The 2013 Cadillac XTS is a brand-new, full-size sedan that replaces the DTS and STS flagships and could take over for the Lincoln Town Car in livery fleets. It shares the Super Epsilon platform with the Buick LaCrosse and was designed to compete against stalwarts such as the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. General Motors plans to set the XTS apart with a comparatively low sticker price, a fresh take on classic Caddy styling and, of course, performance.
The XTS is powered by a mild-hybrid 3.6-liter V-6 that generates 300 hp at 264 lb.-ft. of torque mated to a six-speed shiftable automatic. It features Magnetic Ride Control, which General Motors describes as “the world’s fastest-reacting” suspension, four-wheel Brembo disc brakes and available all-wheel drive.
No word yet on a V-8 or plug-in hybrid option, but neither is out of the question. Critics have yet to climb behind the wheel, but XTS engineers are promising a comfortable ride with nimble handling and power to spare.
For the most part, the XTS design stays faithful to the concept car first seen at the 2010 Detroit auto show. The body is long and sleek with high shoulder lines, 19-inch aluminum wheels with chrome inserts and an oversized badge on the front grille. Upgrading from the base trim to the Premium edition adds 20-inch wheels, satin-chrome grille and an all-leather interior with Alcantara headliner. The cavernous trunk will offer 18 cubic feet of storage, room enough for five suitcases.
The cabin is, as expected, luxurious as they come. Ambient lighting illuminates six available combinations of interior color schemes and real wood trim. The XTS marks the debut of the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) interface, a smartphone-inspired infotainment center displayed on an 8-inch or available 12.3-inch screen. The three instrument gauges behind the steering wheel appear via LCD, and a head-up display is available.
Cadillac continues to offer OnStar service across its lineup, and the XTS comes with several additional safety features. Radar-controlled adaptive cruise control, automatic braking on all four wheels and rear-crossing traffic alert are standard, and a “Safety Alert Seat” vibrates to warn drivers who stray outside their chosen lane.
The XTS hits showrooms this spring. Pricing is not available as of press time, but estimates have ranged as low as $36,000 for the base model. That’s a bargain for executive fleet buyers who are accustomed to spending upwards of $50,000 for a high-end, high-performance sedan.
Mike Branch of Geotab and Dain Giesie of Enterprise Fleet Management will demonstrate how artificial intelligence and big data are being leveraged to spec vehicles based on vocation, topography, city density, and even local weather patterns.