Cadillac prices its flagship CT6 sedan from $54,490 and will kick off sales in March

Shots have been fired from America’s luxury automaker, Cadillac. The brand that’s in the midst of a revolution has new ammunition to direct against its German foes: the CT6.

Revealed at this year’s New York Auto Show, the CT6 will be Cadillac’s flagship sedan, for now, and will enter production in January before going on sale in March of 2016. The full-size model is aimed at BMW’s 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class, and Audi’s A8 but with a slightly smaller footprint, far less weight to lug around, and, as we’re now learning, a much lower starting price.

When the CT6 arrives in showrooms it will start at just $54,490, including a $995 destination fee. Priced about $9,000 more than its CTS mid-size sibling, the CT6 has left enough room to avoid cannibalizing the CTS’s sales while giving buyers a reasonable upgrade within the brand. Moreover, because it’s priced so similarly to Germany’s midsize sedans, it could steal BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class customers.

Though $54,490 is steeply below the starting prices for BMW’s 7 Series ($81,300), Audi’s A8 ($81,500), and Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class ($95,650), its standard equipment doesn’t quite match up. To start, the CT6 uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder to make 265 horsepower sent to the rear wheels. That’s significantly off the pace of its full-size luxury competition, but there’s good news: for just $2,000 more, Cadillac offers its 3.6-liter V6 with 335 hp and all-wheel drive. Suddenly the CT6 is back on target.

Should you be looking for more performance, Cadillac offers a range-topping powertrain in the form of its new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 400 hp on tap. For an almost equal power jump from its base to mid-level engine, Cadillac will charge $65,390. Whichever engine you choose, Cadillac’s eight-speed automatic transmission will manage the power. The company has also spoken of a plug-in hybrid variant being on the way with 335 hp and 432 pound-feet of torque, but it won’t be arriving in the near future.

At the top of the CT6 range will be Cadillac’s new Platinum badge, which will carry a hefty price tag of $84,460. It’s unclear what the premium will earn buyers in the way of standard equipment, but expect Cadillac to pull out all the stops to validate itself among its rivals.

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