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Best and Worst GM Cars

Thu, Apr 7 2022

Oh yes, because we just love receiving angry letters from devoted Pontiac Grand Am enthusiasts, we have decided to go there. Based on a heated group Slack conversation, the topic came up about the best and worst GM cars. First of all time, and then those currently on sale, and then just mostly a rambling discussion of Oldsmobiles our parents and grandparents owned (or engineered). Eventually, three of us made the video above. Like it? Maybe we can make more. Many awesome GM cars are definitely going unmentioned here, so please let us know your bests and worsts in the comments below. Mostly, it's important to note that this post largely exists as a vehicle for delivering the above video that dives far deeper into GM's greatest hits and biggest flops, specifically those from the 1980s and 1990s. What you'll find below is a collection of our editors identifying a best current and best-of-all-time choice, plus a worst current and worst-of-all-time choice. Comprehensive it is not, but again, comments. -Senior Editor James Riswick Best Current GM Vehicle Chevrolet Corvette We were flying by the seats of our pants a bit in this first outing and my notes were similarly extemporaneous. When it came time to tie it all together on camera, I failed spectacularly. Thank the maker for text, because this gives me the opportunity to perhaps slightly better explain my convoluted reasoning. I chose the C8 Corvette because it's simply overwhelmingly good, and it's merely the baseline from which this generation of Corvette will be expanded.  While the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing (more on that in a minute) is an amazing snapshot of GM's current performance standing and its little sibling so enraptured me that I went out and bought one, their existence is fleeting. Corvette will live on; forced-induction Cadillac sport sedans, not so much. So while all three are amazing machines when viewed in a vacuum, the Corvette stands above them as both a reflection of GM's current performance credentials and a signpost of what is to come. So, given the choice between the C8 and the 5V-Blackwing right now, I'd choose the C8. In 10 years, when the Blackwing is no longer in production and Corvette is in its 9th generation? Well, that might be a different story. Now, just pretend I said something even remotely that coherent when we get to the part of the video where I try to make an argument for the 5-V Blackwing as best GM car I've ever driven. Or just laugh at me while I ramble incoherently.

A car writer's year in new vehicles [w/video]

Thu, Dec 18 2014

Christmas is only a week away. The New Year is just around the corner. As 2014 draws to a close, I'm not the only one taking stock of the year that's we're almost shut of. Depending on who you are or what you do, the end of the year can bring to mind tax bills, school semesters or scheduling dental appointments. For me, for the last eight or nine years, at least a small part of this transitory time is occupied with recalling the cars I've driven over the preceding 12 months. Since I started writing about and reviewing cars in 2006, I've done an uneven job of tracking every vehicle I've been in, each year. Last year I made a resolution to be better about it, and the result is a spreadsheet with model names, dates, notes and some basic facts and figures. Armed with this basic data and a yen for year-end stories, I figured it would be interesting to parse the figures and quantify my year in cars in a way I'd never done before. The results are, well, they're a little bizarre, honestly. And I think they'll affect how I approach this gig in 2015. {C} My tally for the year is 68 cars, as of this writing. Before the calendar flips to 2015 it'll be as high as 73. Let me give you a tiny bit of background about how automotive journalists typically get cars to test. There are basically two pools of vehicles I drive on a regular basis: media fleet vehicles and those available on "first drive" programs. The latter group is pretty self-explanatory. Journalists are gathered in one location (sometimes local, sometimes far-flung) with a new model(s), there's usually a day of driving, then we report back to you with our impressions. Media fleet vehicles are different. These are distributed to publications and individual journalists far and wide, and the test period goes from a few days to a week or more. Whereas first drives almost always result in a piece of review content, fleet loans only sometimes do. Other times they serve to give context about brands, segments, technology and the like, to editors and writers. So, adding up the loans I've had out of the press fleet and things I've driven at events, my tally for the year is 68 cars, as of this writing. Before the calendar flips to 2015, it'll be as high as 73. At one of the buff books like Car and Driver or Motor Trend, reviewers might rotate through five cars a week, or more. I know that number sounds high, but as best I can tell, it's pretty average for the full-time professionals in this business.

2016 Cadillac ATS-V blasts into LA

Tue, 18 Nov 2014

The first details about the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V recently hit the web ahead of the official debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Now, the latest model to wear Caddy's high-performance V moniker is officially official, and the specs are even better than initial rumors suggested.
The latest figures actually give the ATS-V a hair more power than first believed, with 455 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque pumping out of the twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6. With a standard electronic limited-slip differential keeping rear wheels in check, Cadillac claims that the model sprints to 60 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 185 mph. Buyers have two transmission choices that both offer launch control: a six-speed manual featuring Active Rev Match and no-lift shifting, or an eight-speed automatic.
Thoroughly revised suspension and braking systems should also mean that the ATS-V excels at more than just going in a straight line. The chassis itself receives extra bracing to boost overall stiffness by 25 percent over lesser ATS models. On top of that, a host of suspension upgrades front and rear, including third-generation Magnetic Ride Control dampers, mean quicker steering response and a tighter ride. Plus, Brembo six-piston calipers up front and four-pistons in the rear should bring rapid deceleration. To tune it all to the driver's whim, the Performance Traction Management system gives five settings to choose from for stability and traction control.

