2016 Cadillac CT6 3.6 AWD Test: The Power of Dynamics

By now you’re undoubtedly conscious that the Cadillac CT6 is not fairly what we anticipated in the countdown to its debut: an American challenger to the Lords of the Autobahn, especially the Audi A8, BMW 7-series, and Mercedes-Benz S-class. The auto that actually emerged is a half size smaller, putting it dimensionally among these grand Teutons and the subsequent-size-down class, populated by the Audi A6, BMW 5-series, and Mercedes E-class.

Energy Points

Be that as it may, it is fair to say that Cadillac has designed a fit new contender in an arena that is properly stocked with established sources of driver gratification. And it’s not unreasonable to say that this is true even when the CT6 is propelled by the base 2.-liter turbocharged 4, an assertion that these nonetheless haunted by the Cadillac Cimarron may possibly have difficulty believing.

But if a 4-cylinder engine seems heretical, the CT6 gives more potent energy sources. There’s the 3.-liter twin-turbo V-six that propels the top trim, with 404 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. And there’s our test subject, powered by the mid-grade 3.six-liter naturally aspirated V-six with direct injection, variable intake- and exhaust-valve timing, and active fuel management.

With 335 horsepower, it provides away 69 ponies to the 3. turbo more significant, it provides away 116 lb-ft of torque. Even the 2.-liter turbo generates more torque. At the test track, the 3.six trails the 3. turbo to 60 mph by practically a complete second, and is much more than two seconds slower to one hundred mph—this regardless of a substantial 223-pound weight advantage. Compared with the 4-cylinder car, the 3.six is just .two second quicker to 60 mph, but that advantage widens to more than 3 seconds by one hundred mph. Each of our six-cylinder cars had been equipped with all-wheel drive (which is normal on the top two of the 4 trim levels), even though the two.-liter is rear-drive only.

While the twin-turbo 3.-liter lops practically a second off the zero-to-60-mph time compared with the three.6, it does so at an extra $ 4000 price, base price tag to base price. And even though it’s a bit slower, the three.six at full throttle delivers an exhaust note worthy of Le Mans.

Dynamic Scorecard

In any case, the dynamic strong suit of the CT6, whatever its powertrain, lies in how it behaves when the driver begins deviating from straight ahead. This Cadillac exhibits eager steering responses, surgically precise apex-clipping, and effective and predictable braking—traits that separate sports sedans from mere each day four-doors.

Grip as delivered by Goodyear Eagle Touring all-season tires (sized 245/40R-20) is unexceptional, but there’s enough of it (.85 g) to inspire self-assurance in sweeping turns at elevated speeds, and there’s adequate suspension compliance to maintain the tires in make contact with with the pavement when the surface is lumpy. But although we thought our test example with the regular springs and shocks rode slightly better than our three.0T test vehicle with the available magnetorheological dampers, we nonetheless think the ride is firmer than buyers of huge luxury sedans are hunting for. This vehicle also lacked the 3. turbo’s rear-steering feature, though it did have the 20-inch wheels.

Braking was strong, constant, and fade-free—with a stop of 163 feet from 70 mph practically exactly repeating the 164 feet of the four-cylinder vehicle riding on the same all-season rubber. The 3.0T, however, stopped in 152 feet, which borders on sports-automobile territory credit the optional Pirelli P Zero tires it wore.

Enough Luxe?

Like the other members of the CT6 trio, the three.6 is exceptionally quiet at freeway speeds. Also like other CT6s we’ve driven, its eight-speed automatic botches and bobbles shifts with relative frequency, especially in stop-and-go targeted traffic. Even though the CT6 is priced closer to its E-class/five-series/A6 rivals, it’s far roomier. But on matters aesthetic, it falls far short, with design and supplies that trail not only those competitors, but the Volvo S90 and the new Genesis G90 as nicely. Specifically puzzling in our test auto was the odd-looking gold-tinted carbon-fiber trim, along with a basic mishmash collection of materials—carbon fiber, wood, leather—all in close proximity. It appears like the team couldn’t choose which direction to go with components, so they just did it all. Also, the CT6’s flat and featureless seats have been out of sync with its athletic moves.

Similarly, our evaluation of the optional Panaray sound technique ($ 3700) proposed that this function may be a tiny overrated in terms of the subtleties of other higher-finish audio setups. Nonetheless, not everyone possesses the auditory faculties and erudition of that reviewer, and to a significantly less sophisticated listener, the Panaray method might inspire awe.

One location where employees opinions are uniform: Among these pedigreed luxo-sport sedans, the CT6 is the real deal in terms of driving dynamics and sheer scale. But we have to wonder if Cadillac’s dynamics-first focus is what will resonate with the purchasers it seeks.