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Cadillac CT5 2020 caught testing in Australia: Is this the next Holden Commodore?

What appears to be a Cadillac CT5 has been caught driving around Melbourne wearing significant camouflage

Cadillac’s CT5 mid-size luxury sedan has been caught testing in Melbourne over the weekend, wearing heavy camouflage and further stoking the rumour mill that General Motor’s premium brand is readying its introduction into the local market.

If the CT5 is brought to Australian showrooms, it will likely replace the current European-sourced ZB Commodore, which is built in Germany at a now PSA Group-owned facility after Opel’s buyout in 2017.

The new Commodore – known as the Opel Insignia in overseas markets – has had a hard time making headway into the Australian market, managing just 363 sales in its debut month in February 2018.

With Opel now under PSA Group control, the Insignia is set to switch to a French platform after the changeover to a new generation version due around 2021, likely locking out Holden’s access to the model.

The CT5 would give Holden a GM-sourced sedan that could slot into its product portfolio, and would be sourced from GM’s Lansing Grand River Assembly facility in Michigan.

Built on the GM Alpha platform, the CT5 shares a production line with the smaller CT4, and current Chevrolet Camaro that is imported and right-hand-drive converted by HSV.

GM came close to launching the Cadillac brand in Australia in 2008, but the global financial crisis put the pin in its ambitions.

Since then, Cadillac executives have told various Australian media outlets that a local launch is still on the cards, with the latest information pointing to a circa-2020 debut in line with a new-generation of fresh product.

The CT5 would definitely qualify, as the new model was only revealed earlier this year in April, with a US on-sale date scheduled for later this year.

A performance-orientated CT5-V version was also shown at the end of June, powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine producing 265kW/542Nm, which stacks up favourably against the current top-spec ZB Commodore VXR’s 235kW/381Nm 3.6-litre V6.

Crucially, drive in the CT5 is sent to the rear axle as standard, unlike the current ZB Commodore’s front-axle layout, with all-wheel-drive available as an option.

While the CT5 and CT5-V have already been shown to the public, negating the need for camouflage, the Melbourne vehicle could be the heavily rumoured V8 version that is expected to be powered by  the ‘Blackwing’ 4.2-litre twin-turbo bent-eight engine, which will produce in excess of 373kW.

Size-wise, the CT5 measures 4924mm long, 1883mm wide, 1452mm tall and sports a 2947mm wheelbase, compared with the ZB Commodore’s 4897mm, 1863mm, 1455mm and 2829mm figures.

Interestingly, the CT5 is nearly identical in size to the last Australian-built VFII Commodore, which measures 4964mm long, 1898mm wide, 1471mm tall with a 2915mm wheelbase.

However, a Cadillac introduction is far from confirmed.

The likely biggest hurdle to overcome is justification of low-volume, right-hand-drive production, while the shrinking sedan segment is also another factor.

Though Holden could not confirm whether the vehicle spotted is indeed the CT5, the model has been spied in Australia before, albeit ahead of its reveal, with the lion brand confirming it works on "emissions and transmission calibrations for a gamut of cars across GM brands, typically focussing on rear- and all-wheel drive".

Earlier this year, Cadillac unveiled its CT5 sedan, which competes against the likes of the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, with the smaller CT4 slotting in to rival the 3 Series and C-Class respectively.

Do you think Cadillacs should share showroom space with Holden? Tell us what you think in the comments below.