Cadillac Makes Two Moves to Up Its Technology Game

GM announced they are going to integrate their Super Cruise system—a hands-free option for highway travel originally available in only the Cadillac CT6—to the entire Cadillac brand in 2020 and then the GM brand as well.

GM stated that Super Cruise is a feature that people come into dealerships and ask about. It was intended as a reaction to Tesla’s autonomous system. Super Cruise is the first driver assist system to use LiDAR for data mapping, cameras, sensors and GPS to drive a vehicle. However, the system is much more conservative in some regards. Super Cruise using a facial recognition technology to gauge driver alertness.

If a driver is completely unresponsive Super Cruise brings the vehicle to a complete stop and contacts a rescue team via OnStar—Super Cruise requires a service plan with OnStar.

Cadillac is also releasing their new V2X communication technology by 2023. V2X is a term used in the auto industry meaning “vehicle to everything” communication. The industry views it as a new path forward in automotive safety features. This technology would allow a vehicle to talk to everything from pieces of infrastructure or the smartphone in a pedestrian’s pocket.

Cadillac President Makes Quarter-Million Dollar Price Tag Boast

Johann de Nysschen, President of Cadillac thinks that the company can come up with a luxury car that will sell for around 250K.

Nysschen, newly named Cadillac’s President in August, is spearheading a product overhaul that will cost GM about 2.5 billion dollars over the next six years.

Nysschen told Reuters in an interview that “It is too early today for a $250,000 Cadillac, fifteen years from now, it won’t be.” at the moment Cadillac’s flagship model, the XTS sedan, sells for 70k at most—and even those with poor math skills or lack of a calculator can see that is literally hundreds of thousands less than their current top price tag. The XTS is also tens of thousands less than best luxury models of import competitors like BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Nysschen stated that their new top of the line luxury model, the CT-6 would be priced around 70k. And that by 2020 a larger, more expensive model is their goal.

Joe Victor

A Short But Sweet Ride: Gate-to-Gate Chauffeur Service

Many of us would probably place getting from gate to gate to catch a connecting flight in our top 10 list of travel pet peeves. For high flying high rollers this tantrum-causing travel inconvenience just got a lot sweeter.

Three major airlines offer a tarmac chauffeur service to their big spending frequent fliers to get them to their connecting flight in comfort and style. United Airlines teamed up with Porsche to provide this service. Delta has teamed up with Mercedes.

Not wanting to fall behind in the race to keep fabulous jet setters happy, American Airlines teamed up with Cadillac to provide it’s ConciergeKey club members with gate-to-gate service. The service will be test-piloted at Los Angeles International Airport, but American Airlines plans to expand the service to Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, New York’s LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The service isn’t available by request and ConciergeKey membership is by invitation only! However, Cadillac will soon be offering frequent flier points for test-driving Cadillacs.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-american-airlines-teams-up-with-cadillac-20141003-story.html

Joe Victor

Plug-In Car Technology: From Economy to Royalty

Well, Jody Victor, if you haven’t yet seen the 2014 Cadillac ELR, you need to take a look. Like the rest of the 2014 fleet, the ELR is far from the big, square asphalt-sailing boats some of us remember our grandparents driving. The design of the ELR has been described by Car and Driver as: “Low, chiseled, aggressive, provocative, and uncompromised by any concession to practicality, it seems to have been time-warped out of some Gene Roddenberry–spec, 23rd-century future onto today’s roads.”

Over the years Cadillac has done a great job keeping their image relevant, whether it has been through their advertising or product design. Now, keeping step with the cleaner, “greener” car movement, the ELR is the next step in their ever evolving product line and image.

Car and Driver reports that the ELR is based on the same technology as the “humble” Chevy Volt! Though you wouldn’t know it by looking. Like the Volt, the ELR runs mostly on electricity, though the vehicle does still need a standard combustion engine to keep the lithium ion battery charged. Which means the almost 80K vehicle qualifies for a federal tax credit of up to 7,500 dollars.

