Every motor show has some sort of unofficial theme for its concept cars. This theme can range from small urban runabouts to track-focussed sports cars, and high-riding crossovers to million Euro hypercars. This year, at the New York Motor Show, the theme was most definitely luxury, specifically good old American luxury.
The two stars of the show were the Cadillac CT6, a production ready flagship to rival the Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8, and the Lincoln Continental Concept.
The CT6 is one of eight new cars to come from Cadillac over the next five years, as part of a new $12 million investment. There will be three engines available from launch, a 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit producing around 266 bhp, a naturally aspirated 3.6 litre V6 producing 335 bhp and final a turbocharged 3.0 litre engine producing 400 bhp. There are also plans to launch a plug-in hybrid and a twin-turbo V8 version at some point. Therefore those waiting for a good old V8 land yacht will have to wait a while.
The four-cylinder unit will be solely rear-wheel drive, where as the V6 units will be mated to an active Chassis system, which handles the all-wheel drive system and the Magnetic Ride Control System. It has double wishbone suspension up front and a multi-link setup at the rear. Cadillac also claims that the CT6 is lighter than a BMW 5-Series and Audi A6.
The next land yacht to peer into view is the Lincoln Continental. For now, this is just a concept, however Lincoln execs have confirmed that a car with similar sort of design to this will appear in a year or so. The name Continental is famous to Lincoln, and the brand is eager to bring this name back to the market after its horrendous MK-Series cars.
The design borrows nothing from the modern Lincoln line-up, but takes inspiration from Lincolns of old. The Continental presents an entirely new face for Lincoln. However this new design has presented a slight problem for Lincoln. Bentley’s chief designer, Luc Donckerwolke, has claimed the new Lincoln Continental reminds him of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur. Needless to say, Mr.Donckerwolke didn’t have kind words for the Lincoln.
Moving on to more positive news, the Continental Concept is powered by 3.0 litre V6 Ecoboost engine, with a rumoured output of over 350 bhp. Not much is known about the internals at this stage, the concept is just a design concept.
Do these new cars from the Americas represent a rebirth of the old school luxury barge? In a way, yes. They are still massive, still incredibly opulent and still an acquired taste. They might not be popular in Europe, but they will certainly go down a hit in their home market and especially in China, where there is a strong preference to being chauffeured around. I, on the other hand, would rather take the more elegant Maserati Quattroporte.