It’s been a long time since the first test mules of the XT4 started roaming the streets of North America, but Cadillac is closing in on wrapping development up. Believed to be based on the D2 platform of the Chevrolet Equinox, Cadillac’s smallest SUV is actually underpinned by the E2.

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That’s right, ladies and gentlemen! The XT4 may look like a utility vehicle and may have the high driving position of a crossover, but as fate would have it, its oily bits are shared with the ninth-generation Malibu. The confirmation comes from Cadillac head honcho Johan de Nysschen.

Speaking to Bloomberg, the president of the brand declared: “It’s a new architecture for us, and it is up to the task. It’s the right size, dynamics and sophistication to attain what I believe is worthy of a Cadillac in this segment.” And just like the Malibu, the XT4 will roll off the Fairfax assembly line in Kansas. In fact, test production has already kicked off.

According to the report, “building the SUV with shared parts is a welcome plan for workers at the factory, where GM cut a third shift last year as Malibu sales plunged 18 percent.” At the end of the day, it makes sense considering the more profitable SUVs keep the old-fashion sedans alive.

Bearing in mind we know the vehicle architecture of the XT4 is the replacement for the Epsilon II, the engine lineup should include at least one turbocharged four-cylinder. Be it the front- or all-wheel-drive setup, the 2.0-liter LTG that develops 250 horsepower and 260/295 pound-feet of torque in the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback fits the bill. And speaking of the Buick, the mid-size sedan boasts nine speeds in FWD flavor and an eight-speed automatic transmission if AWD is ticked off the options list.

The naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6 in the Regal GS and 2018 Holden Commodore VXR isn’t likely to be offered, chiefly because it would snap at the heels of the XT5. It also doesn’t make sense when you think about what sort of engines BMW and Mercedes-Benz offer in the X1 and GLA.

There’s talk of the XT4 getting ready for a surprise debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, and it would be a huge surprise indeed if Cadillac were to take the veils off on January 13th. Whatever venue General Motors chooses for the XT4, make no mistake that deliveries will start in the second half of the year.

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