|2012 Cadillac XTS (Official GM Photo)|
Cadillac published photos of its production version of its new 2013 XTS model on its website, just ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show. The new XTS should be in dealerships by spring 2012
The 2013 Cadillac XTS will be a "stretch" Epsilon (called E2 within GM) platform based sedan - a larger and more luxurious sedan than the "regular" Epsilon-based Buick LaCrosse and Chevy Malibu. The new XTS, Buick Regal, and the next-generation Chevy Impala are built in Canada --due to the fact that GM's Oshawa assembly plant has greater flexibility for building vehicles of different types and sizes. That's especially important now as GM needs to be able to juggle and adjust its production to meet with rapidly changing market demand and changing Federal Government fuel economy standards - and gasoline costs.
GM's E2 architecture itself, which comes in three basic sizes. The 2013 Cadillac XTS is designed on the largest variation, as is fitting new flagship car for GM. The Regal uses the smallest version of the Epsilon platform, the LaCrosse and next-generation Impala the mid-sized Epsilon platform. If Saab somehow survives as a manufacturer, the new 9-5 sedan is the "platform mate" of the XTS as it also utilized the "E2" platform. All Epsilon platforms are engineered to accommodate front-wheel-drive OR all-wheel-drive powertrains, so expect the 2013 Cadillac XTS to offer those choices.
However, the E2 platform cannot accommodate a V8 engine unfortunately, so look for the 2013 Cadillac XTS to come with the top-line LaCrosse option, a 3.6-liter V6 with direct fuel injection. It is rumored that this engined will be tuned for XTS duty, adding 20 horsepower and additional torque over Buick's version - which will be needed due to the Cadillac's greater weight. The sole transmission will be the same 6-speed automatic used by Buick. There is also rumors that a hybrid version of the XTS will also be available, but may be delayed in appearing in the marketplace until sometime next year. There is also a turbocharged version of the XTS' V6 engine rumored to be in the wings, as Lincoln offered a twin-turbo "Ecoboost" V6 in its current MKS sedan - and higher output motors are also offered by the Lexus LS and the Hyundai Genesis - and Daimler and BMW.
Now, Cadillac senior management has leaked to the automotive that they are moving forward with plans for a "true flagship" sedan, complete with a full-sized rear-wheel drive (and all-wheel drive) platform and at least a twin-turbo V6 - and a V8 remains a possiblity. The recent (huge) Ciel concept car is rumored to strongly hint at the upcoming "Flagship" that is aimed at the Mercedes S-class and BMW 7-series buyers market. However, this model is still at least 3 model years away.
As a side note - Ford's Lincoln division is also said to be working on a RWD flagship sedan, aimed at the same market as this Cadillac, to slot in above the current (underachieving) MKS sedan. Ford, recently quite profitable, is said to now have enough available funding to support the engineering and development of a RWD "Continental" (please call it that, Lincoln). It is rumored that this "Continental" will be based on a heavily revised version of the Mustang platform - meaning that a V8 engine is probably in the cards. Of course, if Ford was VERY smart, they would find a way to keep the Aussie Ford Falcon as a RWD sedan (with a V8, please) and share the architecture with Lincoln to keep unit costs down. We shall see!
[Edited 2011-11-14 21:14:05]
[Edited 2011-11-14 21:29:59]