A sharp-eyed Wheels reader snapped a cavalcade of Cadillac CTS four-doors traveling in convoy through Melbourne, with a heavily disguised car featuring slight differences to the tailing cars visible despite the camouflage.
The cars escorting the 2017-plated evaluation vehicle are Chinese-market versions of the CTS, with the quad exhaust systems hinting that these are not packing four-cylinder engines under their heavily creased bonnets.
One of the clues is on the bootlid of the trailing car; the “400” it wears above a badge that says “SAIC-GM” – the US car maker has teamed up with the Chinese automotive giant to build and sell cars in the region – hints that this is a 298kW (400hp) twin-turbo 3.6-litre V6 chase car. The mule it is following also has the quad stack out the back, hinting that this may be an even higher-performance version if it is to power the facelifted version, supported by the emissions-testing connectors hanging off either side of the towbar.
There are differences, though. You’ll notice where the number plate cuts into the bootlid looks very different, as do the more squared-off wing mirrors. Other signs that something isn’t quite right are the fact it sits lower to the ground than the other cars, the bodywork looks to be a poor fit, and the tail-lights are patched on, not lifted across from the current car. Strangely, it’s also missing a fuel filler cap.
The Cadillac CTS was launched in China in 2014, meaning the timing would be about right for a major mid-life update for the premium saloon.
Holden’s now GM-owned proving ground at Lang Lang is now the globally recognised home room for several of GM’s rear-drive products – a legacy of the expertise we’ve built up from the years of rear-drive development that ended with the former-generation Commodore.
A Holden spokesman declined to spill more details on what the test vehicle was doing in Australia. “It’s simply more of the global testing work our guys are involved in to help out different markets, particularly with hemisphere seasonal changes,” he said. “There are a heap of other GM-branded cars used by the team, with various levels of camouflage.”
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