Ahead of this year’s New York International Auto Show, Cadillac has unveiled images of the 2020 CT5 sedan, a car that will be handed the monumental task of replacing both the CTS and ATS sedans — and competing with the BMW 3-Series and Audi A4 family. To say the CT5 has big shoes to fill is an understatement. After all, as the platform for the CTS-V — arguably Cadillac’s greatest modern sedan — the CTS is the car credited with bringing Cadillac into the modern era.
The CT5 will come with a 2.0-Liter turbocharged inline-four good for 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, but buyers will have the option to upgrade to a twin-turbo 3.0-Liter V6 rated at 404 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. The CT5 will also come with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Along with the new model nomenclature, Cadillac is adding extra digits to the badge to point out the car’s torque. The new number on the will be in Newton-meters instead of the pound-foot measurement more commonly used in the United Staes. For example, a CT5 with the inline-four will have 350T; if you opt for the V6, you’ll get a 550T badge (“T” denotes a turbo).
The CT5 advances Cadillac’s design language and brings a healthy dose of the Escala concept car to the road. The slight kink and fold in the C-pillar is an odd choice and stands out, but like its predecessor, the new sedan keeps things clean and sharp.
If the exterior upgrade is subtle, changes to the interior seem more pronounced. Piano black plastic always let down Cadillac interiors, but early images indicate most of it has been replaced with wood grain. Along with the visual upgrade, Cadillac promises the CT5 will come with Super Cruise, the brand’s hands-free driver assistance software, but it won’t be available until 2020.
The CTS is one of the most important cars in Cadillac’s history. Not only did it make the brand competitive with other luxury carmakers, but it also improved with each generation so steadily that the final CTS-V is cemented as an all-time great. We won’t know for sure how the CT5 performs until it hits the road later this year, but it stands to reason the new sedan will carry on that tradition.
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