2010 Cadillac SRX

2010-cadillac-srxCadillac’s new 2010 Cadillac SRX crossover has been spotted wearing minimal checkerboard camouflage while undergoing testing and it looks like the SRX is about ready to show up at an auto show before arriving in Cadillac showrooms in mid-to-late 2009 as a 2010 model.

Through the light camo it is easy to see the SRX’s resemblance to the hydrogen-powered Cadillac Provoq concept GM showed in January at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. The shape of the greenhouse, the crease on the side, and the shapes of the C-pillars and tailgate are all quite close to those of the Provoq.

Earlier rumors of GM calling this “BRX” were quashed several months ago. But while the new crossover will still be called SRX in Cadillac’s lineup, the two vehicles have little in common. The current SRX is built on the rear-drive Sigma platform that also underpins the CTS and STS sedans, whereas this new crossover rides on a new front-drive “Theta Premium” platform (along with the upcoming 2010 Saab 9-4x), which uses some pieces from the bigger Lambda platform.

The switch to a transverse layout likely means that the V-8 option will also be going away with the SRX, which shouldn’t be surprising given that GM shelved development of a replacement for the aging Northstar, doubly so considering that GM’s direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6 achieves similar power outputs with better fuel economy. Expect a non-direct-injection V-6 with around 260 horsepower and a direct-injection V-6 with around 300 horsepower to be offered, both mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic.


2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

2009-cadillac-escalade-hybridhlAmong the vehicles to be shown at the L.A. Auto Show (and suffer blown embargos)is GM’s 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. The Escalade Hybrid will make its debut at the South Florida International Auto Show tomorrow, with a follow up in Los Angeles next week. Incorporating the GM 2-Mode Hybrid System, the automaker says a fuel savings of up to 50 percent can be realized in city driving over a comparable gasoline-only Escalade.

The system itself utilizes a 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System, and a 332-horsepower, 367 pound-feet 6.0-liter V-8 Gen IV gasoline engine with Active Fuel Management, which allows the engine to run on only four cylinders when full power is unnecessary, as when cruising at highway speeds. Being a 2-Mode Hybrid setup, the Escalade Hybrid is able to run purely on electric power during city driving. Regenerative braking and a stop/start feature are incorporated for maximum efficiency. The gasoline engine is complemented with an electrically variable transmission containing two 60kW electric motors producing 30 horsepower, three planetary gear sets, and four wet clutches. The EVT functions as a continuously variable transmission with the added advantage of automatic-like operation using the four fixed ratios — beneficial during high-load conditions.

No fuel-efficiency numbers have come forth yet from GM (we’re hoping to get those as well as some basic performance figures at the L.A. show next week), but with the standard Escalade running 12 mpg in city driving, look for around 18 mpg from the hybrid variant. GM does claim the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid’s towing capacity is 6000 pounds for two-wheel-drive models and 5700 pounds for four-wheel-drive versions.

Necessary with the 2-Mode Hybrid system are electrically driven power steering and air-conditioning systems. Both are designed to save fuel by reducing parasitic power loss from a traditional belt-driven system off the gasoline engine, while also allowing both features to be available while the gasoline engine is deactivated.

Just because the Escalade’s gone green, doesn’t mean that GM has eschewed all the standard features of the base model. An eight-inch touch-screen navigation system also capable of displaying information on the 2-Mode Hybrid system, a “distinctive” instrument panel, gauges with white needles and blue-light inlays with white-LED backing, Nuance leather seats, leather-trimmed door panels, and center console, and a power rear liftgate are all included in the Escalade Hybrid. Just two exterior colors are available, Ebony and Cashmere, and you can bet there’ll be at least a couple badges proudly announcing the vehicle as a hybrid on there somewhere.

We don’t yet have pricing information on the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, but GM has slated its eco-luxo-‘ute for summer 2008 sales. We’ll be interested in hearing just how many Escalade Hybrids GM is planning on selling, as we don’t know too many rap stars concerned with saving a few bucks at the pump.

