Just as Cadillac’s current CTS and ATS alphanumerics were starting to mean something to the public, the brand is going down a new, more confusing road with its new naming scheme debuting with the CT6. Lincoln went down this road already, and did not find much success with its MK-, nomenclature (we’re still trying to work out the difference between MKX and MKT). With the Continental concept, the company wisely brings back a legendary nameplate that was hugely important for Lincoln in the 1960s and 1970s.
Lincoln design director David Woodhouse raises similar criticism when asked about the Cadillac CT6’s looks. He thinks Cadillac is trying too hard to look like the German luxury brands, though he admits the CT6 has “nice proportions.” Indeed, the CT6 is less daring than the gorgeous Cadillac Elmiraj concept, but editors who saw the car in person were quick to point out that the CT6 looks like much more than just a larger Cadillac CTS, with presence and flair befitting its high aspirations.
It’s unfair to put these two cars’ cabins side-by-side, as Lincoln had much more leeway with its not-for-production interior in the Continental concept. With its blue Alcantara trim, generous use of leather and chrome, and extravagant features like 30-way adjustable rear seats, we can only hope that the production-ready Continental can retain some of this decadence and distinctive flavor. If it can, it will have a leg up on the Cadillac CT6, which does not depart much from the status quo of Cadillac’s existing interior designs.
The Cadillac CT6 makes it clear that General Motors is pooling all of its best resources into the Cadillac brand, as the CT6 rides on a new platform, is powered by a set of new engines, and uses aluminum and high-strength steel to reduce weight. All versions will weigh less than 4,000 pounds, an impressive achievement when you consider the car’s closest competitors, like the 4,300-4,500-pound Audi A8 that also uses aluminum.
Both big sedans use 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 engines. The Cadillac’s V-6 is part of a new engine family from GM that will spawn a new overhead-cam V-8, as is its less powerful, naturally aspirated V-6 available on lower trims. The car’s low weight even allows Cadillac to install a turbocharged four-cylinder as the CT6’s base engine. Though this emphasis on efficiency might seem somewhat in conflict with the idea of luxury and excess, new eight-speed automatic transmissions and gas-saving features like cylinder deactivation on the twin-turbo V-6 should give the Cadillac competitive efficiency numbers, an increasingly important criteria for the global luxury market. A plug-in hybrid version of the CT6 is even scheduled to debut at the Shanghai auto show this month.
In the end, our editors’ hits and misses “scorecard” revealed a clear preference for the Cadillac, at least for now. But editor-in-chief Mike Floyd notes that both the Cadillac and the Lincoln garnered more attention than any other cars at the show, and counts that as a win for the overall spirit of the American luxury sedan. “They have different missions given how their brands are positioned, but they’re both full-size luxury sedans with presence and style, the kind of cars that America used to turn out by the bushel full,” he says. Whatever the future holds for Cadillac and Lincoln, we can at least celebrate a rejuvenated rivalry between these two classic American brands.
Read more: http://www.automobilemag.com/features/news/1504-american-luxury-face-off-cadillac-ct6-vs-lincoln-continental-concept/#ixzz3WyaoddGv
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