New Cadillac crest leaves wreath behind

Cadillac’s unmistakable symbol has a tradition of evolution. 38 variations in total, tracing to these six landmark designs.

Cadillac’s unmistakable symbol has a tradition of evolution. 38 variations in total, tracing to these six landmark designs.

BY GERRY MILES

Well, at least it’s not the ducks again.

Cadillac has revised its emblem, ditching the symbolic wreath for a new vision of the crest that will appear on the new 2014 CTS and 2015 ATS Coupe. The new crest will start appearing on vehicles in the second half of 2014. The logo was last revised in 1999.

Sleeker and streamlined, the revised Crest first appeared on the Elmiraj concept in 2013. The long, sleekish Elmiraj may well be a sign of the future length and shapes of future Caddys.

The Cadillac Crest. Longer, lower, leaner. Ongoing evolution of Art + Science Begins to appear in production second half of 2014

The Cadillac Crest. Longer, lower, leaner. Ongoing evolution of Art + Science

“The Crest remains a consistent symbol of Cadillac and our core values,” said Andrew Smith, Cadillac executive design director. “This new Crest matches the lower, longer, leaner mantra of our current car designs, and reflects the evolution of our Art and Science philosophy.”

Accompanied over the years by a crown, chevron or laurel wreath, the Crest has been the central aspect of Cadillac heraldry throughout the brand’s history.

Cadillac Catera Crest

Cadillac Catera Crest

Caddy’s perhaps worst logo rework was with infamous rebadged Catera had ducks or mallards within the crest. It, the advertising tag line “The Caddy that zigs” and the strange TV commercials where Cindy Crawford looked more like  a dominatrix in tight black outfits than a modern professional women.

2015 Corvette Z06 takes styling, output to the max

The 2015 Corvette Z06 will deliver unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce, at least 625 horsepower from an all-new supercharged engine, and an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission, and the suite of advanced driver technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 will deliver unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce, at least 625 horsepower from an all-new supercharged engine, and an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission, and the suite of advanced driver technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray.

  • Supercar territory with race-proven design, advanced technologies and world-class performance
  • Track-focused Z07 performance package, Z06 delivers faster lap times than 2013 ZR1
  • First Corvette Z06 to offer supercharged engine, removable roof panel and paddle-shift automatic transmission

DETROIT – Chevrolet today introduced the most track-capable Corvette in the brand’s history – the 2015 Corvette Z06. It stretches the performance envelope for Corvette with unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce, at least 625 horsepower from an all-new supercharged engine, and an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission – all building on the advanced driver technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray.

“The new Z06 delivers levels of performance, technology and design that rival the most exotic supercars in the world,” said Mark Reuss, president, General Motors North America. “And the Z06 leverages the engineering expertise of GM, offering the choice of two world-class transmissions, supercar performance without supercar fuel consumption and technologies that make it easier to fully enjoy the incredible experience of driving it.”

The 2015 model is the first Corvette Z06 to offer a supercharged engine, an automatic transmission and, thanks to a stronger aluminum frame, a removable roof panel. The new, supercharged 6.2L engine is expected to deliver at least 625 horsepower (466 kW), and can be matched with either a seven-speed manual or an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for manual control. The aluminum frame carries over from the Corvette Stingray and will be used essentially unchanged for the Corvette Racing C7.R.

A track-focused Z07 Performance Package adds unique components for true aerodynamic downforce, Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires for enhanced grip, and Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors that improve braking performance and contribute to greater handling through reduced unsprung weight. Although development testing is ongoing, the Z07 package has already recorded some of the fastest lap times ever for a Corvette, surpassing even the ZR1.

“The Corvette Z06 is a great example of the technology transfer between racing and production Corvettes,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “First, we took what we learned on the Corvette Racing C6.R and applied that to the all-new Corvette Stingray. Then, using the Stingray as a foundation, the Z06 and C7.R were developed to push the envelope of performance on the street and the track.”

