General Motors' (GM) Cadillac division has been running test drives this month to journalists and reviewers of its new flagship CT6, a sedan meant to bring GM's luxury division closer to parity with German and Japanese rivals when it goes on sale in March.
Comparable in size to Mercedes-Benz S Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and Lexus LS460, the rear-wheel-drive CT6 may help Cadillac attract shoppers who regarded its vehicles as a step below the world's most prestigious automotive brands. A mockup of CT6 was first shown publicly in the U.S. last April at the New York auto show.
Reviews of the car will begin appearing on Jan. 26, the date before which coverage of driving impressions is embargoed.
For GM, achieving top-scale luxury status could translate into higher transaction prices on all Cadillac models, starting with the ATS, which is the size of a BMW 3 series, one of its smaller models. (Ford (F) is likewise introducing improved models of its Lincoln brand in a bid to close the gap with top-tier luxury producers).
GM currently books a disproportionate amount of corporate profit from pickup truck sales in the U.S. and is striving to create more financial balance in its business by improving earnings on cars.
CT6 also could move GM closer to elevating Cadillac, like its German rivals, into an authentic global brand. Production of the new vehicle begins simultaneously in Detroit and Shanghai, where status-conscious shoppers in the fast-growing China market, possibly buying their first car, are particular targets for GM.