You can read more about what Car and Driver had to say here.

Jody, Cadillac sure has taken the clean car movement to the next level.

~ Joe Victor

Jody Victor® finds out about the new Cadillac

Jody told Joe Victor about the new Cadillac ELR 2 + 2 Coupe:

Cadillac is introducing its brand new ELR 2 + 2 Coupe at the Detroit Auto Show this year. The coupe is based on the more humble Chevy Volt but promises to be quite a luxurious ride! This all electric propulsion system is backed up by a four cylinder gasoline engine and whether or not there will be a power upgrade from the 149 hp Volt has yet to be revealed. However, Chris Thomason, ELR chief engineer in a statement released with the photo says, “Cadillac customers are going to enjoy the unique features ELR will bring to the market. We’re going to change the way people think about luxury and electrification.”

Read more about it.

Joe and Jody Victor would like to go to Texas!

This is for me. I think Jody Victor® and I ought to head to Texas. A new toll road just opened from San Antonio to Austin with the highest speed limit in America at 85 mph. To test the new camera system designed to catch toll evaders (sounds like a new video game), the State of Texas had Hennessey Performance provide a 1200 hp CTS-V high performance Cadillac to make a run in excess of 180. Well, the cameras worked and all said and done the Cadillac hit 220.5 mph which translates into a trip from San Antonio to Austin in about 12 minutes! Hey, Jody what do you say? Let’s go see if they will let us do it? Check it out, here is the article with a video of the run.

Joe asks Jody Victor®: Best Quality Cars IV

Want a vehicle with the fewest annoying problems? I asked Jody Victor®  to finish up his list based on a survey of customer satisfaction in the first 90 days from J.D. Power and Associates.

Jody Victor®: Here we go! The last installment from an article by Clifford Atiyeh of msn.com.

Top Midsize Premium Crossover/SUV: Lexus RX

Lexus pretty much invented the luxury crossover segment with the first RX 15 years ago. It had a level of quality and style that other automakers couldn’t match for many years. Today, it’s still one of the best. The RX’s ride is quiet and smooth, and the interior is posh. The mouse controller on the infotainment system is almost impossible to use, though.

Top Large Premium Crossover/SUV: Cadillac Escalade

This old-school Cadillac is huge and dripping with chrome all the way down to its 22-inch rims. It’s not even as nice as it could be inside for its $80,000 price tag. But high-tech features such as magnetic suspension give this rig outstanding poise for its supersize weight. Choosing an Escalade means you have little concern for gas prices or getting your car stolen, which insurance companies agree is likely to happen.

Top Large Pickup: GMC Sierra 1500

Tough construction, good reliability and above-average resale value make full-size General Motors pickups easy choices. Plus, they come in many configurations and styles to fit any budget and occupation. Denali models are especially well-trimmed and chromed without being gaudy. Plus, a natural-gas option is now available for those who have access to the cheap fuel.

Top Midsize Pickup: Nissan Frontier

American manufacturers aren’t paying much attention to smaller pickups anymore, so it goes without saying that Nissan has a good — if extremely basic — truck for this segment. The Frontier is short on refinement, but it offers a spacious bed and enough torque for most jobs. It’s a prime example that keeping things simple can pay off in the long run.

Top Minivan: Nissan Quest

If you can live with its funky, upright design, you’ll find the Nissan Quest perfectly capable for minivan duty. Folding seats, an under-floor cargo bin, available DVD entertainment systems, power doors, a dual glass moon-roof — it’s all here. That Nissan has beaten its more popular van rivals from Honda and Toyota is impressive, although we’re still partial to the Odyssey.

Thanks, Jody! We’ll be sure to check them all out!

Joe Victor

Joe asks Jody Victor®: Best Quality Cars, 2012 IV

For our final installment, Jody Victor®  has saved the best til’ last. Here he is with the rest of the best quality cars for 2012 from J.D. Power and Associates.