Supercharged, efficient performance

The 2015 Corvette Z06 features an all-new LT4 engine. The supercharged, 6.2L V-8 will deliver more than 625 horsepower, and 635 lb-ft of torque.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 features an all-new LT4 engine. The supercharged, 6.2L V-8 will deliver more than 625 horsepower, and 635 lb-ft of torque.

The heart of the 2015 Corvette Z06 is the all-new LT4 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine, expected to deliver an estimated 625 horsepower (466 kW) and 635 lb-ft of torque (861 Nm). To balance performance and efficiency, the LT4 leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray: Direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing.

These technologies – combined with the fuel-efficient multi-speed transmissions, aerodynamic design and lightweight construction – help make the new Z06 surprisingly fuel efficient.

“The supercharged LT4 engine delivers the greatest balance of performance and efficiency ever in the Corvette,” said John Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer for Small-Block engines. “It is one of the world’s only supercharged engines to incorporate cylinder deactivation technology, enabling it to cruise efficiently on the highway with reduced fuel consumption, but offer more than 600 horsepower whenever the driver calls up its tremendous power reserve.”

To maintain the Z06’s mass and performance targets, the LT4 engine was designed with a more-efficient, more-compact supercharger. Even with its integrated supercharger/intercooler assembly mounted in the valley between the cylinder heads, the engine is only about one inch (25 mm) taller than the Corvette Stingray’s LT1 engine – while delivering nearly 37 percent more horsepower and 40 percent more torque.

The new 1.7L Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger spins at up to 20,000 rpm – 5,000 rpm more than the supercharger on the Corvette ZR1’s LS9. The rotors are shorter in length, too, which contributes to their higher-rpm capability – and enables them to get up to speed quicker, producing power-enhancing boost earlier in the rpm band. That boost is achieved more efficiently, thanks to a new, more direct discharge port that creates less turbulence, reducing heat and speeding airflow into the engine.

The LT4 engine also has several unique features designed to support its higher output and the greater cylinder pressures created by forced induction, including:

Rotocast A356T6 aluminum cylinder heads that are stronger and handle heat better than conventional heads

Lightweight titanium intake valves and machined connecting rods for reduced reciprocating mass

High 10.0:1 compression ratio – for a forced-induction engine – enhances performance and efficiency and is enabled by direct injection

Forged aluminum pistons with unique, stronger structure to ensure strength under high cylinder pressures

Stainless steel exhaust headers and an aluminum balancer that are lighter than their LT1 counterparts

Standard dry-sump oiling system with larger cooler capacity than Z51; used with dual-pressure-control oil pump.

The LT4 will be built in Tonawanda, N.Y., and at the new Performance Build Center in Bowling Green, Ky.

Eight speeds, no waiting

The supercharged LT4 is offered with a standard seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match, or an all-new 8L90 eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission designed to enhance both performance and efficiency.

“Unlike most ultra-performance cars, the Corvette Z06 offers customers the choice between two transmissions to suit their driving styles,” said Juechter. “The seven-speed gives the driver the control of a true three-pedal manual transmission with perfect shifts enabled by Active Rev Matching. The new eight-speed automatic offers drivers the comfort and drivability of a true automatic transmission, as well as lightning-fast shifts and manual control for track driving.”

The seven-speed manual incorporates rev-matching technology for upshifts and downshifts. This driver-selectable feature can be easily engaged or disengaged via paddles on the steering wheel. The seven-speed is used with a new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch, which deliver greater shift quality and feel through lower inertia.

The eight-speed automatic is tuned for world-class shift-response times, and smaller steps between gears keep the LT4 within the sweet spot of the rpm band, making the most of the output of the supercharged engine for exhilarating performance and greater efficiency.

For performance driving, the transmission offers full manual control via steering wheel paddles, and unique algorithms to deliver shift performance that rivals the dual-clutch/semi-automatic transmissions found in many supercars – but with the smoothness and refinement that comes with a conventional automatic fitted with a torque converter.

