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Detroit 2010: Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept is a 350-hp Plug-In Hybrid

New Cadillac XTS concept has the looks and the luxury of a true flagship

 |  Jan 12 2010, 12:01 AM

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Cadillac wasn’t secretive that it was showing a concept version of it’s upcoming XTS flagship, but GM’s luxury brand certainly did hide the fact that it was a plug-in hybrid. Until now.

Set to be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show later today, the XTS Platinum Concept certainly looks like a true flagship for the premium brand. Finally, there’s a Cadillac that wouldn’t look out-of-sorts parked next to a Mercedes S-Class. Size wise, it’s definitely large measuring 203.5-inches (3.5-inches longer than an S-Class), however, the wheelbase is considerably less at 111.7-inches (about 8-inches less than an S-Class). It is also roughly one inch wider than an S-Class.

Sadly, the XTS isn’t rear drive, however, it does feature an all-wheel drive setup. Added handling and agility are provided thanks to 20-inch wheels, and GM’s Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) shocks that measure the road every millisecond and adjust just as fast.

As for the plug-in hybrid system, it uses an electric motor, lithium-ion battery and a 3.6-liter direct-injection V6 gasoline engine to make 350-hp and 295 ft-lbs of torque. Capable of operating as a conventional hybrid, thanks to the plug-in capability, Cadillac claims it can achieve up to twice the efficiency of a conventional hybrid in city driving. The lithium-ion battery can be charged fully in just five hours using a conventional household outlet.

With an imposing look and a powerful and efficient engine, we’re possibly most impressed by the car’s interior. As a concept, it takes Caddy’s “Platinum” line philosophy to the extreme, using ultra high-grade materials and keeping with the Platinum mantra to hand cut and sew the interior leather. There’s also plenty of suede and we even have to admit the wood trim (which we typically hate) looks stunning.

The Cadillac XTS is scheduled to go into production in the near future and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on how close to the concept the production model will be.

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GALLERY: Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept

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Official release after the jump:

PRESS RELEASE

CADILLAC UNVEILS THE XTS PLATINUM CONCEPT
- A new study re-imagining the luxury sedan, showcasing the progression of
the Cadillac Art and Science philosophy
- Designed from the inside out, featuring a new concept for the interface
between the driver and the auto electronics
- Plug-in hybrid system is matched with a 3.6L V-6 and all-wheel drive for
dynamic and efficient performance

DETROIT – Cadillac unveiled the XTS Platinum Concept at the 2010 North American
International Auto Show, suggesting a new paradigm for the luxury sedan of the future.
The concept showcases Cadillac’s emerging top-of-the-line Platinum series of models,
emphasizing new expressions of luxury and technological features, including a plug-in
hybrid propulsion system.

The XTS Platinum Concept was designed from the inside out, re-imagining the luxury
sedan as a personal headquarters, built for efficiency, luxury and connectivity. The
concept introduces a new approach to in-car electronics that improves the form and
function of the car’s entertainment, navigation and information systems.

“The XTS Platinum concept is the next expression of Cadillac’s Art and Science
execution philosophy, reflecting our drive to deliver the latest innovations in the most
artful manner,” said Bryan Nesbitt, Cadillac general manager. “We envisioned this
concept as an automotive personal headquarters, using advanced technology to enable
new levels of connectivity and luxury.”

The XTS Platinum Concept uses Cadillac’s 3.6L V-6 Direct Injection gas engine, paired
with a plug-in hybrid system. The plug-in technology enables the battery to fully charge
from a standard electrical outlet, enabling pure electric propulsion in many driving
situations, especially urban commutes in which fuel efficiency may double that of a
conventional hybrid.

Traditional luxury sedans were defined by elegant interiors and Cadillac’s XTS Platinum
Concept propels that formula into the future. It delivers new approaches to luxury within
a design that combines fine craftsmanship with customer-driven innovation. Like the
current Platinum Edition products, such as Escalade Platinum and the STS and DTS
Platinum sedans, the interior is based on hand cut-and-sewn materials. The XTS
Platinum Concept injects more contemporary forms and themes into the interior design,
including the use of Organic Light-Emitting Diode (O-LED) displays in place of traditional
gauges and screens.

