2019 Cadillacs: CT6 Drops Entry-level Engine, and is the ATS Going Coupe Only?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

After a relative lull in product introductions, Cadillac has a pipeline of new vehicles ready to boost the brand’s fortunes. Or so the General Motors division hopes.

In early 2016 Cadillac launched the XT5 crossover and CT6 sedan, following it up with a refreshed XTS in late 2017. Next year brings bigger news in the form of the XT4 compact crossover, with at least one other crossover waiting to plug another hole in the brand’s utility lineup.

But what about Cadillac’s older sedan lineup — the one that’s not bringing in anywhere near the passenger car volume the brand once enjoyed? There’s a long-range plan to deal with that, but first the company has some careful surgery planned.

Going by GM VIN code documents submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the 2019 model year, it appears changes are afoot for both the ATS and CT6. The smallest Cadillac offering, the ATS, is listed as a coupe-only proposition for 2019. Powertrains carry over from the previous year, but there’s no sedan in sight.

The CT6 line drops its entry-level 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder for 2019, with the 3.6-liter V6 serving as the powertrain floor. The 2.0-liter remains in the higher-end plug-in hybrid model. With the exception of that variant, all-wheel drive is standard across the range.

Both the CTS and XTS carry over from 2018 unchanged.

SEE ALSO: 2017 Cadillac XT5 Premium Luxury Review

When asked to comment on the ATS sedan elimination (or potential omission), Cadillac wasn’t in the mood to talk. The company wouldn’t comment on future products, though Cadillac product communications representative Donny Nordlicht was happy to focus our attention on the XT4 bowing in 2018.

The ATS coupe appeared for the 2015 model year, offering a buyers a handsome vehicle in a bodystyle whose popularity is shrinking faster than George at the pool. Actually, the same can be said for the ATS line overall. U.S. sales have fallen each year since 2013, the model’s first full year on the market. Over the first 11 months of 2017, ATS sales are down 37.5 percent compared to last year. In November, just 831 ATS models moved off dealer lots — the lowest number since the model’s first month on the market, September 2012.

Under NHTSA rules, an automaker can submit information on upcoming models until 60 days before the start of production, so it’s possible Cadillac’s 2019 lineup isn’t yet set in stone.

Should the changes occur, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. The ATS, CTS, and XTS are due to disappear after that model year. This past summer, Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen described the brand’s plan to “rebalance its sedan portfolio,” stating that a CT5 sedan will target buyers in the $35,000 to $45,000 range, with a smaller sedan arriving later to fill a lower price bracket. The remaining CT6, he implied, would go further upscale — and potentially further downscale.

After seeing the changes to the 2019 CT6, the latter possibility doesn’t seem as likely anymore.

A version of this story originally appeared on The Truth About Cars

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Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • K03sport K03sport on Dec 19, 2017

    not that i care about Cadillac, but if they make the ATS 2-door only, won't that give GM 2 2-door/4-seat car; 1 plebian (Camaro) and 1 luxury (ATS); but then only one of them gets a V8 and the other doesn't...if anything, the ATS needs a coupe, sedan, AND wagon to better compete w/ the C & E series from M-B...Cadillac needs to make fast sedans and a fast wagon again. Cadillac needs cars that are different from other car makers...sure, it lives in the Lux brand category, but I'm guessing they (Cadillac) still need to change their image as people aren't buying their cars and no amount of CTS-Vs winning a racing series will change that. Come to thing if it, I don't see too many new anything Cadillac on the roads...I wonder if their prices are too high in relation to buyers' perceived expectations. I think Acura has a similar problem.

    • See 1 previous
    • Max Power Max Power on Feb 01, 2018

      You don't see many new Cadillac's on the road ?? I donno where you live but i see a fair amount...granted numbers aren't what the early 2000's did, but its not like none have sold. I think many customers were turned off by problems the early CUE systems developed AFTER bumper to bumper warranties expired, along with no V8 options in CT6 & XTS. This does need to change & soon.

  • Right of right Right of right on Dec 21, 2017

    They look so 90's. sad.