UPDATE 1/13/19: At a pre-Detroit auto show event, Cadillac shared images of its first fully electric vehicle. The crossover-type vehicle resembles a cross between a CT6 sedan and an Escalade and is said to use an all-new EV platform. This skateboard chassis will underpin a variety of new models. At least in concept form, the EV has a flexible interior with swiveling seats, a steering wheel that deploys from the dashboard, and next-generation autonomous technology. Expect the real car to lose some of the more fantastical features we just listed and to arrive in about three years.
After the short-lived ELR (pictured) and the now defunct CT6 plug-in hybrid, Cadillac is hoping that the third time's the charm for its electrification efforts. This time, GM's luxury brand will go all in with a new fully electric vehicle riding on a new battery-electric vehicle architecture that will eventually be used for other GM models. GM also said that Cadillac will be the company's leading EV brand, meaning that this new model likely won't be the last EV to join Cadillac's lineup.
There is very little information about this Cadillac EV at this point, although, at a pre-Detroit show media event on January 13, GM showed this image (below) of an autonomous-capable future EV crossover that it said will be coming three years from now. The new GM EV architecture, presumably different than the current Chevrolet Bolt EV's underpinnings, is said to be flexible, meaning it's able to accomodate various battery-pack sizes, a range of body styles, and rear-, front-, or all-wheel-drive setups.
There is a lot of logic behind having a Cadillac EV crossover arrive first, as the brand seems to be intent on growing its SUV lineup. The XT5 is Cadillac's top seller; the smaller XT4 launched last year, and the larger, three-row XT6 that has just made its debut. An EV crossover would also match up well against other luxury brands' new electric offerings, such as Audi's e-tron, Mercedes-Benz's EQC, and Jaguar's I-Pace.
As this EV architecture rolls out across General Motors, it will be crucial to the broader electrification strategy. The company recently closed several factories and canceled several passenger-car models in a major restructuring that includes a plan to reduce the number of vehicle architectures so that about 75 percent of its global sales ride on one of five architectures in the near future. This EV architecture is surely one of these five.
There's no word yet on timing of this new Cadillac model, but we expect to hear more about it over the next few months as GM leans further into its new electrification strategy.
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