New Cadillac SRX expected to get hybrid option

cadillac-srxWhile a boon for consumers and most industries, today’s lower gas prices are killing the alternative fuels and hybrid business.

Prius sales are down 48.3 per cent to 8,660 units in November, compared with the same month in 2007, worse than the 36.7-percent decline in overall U.S. light vehicle sales, and the Prius makes up for 75-percent of hybrid sales.

Nevertheless, automakers are feeling forced to bolster their environmentally sustainable images while betting big dollars on a market willing to spend more for clean air than any real fuel savings.

GM is betting big on the Volt, a plug-in series hybrid that will offer a more usable electric solution than its EV1 pure-electric car due to extended range, while presenting the possibility for zero emissions driving if employed for relatively short commutes back and forth to work.

But why let Chevy have all the fun, and future sales? GM is expected to offer a Volt-like series hybrid setup in a future Cadillac, and the donor car will more than likely be the next-generation SRX crossover, says Autoweek magazine.

We know that the new SRX will come with a pair of direct-injected V6 engines and the option of AWD. The smaller of the two engines, a 2.8-litre, produces 300 h.p. and 295 lb.-ft. of torque with the help of a turbo. The larger unit, a 3.0-litre powerplant, is a modified version of the 3.6L direct-injection V6 found in the CTS, and provides 260 h.p. and 221 lb.-ft. of torque.

Cadillac already makes an Escalade Hybrid, and while extremely efficient for an Escalade, it can’t be considered a fuel economy leader overall. A series hybrid drive system integrated into the next SRX would have a better chance of winning any fuel efficiency awards, and a greater chance for the higher volume sales GM needs in order to make money – that is and should remain the main objective, after all.

According to the report, both Germany’s Opel and Britain’s Vauxhall are getting versions of the Volt, and while this would normally make us look to Saturn for a US version, GM has shared that the future of its import fighting brand is in question and therefore we can surmise, not where it will be spending any big money until resolved.

Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Confirmed by GM

cadillac-cts-1A few months ago, two new Cadillac cars, the 2010 SRX Crossover and the CTS Sport Wagon were revealed. These vehicles were predominantly sports utility vehicles. So what about sedans and coupes? Well, now General Motors has revealed that the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe could be on its way soon.

Bob Lutz is the newly appointed vice chairman for GM. Now the Fastlane GM blog has posted a webchat that has Lutz revealing, “As of now, the V package is planned only for the sedan
and coupe… should sufficient demand materialize, there is no reason why we couldn’t do a V-Series wagon, and I would be standing in line for one, just ahead of you.”

But besides the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, Bob Lutz, who was previously a product head at General Motors, also spoke about the Pontiac G8 being branded as Caprice. He explains that the American automaker is still be studying the feasibility of getting it out as the Caprice not only for the public but also for law enforcement.

Cadillac Converj

Cadillac Converj concept

Cadillac Converj concept

IS IT REAL? This largely unexpected Caddy electric car bears a strange resemblance to the production-ready, gasoline-powered CTS coupe that was pulled from last November’s Los Angeles auto show, rescheduled for this Detroit show, but which has now gone missing.

WHAT THEY SAID “The electric motor in the Converj drives the wheels at all times, at all speeds,” said Robert A. Lutz,General Motors vice chairman. Driving it just on short commutes, he added, “You may never have to buy a drop of gasoline as long as you own the car.”

WHAT THEY DIDN’T SAY It just makes good sense right now to introduce yet another member of G.M.’s nascent family of politically correct extended-range electric vehicles. Like the Chevrolet Volt, this version would run for about 40 miles on electric power alone, before needing either a boost from its gas-assist engine or a few hours of recharging.

WHAT MAKES IT TICK? No one seems to know, possibly even G.M. “The battery pack could either be larger or smaller than the one in the Volt, and so could the engine,” Mr. Lutz said. Yes, despite its sleek styling, there is the impression this surprise Detroit debutante was cobbled together quickly to impress skeptical audiences of, say, congressmen.