In fact, the 8L90’s controller analyzes and executes commands 160 times per second, and wide-open throttle upshifts are executed up to eight-hundredths of a second quicker than those of the dual-clutch transmission offered in the Porsche 911.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 features an all-new eight-speed automatic, designed and built by GM, that is more than 8 pounds (4 kg) lighter and five-percent more fuel efficient than the six-speed automatic.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 features an all-new eight-speed automatic, designed and built by GM, that is more than 8 pounds (4 kg) lighter and five-percent more fuel efficient than the six-speed automatic.

“There’s no trade-off in drivability with the new 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission – it was designed to deliver performance on par with dual-clutch designs, but without sacrificing refinement,” said Bill Goodrich, assistant chief engineer for eight-speed automatic transmissions. “It is also the highest-capacity automatic transmission ever offered in a Chevrolet car.”

Featuring four gearsets and five clutches, creative packaging enables the GM-developed eight-speed automatic to fit the same space as the six-speed automatic used in the Corvette Stingray. Extensive use of aluminum and magnesium make it more than eight pounds (4 kg) lighter than the six-speed. Along with design features that reduce friction, the 8L90 is expected to contribute up to 5-percent greater efficiency, when compared with a six-speed automatic.

The eight-speed automatic will be built at GM’s Toledo, Ohio, transmission facility.

Designed for downforce

The performance targets of the Z06 also posed a challenge for the design team, which had to create a striking design that also contributed to increased capabilities.

Like the Corvette Stingray, a carbon-fiber hood with functional hood vent is standard on the 2015 Corvette Z06.

Like the Corvette Stingray, a carbon-fiber hood with functional hood vent is standard on the 2015 Corvette Z06.

“Practically every exterior change served a functional purpose, as this beast needed more of everything,” said Tom Peters, Corvette design director, “The flared fenders accommodate larger, wider wheels and tires for more grip. The larger vents provide more cooling air to the engine, brakes, transmission and differential for increased track capability. The more aggressive aerodynamic package generates true downforce for more cornering grip and high-speed stability.”

The design changes began not with the exterior panels, but the tires.

To deliver the levels of grip needed for the Z06’s performance targets, the Z06 was fitted with larger Michelin tires (Pilot Super Sport tires for the Z06; Sport Cup 2 tires with the Z07 package). The P285/30ZR19 front tires are 1.5 inches wider than the tires on the Stingray, while the 335/25ZR20 rear tires are two inches wider.

To cover the wider tire tread, the fenders of the Z06 were extended by 2.2 inches (56 mm) at the front, and 3.15 inches (80 mm) at the rear. These extensions give the Corvette Z06 a wider, lower appearance further emphasized by a unique rear fascia. It incorporates the same taillamp assemblies as the Stingray, but on the Z06 the taillamps are pushed approximately three inches farther apart, toward to edges of the body.

The tires are mounted on lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels that are also wider than the Stingray (19 x 10 inches in front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear). Their open, ultralight design showcases the massive Brembo brakes, which are part of the design aesthetic:

The Z06 features two-piece steel rotors, measuring 14.6 x 1.3-inch (371 x 33 mm) front and 14.4 x 1-inch (365 x 25 mm) rear, with aluminum six-piston and four-piston fixed calipers, respectively

The Z07 package adds larger, 15.5 x 1.4-inch (394 x 36 mm) front and 15.3 x 1.3-inch (388 x 33 mm) carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors for consistent performance lap after lap, and collectively save 23 pounds over the standard Z06 rotors.

To harness the cornering and braking grip afforded by the larger tires and brakes, the exterior of the Corvette Z06 is tailored to produce aerodynamic downforce that presses the tires to the ground at high speeds.

The Z06 will offer three, increasing levels of aerodynamic downforce:

The standard Z06 features a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent, and the rear spoiler from the Corvette Stingray’s Z51 Performance Package

An available carbon-fiber aero package – in either black or a visible carbon-fiber finish – adds a carbon fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill – a small, vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler that significantly increases downforce

The available Z07 package add larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler for track use. With this package, the Corvette Z06 delivers the most aerodynamic downforce of any production car that GM has tested.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 will deliver unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce, at least 625 horsepower from an all-new supercharged engine, and an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission, and the suite of advanced driver technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 will deliver unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce, at least 625 horsepower from an all-new supercharged engine, and an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission, and the suite of advanced driver technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray.

