Somewhere between Cadillac's inability to convince buyers it's a luxury brand on par with the Germans and buyers' increased preference for crossover SUVs, the Cadillac ATS and CTS have languished as great sport sedans that can't seem to find an audience. At the 2019 New York International Auto Show, GM's luxury brand unveiled a new sport sedan that may inspire more customers: the 2020 Cadillac CT5.
The CT5 replaces both the ATS and CTS sedans, though we view it as a replacement for the CTS. Cadillac calls it a compact car, but it has mid-size proportions and a smaller CT4 is coming. The CT5's 116-inch wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than that of the CTS and almost 7 inches longer than the ATS's. At 193.8 inches long, it's 1.7 inches shorter than the CTS, but more than 10 inches longer than the ATS. This is a mid-size car.
The CT5's look is less creased and more upright than the cars it replaces, with cues taken from the beautiful Escala concept from 2016. The most noticeable difference is the fastback body style, which is often used for hatchbacks. Here, however, it's used on a sedan with a small 11.9-cubic foot trunk.
2020 Cadillac CT5 Luxury
Cadillac's strategy to attract new buyers? New fastback styling and a host of technology features.
The technology starts under the hood, where the CT5 will offer an engine and a transmission that its two forebears never had. While the standard engine will be a 2.0-liter turbo-4 making 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque (down 35 hp and 37 lb-ft of torque from the 2.0-liter turbo-4 in the ATS), Cadillac also will offer a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 good for 335 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Both will be paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission that wasn't offered for either predecessor. So far, Cadillac hasn't provided information on 0-60 mph times or top speeds.
Cadillac will offer the CT5 in Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport trim levels. The 3.3-liter V-6 will be available for Premium Luxury and Sport trims.
2020 Cadillac CT5 Luxury
The CT5 will use the same Alpha rear-wheel-drive architecture that has helped make the ATS and CTS such great-handling cars, and all-wheel drive will be optional. Cadillac says updates to its twin-pivot MacPherson strut front suspension and five-link rear suspension will improve road isolation and feedback to the driver. Every model will come standard with a drive mode selector to control the settings for the transmission, steering and brake feel, sounds, and, when ordered, the AWD's front-to-rear torque split. The Sport model will come with Brembo front brakes. Cadillac will offer 18- or 19-inch run-flat tires, as well as 18-inch Michelin self-sealing tires, and all choices will be all-seasons. We expect some kind of performance package to include summer-only tires.
Inside, the CT5 will feature the latest version of the company's infotainment system with a rotary controller, a 10-inch center infotainment screen, and an available 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility will be available, as will wireless phone charging and OnStar telematics and in-car data. The longer wheelbase and new design give the car 37.9 inches of rear leg room, which is 2.5 inches longer than the CTS's rear seat. Anyone who has sat in economy class on a plane lately knows 2.5 inches of leg room makes a big difference.
A Platinum Package will be offered. It will come with an exclusive Sedona/Jet Black interior color combination, with semi-aniline leather upholstery on its heated and cooled 18-way adjustable front seats that also feature a massage function. The seats also get contrast piping, chevron accents, and extra bolstering. The package also adds upgraded leather on the armrests and center console, carbon-fiber trim, alloy pedals, and a thick-rim steering wheel with magnesium shift paddles.
Cadillac Super Cruise
The safety and semi-autonomous driving technology takes a leap forward, too. The CT5 will come standard with forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, and GM's Safety Alert seat that vibrates in the direction of a possible danger. Cadillac's Super Cruise system that can take control of the car on a highway will be offered in 2020. Other available options will include blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, an automatic parking feature, a surround-view camera system, active lane control, GM's rear camera mirror, rear pedestrian alerts, rear automatic emergency braking, and intelligent high beams.
The 2020 Cadillac CT5 goes on sale this fall. Look for price information closer to its launch date.
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