Cadillac XT5 and The Future of Livery Vehicles

The year 2020 has seen a lot of uncertainty, including the future of the livery vehicle conversion chassis. In 2019 Cadillac discontinued production of the XTS, the choice luxury sedan platform for specialty vehicle builders. It’s rival, the Lincoln MKT, has also discontinued in 2019, leaving us all wondering where to go from here?

While Lincoln remains in the air, GM has moved forward with the 2021 model of its mid-size crossover SUV, the Cadillac XT5, to the certified Cadillac Master Coachbuilders “CMC”. This year Cadillac gave the XT5 a refresh with subtle style changes, new technology, and revised livery trim options.  Cadillac had previously offered a livery package for the XTS and CT6, which have both been discontinued.

As we speak, there are 2020 XT5 hearses and six-door limousines being proto-typed for development from the CMC convertors. Photos of a prototype with a significant longer wheel-base than the standard XT5 was spotted during testing back in September of this year, setting the internet into a buzz.

With the retirement of the XTS, the niche but very necessary funeral industry also has a need to be filled. By the end of the year we will begin to see the first XT5 hearses and these limousines hit the streets, which brings a lot of excitement to the industry.

Here at Infinite Innovations, we have been working hard with GM to develop the parts program to make this platform change possible.

Infinite has worked with both General Motors and Ford for over 3 decades to help engineer tooling and production to supply coachbuilders with the necessary interior and exterior parts to build specialty vehicles. Infinite has been there to make the process smooth for the builders during the development of many previous luxury conversion platforms including Lincoln Town Car & MKT models as well as Cadillac DeVille, DTS & XTS models, among others. Infinite also serves as a central stocking warehouse of these special OEM products as well as the parts that need to be longer to satisfy the needs of the additional stretched lengths of the coachbuilders. This allows operators to easily order replacement parts as well as accessories.

A lot goes into stretching and converting a vehicle into a hearse or limousine. The extended chassis requires factory style doors with OEM hinges, door handles, locking mechanisms, and interior trim to match the vehicle. Moldings for the stretch must be tooled to match the vehicle’s existing trim.  Infinite Innovations has yet again served as the liaison between GM and the builders, making sure these needs are met to manufacture the new XT5 model conversion vehicles. We are excited as we move into this new platform and what the future holds for the livery industry.

Anatomy of a Coach Light – A Brief History

What is a coach light? Coach lights, also known as opera lamps, are the slender rows of lights commonly seen attached to vehicle pillars. They are widely used on the center section of stretched limousines. Though they are not limited to just limos, they have certainly been made popular by them.

Opera lights came as a factory feature on the luxury limousine cars dating back to the 1970’s. In 1979, when Cadillac stopped making limousines, the stretched limousine became popular. By 1990, opera lights were no longer found on factory Cadillac and Lincoln cars.  That is when the aftermarket coach light was born.

Most of the original coach light styles consisted of a base that screws onto the pillar. The light base contains bulbs within light harnesses, wired into the vehicle power.  They are powered by the park lamps/headlight switch. A chrome bezel housing with a snap in lens is then screwed to the light base to make it complete.

As technology changed, so did the coach light. The use of the LED brought on the Infinite 250 coach light, the first of its kind. Instead of using incandescent bulbs, it utilized 3 white LEDs on its circuit base, creating a crisper white color. The LEDs were a popular choice, as being longer lasting than bulbs and drawing less amperage.

The Infinite coach light evolved further when it began to utilize an LED illuminating a fiber optic acrylic rod, for a more evenly diffused light with no “hotspots”. The acrylic rods also featured unique light guide styles, such as spirals or bubbles, making them stand out vibrantly.  The model 400 series became one of the most popular coach lights because of this.  Using a similar base and with the same mounting pattern or “footprint” as many older styles, it also featured a chrome bezel housing holding a sealed LED/fiber rod unit making it an easy option for replacing older style lights.

The latest and greatest option is the Infinite 900 Series, which is a larger and brighter version of the 400 series. This series features the same benefits of the selection of fiber optic light guide patterns, optional adapter gaskets, and same footprint as most lights. It stands apart with more of the light guide exposed, giving off light from more angles. The biggest benefit of the 900 series is the LE light engine. An encased LED unit that has the highest standard in reliability. The 902 version light offers dual light engines, at the top and bottom, for maximum brightness. Engines can be added or replaced to any of the 900 series lights at any time.

Infinite carries a selection all of these coach lights and more, for any and all vehicles. If you are looking to upgrade or restore, we can help. Give us a call today!

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