By Andrew Ganz
Thursday, Jun 14th, 2012 @ 6:50 pm
 

While Cadillac has nearly transformed itself from a moribund purveyor of land-yachts for octogenarians into a modern, competitive luxury automaker, it won't truly achieve first tier status without a full-size, rear-wheel-drive flagship sedan in its lineup. However, news has leaked out that the crest-and-wreath brand has trademarked the LTS nameplate, which could be a sign that just such a range-topping vehicle is on the way.

Car and Driver, which discovered the LTS name in a trademark filing, suggests that the moniker will be used for a new rear-wheel-drive, full-size sedan that will supplant (and eventually replace) the XTS at the apex of the Cadillac model lineup. Forming the basis of the big sedan will be an all-new, Cadillac-specific "Omega" platform that will be larger than the General's new Alpha architecture yet flexible enough to support a vehicle the size of a 5-Series, a long-wheelbase 7-Series, or anything in between.

While details are scarce on the new Cadillac sedan, it is expected to debut by 2015 and be sized between BMW's 5-Series and 7-Series models. That would make it a bit smaller than the chunky, 202-inch-long XTS, which should make it more competitive in Europe, a lucrative market Cadillac covets. The four-door's styling will be influenced by the Ciel concept car (pictured above), which debuted last year at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It will reportedly be offered in standard and long-wheelbase form.

The base engine will likely be a 3.6-liter V6, while the optional mill could be either a torque-biased, twin-turbo version of the V6 or one of GM's next-gen pushrod V8s. The Omega architecture is also reportedly being engineered to accommodate hybrid powertrains, so the sedan may get a variant of GM's dual-mode hybrid system with an eight-speed automatic in place of the current four-cog unit.

Looking further into the future, the long-rumored ultra-high-end "flagship" Cadillac model could eventually be spawned from the Omega platform; whether it will take the form of an oversized sedan like the Sixteen concept car, a convertible along the lines of the Ciel concept or a full-size coupe is currently unknown.