For the record, the Cadillac CT6 is dead in North America. After just four years, Cadillac took an ax to the full-size luxury sedan and the Blackwing V8 engine that powered the high-performance version. With the benefit of hindsight, it seems rather clear that Cadillac made an abrupt shift towards an electric future. So why are we seeing a camouflaged, next-generation CT6 prototype with exhaust tips testing in Michigan?
This is the first time we've seen the big Caddy, but we're familiar enough with GM's Milford Proving Grounds to recognize the streets on which this car is driving. Located northwest of Detroit, it's fertile ground for catching prototypes in public, and our spy team was in the right place at the right time. The overall size and shape look pretty close to the old CT6, but we suspect there are some key design changes to the front and rear fascias. One thing we clearly see is a tweaked C-pillar with an up-kink to the glass. Zooming in on the rear fascia we also spot placeholder lights. This sedan definitely isn't ready for prime time just yet.
Gallery: Next-Gen Cadillac CT6 Spy Photos
Does this mean the CT6 will have another shot at prime-time billing in America? The answer to that question is almost certainly no. The Cadillac Celestiq should debut later this year as the brand's new flagship sedan, packing an all-electric powertrain. With the internal combustion CT4 and CT5 sedans still in the mix, reviving a gas-powered CT6 at a time when many brands don't even have one sedan just doesn't make sense. However, the CT6 does make sense in China, where the current generation is still on sale.
There's one possible exception to this theory. The new CT6 is rumored to use a new platform that might offer hybrid powertrain options. Cadillac hasn't been shy about moving fast into an all-electric future, but should things not go according to plan (which pretty much describes the last two years for everyone), a CT6 hybrid could offer a mix of both worlds.
Whatever course transpires, we're still early in the process. Don't expect anything official from Cadillac on the CT6 for at least another year, if not two.