First Look: 2012 Cadillac DRW Platinum Heavy-Duty Pickup Truck - April Fools!


Rendering by Jon Sibal for

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.


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