What happens when you give a luxury Cadillac XTS saloon two turbochargers and 100hp extra? Quite a lot, as it turns out…
|Engine||Power||Torque||0-100kph||Top speed||Weight||Basic price|
|V6, twin-turbo, 3564cc||410bhp @ 6800rpm||369lb ft @ 5200rpm||TBC||TBC||1510kg (125bhp/ton)||TBC|
Our more dedicated readers may remember that just over a year ago, crankandpiston took two then-brand spanking new Cadillac XTS’ for a leisurely jaunt around the United Arab Emirates. And we rather liked them.
Gone were the days, it seemed, of Cadillac’s square-jawed death traps masquerading as sedans that were more likely to give you a heart condition than get you to your destination without braking down. Here was a flagship model that looked the absolute bees knees and, more than that, was a Cadillac that legitimately could be described as a ‘luxury saloon’. In the Middle East, customers ably spoke with their deposits.
A little over one year later and the XTS is again turning heads, albeit for a slightly different reason. Above you’ll find the new XTS Twin-Turbo V6, the headline act of Cadillac’s mid-range Vsport line-up. The main difference, as the name suggests, is the upgraded 3.6-litre V6 stapled down under the bonnet. Thanks to new cylinder block casting, strengthened connecting rods, a new direct-injection fuel system and a combined 12-pounds of boost from two turbochargers, the twin-turbo unit now kicks out 404bhp and 369lb ft of torque, an increase of 100bhp and 105lb ft respectively up on the regular XTS. ‘Almost every component of the new model is unique,’ quoth Cadillac.
Well in the engine bay anyway. Aside from the ‘V’ badge on the bootlid, you’d be hard-pressed to tell any difference at all on the outside. Though that’s certainly not to say the XTS is a dog to look at (as our previous long term experience with the model demonstrated). The enormous Cadillac front grille gives a suitably imposing façade, some aggressively carved headlights and pronounced bonnet lines rounding out a fantastically menacing look on our White Diamond Tricoat test model. It seemed almost criminal not to do a night shoot.
The menace continues in this vein along the side, the gorgeous 20-inch polished alloys and rather niftily placed indicator lights on the wheel arches the main contenders here. There’s also a chrome running strip that mirrors the bodylines down the flank. It comes dangerously close to going over the top but Cadillac just manages to pull this back from the brink with a slightly raised stance over the rear wheels and those jutting rear lights. An injection of grunt certainly hasn’t harmed the XTS’ looks.
The XTS Twin-Turbo, like its V6 base model, only comes with the Platinum trim in the Middle East. And like the exterior – some rear-mounted TV screens and a remote control aside – there’s little difference on the inside. Once again, that’s just dandy. The seats, though firm, offer a superb amount of support, whilst bags of legroom and headroom mean you’re unlikely to be waylaid by cramp. CUE – Cadillacs interactive User Experience – is the company’s ace in the hole after five years of development, and remains as easy to use as ever, though I decide against leaving anything in the hidden storage compartment behind the 12-inch screen for fear of forgetting it.
So far so samey then, but now it’s time to find out how the newboy handles the road.
Really rather well it turns out. Handling-wise, there’s little to tell the twin-turbo model apart from its lesser-powered counterpart, good heft at the wheel and a low centre of gravity still not quite enough to keep the XTS on rails. Push the 1912kg luxury saloon into the corners and understeer will begin to bite: with 100bhp more on tap, driving ‘dynamically’ is more of a reality than arguably it was a year ago. The brakes too feel a little spongey but fortunately there’s still plenty of solid engine-braking in the six-speed automatic gearbox, the shifts so smooth on the way up through the box that only a drop in pitch from the engine as the next cog is shifted gives the game away. Of course, we’re interested in none of this. All we care about is the newly updated engine: has it made the difference? Yes. Yes it has.
Whereas before the XTS lacked the oomph to really set our socks alike, the introduction of two turbochargers has given the saloon a much needed jab of joie de vivre. We’re not in ‘holy crap’ CTS-V levels of acceleration, but for a big, heavy luxury saloon, the XTS Twin-Turbo V6 is amazingly gutsy. There’s an added kick – even aggression – in the lower gears as the speedometer winds itself up, coupled with an extra little punch as the revs power past 3-4000rpm. A deep, warbly engine noise – stifled by excellent cabin acoustics – is still very noticeable and adds immensely to the experience, even as the grunt starts to peter out slightly as the high revs start flowing past. It really is very impressive.
To cut a rather long story short, the only difference you’ll find between a standard XTS and the twin-turbo is the ‘V’ badge and 100 of extra horsepower. Doesn’t sound much, does it? You’d be surprised.
Enjoy our Cadillac XTS Twin-Turbo test drive?
You can find more Cadillac stories HERE, and more of our Car Reviews HERE
|Engine:||V6 / twin-turbo / 3564cc|
|Power:||410bhp @ 6800rpm|
|Torque:||369lb ft @ 5200rpm|
|Transmission:||Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic|
|Front suspension:||HiPer strut coil-over-spring / twin-tube dampers with gas-charged valving / hollow direct-acting stabilizer bar|
|Rear suspension:||Linked H-arm with air shocks and Magnetic Ride Control|
|Brakes:||Split / dual-circuit four-wheel-disc with power assist / vented 345mm x 20mm (front) / solid 315mm x 23mm (rear)|
|Wheels:||20 x 8.5-in polished aluminum with chrome inserts (Platinum)|
|Tyres:||245/40 R20 all-season blackwall|