Preview: Cadillac XTS Vsport

Tim Miller
By Tim Miller
Posted on September 20th, 2013
0 Comments

ANN ARBOR, MICH.—Cadillac recently introduced its XTS Vsport model, a car that fits into the maker’s lineup between its mainstream luxury lineup and its high-performance V models.

The new model, assembled in Oshawa, features a new V6 engine producing 410 horsepower from its twin-turbochargers.

The engine uses more than 90 per cent new parts, and the car is backed up with performance running gear to complement the new engine, which produces 369 lb.-ft. of torque at 1900 r.p.m., providing an exceptionally smooth and wide range of engine performance.

Helping tap all that power is a six-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, magnetic ride control, 20-inch wheels, and Brembo brakes with aluminum calipers.

The 3.6-litre engine uses two small twin turbos instead of one larger unit. Not only does this allow the engine to sit in the car with no changes in model styling, but the turbos also create power with a smoothness befitting the car’s nature.

“The engine offers a space-efficient design with near immediate response,” says Richard Bartlett, Cadillac’s assistant chief engineer. “And from 1,900 to 5,600 r.p.m., the torque remains at 369 lb.-ft., offering a flat, large torque curve. We are proud of that torque curve.”

All this translates into one smooth and powerful automobile on the road. During a short session driving the new XTS around the back roads of southern Michigan, the car demonstrated its ability to provide acceleration with elegance and a minimum of fuss.

Turbochargers have come a long way over the past few years, and the two turbos on this V6 have raised the bar in terms of technology and sophistication.

When pressed, the car will go from zero to 100 km/h in about five seconds. And thanks to the large and flat torque curve, the 1,995-kg car builds speed effortlessly. Fuel efficiency has been estimated at 12.4 L/100 km in the city and 9.8 on the highway.

The interior provides understated luxury, with leather seats heated and cooled, a Bose sound system, and one of the most legible and informative gauge and information packages on the market.

The upgraded Platinum version (about $2,500) adds adaptive cruise control and automatic collision preparation, which can detect an imminent collision and automatically brake the car to reduce the impact or help the driver avoid it altogether.

Canadian pricing has yet to be announced, but the Vsport starts at about $70,000 in the U.S. and is expected to run $80,000 to $85,000 here.

Outside, the Vsport features minor cosmetic changes from the XTS, with a different grille treatment and badges.

The 18-cubic-foot trunk will hold several sets of golf bags, and the folding rear seats will allow a trip to the building centre for a load of lumber — an unlikely event, but possible.

Cadillac is hoping to establish itself in the world market with this car, aimed at buyers of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It is also looking at a stronger presence in the Chinese market.

“We want to increase our brand equity around the globe, with a focus on China,” explains Hampden Tener, Cadillac’s product director. “This car is perfectly suited to China.”

General Motors will produce the brand in China with GM Shanghai in a proposed new facility.

Transportation for freelance writer Tim Miller was provided by the manufacturer. Email: wheels@thestar.ca.

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