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2010 Detroit Auto Show: Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept

By KBB.com Editors on January 13, 2010 3:16 PM

Positioning it as "new paradigm for the luxury sedan of the future," Cadillac unveiled its XTS Platinum Concept, a striking one-off that elevates the division's Art and Science design agenda to an entirely new level. Cadillac General Manager, Bryan Nesbitt, says the car was envisioned "as an automotive personal headquarters, using advanced technology to enable new levels of connectivity and luxury." With its more contemporary exterior styling, opulently enlightened interior, all-wheel-drive and a plug-in hybrid powertrain, the XTS Platinum Concept also seems likely to shed some meaningful light on key elements that will surface in the next generation of Cadillac's DTS and STS models.

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Although it retains the division's classic vertical headlamp and taillamp treatments, the XTS Platinum Concept introduces a far more progressive take on the bodywork that lies between. Actively forsaking the ubiquitous three-box approach for a more evolutionary look that reinforces its "inside out" people-centric design priorities, this prototypical Cadillac has a purposeful, flowing profile that resolves its dynamic roofline and rising beltline into a short, high decklid that incorporates an aero-enhancing spoiler element. Boldly flared fenders house brushed-and-bright 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in custom-spec Bridgestone tires while brushed-aluminum billet trim serves as a tasteful alternative to the division's traditional chrome accent bits.

Inside, the XTS Platinum Concept builds on the super-premium hand-crafted trappings that define current Cadillac Platinum Edition vehicles. It introduces a host of contemporary designs and innovative technologies that preview a more intuitive integration of in-car electronics, from its blackout dash and organic light-emitting diode (O-LED) displays that replace conventional instruments to using new voice/touch inputs to eliminate traditional knobs and switchgear. Rendered in a nature-inspired, light-and-dark layered look, the well-isolated cabin of this luxurious Cadillac takes its basic passenger-pampering duties just as seriously. Premium leather seat/door coverings and laser-etched suede are matched with a healthy dose of real-wood trim and generous amounts of head, leg and hip room are to be found in all locations.

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Motivating the XTS Platinum Concept is a 3.6-liter direct-injected gasoline V6 matched with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) system that builds on experience gained with the Two-Mode Escalade Hybrid and Escalade Platinum Hybrid models. Left unsaid but certainly likely, it's the same setup with a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack that was originally slated to power the Saturn Vue PHEV and still rumored to see possible duty in the Cadillac SRX. Here, it makes a respectable 350 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque while allowing the car to travel using either its gasoline engine, electricity, or a combination of power sources.

Like Cadillac's current top offerings, the XTS Platinum Concept is underpinned by a fully independent suspension that uses Magnetic Ride Control technology to instantly modify its shock actuation using magnetically reactive fluid instead of mechanical valving. The advanced all-wheel-drive system is complemented by StabiliTrak stabillty/traction control and anti-lock brakes.