Jody Victor®: I think you may be right, Joe. There’s some great all-around vehicles in this last part from an article by Cliffor Atiyeh of  msn.com.

Top Large Crossover/SUV: Ford Expedition

This is a weird choice, considering that the Expedition has been long forgotten in the Ford lineup in favor of smaller, more fuel-efficient SUVs. For its sheer towing capacity, living-room size and brute strength, it’s hard to argue with an Expedition or its luxury cousin, the Lincoln Navigator. We’d like to think that better, more modern V8-powered 3-row SUVs are available.

Top Midsize Premium Crossover/SUV: Lexus RX

Lexus pretty much invented the luxury crossover segment with the first RX 15 years ago. It had a level of quality and style that other automakers couldn’t match for many years. Today, it’s still one of the best. The RX’s ride is quiet and smooth, and the interior is posh. The mouse controller on the infotainment system is almost impossible to use, though.

Top Large Premium Crossover/SUV: Cadillac Escalade

This old-school Cadillac is huge and dripping with chrome all the way down to its 22-inch rims. It’s not even as nice as it could be inside for its $80,000 price tag. But high-tech features such as magnetic suspension give this rig outstanding poise for its supersize weight. Choosing an Escalade means you have little concern for gas prices or getting your car stolen, which insurance companies agree is likely to happen.

Top Large Pickup: GMC Sierra 1500

Tough construction, good reliability and above-average resale value make full-size General Motors pickups easy choices. Plus, they come in many configurations and styles to fit any budget and occupation. Denali models are especially well-trimmed and chromed without being gaudy. Plus, a natural-gas option is now available for those who have access to the cheap fuel.

Top Midsize Pickup: Nissan Frontier

American manufacturers aren’t paying much attention to smaller pickups anymore, so it goes without saying that Nissan has a good — if extremely basic — truck for this segment. The Frontier is short on refinement, but it offers a spacious bed and enough torque for most jobs. It’s a prime example that keeping things simple can pay off in the long run.

Top Minivan: Nissan Quest

If you can live with its funky, upright design, you’ll find the Nissan Quest perfectly capable for minivan duty. Folding seats, an under-floor cargo bin, available DVD entertainment systems, power doors, a dual glass moon-roof — it’s all here. That Nissan has beaten its more popular van rivals from Honda and Toyota is impressive, although we’re still partial to the Odyssey.

 Thanks, Jody! We’ll be sure to check some of these out!

Joe Victor

Joe asks Jody Victor®: Best Quality Cars, 2012 Part IV

The last group did include some of my favorites. Cant’ wait to see what Jody Victor® will include this time from an article by Clifford Atiyeh from MSN Autos and msn.com.

Jody Victor®: Yes Joe, we saved the best for last. Here is our last installment on the best of the best for 2012.

Top Large Crossover/SUV: Ford Expedition

This is a weird choice, considering that the Expedition has been long forgotten in the Ford lineup in favor of smaller, more fuel-efficient SUVs. For its sheer towing capacity, living-room size and brute strength, it’s hard to argue with an Expedition or its luxury cousin, the Lincoln Navigator. We’d like to think that better, more modern V8-powered 3-row SUVs are available.

Top Midsize Premium Crossover/SUV: Lexus RX

Lexus pretty much invented the luxury crossover segment with the first RX 15 years ago. It had a level of quality and style that other automakers couldn’t match for many years. Today, it’s still one of the best. The RX’s ride is quiet and smooth, and the interior is posh. The mouse controller on the infotainment system is almost impossible to use, though.

Top Large Premium Crossover/SUV: Cadillac Escalade

This old-school Cadillac is huge and dripping with chrome all the way down to its 22-inch rims. It’s not even as nice as it could be inside for its $80,000 price tag. But high-tech features such as magnetic suspension give this rig outstanding poise for its supersize weight. Choosing an Escalade means you have little concern for gas prices or getting your car stolen, which insurance companies agree is likely to happen.

