Longtime American luxury rivals Cadillac, Lincoln revamp lineups in different ways

Dave Kunz Image
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Longtime luxury rivals Cadillac, Lincoln revamp lineups
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Cadillac and Lincoln have a long history of competing in the luxury car market, and that rivalry continues with the latest models from brands.

What's the future of Ford Motor Company's luxury brand, Lincoln? Well, part of it is their newest crossover SUV, the Corsair. It signals an end to vehicles without actual names, replacing the MKC.

And the Corsair helps usher in a strategy to offer only SUVs in the coming years. The Corsair is the smallest one in the Lincoln lineup, moving up the size scale are Nautilus, Aviator and Navigator. It's a lineup that even includes plug-in hybrid versions these days, an option in both the Corsair and the Aviator.

But that means that sedans will soon be in Lincoln's past. The Continental name was resurrected a few years ago, and the 2020 model will be the last sedan the brand offers, gone by the end of the year.

The send-off features another special Coach Door Edition (many know them as "suicide doors," but Lincoln's not comfortable with that nickname for obvious reasons). The limited-production Coach Door Continentals pay tribute to the Continentals of the 1960s, and these special Lincolns carry a rather staggering price tag of about $116,000...if you can find one.

It's clear the buying public has a big appetite for SUVs these days, and that's not lost on Lincoln's longtime luxury rival Cadillac. Their newest model is the XT6, a roomy premium crossover with three rows of seats, and every bit of technology you could want. Bigger than the XT4 and XT5 in the Caddy lineup, but not as big as the Escalade. In a market where luxury buyers are flocking to SUVs like never before, the current quartet gives GM's upscale brand a broad portfolio.

But good news if you like luxury sedans; Cadillac is sticking with those. And more good news if you like performance-oriented luxury sedans; they're sticking with those, too.

Cadillac is doubling down on them for 2020, literally with two new sedans. The CT5 4-door is new, as is the slightly smaller CT4. Both are available as V-Series models - Cadillac's modern-day take on performance. The CT4-V, for example, has decent punch under the hood. No V8 or V6 in this case; the newest hot Caddy gets a turbocharged 2.7 liter four-cylinder engine good for 325 horsepower. It's not a fire-breather, necessarily, but a powerful enough engine that offers light weight over the front wheels for great handling balance. And yes enthusiasts, the CT4 is rear-wheel drive, as is the CT5, though all wheel drive is optional on both.

Oh, and yet a third direction for Cadillac: electric power. Coming along for 2023 is the Lyriq, a Tesla competitor if you will. And the first thing you might notice: it's in the shape of an SUV. It seems Cadillac may know where its bread is really buttered in the future.