The exterior design also reflects the increased cooling required for the new Corvette Z06. For example, the mesh pattern on the front fascia was painstakingly designed to deliver the most possible airflow to the supercharger’s intercooler heat exchanger, so much that the mesh grill directs more air into the engine bay than if the grille was removed.

The unique grille also features dedicated brake-cooling intakes and wider grille outlets on the bottom serve as air diffusers. The grille is complemented with a larger hood vent, which vents hot air from the engine compartment and contributes to downforce by allowing air driven through the grille to exit through the hood rather than being forced under the car, which could create lift.

Additional cooling elements include larger front fender vents and unique air blades over the inlets on the rear fenders, which force about 50 percent more air into the cooling ducts for the transmission and differential coolers than those on the Stingray. To cope with the additional airflow, the Z06 has also has larger rear-fascia openings than the Stingray.

Standard front and rear brake-cooling ducts, including Z06-signature rear ducts integrated in front of the rear fender openings, are also part of the functional design changes.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 is distinguished from the Corvette Stingray by unique color schemes that emphasize the driver-focused cockpit, and a unique, flat-bottomed steering wheel.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 is distinguished from the Corvette Stingray by unique color schemes that emphasize the driver-focused cockpit, and a unique, flat-bottomed steering wheel.

Inside, the Corvette Z06 is distinguished from the Corvette Stingray by unique color schemes that emphasize the driver-focused cockpit, and a unique, flat-bottomed steering wheel.

Like the Stingray, the Z06 will be offered with two seating choices: a GT seat, for all-around comfort, and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering, which provides greater support on the track. The frame structure for both seats is made of magnesium, for greater strength and less weight than comparable steel frames. They’re also more rigid, contributing to the enhanced feeling of support during performance driving.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 features a unique, flat-bottomed steering wheel with genuine carbon fiber accents.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 features a unique, flat-bottomed steering wheel with genuine carbon fiber accents.

The Z06 also benefits from interior details designed for high-performance driving, first introduced on the Stingray, including a steel-reinforced grab bar on the center console for the passenger and soft-touch materials on the edge of the console, where the driver naturally braces during high-load cornering.

The performance-supporting elements inside the new Corvette Z06 are complemented by unprecedented attention to detail and build quality. All models feature a fully wrapped interior, where every surface is covered with premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level, include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede.

Track-proven technologies

The 2015 Corvette Z06 leverages the technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray, including the strategic use of lightweight materials and advanced driver technologies, with unique features and calibrations tailored for its capabilities.

“Our mission with the seventh-generation Corvette was to make the performance levels more accessible, enabling drivers to exploit every pound-foot of torque, every “g” of grip and every pound of downforce,” said Juechter. “It’s a philosophy we introduced with the 460-horsepower Corvette Stingray – and one that’s even more relevant with an estimated 625 horsepower at your beck and call.”

For the first time ever, the Corvette Z06’s aluminum frame will be produced in-house at General Motors’ Bowling Green assembly plant. It’s the same robust, lightweight frame used on the Corvette Stingray and it will be used essentially unchanged for the C7.R race cars.

The stiffer design of the aluminum frame allows the Corvette Z06 to be offered with a removable roof panel for the first time. With the lightweight, carbon fiber roof panel removed, the new Corvette Z06 offers 20 percent more structural rigidity than the previous model’s fixed-roof design. It is 60 percent stiffer than the previous model with the roof panel installed.

The new Z06 retains the SLA-type front and rear suspension design of the Corvette Stingray but uniquely calibrated for the higher performance threshold. The third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers are standard on Z06. They can be adjusted for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the standard Driver Mode Selector.

Like the Stingray, the Driver Mode Selector tailors up to a dozen features of the Z06 to suit the driver’s environment, including:

  • Launch control: Available in Track mode for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration
  • Active handling (StabiliTrak electronic stability control): A “competitive” setting is available in Track mode and is more suited for on-track conditions. It can also be disabled, giving the driver complete control
  • Traction control: Weather mode tailors traction control and engine torque for driving in inclement conditions
  • Performance Traction Management: Available in Track mode and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving
  • Electronic Limited Slip Differential: Adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions with more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes.