The concept previews a new integration philosophy guiding the development of future
models with respect to in-car electronics. The intent is to progress Cadillac’s intuitive in-
car electronics systems, typified by the deployable touch-screen navigation system that
has been highly acclaimed in the brand’s CTS and SRX product lines. The XTS Platinum
Concept previews this strategy via the minimization of traditional buttons and switches.
Designers blended the display screens into a flowing instrument panel. They call it a
“dead front” design, because the panels appear black until the car is turned on and the
screens illuminate. The instrument panel itself reflects the XTS Platinum’s other focus –
uncompromising luxury and attention to detail on the interior.

“The Platinum distinction in Cadillac means the fullest extent of luxury and technology
and we’ve tried to reach even further with this concept,” said Clay Dean, Cadillac design
director. “Just as the technology pushes the boundaries of what a Cadillac can offer, so
do the details that make the XTS Platinum Concept an uncompromising experience.”

The interior takes inspiration from nature, specifically the intricate layers of petals that
combine to form an orchid. Cadillac designers translated that into a layered and detailed
interior. Light cream is the cabin’s primary color and is contrasted with darker elements,
such as the steering wheel and an overhead console motif that runs the length of
interior’s roof. The console is made of a richly finished wood and houses lighting
features.

Premium leather seats include a new style of automotive suede, with a laser-etched
pattern. The patterned material adorns the center sections of the seats and accents the
door trim. Thoughtfully detailed stitching is used throughout the interior, including the
seats, instrument panel and door panels. Passengers in the spacious rear compartment
of the XTS Platinum Concept also have access to the car’s connectivity feature, along
with a range of infotainment choices.

“We never lost sight of the fact that a large luxury sedan needs to be spacious and
accommodating,” said Dean. “Passengers will find generous headroom, legroom and
knee space, along with the technology elements that make the drive more productive.”

A new proportion
The XTS Platinum Concept has a distinctive proportion that transcends the traditional
aesthetic of luxury sedans and carries the brand’s Art and Science design in a more
progressive manner. The unique proportion supports the “inside out” design priority,
while creating a sleek profile that complements the car’s advanced technology elements
and necessary aerodynamics.

“The XTS Platinum Concept design artfully conveys its focus on functionality through
technology,” said Dean. “It is the antithesis of the conventional three-box sedan,
suggesting the active evolution of Cadillac’s design language.”

A sweeping profile culminates in a short, high deck lid that meets the XTS Platinum
Concept’s aerodynamic needs – including a rear spoiler mounted on the deck lid,
incorporating the center high-mounted stop lamp. A high, sloping beltline gestures the
vehicle forward, suggesting motion, while the fenders flare outward wrapping tightly
around 20-inch wheels and tires. The wheel-to-body proportion was carefully tailored to
visually communicate the car’s all-wheel-drive chassis.

Like the interior, the exterior elements are precisely tailored and elegantly detailed.
Brushed billet aluminum trim is used selectively and the 20-inch, 11-spoke wheels
feature a brushed aluminum face accented with bright inserts within the spokes. The
wheels are wrapped with special Bridgestone tires that were created specifically for the
XTS Platinum Concept.

Signature elements essential to Cadillac’s Art and Science design language include
vertical headlamp and taillamps, with integrated light pipes and richly detailed lighting
components. The headlamps feature light-emitting diode technology for bright
illumination that requires less energy, as well as Cadillac’s Adaptive Forward Lighting
technology, which turns the headlamps with the direction of the front wheels for greater
visibility in turns.

Purposeful and efficient performance
The XTS Platinum concept’s plug-in hybrid electric propulsion system (PHEV) builds on
the experience Cadillac has gained with the Escalade Hybrid and Escalade Platinum
Hybrid flagship models. The plug-in capability boosts the car’s electric-only driving
capability, offering additional battery energy capacity and enabling it to recharge from a
standard external electrical outlet. The key benefit of external plug-in recharging is that
in many situations – such as overnight parking – the battery can fully recharge in roughly
five hours while the car is not in use. The plug-in system operates at maximum efficiency
when operating on power the battery has drawn from the electric grid. In some
conditions, such as urban commutes, drivers can experience efficiency that doubles that
of conventional hybrids.

