17 February 2005

Cadillac is planning to launch a flagship model inspired by the spectacular Sixteen concept car first unveiled in 2003. The new model would slot into the $120,000-150,000 (£65,000-80,000) price bracket and compete against the most expensive Mercedes S-class and Audi A8 models. Caddy’s current range-topper is the new DTS (right), which was launched at the Chicago Motor Show last week.

According to a senior Cadillac source, GM engineers are currently working on the styling of the new car, although the project hasn’t been given the final green light by the GM board. However, if it does get the go-ahead it could be on sale globally by 2008.

It will be based on a stretched version of the rear- and four-wheel-drive Sigma chassis that underpins the CTS, STS and SRX models. The look draws directly on the surfacing of the Sixteen design, though there will be more curvature in the body.

A number of engine options are being considered, including eight-, 10- and 12-cylinder formats, though the latter two are the favourites. A cheaper version of the car could also be launched into the crucial $80,000-90,000 (£45,000-50,000) slot in the US market with a V8 engine.

Cadillac also looks like it could be joining the crossover revolution. Sources told Autocar that company bosses ‘were looking at a crossover’ vehicle, which would sit alongside the big US-market SRX 4x4, due to be launched in Europe this year.

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