After taking over the reins at Cadillac in mid-2014, Johan de Nysschen started talking about new flagship models for the brand positioned above current range-toppers like the CT6 and Escalade.
The two possibilities he hinted at were a sports car and a high-end sedan.
Now we’re hearing that plans for at least one of these, the high-end sedan, have been nixed (pictured above is Cadillac's Ciel concept from 2011 which was thought to preview design elements of the sedan).
The folks at Autoline mentioned in a tweet that a sedan to be called the CT8 had been canceled and that the likely reason was increased demand for SUVs.
This just in. Cadillac CT8 program cancelled. Was to be flagship sedan for the brand. No doubt market shift to CUVs & SUVs played a role.— Autoline (@Autoline) April 5, 2016
With sedans falling out of favor with many shoppers, even in key markets like the United States and China, it makes sense that Cadillac would want to focus on a segment that’s still booming. Cadillac’s certainly not alone in this thinking.
Bentley and Maserati recently introduced their first SUVs and Aston Martin, Lamborghini and even Rolls-Royce are all working on high-riding models of their own. More mainstream luxury brands Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are also working on new high-riding models positioned above their current SUV offerings.
But doesn’t Cadillac already offer the Escalade in this segment? The Escalade, though popular in the U.S., isn’t as loved in other markets where SUVs with car-like dynamics are preferred. We know Cadillac is working on a unibody SUV with third-row seats. This one will be based on a stretched version of the XT5’s platform and go up against the Audi Q8, BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS.
We’ve also heard that an even larger crossover called the XT9 and based on the platform of the CT6 may be developed. If built, the XT9 would compete with an expected Mercedes-Maybach version of the next GLS as well as the Bentley Bentayga and perhaps even Rolls-Royce's new SUV.
Stay tuned for an update.