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Culture / Cars

Cadillac Tech Becomes a Real Thing

Storied Brand Makes a Surprising Leap into Future, Gets Lauded by Science Mag

BY // 04.05.17

It’s a transformation as stunning as anything Emma Watson’s new movie beau went through. Cadillac, once thought of as the brand grandfathers loved, now almost quietly turns out some of the most tech-savvy cars in the world.

Cadillac technology has become a real thing and it is not just being embraced by car nerds. Consumer Sciences magazine rated Cadillac’s new rear mirror camera system as one of the best new technologies in the world. Not one of the best new car technologies. One of the best technologies period.

With a revamp of its troubled CUE infotainment system, built in Wi-Fi and a new vehicle-to-vehicle communications system coming in the CTS, this has become one future-thinking company. Forget the still distinctive exteriors of models such as the CTS-V or the XT5, in many ways it’s about what is happening on the inside of the cars.

“Everyone talks about what a car looks like,” says Britton Barbee, the new car director at Sewell Cadillac Houston. “But you’re spending all your time inside the car. That experience matters.”

The idea of a car being your escape is romantic. But for many of us, reality dictates that the car also often becomes a place of work. With its Wi-Fi and hands-free communications technology — not to mention the plush, leather seats — Cadillac makes that work.

“It’s your office on four wheels,” Barbee says. “It’s actually more comfortable than my actual office.”

By doing things like insisting on six stitches per inch on its finishings, Cadillac’s created a handcrafted, bespoke feel inside its cars. Those old stereotypes about being stuck in the past have been flattened. In many ways, Cadillac is leading the race for the future.

Cadillac isn’t afraid to push the envelope now. That is pushing more younger drivers to try the brand.

The brand’s embracing the new in some surprising ways. By doing things like unveiling a new plug-in hybrid CT6 at a cool West Los Angeles garage turned event space (Smog Shoppe) rather than at a stuffy party or sterile auto show, Cadillac’s not just acting hip. It’s actually becoming hip. “I do see a lot more younger customers coming in,” Barbee says. “People who wouldn’t have considered buying a Cadillac before.”

Technology talks. And not just to other cars.

Not that Texas needed much convincing. In a way, this has always been Cadillac country. Four of the Top 10 and seven of the Top 15 Cadillac dealers in America are found in the Lone Star State. Being big in Texas is another future thinking approach.

Racing into the future as a Cadillac thing? Technology truly does change all.

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