Cadillac has been experiencing something of a renaissance, but there are still some pretty gaping holes in their lineup, especially with production of the STS and DTS coming to an end. Cadillac needed a new flagship, and they found it in the 2012 Cadillac XTS, a full-size Cadillac that somehow combines fuel efficiency with performance and a whole bunch of high-tech gadgets.
Among these high-tech gadgets are lane departure warning, blind spot warning, and the Cadillac User Experience, or CUE. CUE is a new infotainment system with voice-activated features that allow you to access everything from Pandora to your contact list. I imagine the older buyers of Cadillacs might have difficulty adapting to such a system, but on the same token, CUE seemed pretty intuitive and easy to learn. I’d need more time to give fuel user review, but if you can operate a smartphone, you can operate CUE.
The 2012 XTS sports a 300 horsepower V6 engine, coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. Now that may not sound like much, but it is right on par with the V6 Camaro, and it is in the same weight range; under 4,000 pounds in front-wheel drive guise (all-wheel drive is an option.) The HiPer suspension system delivers a “spirited” driving experience, according to XTS chief engineer Sheri Hickok, and a lot of work has gone into keeping the weight down and improving aerodynamics.
“We actually are still tweaking the aerodynamics,” says Hickok. Features such as active grille shutters and underbody panels significantly reduce drag, and the 300 horsepower V6 still somehow delivers a fuel economy rating of 17 city/28 highway. That is because liberal use of high-tensile steel and components engineered for durability and lightweight help keep weight in check. Not bad for a full-size Caddy!
Still, Sheri remained tight-lipped about any future powertrain options or hybridization. Which means we are free to speculate! It would not surprise me if the rumored twin-turbo V6 that GM is developing makes its debut on the XTS sometime next year. It also wouldn’t surprise me in the least if there is a standard or plug-in hybrid XTS in the works as well. It is almost a certainty to me that an XTS-V version is in the works too… but until GM gets around to revealing it, we’ll just stick with our speculative spectacles and say, “expect big things in fuel efficient packages” from Cadillac in the coming year.