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The XT3 Will Be The SUV That Saves Cadillac From Being Trampled By Germany

Spy Shots / Comments

You can be certain this will be a hugely important model for Cadillac.

Cadillac's aversion to the impending meltdown GM was facing in the late 2000s was only made possible by a reinvention of the brand, but as we've highlighted before, the product planners' downfall was that they shied away from building too many large SUVs. Unfortunately, a massive drop in fuel prices and the modernization of the crossover SUV made it so consumers returned to lots in droves to buy SUVs, making Cadillac's decision to hold off a bad one.

As such, Cadillac is trying to play catch up and thanks to our tenacious spy photogs, we've caught glimpse of what we'll soon know as the XT3. The small crossover, which will plant the Cadillac flag in one of the hottest automotive segments made up of the BMW X1, Audi Q3, and Mercedes GLA, has been whispered about for some time. While it will be larger than its German counterparts, the XT3 will slide in under the XT5 and use plenty of silver bling and edgy lines arranged in Cadillac's signature V formation to siphon away customers from German car dealerships. The XT3 will be Cadillac's bread and butter crossover SUV, enabling the automaker to add between 25,000-30,000 sales per year according to analysts.

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The winter test mule we caught out in the wild has too much camouflage to see any defining characteristics aside from its roofline, but using content clues and a bit of imagination, we can fill in the gaps. Up front a large grille can almost be seen underneath the large swath of black between the headlights. Pointy LED lights reinforce the Cadillac persona while lights embedded in the C-pillar, much like the Escalade's, give us a clue that the taillights covered by the the camouflage are fake. An intercooler in the front bumper confirms that the XT3 will likely feature a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which could be mated to a nine-speed automatic sending power to the front tires or all four wheels when needed.

In line with Cadillac's assault plan, we can expect the XT3 to debut halfway through 2018 with the subsequent release of a larger crossover to cast shade on the XT5 being a certainty and a smaller XT1 or 2 model being a possibility.