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Exterior Color: Teal
Power Options: Power Windows
Interior Color: Teal
Number of Cylinders: 8
Ambler, Pennsylvania, United States
We all know that self-driving cars are coming. It's not so much a question of If so much as When. And when it comes to General Motors products, we now have something of a date to work with, as Cadillac has announced plans to roll out what it is calling Super Cruise technology in an unnamed new model within the next two years. As you would expect, this new tech can speed the car up, slow it down and keep it in its intended lane, but GM isn't expected to release a fully self-driving car, saying that it will still require "an attentive driver."
We're not quite sure what new model Cadillac will use to launch this new technology, but our best guess would be its upcoming LTS sedan. Other possibilities may include a new crossover - we've heard rumors of CUVS coming from Caddy both above and below the current SRX - or entry-level sedan, but those seem less likely than a high-dollar flagship like the LTS.
The next techy bit of kit currently being shown off by Cadillac engineers includes vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, technology which would seemingly allow cars to travel in close proximity to one another, with less danger of collisions. According to our friends at Engadget, GM is working with the University of Michigan to outfit some 120 miles of roads in and around Detroit, MI, with the requisite sensors to make all this technology possible.
For the first time since 1998, J.D. Power and Associates says its data shows that the average number of problems per 100 cars has increased. The finding is the result of the firm's much-touted annual Vehicle Dependability Study, which charts incidents of problems in new vehicle purchases over three years from 41,000 respondents.
Looking at first-owner cars from the 2011 model year, the study found an average of 133 problems per 100 cars (PP100, for short), up 6 percent from 126 PP100 in last year's study, which covered 2010 model-year vehicles. Disturbingly, the bulk of the increase is being attributed to engine and transmission problems, with a 6 PP100 boost.
Interestingly, JDP notes that "the decline in quality is particularly acute for vehicles with four-cylinder engines, where problem levels increase by nearly 10 PP100." Its findings also noticed that large diesel engines also tended to be more problematic than most five- and six-cylinder engines.
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.