Rendering by Jon Sibal for PickupTrucks.com
When it comes to trucks, you can never have too much torque or, apparently, luxury. Cadillac is expanding its vehicle lineup with its first-ever heavy-duty pickup, the DRW Platinum, which will debut later this month at the 2011 New York Auto Show.
"The all-new 2011 GMC Sierra Denali HD has been extremely successful, but we heard from our buyers that they wanted even more luxury," Cadillac spokeswoman April Fursten said. "[GM CEO Dan Akerson] said if they wanted luxury, then we needed to make the Cadillac of heavy–duty trucks."
The DRW Platinum shares the same one-ton platform as the Chevrolet Silverado 3500 and GMC Sierra 3500 pickups with a few key differences that make it worthy of the crest and wreath emblem.
The DRW Platinum will only be available in a dual-rear-wheel crew cab configuration with the 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 diesel engine, but the Duramax is getting a power boost that’s exclusive to Cadillac. It will be rated at 410 horsepower and 810 pounds-feet of torque, making it the most powerful oil burner available among heavy-duty pickups. The Duramax will also be paired with an all-new eight-speed Allison "1000-8" transmission.
"We’re going further than anyone has ever gone before," Fursten said. Towing and hauling details will be provided at a later date, but we’re told to expect "galactic-sized numbers."
To differentiate the Cadillac DRW from the Silverado and Sierra, the DRW gets a unique front end, side doors, rear taillights and Cadillac-specific wheels, but inside the truck there’s an all-new interior that includes seats skinned with leather from organically fed free-range Texas cattle and a touch-sensitive control panel similar to the one in the Chevy Volt. The button-free controls will work even if the driver is wearing heavy gloves. Another industry first innovation is a push-button automatic tailgate. There will also be an in-dash docking port for an iPad, which will come standard with every DRW in a unique partnership with Apple Computers.
"The iPad will have a special Cadillac-exclusive towing app that Apple is co-developing with our truck engineers, called iTow," Fursten said. "We’re taking advantage of the iPad’s internal gyroscopes, GPS chip and cellular connection in a magical new way that will make towing a trailer very easy. We’re still trying to decide what it will do."
The DRW Platinum will also feature the first application of adaptive cruise control in a heavy-duty pickup truck. Drivers will be able set a speed on the highway like conventional cruise control, but the truck will automatically adjust its speed to maintain a proper distance between vehicles in the same lane.
Pricing details are expected to be announced at the New York Auto Show, but we expect a starting price of around $80,000.