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Auto blogMon, 25 Feb 2013 17:59:00 EST
General Motors isn't the first automaker to deliver in-car Internet access, but a proposed plan announced today could make the technology more widespread than any of its competitors have offered. By the 2015 model year, most Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC products in the US and Canada will offer 4G LTE mobile broadband access. Initially, GM will just be pairing with AT&T to deliver this service, but additional carriers will be revealed in the future.
Current in-car Wi-Fi hot spots are limited to 3G, but GM says that 4G LTE is 10 times faster than 3G service and will allow for full Internet access, including streaming video for entertainment as well as services like real-time traffic updates and navigation driving directions. There is also no need for a paired smartphone with this new system, which should make it easier to use, and GM and AT&T will also be working together to develop new apps for customers.
Buyers can expect to start seeing 4G LTE in their cars starting next year, and GM is already planning to expand the service to other global markets as well. All of the information from GM's announcement is posted in a press release below.
Buick has announced pricing for the refreshed 2014 Regal. The base model offers a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, 259-horsepower, four-cylinder engine for $30,615 (*after $925 delivery and destination fee). The standard turbo can be replaced by Buick's eAssist mild hybrid system for $32,485. The electrified powertrain delivers 36 miles per gallon, in place of the turbo's 30 mpg on the highway.
The big powertrain news for 2014 is the inclusion of an all-wheel-drive system for an extra $2,175. Marking one of the few uses of all-wheel drive on a Buick car, the new Regal AWD has an electronic, limited-slip differential and a HiPer Strut front suspension, which is the same front arrangement used on the hot, front-drive Regal GS.
Speaking of the Regal GS, it's not so hot for 2014. It sports the same 259-horsepower engine as the standard Regal, but offsets that with a wealth of standard, optional or flat-out exclusive equipment like active dampers, Brembo brakes and a Bose stereo. Prices (all including the $925 fee) start at $37,830. Like the standard car, the GS will be available with all-wheel drive for the first time, bringing it a bit more in line with its cousins across the pond - Opel Insignia OPC and Vauxhall Insignia VXR. Prices for the GS AWD start at $40,195.
General Motors and its Chinese partners have announced their second recall in the People's Republic this year, following a 2,653-unit recall of the Cadillac SRX earlier this year. This latest recall affects nearly 1.5 million cars built between 2006 and 2012. It's not explicitly stated, but as there's no movement from the US NHTSA, we suspect that the cars in question were all Chinese-built rather than imports.
The vast majority of the affected vehicles are Buick Excelles (pictured), with 1.2 million units being recalled over a faulty bracket that's meant to secure the fuel pump. The Excelles in question were built between 2006 and 2012, while an additional 250,000 Chevrolet Sail superminis, built between April 2009 and October 2011, are being recalled for a similar reason.
According to the PRC's Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, the faulty bracket could crack and potentially cause a fuel leak.