New twin turbo 3.6 with 8 speed automatic ups the game.
Apparently the new CTS hits the ground running, seriously with the new twin turbo 3.6 V6/8 speed automatic. It's rated @ 420 horsepower. Sharing this new engine, the XTS gets some serious upgrades. Ford's EcoBoost 3.5 twin turbo is down 55 horsepower as compared to GM's twin turbo 3.6. Plus Ford doesn't have an 8 speed transaxle yet nor an 8 speed automatic for it's RWD vehicles including the F-150.
The new CTS comes with 3 powertrain choices and 8 speed automatic in each. The 2.0 turbo I4, the current 3.6 without turbo and the twin turbo 3.6. This pretty much nails the BMW 5 series. Plus the CTS-V arrives in about 12 months which directly competes with the BMW M5. The Mercedes C Class isn't in this picture without serious attention to powertrains.
The Lincoln MKS EcoBoost and the XTS twin turbo compete directly even in pricing, probably. An 8 speed transaxle for the XTS, LaCrosse, Impala hasn't been mentioned, however, we'll just wait and see.
The ATS isn't yet mentioned, that said the ATS likely gets the 8 speed automatic and the twin turbo 3.6 (at some point). In the coming ATS-V perhaps? Although no mention yet, I expect improved mileage ratings and better overall performance. My current ATS with 3.6 has mileage ratings of 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and the average of 22 mpg overall. This with a 0 to 60 mph in the very low 5 second range. I'm seeing an average 24.8 mpg over the first 2200 miles.
With the Chevrolet SS already announced, I do not expect the new Impala will receive the twin turbo 3.6 option. Perhaps the Buick LaCrosse though. Why not in the Buick Enclave and GMC Denali? Ford puts the 3.5 EcoBoost in the Explorer.