Auto blogSun, 21 Sep 2014
Back in April, General Motors launched an investigation into braking issues affecting the 2014 Chevy Impala. Now there's a recall of both the Impala and the Cadillac XTS with which it shares its Epsilon II platform.
The issue apparently revolves around the electronic parking brake, which may not properly disengage. As a result, the rear brake pads could rub the rotor even while the vehicle is in motion, causing "significant heat, smoke and sparks." The earlier investigation had been launched following a complaint regarding the forward collision avoidance system, which is now either appears to have been unrelated or possibly a symptom of this larger issue.
The recall affects 2013-15 XTS models manufactured between February 14, 2012, and August 22, 2014, as well as 2014-15 Impalas manufactured between January 15, 2013, and August 22, 2014. The total number of affected vehicles reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration comes to precisely 132,921 units, while The Detroit News reports a higher total of 205,000 units - the difference potentially coming down to the scope within the US and more broadly across North America. Dealers will contact owners to update the software in order to fix the problem.
Cadillac wouldn't be Cadillac without large sedans in its lineup, and while the XTS has had to hold down that end of the fort all on its own, it won't have to for too long. That's because the luxury brand in the General Motors portfolio is preparing to roll out its new LTS, stylistically previewed by the Elmiraj concept pictured above. Only now, the latest thinking is that the upcoming flagship model may not be called LTS at all.
As Automotive News points out, Cadillac's naming scheme is all over the place at the moment. The ATS slotting below the CTS makes sense (alphabetically), but where do the ELR, SRX and especially the Escalade fit into that naming hierarchy? And how would LTS - as the project has been known until now - sit above the XTS?
Fortunately, Cadillac may be on the case, as two of the division's most recent senior appointments seem keen to rationalize the naming scheme. One is Uwe Ellinghaus, who joined Cadillac as chief marketing officer late last year. Speaking of the brand's nomenclature last spring, Ellinghaus was quoted as saying, "We are aware that this is currently a weakness of the Cadillac brand." And his new boss is bound to agree.
Thu, 18 Sep 2014
"The objective for this upcoming model is to lift the Cadillac range by entering the elite class of top-level luxury cars." - Johan de Nysschen
Cadillac confirmed Friday morning it will build its new flagship sedan, expected to be called the LTS, starting in late in 2015 in Detroit.
According to new Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen, it will take between 10 and 15 years to elevate GM's top brand, which was once hailed as "The Standard Of The World," back to prominence in the minds of American customers. And to hear the executive talk of it, the brand is going to have to be willing to see sales falter in the near-term before they recover:
"Either you have to bring your volume aspirations into alignment with reality and accept that you will sell fewer cars... Or you have to drop the price and continue to transact at the prices where you were historically... I think the logical conclusion is that it's better to build off a very solid base in terms of [product] credibility, charge a fair price for the car and realize you have to wait until the volume comes."
In other words, sales will fall before they rise, and the brand has to be okay with that. Notice, too, that de Nysschen speaks of "a fair price" for Cadillac cars and utility vehicles. In this case, "fair" means more than many of the brand's traditional buyers are accustomed to, and roughly in line with the brands and machines Cadillac believes it is competing against. For instance, the newly enlarged 2014 CTS carries a suggested retail price that is over $6,000 higher than it was in 2013, and some trim levels boast an even higher price premium over the models they replace.
If you are in the market for a luxury coupe but would prefer it to be American, then you are in luck because the configurator for the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe is now online.
Prices for the Cadillac start at $38,990 (including the $995 destination fee) for the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, or $46,145 for the 321-hp, 275-lb-ft 3.6-liter V6. Gearbox options include a six-speed manual on some 2.0 models or a six-speed automatic on both of them, and they can be ordered with all-wheel drive for $2,450 to the four-cylinder or $2,600 to the 3.6.
One thing that Cadillac does especially well here is giving customers a plethora of models and options to choose from. Trim level choices include standard, luxury, performance and premium for the four-cylinder or luxury, performance and premium for the V6. There are also 10 colors available, five of which carry an extra premium of $495 or $995. Upgraded interior packages for $1,295 add improved trim and leather, as well.
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.
Automakers always face a difficult decision when it comes to styling their cars. Design them too blandly and nobody will get excited about them. But style them too aggressively and they'll often end up turning off potential buyers.
Cadillac, for its part, is no stranger to aggressive design, but when it came to the new ATS Coupe, it elected to tone things down a bit. Speaking with The Detroit News in a wide-ranging interview, Cadillac design director Bob Boniface revealed that the original design for its compact coupe was edgier - closer to that of the CTS Coupe - with a wedgier profile, a more steeply raked beltline and a more severe grille. But potential customers surveyed in clinics apparently didn't like it. They found it looked heavy, inefficient and not fun to drive. So Boniface and his team literally went back to the drawing board and "took as much visual mass out of the car as [they] could." The resulting coupe, while handsome, looks far more similar to its four-door companion than did Cadillac's CTS.
What do you think, does the new ATS Coupe look just right, or is it too conservative? Voice your opinion in our quick online poll.
I have never liked traveling to Monterey, CA. The picturesque coastal city is about 300 miles from my home in Los Angeles, which means cramped and uncomfortable regional aircraft are part of the equation when the turnaround is only one night. Over the years, I have cursed the LA Basin's bumper-to-bumper traffic en route to the airport, argued with TSA personnel over carry-on baggage and waited countless hours for the fog to lift just for the anguish of being packed into a small regional jet for the flight. Of course, the process repeats on the trip home with equal misery.
Yet this time I am not suffering.
Cadillac has dropped its all-new 2015 Escalade in my driveway. Instead of battling city congestion, attempting to reason with misinformed government agents, snacking on a too-small bag of pretzels and physically rubbing shoulders with a dubious stranger for 90-plus minutes within the confines of a bumpy aircraft, I have chosen to forgo air travel and drive myself door-to-door in a fullsize luxury sport utility vehicle.
It's a good week for the town of Spring Hill, TN, as General Motors has announced that its factory in the city of 31,000 will receive a $185 million contract to produce engines. On top of that, the next-generation Cadillac SRX crossover will be built at the factory (NA models are presently built in Ramos, Arizpe Mexico), which was once famous for being the home of GM's now-defunct Saturn brand.
The factory is one of GM's six facilities around the globe that will screw together the company's new line of three- and four-cylinder Ecotec engines. Spring Hill currently builds the 2.0-liter, turbocharged Ecotec, as well as the naturally aspirated 2.4 and 2.5-liter variants.
Spring Hill's vehicle assembly lines were idled in 2009, but were reactivated in 2011. The SRX is just one of the products meant to benefit from last year's $350-million investment, and should have a positive impact, creating or retaining around 1,800 positions at the factory.
Under Johan de Nysschen, Infiniti moved its headquarters from Yokohama, Japan, to Hong Kong. Now at Cadillac, it appears the company's new president could be planning a relocation of at least some of the brand's operations from Detroit to Manhattan, according to a new report from Reuters.
In the case of Infiniti, de Nysschen pushed for the move because moving away from the brand's Nissan overlords would allow it a bit more freedom. It's evidently a similar case for Cadillac, with Reuters speculating that such a move would help distance the brand from the corporate culture in Detroit. A Big Apple move could also attract new talent that may have considered a job with the brand but were put off by the idea of living in Detroit.
It's important to note that if such a move takes place, it likely won't affect the folks actually responsible for developing the brand's vehicles. Instead, administrative functions, including marketing, could be the focus of the relocation.