The smart electronic limited-slip differential, or eLSD, is standard on the Z06 to make the most of the torque split between the rear wheels. The system features a hydraulically actuated clutch that can infinitely vary clutch engagement and can respond from open to full engagement in tenths of a second. It shifts torque based on a unique algorithm that factors in vehicle speed, steering input and throttle position to improve steering feel, handling balance and traction.

The eLSD is fully integrated with Electronic Stability Control and Performance Traction Management systems. Its calibrations vary among three modes, based on the Drive Mode Selector setting:

  • Mode 1 is the default setting for normal driving and emphasizes vehicle stability
  • Mode 2 is engaged when electronic stability control is turned off in the Sport or Track modes. This calibration enables more nimble turn-in and traction while accelerating out of a corner
  • Mode 3 is automatically selected when Performance Traction Management is engaged. This calibration has the same function as Mode 2, but is fine-tuned to work with Performance Traction Management.
The 2015 Corvette Z06 will deliver unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce, at least 625 horsepower from an all-new supercharged engine, and an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission, and the suite of advanced driver technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 will deliver unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce, at least 625 horsepower from an all-new supercharged engine, and an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission, and the suite of advanced driver technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray.

The new Corvette Z06 will be available in early 2015. Performance data and pricing will be announced closer to the start of production.

Chevy sweeps North American Car, Truck Awards

Chevrolet was the only brand to be recognized as this year's recipient of the prestigious North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and the 2014 Corvette Stingray were crowned as victors by 48 automotive jurors from among dozens of competitive vehicles. The announcement was made during a press conference at the North American International Auto Show.

Chevrolet was the only brand to be recognized as this year’s recipient of the prestigious North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and the 2014 Corvette Stingray were crowned as victors by 48 automotive jurors from among dozens of competitive vehicles. The announcement was made during a press conference at the North American International Auto Show.

BY GERRY MILES

It’s been more than 16 years since Chevy’s Corvette was coveted here and a lucky seven since its Silverado pickup drew separate honors. Today they both shared the winner’s platform as North American Car and Truck of the Year winners, respectively at the Detroit Auto Show.

“Chevrolet is in the midst of the most aggressive product transformation in the brand’s more than 100-year history,” said Alan Batey, General Motors senior vice president, Global Chevrolet. “The Corvette and Silverado truly embody the passion, commitment and focus that is driving us to deliver the most expressive designs, innovative technologies and engaging performance in every vehicle that wears the bowtie,”

The Corvette received 211 points topping the Mazda3 with 185 points and the Cadillac CTS with 94 points. The Silverado received 219 points to the Jeep Cherokee with 174 points and the Acura MDX with 97 points.

It’s hardly a shock that the Corvette, arguably one of the most recognizable cars in the world and an icon for sports cars compared to the Mazda3 and Caddy CTS. With rave reviews on its performance and handling, it was a foregone conclusion to this auto watcher and many more.

The new Corvette Stingray is the most powerful standard model ever, with 455 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque from a 6.2L V-8 engine – and 460 horsepower /465 lb-ft with the available performance exhaust system – enabling models with the available Z51 Performance Package to sprint from 0-60 in 3.8 seconds.

The Mazda3 is a very nice new car that’s nothing like its past. That it received nearly twice as many points as the CTS shows how far it’s come and how plebian the Caddy name is.

Caddy, which makes nice, sportive sedans, has vehicles that sport homogenous shapes and styles that could bear the badge of any import maker. They no longer have a distinctive shape that proclaims it is a Cadillac: they instead rely on a wide-gnarly garish grille with the wreathed logo as its sole calling card.

Forty-nine automotive journalists from the United States and Canada vote to recognize the most outstanding vehicles of the year based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.

