The studio shots and core information on the 2012 Cadillac XTS have been out since midnight, but there's only so much one can glean about the presence of a car from the clinical environment imposed by a uniform grey background. How does it look in real life?

Turns out, better than expected. Though the XTS Platinum Concept looked a lot like a gussied-up LaCrosse to our eye at first, these live shots give a feel for the car's street-level look. It's still not as distinctive and moving as the CTS, and some are referring to it as the "DTS II", but the new flagship's more restrained look might appeal to large-sedan buyers.

The new XTS isn't the only major flagship sedan to tone down the looks of its smaller cars--the 2011 Audi A8 is notoriously bland, and the 2011 BMW 7-Series rid itself of most of the Bangle legacy in favor of plain, smooth surfaces, and even the 2010 Jaguar XJ waters down the XF's potent brew. Mercedes-Benz's S-Class remains the most distinctive face in the mass-market executive sedan segment.

While the exact model year and introduction date for the XTS remain clouded, the car is expected to enter production in GM's Oshawa plant in late 2011 or early 2012.

After you're done checking out the live gallery from the XTS presentation, you can find the full details on the 2012 Cadillac XTS in our preview story, and then head over to GreenCarReport's take on the XTS and its greener implications.