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All-New 2013 Cadillac XTS Leverages Technology To Offer Maximum Luxury, Safety

Benjamin Hunting
by Benjamin Hunting
November 17, 2011
2 min. Reading Time

After months of leaks - both planned and otherwise - the wraps were taken off of the 2013 Cadillac XTS today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The 2013 Cadillac XTS is a full-size sedan that will slot in "beside" the current Cadillac CTS mid-size four-door in terms of price, offering luxury car buyers a choice between the high tech comfort of the former or the sporty flavor of the latter. Visually, the 2013 Cadillac XTS draws many of its styling cues from the XTS Platinum concept that made the rounds of the car show circuit several years ago, and the company has been very careful to separate the automobile from its other full-size General Motors siblings.

The 2013 Cadillac XTS takes a page out of Buick and Acura's playbook in the sense that it can be loaded to the gills with premium technology designed to coddle and entertain driver and passengers. The Cadillac XTS will be the first model in the automaker's lineup to feature the all-new Cadillac User Experience (CUE) multimedia and infotainment system, a design which offers a proximity-sensing touch screen, voice command recognition and even the ability to interpret "gestures" in a manner similar to tablets like the iPad. The sedan will also offer a digital gauge cluster that provides the driver with several different configurations for presenting vehicle information, a feature that is in some ways reminiscent of a less interactive version of the MyLincoln Touch system.

The 2013 Cadillac XTS' high tech flavor continues when examining its extensive safety options. The sedan can be equipped with two different "Enhanced Safety Strategy" packages, with the first offering equipment that includes a lane departure warning and blind spot detection system, a forward collision alert feature that can detect when the automobile is approaching another vehicle or object too quickly and a rear cross traffic alert system that scans for movement on either side of the XTS while reversing out of a parking space. The "ESS I" package also offers a unique "Safety Alert Seat," which aims to vibrate the one side or the other of the driver's seat in order to provide a more visceral warning of potential on-road concerns.

By opting for the "ESS II" package, buyers can equip the Cadillac XTS with additional safety gear such as a head-up display, adaptive cruise control and an automatic collision preparation system that can not only prime the vehicle's safety systems if a potential accident is detected but also begin braking the sedan if the driver does not intervene in a timely manner. A separate automatic braking system is capable of stopping the car should the XTS' parking radar and sonar system show that the automobile is backing up or driving forward into an object such as a light pole or retaining wall at low speeds. Cadillac refers to this feature as a "virtual bumper."


Mechanically, the 2013 Cadillac XTS shares its basic platform with the Buick LaCrosse, although the chassis has been expanded in order to give the Cadillac a more imposing footprint. A 3.6-liter V-6 engine is the only available power plant with the XTS, and it offers 300 horsepower and 264 lb-ft of torque, sent to either the front wheels (base model) or all four wheels if optional all-wheel drive is specified. All versions of the Cadillac XTS benefit from GM's Magnetic Ride Control suspension system, which uses active shock absorbers that can automatically adapt to road conditions in order to provide the best balance between comfort and performance across a wide range of different driving situations. The XTS makes Brembo brakes and the Buick LaCrosse's available HiPer Strut front suspension system standard equipment, giving better control over potential torque steer while offering a better connection between the driver and the pavement.

Ostensibly, Cadillac intends the 2013 Cadillac XTS to replace the departing Cadillac DTS and Cadillac STS full-size sedans, a pair of automobiles that represented both Cadillac's former persona as the purveyor of floaty, isolated land yachts as well its attempt to join the ranks of its Teutonic competitors in producing a more driver-oriented full-size automobile. Given that General Motors is initially looking to price the Cadillac XTS very close to smaller Cadillac CTS, the new sedan will not offer any particular prestige over and above what either the DTS or the STS had to offer. There is no question, however, that the Cadillac XTS is a much more modern car than either of those now-defunct models, and its spacious and comfortable platform could draw in curious Acura and Lexus owners looking for better value when replacing their TSX and ES sedans.



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