The flagship Cadillac CT6, the marque's biggest and boldest bet on its luxury sedan heritage, is dead in North America, a victim of General Motors' largest global restructuring since its 2009 bankruptcy. But thankfully the old bird will be going out with a bang—the recently-announced Cadillac CT6-V and its new 550-horsepower V8 will still be offered for the final model year, the company confirmed to The Drive.
It's a bloodbath over at GM today, with a half-dozen of its small cars and large sedans, seven factories, and thousands of employees getting the axe as the automaker announces a plan to reorganize its assets and "accelerate its transformation for the future." That means more investments in autonomy, electric cars, and safety tech, and decidedly less time and money spent on slow-selling models like the rear-wheel-drive CT6.
While the Cadillac CT6 will still be built and offered in China, where it remains relatively popular, the car is scheduled to end production for North America in June 2019 as GM's Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly plant is shut down—or "unallocated," in the press release's Orwellian verbiage. A GM spokesperson told The Drive that the timeframe should leave the CT6 on sale "for most if not all of 2019." But when they're gone, they're gone.
That's a small tragedy for a number of reasons, not least of which is Cadillac's imperiled history of building flagship luxury cruisers. The CT6 wasn't the world-beating car it needed to be to ultimately survive, but it was an extremely solid, supremely comfortable sedan whose impressive SuperCruise semi-autonomous highway system seemed an ideal pairing. Former CEO Johan de Nysschen proclaimed that the CT6 was part of Cadillac's future when revealed the CT6-V and its newly-designed 550-horsepower V8 at the New York International Auto Show earlier this year.
de Nysschen was forced out Cadillac a shortly thereafter, the company later said it would be pulling out of its flashy New York headquarters, and now General Motors is finally ready to cut its losses on his bad bet on sedans. In the flurry of GM news this morning, there was no word on what that meant for the CT6-V, which was shaping up to be an interesting time; a mechanical limited-slip differential, recalibrated suspension, and Brembo brakes were all promised in addition to that clean-sheet twin-turbo V8. Now it appears The Cadillac CT6-V will act as a swan song for the car, a final-year blowout to celebrate the good times.
"Our commitment to launch the CT6-V with its all-new Blackwing Twin Turbo V8 engine in unchanged," GM told The Drive.
Ironically, its limited supply will probably make it sell better than it would have otherwise. And there's one more parting gift the CT6 is leaving behind: GM also confirmed that SuperCruise will continue to make its way across the entire Cadillac lineup, whatever it might look like in the future. With the previous announcement that the ATS and CTS sedans are also scheduled for retirement next year, it definitely won't be the same as its been for the last century.