2013 Cadillac XTS Limousine
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Auto blogFri, 30 Aug 2013 15:58:00 EST
Prepare for a few years of technological saber-rattling, as the world's automakers begin pushing to bring self-driving cars to market. Earlier this week, Nissan announced that it aims to offer autonomous vehicles by 2020, while Google, BMW and several other marks are working on similar efforts.
General Motors is doing things differently, though. Rather than push for a fully autonomous car, it's continuing to refine its semi-autonomous Super Cruise, a product that we tested in April 2012 and that will eventually see use on some Cadillacs before trickling down to the rest of the General Motors family. Super Cruise, which is undergoing testing in the Cadillac SRX, doesn't take complete control out of the driver's hands. Rather, under a very specific set of circumstances on the freeway, it will marry the capabilities of things like lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control to allow the driver to take their hands off the wheel. All of which sounds a lot like the system Mercedes-Benz is launching on the 2014 S-Class.
The system is still in development, according to John Capp, GM's director of electrical controls and active safety technology. Now that that the biggest hurdle, steering control, has been cleared, GM's engineers can focus on things like teaching the system to adapt to differing road conditions and visibility levels. As we reported in 2012, Super Cruise is still befuddled in low-visibility situations or when road markings aren't particularly clear.
Spy photographers have spotted something interesting. Cadillac engineers have taken to public streets with the upcoming ATS-V and a playmate: the current BMW M3 Sedan. The prototype seen here wears a more aggressive front fascia, flared fenders and beefy brakes. Quad exhaust tips and what looks to be a small lip spoiler on the trunk deck sum up the most obvious visual changes over the standard ATS outside. Word has it the ATS-V will bow with the same twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 available in the nose of the XTS. In that application, the engine is good for a stout 410 horsepower, which should be more than enough to hustle the sedan around a track.
Other details are still murky, however. First and foremost: will GM offer the ATS-V with an honest manual transmission, like it does with its big brother, the CTS-V? Something tells us we won't have long to wait to find out - the machine will likely bow next year as a 2015 model. Until then, dig in on our newest bevy of spy photos.
Cadillac has got big plans in place to revitalize its lineup, with new sedans, coupes and crossovers. And it all starts with this, the replacement for the SRX.
Expected to be called XT5 in line with the brand's new naming scheme, the crossover will be based on a scalable new platform called C1XX - or Chi, for short. In its shorter form, Chi is anticipated to underpin the XT5 as well as a new Chevy crossover and the next-gen GMC Acadia. In long-wheelbase form, the platform is slated to give us a larger Cadillac crossover as well as a new Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse.
Power in the XT5 will be provided by a choice of turbo four or atmospheric six, potentially to be transmitted through GM's new nine-speed automatic.