The American automaker’s three-row SUV has been the subject of rumors ever since 2011. Recent spy shots of Cadillac’s new test mule point towards the SUV entering production soon.

Cadillac will likely name the SUV as XT6 and debut it in January 2019 at the Detroit Auto Show, launching it for sales late next summer. This could mean that it will be sold as a 2020 model.

Spy shots suggest a midsize SUV that is similar in dimensions to the Audi Q7, Volvo XC90, and the iconic Range Rover. Lincoln’s new Aviator will be the prime rival to the XT6. When it comes to design, the XT6 will likely take after the XT5 albeit more roomier as opposed to the latter’s swooping, sleek design. The headlamps of the test mule appear similar to the CT6 sedan that Cadillac already sells.

It does not appear that the XT6 will ride on the rear-wheel Omega platform underpinning the CT6. Instead, it could employ the longest version of General Motors’ C1XX platform which currently underpins the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave. Both these crossovers measure 5189mm in length, making for a suitable platform for the XT6. The decision would not only help Cadillac save costs, but also differentiate the new SUV from the company’s only other full-size SUV, the Escalade.

The test mule looks roomier than the swoopy XT5 to accommodate the third row of seats.

Adopting the C1XX platform automatically exclude Cadillac from offering the 4.2-litre twin-turbocharged V8 in its choice of powertrains. The V8 powers the American automaker’s range of performance-oriented models like the CT6 V-Sport. In this case, the company would plonk its selection of twin-turbocharged V6 motors. It already has a 3.0-litre and a 3.6-litre V6 in tits range of powertrains. Ideally, a naturally aspirated 3.6-litre should be offered as standard on the base trim with around 335hp of output. Also standard should be an eight-speed transmission an all-wheel-drive.

By dint of being Cadillac’s range-topping SUV, we can expect the company to throw all its top-end technologies at the XT6. This would include the latest CUE (Cadillac User Experience) interface with a 10-inch display, a video-enabled inner rearview mirror, and a host of driver assistance systems like the Super Cruise hands-free highway assist.

Cadillac could price the XT6 somewhere on the leaner side of $50,000, placing it evenly between the XT5 which starts from about $40,000 and the Escalade which costs about $75,000 for the base trim.

Images Courtesy: Motor1