Currently reading: LA motor show 2011: new Cadillac XTS
The all-new Cadillac XTS is aimed squarely at buyers of the Audi A6, BMW 5-series and Merc E-class

The all-new Cadillac XTS is being targeted at Audi A6, BMW 5-series and Mercedes E-class owners, according to its makers, who officially unveiled the car at the Los Angeles motor show today.

However, the emphasis of the Cadillac XTS is firmly on interior space and luxury rather than driving dynamics, which the US car firm hopes will pull in its traditional, older customers in America while also appealing to the Chinese market.

The XTS sits above the CTS in Cadillac's range and is intended to be the 'face of future luxury sedans'. The new machine is front-wheel drive, although all-wheel drive will be an option.

See Los Angeles motor show pictures of the Cadillac XTS

The model replaces the DTS and STS models in Cadillac’s line-up, and closely mirrors the look of 2010’s XTS Concept, which you can read about here. It’s a bold move by Cadillac, because the DTS and STS accounted for almost 40 per cent of all its sales in America last year.

The Cadillac XTS sits on a stretched version of GM’s Epsilon architecture, modified with an extra 75mm in the rear to give it a huge boot and more rear legroom. The position of the base of the windscreen is unique, so the dash is very deep and the bonnet short.

Cadillac says the car's unique selling point is the interior layout: it features an 8-inch iPad-style screen in the centre console with Apple/Android style pictograms. The system is known as CUE. Instruments are displayed on a TFT screen, so the arrangement of the read-outs can be customised.

A major effort has been made on the interior design and quality. Cadillac wants to evoke a 'European feel' and has used very high-end materials on the range-topping Platinum trim. There is also a big emphasis on safety, with the XTS featuring 360-degree collision avoidance using radar sensors and cameras.

As far as the engine is concerned, expect to see a 300bhp direct injection V6 petrol powerplant with options of six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The car is unlikely to be offered in right-hand drive.

The role of the sporting executive car is expected to be taken up by the next Cadillac CTS, which will grow in size. The Cadillac ATS is also being readied to compete in the BMW 3-Series compact executive sector.

Jim Holder

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