The Silverado has upped the truck’s image and its sibling GMC offering, with an optional 5.3-Liter, 355 hp, EcoTec3 V-8  for confident towing and hauling that switches to four cylinders to save fuel during light-load driving. With an EPA estimated highway fuel economy of up to 23 mpg, Silverado offers the best fuel economy of any V-8 pickup.

I’m not surprised the Acura dipped to third place because it looks like so many other hi-lux, comfy crossover models with leather interiors. Yawn.

I had high hopes and after having driven the Jeep Cherokee that it could win based upon its ability to change its styling and hold on to the basic motoring tenets off-road as found in the winning Grand Cherokee in its younger offering. It can do everything big brother does just as well without yielding any rock-crawling ability. The polarizing style is another issue … but you don’t see it from inside where you’re safe and warm.

2015 Escalade debuts in NY City

2015-Cadillac-Escalade

2015-Cadillac-Escalade

General Motors Press Release

  • NEW  YORK – Cadillac today introduced the all-new 2015 Escalade, a sophisticated luxury SUV designed to establish new benchmarks for hand-tailored craftsmanship and technology.

The fourth-generation Escalade is an entirely new design yet instantly recognizable. Much of the story of Cadillac’s redesigned flagship SUV is on the interior, where new levels of luxury combine with the latest technology.

“Cadillac’s growth provides the ideal stage for the all-new Escalade to take a major leap forward,” said Bob Ferguson, senior vice president, Global Cadillac. “The 2015 Escalade is completely new and elevated in design and technology, inside and out. The clear objective is to once again assume the leadership position among luxury SUVs.”

From its introduction, Escalade quickly became the standard among luxury SUVs with a formula of bold design, powerful capability and luxurious accommodations for up to eight occupants. Three succeeding generations led luxury SUV customers to confer icon status on it. The 2015 Escalade takes design and technical elements from Cadillac’s product expansion to elevate the brand’s signature SUV.

Production of the 2015 Escalade begins next spring in Arlington, Texas. The product line will consist of the standard Escalade model, as well as the extended-length ESV edition, with offers a 14-inch-longer (355 mm) wheelbase and approximately 20 inches (508 mm) more in overall length, maximizing space for third-row passengers and 60 percent more cargo space behind the third-row seat than the Escalade.

Offered with 2WD and 4WD drivetrains, Escalade features a new 6.2L V-8 engine that is more powerful and more efficient than previous models. Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension system, is now standard and delivers precisely controlled driving performance.

The exterior features crisp, new and more sophisticated surfaces, accented by dramatic light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting.

The new interior features cut-and-sewn and wrapped materials, with wood trim options chosen for elegance and authenticity. Seats were engineered to be more comfortable and sculpted in appearance. The new interior is dramatically quieter, too, thanks to a stronger new body structure, new and enhanced acoustic material, and Bose Active Noise Cancellation technology.

CUE, Cadillac’s advanced system for connectivity and control, is standard featuring state-of-the-art voice recognition with touch controls common with the world’s most popular tablets and mobile devices. A standard 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster can be reconfigured with four themes and an available head-up display projects information onto the windshield. An available Blu-Ray DVD rear entertainment system includes a nine-inch, roof-mounted screen on Escalade and two nine-inch screens on Escalade ESV.

The front seating area offers more than 1.5 inches (44 mm) more headroom and more than four inches (101 mm) of additional legroom compared to previous models while the second- and third-row seats fold flat for greater cargo versatility – and a segment-first hands-free liftgate includes programmable height settings.

Escalade’s new technologies include safety features to help protect occupants before, during and after a collision, such as Front and Rear Automatic Braking, which relies on short-range radar technology and ultrasonic sensors to help the driver avoid front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary.

Also new is the segment’s only Front Seat Center-Mounted air bag, which is engineered to provide additional protection to drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes, where the affected occupant is on the opposite, non-struck side of the vehicle.

A Driver Awareness package includes Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning System, and the patented Safety Alert Seat, which offers directional vibrations to alert the driver about potential crash threats. A Driver Assist package adds Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control, Front and Rear Automatic Braking, Automatic Collision Preparation and Automatic Safety Belt Tightening.

