Cadillac CT5 Debuts at New York International Auto Show on Cadillac CT5 Debuts at New York International Auto Show

The Germans are firmly entrenched in compact RWD vehicles and other luxury segments. Cadillac has a long, long way to go globally.

The global debut of new Cadillac luxury sedan CT5 went on display in New York today surrounded by German luxury brands that have conquered and held large portions of what used to be Cadillac’s market. *

The all-new compact sedan is the latest attempt – after spending billions of dollars on decent product – to resuscitate the brand’s once award-winning glory days in segments it once dominated as well as segments undreamed of in Detroit during the Ike and Mamie good years and the swinging sixties.

Cadillac is hoping a fusion of design, performance and comfort, supported by the latest technologies — including Super Cruise, the world’s first true hands-free driver assistance system for limited-access freeways – will prompt the widower or widow into going to the ball once again.

CT5 comes from the GM Alpha platform used on GM’s Motors’ compact to mid-size, front-engine, rear-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles. It includes MacPherson struts on the front, 5-link independent rear, use of high strength steel and aluminum, and an attempt to reduce. Alpha platform made its debut in the 2013 Cadillac ATS, starting production in July 2012.

“The first-ever Cadillac CT5 showcases Cadillac’s unique expertise in crafting American luxury sedans,” claimed Steve Carlisle, Cadillac president. “Its details elevate every drive and reward the senses.”

An all-new fastback design already in use by the Germans as well as CT5’s refined rear wheel drive, with blends high technology will at least get a few names on the dance card.  Luxury and Sport models allow customers to somewhat tailor the car to their style preferences with unique design and trim.

Cadillac CT5’s Super Cruise technology will be available in calendar year 2020 on select models. It’s a forerunner of autonomous vehicle systems that Cadillac will lead the deployment of at General Motors.


At launch, the range will include Luxury, Premium Luxury (isn’t that a marketing babble pleonasm?) and Sport, with a Platinum package optional on Premium Luxury and Sport models.

  • A 2.0-liter Twin-Scroll Turbo four-cylinder engine is standard and Cadillac’s 3.0-liter Twin-Turbo V-6 is optional on Premium Luxury and Sport models. Different sound calibrations are tuned with the engines and each is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
  • The driving dynamics build on Cadillac’s RWD architecture and include standard Driver Mode Control. AWD is optional.
  • Driver awareness technologies include standard Safety Alert Seat and Cadillac’s latest generation optional Rear Camera Mirror with zoom and tilt adjustment.
  • Standard driver assistance technologies include Forward Collision Alert, Low Speed Forward Automatic Emergency Braking and Front Pedestrian Braking.
  • Optional driver assistance technologies including Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control, Enhanced Forward Automatic Emergency Braking, Automatic Parking Assist with Braking, HD Surround Vision with Recorder, Rear Pedestrian Detection and Alert, Reverse Automatic Braking are the necessary accoutrements in this class.


Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 3.7% in March 2019, with a total of 221,631 delivered to customers worldwide in the month. That result brings the sales total for the first quarter of the year to 519,307. (Cadillac hasn’t reported Q1 global sales, but it would be a surprise if it tallied to more than ~70,000.) As availability of the new BMW 3 Series sedan ramps up, sales of the company’s best-ever selling car increased by 10.8% in March, with a total of 30,204 sold around the world. Growth was also driven by the BMW X family of vehicles, with customer demand increasing month by month – the X2, X3 and X4 are especially strong performers, with double-digit increases in deliveries.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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