Don’t Call It a Flagship
The 2018 CT6 sits at the top of Cadillac’s sedan lineup. At 17 feet, it’s a veritable land yacht, fit to compete with the BMW 7 Series and the Mercedes S-Class for a fraction of the price. Its seats are made of premium hand-stitched materials and feature 15 massage functions. The 2018 CT6 also offers some of the best technology in the automotive industry. But is it worthy of being Cadillac’s flagship? Let’s find out.
The Cadillac CT6 gives drivers a choice of three powertrains. The first is a 2.0L turbo with 265 horsepower and 295 lb/ft of torque and the second is a 3.6L V6 with 335 horsepower and 284 lb/ft of torque. Both are capable and efficient. But if you’re going to splash for a full-sized luxury sedan, you should really get the right engine to match.
The “right engine,” of course, is the meaty 3.0L twin turbo with 404 horsepower and 400 lb/ft of torque. Paired with the eight-speed automatic transmission, acceleration is smooth and assured, invariably giving you total confidence when powering down the highway. However, while its powertrain is sublime, it’s not the CT6’s greatest feat of engineering.
The 2018 Cadillac CT6 features so many great innovations that it’s tedious to go through them all. For example, you may not have heard about Night Vision which uses thermal cameras to help you see in the dark. You get a completely new perspective in your surroundings that even the best headlights can’t provide.
Then, there’s Active Rear Steering. At speed, your rear wheels turn the same direction as the front wheels in order to provide the agile handling of a small car. At low speed, the wheels can turn opposite directions to help maneuver into tight parking spots. The degree to which the rear wheels turn is also affected by the driving mode.
And you can’t forget about the about the 34-speaker Bose Panaray sound system. Quite simply, it’s one of the most engrossing and refined audio systems in the automotive industry. It even uses speakers mounted inside the front headrests. Paired with Bose’s Active Noise Cancellation, you get a pristinely quiet cabin. But none of these are the CT6’s best feature.
The piece de resistance is SuperCruise, the best commercially available autonomous driving system. It allows you to take your hands off the wheel while your CT6. It maintains speed and distance from other cars and keeps you in your lane. It also tracks your face to make sure you’re paying attention. SuperCruise only works on mapped highways (per its map, Cadillac has even mapped most of the Ring Road in Regina) and it uses sensors to ensure that you remain focused on the road.
Whereas companies like Tesla allow owners to test unfinished systems, Cadillac is taking a more conservative approach: “While it is technically possible for the technology to drive hands-free on other kinds of streets and roads, we feel strongly that this targeted approach is the best to build consumer and regulatory confidence” -Barry Walkup, chief engineer. If that’s the safest approach to implementing autonomous driving, I’m on board – so to speak.
Clearly, the 2018 Cadillac CT6 is an objectively great car. And for now it’s fit to rule an excellent sedan lineup – at least until Cadillac brings the Escala concept car to life in 2021…