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Auto blogSat, 25 Jan 2014
To luxury automakers, long-wheelbase sedans are to China that crossovers and SUVs are to the US, so it isn't all that surprising any more when the latest sedan gets an extra couple of inches between the wheels to improve rear-seat comfort. According to Car News China, the next sedan to get the stretch will be the Cadillac ATS, which will increase the wheelbase by 10 centimeters (about four inches) to become the ATS-L.
Designed to go up against rivals like the BMW 335Li and the added-length Mercedes C-Class, the ATS-L will reportedly be built locally in China with an engine list that will grow as well. Currently, only the 2.0-liter turbo engine is offered in the ATS in China, but the ATS-L will get the full spectrum of ATS engines including the base 2.5-liter and the peppier 3.6-liter V6. This isn't the first time Cadillac has offered a China-specific stretched sedan either as the SLS dates back to 2006.
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's new President Johan de Nysschen has faced a fair amount of criticism since assuming his position at the head of the American luxury manufacturer. From the company's move to New York City to a controversial new naming scheme, the first few months of his tenure have not been smooth sailing. Now, the embattled exec is firing back against his critics, notably Automotive News Editor-in-Chief Keith Crain, in a new column running in AN.
De Nysschen countered Crain's claim that the move to the Big Apple, "can only mean that someone wants to live in New York."
"The relocation decision is entirely unrelated to the personal living preferences of any Cadillac executive. No corporation would tolerate such indulgence by its leadership," de Nysschen wrote. "It is about structurally entrenching a challenge to the status quo by reinforcing the psychological and physical separation in business philosophy between the mainstream brands and GM's luxury brand."