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Here's what's really happening with the 2012 Cadillac XTS Platinum concept

Fri, 26 Mar 2010

Reports have surfaced this week that the Cadillac XTS Platinum concept has received the green light.

That's not exactly true. We talked to Cadillac, and here's the inside dirt.

The XTS is a concept shown in January at the Detroit auto show. It has a hybrid powertrain churning 350 hp from a direct-injection 3.6-liter V6 and electric motor, all-wheel drive and flashy 20-inch wheels. The exterior is highlighted by a bold grille and elegant, flowing lines that marked the sheetmetal.

That concept is not headed directly to production as is.

“Nothing basically has taken place there,” spokesman David Caldwell said. “It's not a production car.”

But, Cadillac is totally upfront that the XTS is a strong indication of what the next large sedan will look like. The brand is not hiding anything there.

So, expect a large Caddy that looks a lot like the XTS Platinum concept, perhaps for 2012 when it the DTS and STS are replaced at the top of the brand's lineup. The styling particularly offers a hint of what Cadillac designers want to do to execute a bigger car. It's meant to be softer and more refined in contrast to the sharp, bold designs of the athletic CTS.

Under the skin, look for the 3.6-liter V6, which makes 304 hp in the CTS and is widely used across General Motors' car lines, all-wheel drive and likely some type of hybrid powertrain. The XTS also had striking vertical headlights and taillights, which have shown up on plenty of Cadillacs lately. And yes, it very likely will be called the XTS.

“It's certainly an honest representation of the kinds of concepts and themes [headed for production],” Caldwell said.

But that XTS Platinum concept has not been given a direct green light for production. It's a concept.

By Greg Migliore