Additionally, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Alert are standard on Luxury and Premium models.

2015 Cadillac EscaladeCrafted interior
Craftsmanship defines the 2015 Escalade’s passenger space, designed to be one of the industry’s most authentic and luxurious cabins mixed with seamless technology integration for today’s connected luxury customers.

Real wood combined with premium cut-and-sewn materials and sueded accents, along with ambient lighting, were designed to add elegance to the interior design. Tight tolerances of the instrument panel and door panels, precision controls and triple-sealed doors were engineered and designed to reinforce a feeling of quality.

“An exceptional level of craftsmanship has gone into the redesign of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, and it all centers on the premium materials and extensive use of cut-and-sew live stitching – the way fine furniture is produced,” said Eric Clough, director of design, Cadillac Interiors. “We designed Escalade with what we call the beauty of contrast. It offers a distinctive combination of bold, truck-like character, but also the refinement of the Cadillac form vocabulary and technology.”

The seats were designed to be more comfortable and sculpted in appearance with a reclining second row. The design incorporates dual-firmness foam that ensures long-trip comfort and helps retain appearance over time.

Heated and cooled seats are standard in front and second-row bucket seats have standard heat. The available second-row bench has heated outboard seats now reclines.

CUE, Cadillac’s advanced system for connectivity and control, is standard on the Escalade, featuring state-of-the-art voice recognition with touch controls common with the world’s most popular tablets and mobile devices. A standard 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster can be reconfigured with four themes and an available head-up display projects information onto the windshield.

CUE, Cadillac’s advanced system for connectivity and control, is standard on the Escalade, featuring state-of-the-art voice recognition with touch controls common with the world’s most popular tablets and mobile devices. A standard 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster can be reconfigured with four themes and an available head-up display projects information onto the windshield.

Intuitive technology
Technology is integral to the Escalade’s driving experience. New and enhanced features help make what already was one of the industry’s most-connected vehicles more intuitive.

For the first time, Escalade will feature CUE standard. The eight-inch center screen uses capacitive touch technology and gesture recognition, enabling tapping and swiping common to smartphones and tablets. CUE uses proximity sensors to activate common options and controls as the user’s hand approaches. An expanded “favorites” section offers quick access to phone contacts, navigation destinations – even digital music – in the same one-touch form as traditional radio presets.

The instrument cluster features a standard, reconfigurable, high-resolution 12.3-inch digital driver information center display paired with Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system. Key data also is displayed on an available, full-color head-up display. Along with vehicle systems information, the color driver information center also provides details on the audio, Bluetooth phone and navigation systems, and they can be easily adjusted via steering wheel controls.

Precise exterior
The new Escalade’s exterior advances a 15-year legacy of design distinction with evolved character cues designed to add sophistication. Full LED lighting creates a bold new interpretation of Cadillac’s vertical light signature.

The headlamps incorporate the industry’s first Total Internal Reflection LED high-beam function, which consists of four vertically stacked crystal lenses and LEDs. The low beam consists of five crystal lenses and LEDs that create the light pattern. The Cadillac script is branded in the headlamp bezel. Tall, thin vertical LED taillamps reach to the top of the Escalade and feature the brand’s wreath-and-crest insignia, which illuminates in the dark. Escalade also features LED-illuminated door handles on the Premium Collection.

“The new Escalade’s surfacing is sophisticated, and the sectioning of the body exudes more emotion to forge a new presence for Cadillac’s iconic SUV,” said Bob Boniface, design director, Cadillac Exteriors. “Our designers worked with the studio sculptors closer than ever to translate a two-dimensional vision into a three-dimensional representation that captures your attention from afar, and then pulls you in with beautiful details in the lamps, door handles and wheels.”

New inlaid doors fit into the body side openings instead of over the top of the body, significantly reducing wind noise and contributing to improved aerodynamics that help the vehicles slip through the air on the highway with less wind drag. Active air shutters close in front of the condenser/radiator assembly at certain highway speeds to improve aerodynamics for greater efficiency. A lightweight aluminum hood and liftgate panels reduce overall mass.

