Back in August, a white 2020 Cadillac CT5 was spotted in Australia in full production regalia, sparking rumors that Caddy’s fresh four-door may be a ripe replacement for the market’s current Holden Commodore, which will soon be discontinued entirely.
The CT5 was captured on camera by Australian publication WhichCar as it was being offloaded from a plane in Melbourne. The model in question is a brand-new 2020 Cadillac CT5 in the Premium Luxury trim level with all-wheel-drive.
For those who may be unaware, Cadillac’s parent company, General Motors, just sold its European business to the French multinational PSA Group, which owns Peugeot, Citroën, DS and now – Opel and Vauxhall. As such, that made the future of the Australian market Holden Commodore – which is made at the now PSA-owned plant – very uncertain.
That said, a new Commodore based on the Cadillac CT5 may be the right choice going forward. In fact, the top brass at GM seem on board with the idea.
“It’s up to Dave [Buttner, the Holden Director who recently left the company] but we’re certainly capable of doing that [introducing Cadillac to Australia],” said GM President Mark Reuss in an interview with WhichCar. “It could be an opportunity for us.”
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time the Cadillac brand was looking to make inroads in Australia. Back in 2008, the premium U.S. brand had an Aussie invasion planned, but ended up rolling back those plans as the global financial crisis loomed.
According to WhichCar, the Cadillac CT5 is currently testing at Holden’s Lang Lang proving ground in Victoria.
Making its debut at the 2019 New York International Auto Show, the 2020 Cadillac CT5 slots into the Cadillac lineup as the latest premium D-segment sedan to take on the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. As such, it’s an indirect replacement for the Cadillac ATS. In the U.S., engine options include the standard turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder (production code LSY) producing 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque as well as an optional twin-turbo 3.0L V6 (production code LGY) that doles out 335 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. All drivetrains are mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel-drive is standard while all-wheel-drive is optional in the U.S. market.
All told, the CT5 could be the perfect replacement for the Commodore, especially when equipped with the optional twin-turbo V6. For reference, the current Holden Commodore RS-V and VXR are are powered by a naturally-aspirated 3.6L V6 producing 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque. Lesser models come with a choice of two turbo-charged 2.0L engines powered by either gasoline or diesel. The current model has a front-drive-based layout, with all-available all-wheel-drive, while the last-gen model was based on a rear-drive platform.
The Cadillac Society Take
We think one of two things is taking place here. The first (and simpler) explanation for the presence of the CT5 in Australia is testing purposes. After all, Caddy’s parent company, GM, is a global company and the CT5 is a car that will be sold in various worldwide markets. Therefore, the automaker could simply be utilizing the development resources in Autralia to finalize validation and/or testing of the CT5’s suspension.
The second possibility is far more complex, and it involves Cadillac making a full-fledged entry into Australia. The move would fully support the luxury brand’s plans for global expansion, which has been in the works for the past few years. However, to do so, Cadillac will have to offer the CT5 (along with other models) in right-hand-drive, a configuration that the new sedan that is currently not available on any current Cadillac vehicle. Coincidentally, right-hand-drive versions would also give Cadillac proper entires into other not-insignificant RHD markets – the United Kingdom and Japan.