The all-new 2019 Cadillac XT4 will not be offered in right-hand drive, Cadillac Society found out from Cadillac officials on the sidelines of the 2018 New York Auto Show.
“Not having a right-hand drive version means that the XT4 will not be sold in certain markets such as Australia, India and New Zealand, where cars have the steering wheel on the right side of the vehicle. Currently, Cadillac has an extremely limited market presence in the UK and Japan, which are also right-hand-drive markets. It does not have a first-party presence in either Australia or New Zealand. As such, it appears that Cadillac’s strategy is to sell the XT4 in markets it is currently present in. This encompasses North America, China, South Korea, Russia and the Middle East.”
The development is interesting given that the E2 platform on which the XT4 is based on fully supports right-hand drive variants. For instance, the second-generation Opel Insignia, which is left-hand drive, and Vauxhall Insignia, which is right-hand drive, both ride on a variant of the same architecture.
Cadillac executives previously signaled that the brand is gearing up for a push in Europe around the 2020 timeframe, but plans for the expansion appear to have been pushed back to around 2025. Additionally, Cadillac representatives have previously communicated a strategy that involves pursuing right-hand-drive markets around the same time, without giving a specific timeframe for the efforts. At the present time, no Cadillac is available in a right-hand-drive configuration from the factory.
About 2019 Cadillac XT4
The Cadillac XT4 is a new Cadillac crossover that will slot under the midsize XT5 as the brand’s second crossover utility vehicle (CUV). Underpinned by the front-drive-based GM E2 platform and assembled at the Fairfax plant in Kansas, the vehicle will have compact dimensions such as the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, Audi Q5, while being priced in the range of smaller (sub-compact) crossovers such as the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, Audi Q3. The positioning makes the Cadillac XT4 somewhat of a segment straddler, placing it in direct competition with the Lexus NX and Acura RDX.
The 2019 Cadillac XT4 will launch in the fall of 2018 with a standalone powertrain – an all-new 2.0L turbocharged engine (RPO code LSY) making an SAE-certified at 237 horsepower (177 kW) and 258 pound-feet of torque (350 Nm). It’s mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission (9T50). The front wheels drive the vehicle by default, while a twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system is available. The system offers the convenience of decoupling entirely from the rear wheels when the driver chooses to do so, thereby eliminating drivetrain friction.
The XT4 also launches Cadillac’s new “Y” trim level structure that starts with the base “Luxury” model and then offers two trims – Premium Luxury and Sport – that build on the base model’s equipment and feature set while offering distinct personas and detailing. The Sport model, for instance, features blacked-out DLO openings and an Active Sport Suspension with Continuous Damping Control that provides driving dynamics and control to a higher level. Other powertrain variants, Super Cruise autonomous driving technology, and various trim levels such as XT4 V-Sport and/or XT4 Platinum are expected later in the vehicle’s lifecycle.
The 2019 XT4 exterior delivers an evolution of the Cadillac design language, which was introduced with the Cadillac Escala concept. The most notable aspect of the revised design direction are new horizontal lighting elements that join the vertical signatures – a hallmark of the new-age Cadillac design.
Inside, the 2019 Cadillac XT4 introduces several new features, such as the second-generation Rear Camera Mirror, NFC technology for effortless Bluetooth pairing between the vehicle and the smartphone, as well as Surround Vision. Standard on all models is the CUE infotainment system with new rotary controllers that address an ongoing dissatisfaction with touchscreen-based CUE systems.
From a business standpoint, the XT4 is of significant importance for Cadillac’s global sales growth plans, since it will fill a glaring hole in the brand’s vehicle portfolio. With just a single crossover (the XT5), Cadillac’s crossover lineup has been sorely lacking compared to competing luxury makes, all of which offer three models or more. In fact, some rivals, including BMW and Mercedes-Benz, offer up to seven CUVs/SUVs in their lineup as utility vehicle sales are experiencing rampant growth in the marketplace.
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The question isn’t whether the XT4 will be “offered” in RHD, the question is has it been engineered to accept RHD at the point when Cadillac decides to enter RHD markets and offer a portfolio of vehicles? Obviously that can only happen once there are enough Cadillac models available that have been engineered with RHD in mind. At the momement only the ATS has. Previously, the STS and SRX (Sigma 1) were initially not offered in RHD but after they had their MCEs they were offered in RHD and sold in the UK, Japan and South Africa, joining the Gen 1 and later Gen II CTS.
So provided the XT4 is enginerered for RHD, once (a) Cadillac has a portfolio of RHD engineered vehicles available and (2) they decide to re-enter RHD markets (Australia, NZ, South Africa and offer their range in Japan in RHD- I doubt they will bother with the UK, they hate everythig to do with the US), then as the XT4 gets MCE’d in 3 years or so it can joint the RHD club.
Whether it was engineered for RHD is truly the real question. Alas, we could not get execs to answer that question, unfortunately.
As for UK’s supposed “hatred” of everything American… they continue to buy the iPhone in droves. So there is that…
Not a single iPhone is made in the USA. It’s made in China.
The profits from every single one of those iPhone sales do not end up in China, but rather in the USA.
But that’s even the point. Rather, the iPhone is widely regarded as product of an American company… not that of a Chinese company. Very few actually know where it is assembled.
Meanwhile, Cadillacs that will be sold in the UK and the rest of Europe might not be made in the States…