At higher speeds or when conditions demand it, such as brisk acceleration, a
combination of engine power and electric power or engine power only, propels the
vehicle. The combination of the Direct Injection V-6 engine and the PHEV system
featuring fully electric variable drive provides a spirited driving experience. The system
provides an estimated 350 horsepower (260 kW) and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (400 Nm).

Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) enables the XTS Platinum Concept to deliver superior
road-holding performance while maintaining luxury car composure in “regular” driving
conditions. It uses shocks controlled by advanced magneto-rheological technology,
rather than mechanical valves, to greatly accelerate response time and precision.

MRC uses electronic sensors at all four wheels to literally “read the road” every
millisecond, making constant adjustments to damping to create virtually instantaneous
and extremely precise control of body motions.

An advanced, specially calibrated all-wheel-drive system ensures optimal traction in wet
and slippery conditions, and helps deliver maximum traction while cornering. Four-wheel
disc brakes, with four-channel ABS, StabiliTrak stability control and full-function traction
control complete the drivetrain details.

“The XTS Platinum Concept was designed to deliver an engaging driving experience
without compromising the functional features, space and comfort customers seek in a
luxury car,” said Nesbitt. “It is a new vision of luxury that uses advanced technology to
deliver functionality efficiently and rewardingly.”

CADILLAC XTS PLATINUM CONCEPT SPECIFICATIONS
Vehicle type:  luxury sedan concept
Wheelbase (in / mm):  111.7 / 2837
Length (in / mm):  203.5 / 5170
Width (in / mm):  74.8 / 1900
Height (in / mm):  59.1 / 1500
Track (in / mm):  62.6 / 1589 (front); 62.8 / 1594 (rear)
Powertrain:  plug-in hybrid system with 3.6L Direct Injection gas engine (with variable
valve timing); lithium ion battery
Suspension:  four-wheel independent with Magnetic Ride Control.
Brakes:  four-wheel disc with electric park brake system
Wheels:  20-in front / 20-in rear
Estimated power:  350 hp (260 kW) / 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm)

  • I’ve been waitin’

    Let me get this straight. According to the specification charts I have seen the XTS is the “Flagship” and is going to ride on a 111.7 inch wheelbase, approxiametly two inches shorter than the CTS? And it is expected to compete against European and Japanese fullsize luxury cars that ride on 119 inch to 126 inch wheelbases that have approxiametly the same body length as the XTS? Plus the XTS is based on front drive architecture which has east/west engine placement vs. north/south in all of the competition. I am not a GM or American car “hater.” I sincerely want to see them succeed. However, I am concerned how “competitive” the XTS will actually be in the big leagues.
    To be competitive the XTS needs to ride on at least a 124 inch wheelbase with an overall length of no more than 205 inches and should use rear wheel drive with an all wheel drive option.
    The look is great, nice lines with a beautiful interior. The dimensions and mechanicals are not going to cut it against the German and Japanese fullsize luxury cars.

  • john rinaldi

    Beautiful, but why such lag time. Bring it on!!! In all honesty, it was too my understanding that GM was going to discontinue the DTS asap, and introduce
    the XTS as it’s replacement. Hope it comes into showrooms Sept.
    Sign me up !!!!!!

  • martyfarty69

    Looking at that C-Pillar and the overall lines of the vehicle, unless i’m very much mistaken thats a Malibu !!!!!

  • Joe

    Lose the silly hybrid bull crap, blingy over sized tires and silly misplaced chrome at the bottom of the door which copies litterally every other luxury make and I might like it better. The interior looks a bit too tan and the instrument cluster is pure Star Trek. Give me some interior color choices and a normal dash please. Hopefully this so called flagship is as roomy as the outgoing DTS but being based on the narrower shorter wheelbase Epsilon II I highly doubt it.