they adjust a bit the overhangs with the new designs of the bumpers. And the CT5 in an intermediate place between the ATS-L and the CTS for the segment D, with offer of V6 engines and more space in the cabin.

      Reply
  2. Very well detailed the differences that you highlight in your comparison. Although at first glance it is not so obvious, since the similar camouflage elements do their job, as we see in reality it is a completely different car.

    If we detail even a little more, apparently Cadillac decided to take advantage of several visible structural elements of the ATS as a basis for CT4: the structure of the passenger compartment, the format of the doors and mirrors seem to be exactly the same. Of course, sure will have new body prints to adapt to the updated design language that can already be seen in the front and back.

    This car is the indirect successor of the standard ATS (which is not sold in China, today Cadillac’s largest market), developed on the short version of the A2 platform but this time officially positioned in the Lux 2 (or C) segment. It will face the upcoming Mercedes CLA, Audi A3 and the all-new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe; its main differentiating element: the only one with rear-wheel drive of the segment.

    Despite not being official, it is highly likely that it will go on sale with the ‘CT4’ plate to be consistent with the XT4 that Cadillac also positioned in the Lux 2 segment, according to official slides.

    Reply
  3. Someone speculated the CT4 could be based on the ATS-L, which has 3.3 inches more wheelbase, but it doesn’t look that much longer to me. It definitely could use more room, but the CT5 might then need to be larger than the CTS, which would cost more money to do than it’s worth, IMO. I believe the CTS is a couple inches wider inside than the ATS, so there’s that difference.

    It looks like they’ve de-emphasized the wedge on both with more horizontal hoods curving down to vertical grilles. Now if they’d just enlarge the trunkspace.

    Reply
  4. Alex and some of the people here are spot on. Thisis the CT4 and not the CT5.

    The CT4 will be a reworked ATS positioned in the C segment from a price standpoint against the A3 and A Class Sedan/CLA. It will be the only rear drive offering in the segment.

    The CT5 will be a reworked CTS positioned in the D segment from a price standpoint against the C Class, 3 series, A4 but with more space as its greatest unique value proposition. It will be smaller than the current CTS.

    The next step up will the be the CT6, taking the same approach as the CT5: same price as E segment models (E class, 5 series, A6) but with more space.

    The Escala (name currently being worked on by Cadillac) will top the range as a true F Class (long wheelbase S Class and 7er) competitor, but offering more of everything including space, technology and car.

    Cheers from Europe!

    Reply
  5. hola me encantan tus comentarios sigo muy de cerca todas tus publicaciones de cadillacsociety.com

    detallando y analizando las imagenes referencia das te detallo mi punto de vista

    En conclusión son los cadillacs CT5 Y CT4

    PORQUE QUE ? el ultimo modelo espia publicado es un sedan un poco mas pequeño en dimensiones que el ya ct5.
    ADEMAS DEBE EXISTIR UN FUTURO MODELO CT3 O CT2 DEL TAMAÑO DE UN AUDI A3, MERCEDES CLASE A QUE PARA NADA TIENE QUE VER CON ESTAS 2 FOTOS ESPIAS.

    LA SEGUNDA PUBLICACION DE FOTOS ESPIAS DEL CT5 MUESTA FAROS DELANTEROS DE PRODUCCION COSA QUE NO OCURRE CON EL CT4
    EN LA PARTE TRASERA DE LAS 2 FOTOS EN LA COMPARACION SE DETALLA LO SIGUIENTE:

    CT5 STOP DE PRODUCCION
    CT4 STOP PROTOTIPOS

    LOS ESTRIBOS TIENEN UNA DIFERENCIA ENORME
    LOS DEL CT5 TIENEN DISEÑO EN CURVA
    LOS DEL CT4 SON MAS RECTOS

    LO UNICO QUE DESEO DE ESTOS DOS MODELOS ES QUE ESTEN A LA ALTURA DE SUS RIVALES ALEMANES

    SALUDOS

    Reply
  6. It does not look easy to open and enter the CT5’s rear door without being hit by the window frame. If they were going to the expense of changing it, why make it so awkward?

    There doesn’t seem to be enough room left for a usable window in the C pillar. I thought there might be an Escala beltline upkick, but I don’t see how without an ugly black plastic panel.

    They angled both trunk lids to follow Escala’s rear crease, which reduces the opening but should be safer then the current sharp corners. I predict they’ll both have Escala’s lower, finless taillights.

    Reply
  7. More of a question than a comment. Is the CT5 and CT4 going to be class leaders in their segments? They had better be or they will be doomed to suffer the same fate as prior Cadillac attempts to compete against the Preminum Luxury Car leaders. I would love more than anything to see Cadillac succeed but you can’t help but wonder if they know how to succeed.

    Reply
    • Well, I certainly hope that they will be class leaders.

      However, the way Cadillac is positioning these entries, it will be playing between classes – which is an interesting strategy that is meant to give it a competitive advantage.

      They do know how to succeed, but for decades we’re held back by the parent firm, along with a severe lack of direction. Under JdN, a solid direction was established – and it is only the foundation and a glimpse into the fully-realized future of Cadillac as a true world standard in luxury automobiles.

      Here’s to hoping all goes to plan.

      Reply
      • Don’t know if you read the artical in Motortrend buy judging from your comments there could be some truth in it. GM’s leadership and board of director are reluctant to spend the money nessary to make Cadillac the true standard of the world again. Hope the new leader is a man with vision and can convince them to do the right thing. Don’t need a yes man in that position.

        Reply
        • If you could you email a link to the MT article you’re referencing to CadillacSociety [at] Motrolix [dot] com , I would greatly appreciate it.

          My comments above were made as part of my observations as a journalist, as an ex-employee of GM, and as an owner of a new Cadillac. JdN was the perfect man for the job because he was anything but a yes-man – which is what ultimately got him forced out. GM needs patience and investment with Cadillac before they start seeing tangible results. Lexus was not an overnight success, and Cadillac has a long way to go before getting to the point where Lexus was a decade ago in terms of sales volumes, earnings and image/perception. Nevertheless, it’s making great progress.

          Now, as far as Cadillac’s new President (Steve Carlisle), I won’t make any conclusions without knowing more than I do now. However, he is a GM lifer and has a lot more to lose than JdN did when it comes to disagreeing with GM leadership (Barra, Ammann, Reuss)… which make him a “yes man” of sorts. But again, I don’t know. What I do know is that JdN’s departure is a major loss to Cadillac.

          Reply
          • Couldn’t find an article online so I took a photo from Print Magazine.
            Hopefully, I was able to get it to the correct email address and its clear enough to read.

            Reply
  8. It appears to be the same cars. One may be a turbo four cylinder and the other may be a twin turbo six cylinder.

    Reply
    • They are completely different cars! Looks at the cut lines of the doors, as outlined in the article.

      Different engines would not result in differently-sized doors, pillars, or decklid treatments.

      Reply
      • Not sure if you saw this on CarScoops its an artists rendering of the CT5. https://www.carscoops.com/2018/07/2020-cadillac-ct5-design-release-date-everything-else-know

        Reply
        • Thanks for the link. I’m afraid the CT5 is going to look too much like a ten year old Altima with Escala ends. Can’t someone make a near-notchback sedan besides RR?

          I don’t see how they can fit a window that doesn’t look silly behind the fixed door window (which in their rendering looks partly frameless, which is doubtful). OTOH, the spy photos show unusually thin visible window frames.

          Reply

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