Cadillac to build flagship sedan for full-size luxury market

Cadillac reportedly plans a sedan for 2015 that can take on the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series.

Mary Knox Merrill/Staff/File
Various Cadillac cars for sale line the parking lot at Cadillac Village of Norwood in Norwood, Mass., in 2010. The General Motors division plans to create a flagship sedan for 2015.

Reports of a flagship in the works at Cadillac date back several years, with everything from a large sedan to even a mid-engine sports car being suggested as possibilities for the new range-topper. With news recently breaking that GM is developing a new rear-wheel drive platform for large cars, a full-size sedan designed to take on the likes of the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S Class makes the most sense, and reportedly that is exactly what Cadillac is planning.

Automotive News (subscription required), citing inside sources, reports that Cadillac has given the green light for a large flagship sedan. The decision is said to be part of the automaker’s plan to offer a direct competitor in each of the key segments that its rivals compete in.

We’ve already seen this with the new ATS, which takes on rivals like the BMW 3-Series, Lexus IS and Mercedes-Benz C Class at the lower end of the luxury market, and by late next year a new CTS, one matching the size of intended rivals like BMW 5-Series, Lexus GS and Mercedes-Benz E Class, will arrive.

Finally, in 2015, the new Cadillac flagship sedan will arrive, giving Cadillac a much-needed competitor in the full-size luxury sedan segment. The new model, which will ride on a rear-wheel drive platform dubbed Omega, will spearhead Cadillac’s expansion in China as well as help boost the brand's sales, but more importantly its image, in established markets.

Unveiled last year, the well-received Ciel concept could provide clues as to how the new model will be styled.

The XTS, the current flagship sedan in Caddy’s lineup, was always a stopgap solution, developed quickly using components from existing models like the Buick LaCrosse. It’s unclear if the car will make it into a second-generation. If it does live on, expect it to be targeted primarily at the livery end of town and older buyers accustomed to comfy cruisers.

Beyond the new flagship sedan, Cadillac has several other important model launches in the pipeline. These include coupe and convertible versions of the ATS in 2014, along with a hybrid option on the XTS around the same time. Next year however will see the new CTS launched, as well as a new Escalade SUV and ELR extended range electric car

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