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2020 Cadillac CT4: Sportiest Cadillac Ever? Maybe So.

  • 2020 Cadillac CT4 revealed during GM’s recent social media campaigns.
  • Cadillac is aiming for a younger market with the forthcoming 2020 CT4.
  • The CT4’s rear-drive architecture and platform supports all-wheel drive.
  • New tech features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Super Cruise.

What does it say when a car maker first introduces a high-performance version over the base model? That’s what happened with the 2020 Cadillac CT4. About six months ago, Cadillac unveiled the CT4-V ahead of the base CT4, and we found it a bit strange. Apparently, it signifies Cadillac’s desire to shed its image as your grandparent’s car.

“Cadillac is intent to building the most exhilarating sport-luxury sedans,” said Rob Kotarak, Cadillac Chief Engineer. “Every element of the CT4 is designed to bring innovative technologies right to the driver, providing discerning driving dynamics with cutting edge precision.”

And with that, it seems the CT4 is bringing back the fun in Cadillac’s portfolio of luxury sedans.

What Is The 2020 Cadillac CT4?

The 2020 CT4 replaces the ATS in Cadillac’s lineup. Interestingly enough, the ATS straddles the fine line between a compact and subcompact vehicle, and therein lies the problem. The outgoing ATS was too small to compete for bragging rights with the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. However, it’s too big to slug it out with the Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, and even the BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe.

Here’s the catch: The new Cadillac CT4 is riding on the underpinnings of the ATS. In fact, the CT4 and ATS share the same wheelbase. However, Cadillac was kind enough to elongate the CT4 by around five inches to give it some presence on the road.

Would we have wished for a different platform? Maybe. Don’t forget, Cadillac managed to sell a lot of ATS and CTS sedans, and they took the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it approach’ with the new CT4. Even if the CT4 is essentially an ATS underneath, it promises to make up for the shortcomings of the old ATS with new tech and better refinement. At least, that’s what Cadillac is aiming for.

Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury
Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury. Photo: Cadillac.

What Engine Does The 2020 Cadillac CT4 Have?

A slew of turbo engines serve as the motivating force behind the 2020 Cadillac CT4. Standard fare is a 2.0-liter, twin-scroll turbo four-banger. Equipped with Cadillac’s three-step sliding camshaft technology (with active fuel management), the engine produces 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque.

It sounds impressive until you realize the ATS had 35 more horsepower from its base four-cylinder turbo unit. If the goal is to entice younger and energetic buyers, or even appeal to more established ones who grew up in the muscle car era, we’re not off to a good start. Still, when paired with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive, we think the base CT4 is fairly brisk, our personal love for horsepower aside.

Thankfully, moving up the trim ladder reveals a more potent 2.7-liter four-cylinder with 309 horsepower and 348 lb-ft. torque. Sounds familiar? Oh yes, it’s the same turbo four-pot in the new Chevy Silverado 1500, but Cadillac tuned the motor to churn out 10 more horses along with 21 more lb-ft. of torque than the Silverado.

Meanwhile, the CT4-V receives a higher-performing 2.7-liter turbo with 325 horsepower and 380 lb-ft. of torque. Both 2.7-liter mills are connected to a new 10-speed automatic gearbox with rear-wheel drive.

Is The 2020 Cadillac CT4 All-Wheel Drive?

All-wheel drive is an option across the range. If you opt for it, you also get a mechanical limited-slip differential and a magnetic suspension with ZF passive dampers.

Cadillac CT4 Sport
Cadillac CT4 Sport. Photo: Cadillac.

Youthful & Exuberant Styling

The new Cadillac CT4 has the proportions of a proper rear-wheel drive sedan with its longer dash-to-front-axle ratio and wide stance. In truth, it looks more dynamic than the ATS without losing its sense of aristocracy. “We developed CT4 to appeal to youthful buyers in the luxury market who may be new to the Cadillac brand,” explained Andrew Smith, Executive Director of Global Cadillac design. “The vehicle was intended to draw attention, using a combination of great proportions, taut surfacing and Cadillac family details that hint at the athletic driving experience this vehicle offers.”

Despite being the sportiest Cadillac yet, the new CT4 still has a plethora of bright exterior accents and unique grille designs to differentiate each trim model. By comparison, the Sport and V-Series receive darker accents and unique grille designs, along with new performance wheels and a rear spoiler.

Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury interior layout.
Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury interior layout. Photo: Cadillac.

Selectable Driving Modes

No modern car is complete without a set of selectable driving modes. Standard across the board, the new Cadillac CT4 has four main drive modes namely Tour, Sport, Snow/Ice, and Track. You also get a new My Mode feature and a V-mode for the V-series CT4.

Cadillac made use of their proprietary, double-pivot MacPherson front suspension with dual lower ball joints for the new CT4. With a near-perfect weight distribution, the chassis is further enhanced by a Bosch electric and rack-mounted power steering system, plus eBoost brakes with GM’s Duralife coated rotors and low-drag brake calipers. Sport and V-Series models receive a set of Brembo front brakes.

Cadillac CT4 Sport interior layout
Cadillac CT4 Sport interior layout. Photo: Cadillac.

2020 Cadillac CT4: Technology At Its Core

Since Cadillac made it clear the CT4 is intended for a new (and younger) generation, it’s not surprising how the car is more tech-filled than a Radio Shack. Front and center is a new, high-definition eight-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Drivers now stare at a full-color, dual-display instrument cluster while automatic climate control takes care of the heating and cooling.

The CT4 also benefits from GM’s new digital vehicle platform using a bespoke electronic architecture. This new platform enables the CT4 to receive over-the-air updates similar to how Tesla does. The architecture also handles Cadillac’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving feature.

“The first-ever Cadillac CT4 changes the sport-luxury sedan game, fusing technology and performance in a distinctive design for customers who want to express themselves,” said Melissa Grady, Cadillac Chief Marketing Officer. “Because the CT4 is equal parts technology and performance, we wanted to reveal it in a way that would stimulate the senses and evoke emotions our customers might feel when behind the wheel.”

Photo: Cadillac.

2020 Cadillac CT4: Pricing & Availability

Cadillac has yet to announce pricing on the new CT4, although we’re expecting it to start at $35,000 for the base model and around $65,000 for the CT4-V. However, dealers are accepting orders for the CT4 with initial deliveries due in early 2020. The new CT4 will be manufactured at GM’s Lansing Grand River plant in Lansing, Michigan.

Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine. 

2020 Cadillac CT4 Gallery

Photos & Source: Cadillac.

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