Cadillac HQ has a New York address

Sun, 16 Nov 2014

The new home of Cadillac will be in the 330 Hudson building in New York City's Hudson Square, putting the luxury marque smack dab in the middle of three of the city's hippest areas, SoHo, Greenwich Village and Tribeca.
The announcement is yet another milestone in the company's controversial decision to relocate administrative and marketing operations away from Detroit and into the Big Apple.
"The addition of a headquarters office in New York is a key step in Cadillac's ongoing global expansion," Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen said, according to The Detroit Free Press. "There is no better atmosphere in which to better immerse ourselves into luxury consumer and brand expertise."

Corvette's Performance Data Recorder headed to other cars, will Cadillac ATS-V be first?

Fri, 14 Nov 2014

For 2015, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray gained a novel piece of high-performance technology: The Performance Data Recorder. This trick system combines video from a front-mounted camera with in-car data and GPS information to help drivers record and study their lap times, complete with data overlays. While it's a clever tool for track days, it's also finding popularity as a built-in dash cam of sorts. To this point, the technology has been a Corvette exclusive, but General Motors' executive vice president of global product development, Mark Reuss, has confirmed to Autoblog that it will soon be available in other vehicles.
At a media luncheon on Thursday, we asked whether GM was keen to expand usage of the technology to other models, and if we could expect to see something soon. Reuss coyly replied, "What's soon?" When we suggested the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V (which is scheduled to debut at next week's LA Auto Show), he replied, "There will be other uses, and it won't be that far away. How's that?"
Certainly not an outright confirmation, but we wouldn't be at all surprised to see the next high-po Cadillac roll under the klieg lights at the Los Angeles Convention Center next Wednesday brandishing more than just 450 horsepower.

Cadillac back on track with 600-hp ATS-V.R racer in FIA GT3 spec [w/video]

Fri, 14 Nov 2014

There was already a rumor brewing that Cadillac might eschew the CTS as its racecar next season in favor of the ATS Coupe. It turns out that is absolutely the case, and now we know just what this 600-horsepower, future racer looks like. The coupe might not be limited to competing in just the US, though, because it's built to FIA GT3-specifications, meaning that this Caddy is also eligible to race in over 30 series worldwide against the likes of Bentley, McLaren, Audi and other premium brands.
The heart of this massively winged Cadillac is an engine dubbed the LF4.R. It's based around the unit in the production ATS-V and CTS Vsport but with larger turbos, bigger intercoolers, side exhausts and other tricks. Cadillac claims it makes a monstrous 600 hp and 520 pound-feet of torque in unrestricted form.
As the photo above shows, the ATS-V.R also wears an aggressive aero kit with a carbon fiber front splitter, and a wing at the back that could probably double as a picnic table in a pinch. The dry weight of the whole package is quoted at about 2,900 pounds, which is around 700 pounds less than the street version.

GM laying off 510 amidst slow Cadillac, small car sales

Wed, 12 Nov 2014

General Motors is laying off about 510 workers from two factories beginning in January, and it could be months before the automaker needs some of that latent capacity to come back on line. A combination of poor sales and high dealer inventories are prompting the cutbacks, according to Automotive News.
The largest changes come at GM's Lansing Grand River plant, where the Cadillac ATS and CTS are made. An entire shift of about 350 workers is being laid off, but the automaker hopes to find positions for some of them at other nearby factories. The decision leaves just a single shift building vehicles there. According to Automotive News, the move is partially spurred by Johan de Nysschen's plan to make Cadillac a more exclusive brand.
The lost shift will likely return for production of the next-generation Chevrolet Camaro at the plant, according to the report, but GM isn't saying when that will be. A previous announcement from the Canadian Auto Workers union indicated that the Oshawa, Ontario, factory would lose the coupe in late 2015 or early 2016.

2016 Cadillac ATS-V brandishes 450 horses and 6-speed manual

Tue, 11 Nov 2014

Details about the hotly anticipated 2016 Cadillac ATS-V are tumbling out, and they look to be everything we could ask for in a high-performance Caddy coupe.
According to Road & Track, the ATS-V will use a version of the twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 from the CTS Vsport, but the wick will be turned up to 450 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. In glorious news for driving enthusiasts everywhere, that potent mill will be available with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic.
According to R&T, the engine has a heap of high-performance tech to let it make the extra ponies, including titanium connecting rods, two water-to-air intercoolers, titanium turbines for the turbos and an additional radiator dedicated to cooling the gearbox and electronically locking differential. Keeping it all planted are a set of Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, and a suspension with 50 percent more roll stiffness.

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

Thu, 30 Oct 2014

Cadillac has become a very, very different company since the dawn of the new millenium. Its turn-of-the-century lineup, consisting of staid offerings like the Seville, DeVille and Eldorado, represented the Old Cadillac. These cars were plagued with Old GM quality issues and catered to a more elderly audience. Since the company's Art and Science design language arrived, though, we've seen Cadillac flesh out its lineup in a big way, introducing notable and (so far) enduring products, like the the CTS, SRX and most recently, the ATS.
With the CTS tackling the 5 Series segment and the SRX duking it out with the Lexus RX and its classmates, the ATS has been left with the tough task of battling the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, among others. Critically, at least, it has excelled in this role, but it's still working on finding its feet sales-wise. On paper, broadening the model range by adding a two-door personal luxury coupe could help.
After a week with the ATS Coupe, though, we've found a car that, while retaining the standard model's excellent driving character, doesn't quite offer enough visual excitement to stand up to other cars in its segment.

SRX-replacing Cadillac XT5 spied for the very first time

Thu, 30 Oct 2014

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.