Top Large Pickup: GMC Sierra 1500

Tough construction, good reliability and above-average resale value make full-size General Motors pickups easy choices. Plus, they come in many configurations and styles to fit any budget and occupation. Denali models are especially well-trimmed and chromed without being gaudy. Plus, a natural-gas option is now available for those who have access to the cheap fuel.

Top Midsize Pickup: Nissan Frontier

American manufacturers aren’t paying much attention to smaller pickups anymore, so it goes without saying that Nissan has a good — if extremely basic — truck for this segment. The Frontier is short on refinement, but it offers a spacious bed and enough torque for most jobs. It’s a prime example that keeping things simple can pay off in the long run

Top Minivan: Nissan Quest

If you can live with its funky, upright design, you’ll find the Nissan Quest perfectly capable for minivan duty. Folding seats, an under-floor cargo bin, available DVD entertainment systems, power doors, a dual glass moon-roof — it’s all here. That Nissan has beaten its more popular van rivals from Honda and Toyota is impressive, although we’re still partial to the Odyssey.

Thanks, Jody! We’ll be sure to check them all out!

Joe Victor

 

Joe asks Jody Victor®:12 Cars We Can’t Wait to Drive

The annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit can induce serious sensory overload. For a true car nut, it’s like being a kid in a candy store – drooling over all that tasty sheet metal. I asked Jody Victor  to tell us about 12 of them (in 3 instalments) from an article by Kirk Bell of MSN Autos, and msn.com.

Jody Victor: Hey Joe, can’t wait to see and drive some of these fantastic vehicles. Here’s the first batch.

Acura NSX Concept – The original NSX was the everyman’s supercar. The car, sold in the U.S. from 1990 to 2005, wasn’t overly powerful, but handled like it was on rails thanks to a low curb weight, ideal weight balance and a low center of gravity. The all-new NSX, which is due out within the next three years, will rely on technology to achieve the same — or, hopefully, better — results in the twisties. The concept’s midmounted V6 engine is connected to a dual-clutch automatic transmission with a built-in electric motor that sends power to the rear wheels. An additional pair of electric motors sits at the front axle to provide all-wheel drive. This new setup can shuttle torque from left to right just like in Acuras equipped with current SH-AWD, although in the NSX it’s done electrically.

2013 Audi S4 – The Audi S4 doesn’t get an appreciably new look for the 2013 model year, but it does retain the traits that have made it one of our favorite sport sedans. It’s still well-balanced, and handling is still aided by lightweight aluminum suspension components and the Audi drive select system, which includes adjustable shock absorbers. The 333-horsepower 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine offers plenty of willing power and decent fuel economy. Our only concern is the new electric-assist steering. Let’s hope it has as much road feel as, or more than, the outgoing hydraulic system.

2013 Cadillac ATS – When an automaker is serious about developing a car with world-class handling, it sends a group of engineers to test that vehicle on Germany’s famed Nurburgring road circuit. Cadillac did just that with the 2013 ATS compact sedan. Designed to compete with the BMW 3-Series, the ATS has true sport sedan credentials: low mass (it will be the lightest car in the class), extensive use of high-strength steel, rear- or all-wheel drive, Magnetic Ride Control suspension and Brembo brakes. We are looking forward to both the turbocharged 2.0-liter 270-horsepower four-cylinder and the 3.6-liter 318-horsepower V6 engines.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS – The Chevrolet Sonic was one of the pleasant surprises of 2011. Its solid structure gives the car a dynamic character unmatched in its segment. The 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, while a bit underpowered in the Chevy Cruze, is right at home in the lighter Sonic. The RS is a sportier version of the likable subcompact. With a lower stance and stiffer suspension, the RS will be even more agile than the base car. Revised gearing should make it slightly quicker, and some exterior modifications make it look a little meaner. We’ll go so far as to say the Sonic RS could be the poor man’s GTI.

Thanks, Jody! More next time!

Joe Victor