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Spied! No Elmiraj, but the Rear-Drive Cadillac Flagship Sedan is Coming

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/22/2014 Christian Seabaugh

The rear-wheel-drive Cadillac flagship is finally coming. After years of teasing us with sleek, sexy concepts like the Ciel and Elmiraj, a rear-drive Cadillac flagship prototype -- rumored to be named the Cadillac LTS -- has finally been caught out testing in snowy southern Michigan.

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2016 Cadillac Flagship Prototype Nose Detail© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Cadillac Flagship Prototype Nose Detail GM's camouflage people earned their keep with the job they did on this early Cadillac flagship. The mangled nose features a big and proud shield-shaped Cadillac grille, with vertically stacked headlights on either side. We're expecting the Elmiraj's headlights to make an appearance on the finished product. The flagship's rear-end again does a good job at keeping us guessing, with a mix of Chevrolet Caprice bits and design elements likely to find their way onto the big Caddy, like the rear bumper.

The most telling trait of the Cadillac flagship's design is its roof line -- it almost exactly matches the Caprice-based mule we spotted last year. Hiding behind that camo is an additional window, meaning the Cadillac flagship is set to be a four-door 'coupe' when it launches. A two-door coupe and convertible are likely to follow the four-door a year or two after launch.

Spied! No Elmiraj, but the Rear-Drive Cadillac Flagship Sedan is Coming

2016 Cadillac Flagship Prototype Side Intersection© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Cadillac Flagship Prototype Side Intersection Powering the rear-drive Cadillac flagship is an engine. Shocking, no? Seriously, word is GM doesn't even know what's going to power the Cadillac flagship. Everything from a turbocharged I-4 (likely the 2.0-liter unit found in the ATS and CTS), to the CTS V-Sport's 3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6, to a more refined version of GM's 5.3-liter V-8 truck engine are being considered for the big Cadillac. A yet-to-be-built twin-turbo V-8 could also be in the cards. While the Caddy's powerplant is still up in the air, we do know that the engine will be mated to either a nine-speed or 10-speed automatic transmission.

2016 Cadillac Flagship Prototype Rear Angle© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Cadillac Flagship Prototype Rear Angle The engine isn't the only thing Cadillac is undecided about; its name is up in the air as well. GM reportedly trademarked the name "LTS" (short for Large Touring Sedan) last year, but there's been a push within Cadillac lately to use actual names on its cars.

Whatever Cadillac decides to call it, the new flagship is expected to go into production in the third quarter of next year, meaning a 2015 Detroit show debut is likely.

Photo Credit: Chris Doane Automotive

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