2019 Cadillac CT6 Preview

The development of the CT6 model seems to be inspiring Cadillac engineers as well as car buyers. Showing their commitment to the class, GM has gone back to the drawing board and created a new dual-turbo 550-hp Blackwing engine exclusively for Cadillac offerings. In 2019, that's not all that is changing for the CT6: trim levels are advancing, a Sports trim is being added, a transmission upgrade is in the works, various controls have been rethought including the infotainment and shift selector, and interior details are further refined with quality materials. Perhaps the most notable change is not in the car: with new leadership running the Cadillac division, headquarters will rejoin engineering in Detroit after a four-year stay in New York City.


What are the powertrain changes for the 2019 Cadillac CT6?

The new 550 horsepower Blackwing designated LTA which is used in the CT6-V is getting the lion's share of attention. In fact, a slightly tamer version is supposed to be available for non-V models, but there are more engine changes for this top-level sport Cadillac. The 2.0-liter turbo 4 LTG engine was removed from the CT6 for 2019 and a new turbo 4 LSY engine is replacing it. The 8-speed automatic has been replaced with a 10-speed automatic over all models and trims except for the CT6 PHEV (plug-in hybrid).


How are the exterior trim, lighting, colors and design changing?

GM is removing four colors from the 2019 CT6 while two new colors are being added with an extra charge, except at the Platinum level. A trim level structure which divides into Luxury Premium and Platinum versus Sport has emerged, adding ground effects, rear spoiler, window, and door moldings and 19-inch sport-specific wheels. Overall, there will be new Cadillac signature headlamps and taillamps, a new hood and decklid, front and rear fascias following the Escala style and dual exhaust for models with the 2.0-liter turbo LSY engine. Two wheel options were removed, three added at 18, 19 and 20-inch sizes.


What is the interior of the 2019 Cadillac CT6 like?

The interior is comfortable and luxurious, with clear attention to design and abandonment of the close quarters in the rear seat which were the subject of vocal complaints about other Cadillac performance models. A few details are being changed in 2019: Two new interior colors are available, both with jet black accents: Sahara Beige and Dark Auburn. The infotainment system gets console-mounted rotary controllers instead of a touchpad and the gear selector goes digital. Premium Luxury level gets wood trim; Sport gets carbon fiber trim.

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How are the electronics, infotainment, audio, driver information systems?

The Bose Panaray system has from ten to 34 speakers depending on trim level and is driven by CUE (Cadillac User Experience) version 3 connectivity. It updates the user interface to be more personalized and intuitive and integrates Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, OnStar 4G LTE, CUE Collection apps and navigation.


What is the CT6-V?

The CT6-V is the evolution of the CT6 into a V-model, Cadillac's high-performance line with heritage from GM racing development. The most notable feature is a newly developed 4.2-liter twin-turbo engine, the Blackwing, rated at 550 hp and joined by a 10-speed automatic transmission and AWD. There are model-specific suspension tuning and recalibration of the Magnetic Ride Control dampers, limited-slip differential, and steering returning. Twenty-inch wheels, performance tires, Brembo braking, and a sport exhaust system all form a part of the CT6-V experience. The AWD system has a track mode which adjusts parameters and performance for that environment. Body styling highlights and LED headlights complete the V-model differentiation.


How did the Blackhawk engine come to be? Why not just borrow proven technology from one of GM's other divisions?

Cadillac apparently decided to design a new V-8 targeted at specific design goals including a more refined performance and a bias towards torque. With 90 percent of the engine's torque available from 2000 to 5200 RPM, the smooth acceleration will surely be a Cadillac trademark going forward. The specific type of twin-turbo design brings the engine more in line with European competitors. The engine is also built by small teams of six rather than on an assembly line.


How are active safety features and driver assistance technologies?

The CT6 is the Cadillac to get for buyers who want the Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving-assist system which offers driver assist and attention features and active safety technologies beyond what most manufacturers currently offer.

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