HOW MUCH, HOW SOON? Expect premium pricing, though Mr. Lutz said G.M. is “a long way from announcing any production plan for this car.” But Mark McNabb, G.M.’s executive in charge of Cadillac, said it could be “pulled forward in 18 months” if auto show reaction is “a wow.”

HOW’S IT LOOK? In its own way, every bit as stylistically sensual as the vanished CTS coupe and its politically incorrect 550-horsepower V-8.

Cadillac XTS To Replace Cadillac STS, DTS?

Cadillac V SIXTEEN ConceptOne of the oldest automobile brands, Cadillac, is recognized all over the world. The marquee of General Motors is well known for its luxury cars. In fact, the troubled auto giant has included the luxury brand as one of its four main marques. Cadillac cars will soon be unveiled in India also.

It has models such as the Seville Touring Sedan and the DeVille Touring Sedan in North America. Now Canadian website National Post is reporting that a new sedan, named as the Cadillac XTS, could replace the STS luxury sedan and the DTS luxury car. It is expected to be built on the global Epsilon platform of General motors. It apparently will be the largest four-door sedan in their line-up.

The Cadillac XTS is scheduled to enter production in the December of 2011. The luxury stretch sedan will be made at the Oshawa assembly plant in Canada. Cadillac DTS has not being doing that well in the market and this new car is expected to take on the likes of Audi, BMW and Lexus. Just recently, Cadillac revealed two new cars for the summer.

2010 Cadillac CTS Sports Wagon

2010-Cadillac-CTS-RevealIt wasn’t that long ago that the CTS was a new-born entry-luxury sedan. Now it’s a wagon. They sure grow up quickly, don’t they?

Cadillac’s latest addition to the family is really intended to take care of your family in the fine style of the CTS sedan, but with more cargo room. Hey, why not: BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Audi have been building wagons for years.

As shapes go, the sedan-to-wagon transformation actually makes for an eye-catching hauler. In fact, the squared-off CTS appears as though it was developed before the sedan’s arrival and not the other way around. In no way does the aft section appear to be merely grafted to the sedan body. The sweep of its extended roofline blends cleanly into the rear pillar and boomerang-shaped taillights. Both contribute to wagon’s unique look, along with the rest of the knife-edged sheetmetal that continues as the major thrust of Cadillac’s current design “language.”

Another of the wagon’s exclusive features is a neatly integrated load system that uses the raised edges of the roof itself as rails for a rack. This in turn makes the removable crossbars less obtrusive.

The only obvious design drawback is the lack of interior stowage space, either with the rear seat in place or folded flat. Most wagons in the CTS’s mid-size class are shaped in a boxier fashion and thus offer considerably greater capacity. The Sport Wagon’s sleek silhouette restricts cargo room somewhat, but a vehicle that looks this good might be forgiven for this one misstep. In any event, Cadillac has an array of larger vehicles (the Escalade, for one) at the ready should carrying capacity be the critical issue.

The rest of the interior is standard-issue CTS, which means its friendly confines exude plenty of comfort and high-quality fittings. The available wood trim seems a bit out of place, but otherwise there’s lots to like about the cabin for both driver and passengers.

The powertrains are likewise straight from the 2010 CTS sedan’s playbook. A new 270-horsepower 3.0-litre V6 replaces the previous 263-horse 3.6-litre V6 as the base engine, while a 304-litre 3.6-litre V6 is optional. Both feature direct-injection technology that delivers highly pressurized fuel into each cylinder instead of through the intake manifold, resulting in more horsepower, lower emissions and improved fuel economy. There’s no official word on the latter, but expect about 7.8 l/100 km on the highway and about 13.0 in the city. A six-speed automatic transmission is connected to both powerplants.

Of note is a 250-horsepower 2.9-litre turbo-diesel that will also be made available on wagons destined for overseas delivery. We’ll have to wait and see if the diesel makes it here.

Sport Wagon buyers will be faced with selecting one of three suspension tuning levels: standard; firm ride (standard on 3.6-litre models); and sport mode. The latter includes 19-inch wheels (18s are standard). The first two settings are available in rear-, or optional all-wheel-drive, while the sport suspension can only be had in rear-wheel-drive.