Body panel gaps are tighter throughout. The new liftgate is designed to be sleeker in appearance integrates the rear window wiper into the spoiler.

“Moving the rear wiper to the top of the glass and packaging it within the contours of the spoiler resulted in a clean appearance and improved visibility,” said Boniface. “It is an example of the attention to detail in the new Escalade.”

Performance and driving experience
The performance threshold for the 2015 Escalade lineup rises with an all-new, more efficient 6.2L V-8 engine rated at an SAE-certified 420 horsepower (313 kW) and 460 lb-ft of torque (623 Nm) – a nearly 5-percent increase in horsepower and 10 percent more torque. The greater torque delivers an enhanced feeling of power on demand, particularly from a standstill and at low speeds.

The new 6.2L features state-of-the-art technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system, designed to make the most of power, torque and efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions. More precisely controlled combustion enables Escalade to run with a higher compression ratio, which delivers greater power and greater expected efficiency.

The engine is matched with the Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission with enhanced TapShift control.

Escalade’s performance is channeled to a more sophisticated chassis and suspension system, engineered for a greater feeling of solidity and a quieter, smoother ride. A fully boxed frame – composed of more than 75 percent high-strength steel – is the foundation for its ride quality. New shear-style body mounts help reduce vibrations transmitted into the vehicle.

Additional chassis and suspension highlights include:

  • Coil-over-shock front suspension and five-link/coil-spring rear suspension
  • Wider rear track that contributes to a more planted stance
  • Standard 20-inch wheels and available 22-inch wheels
  • New, electric variable-assist power steering system that enhances fuel economy and tailors steering assist to vehicle speed
  • New 9.5-inch rear axle and standard automatic locking rear differential
  • StabiliTrak electronic stability control, incorporating tow/haul mode, auto grade braking and hill start assist
  • New four-wheel-disc brake system with Duralife™ brake rotors that offer up to double the service life, along with brake pedal revisions engineered to improve pedal feel for more confident braking performance
  • Third-generation magnetic ride control is standard with Tour and Sport modes.

Magnetic Ride Control is a real-time damping system that delivers more precise body motion control by “reading” the road every millisecond. Damping can go from full force to lowest force in a few milliseconds, or within three inches of road travel. It replaces conventional mechanical-valve shocks with electronically controlled shocks filled with a magneto-rheological fluid containing minute iron particles. Under the presence of a magnetic field, the iron particles align to provide damping resistance almost instantly.

Security measures
The new Escalade has been designed with greater security features to thwart theft attempts, including an intrusion sensor, inclination sensor and glass breakage sensors. Along with triggering the vehicle’s alarm systems, some of the features shut down key control systems to make it almost impossible to start or move the vehicle. The security features are supported by OnStar Stolen Vehicle Assistance, which can help police locate the vehicle.

2015 Cadillac Escalade

2015 Cadillac Escalade

# # #

Overview

Models: 2015 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV
Construction: body on frame
Manufacturing location: Arlington, Texas

Powertrain

EcoTec3 6.2L V-8 FlexFuel (L86)
Fuel delivery: direct fuel injection with Active Fuel Management
Horsepower
(hp / kW @ rpm):
420 / 313 @ 5600 (SAE certified)
Torque
(lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):
460 / 623 @ 4100 (SAE certified)
Estimated fuel economy: TBD
Transmission: Hydra-Matic 6L80 6-speed auto.
Final drive ratio: 3.42
 

Chassis/Suspension

Front: SLA independent suspension with Magnetic Ride Control
Rear: 5-link, solid axle with Magnetic Ride Control
Steering type: electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Brakes: power-assisted, four-wheel disc, four-wheel ABS, with Duralife™ rotors; vented front and rear rotors
Wheel size & type / tire size: 20 x 9.0-in. aluminum / P275/55R20
22 x 9.5-in. aluminum / P285/45R22

Dimensions

Exterior

  Escalade Escalade ESV
Wheelbase (in / mm): 116 / 2946 130 / 3302
Overall length (in / mm): 203.9 / 5180 224.3 / 5698
Overall width (in / mm): 80.5 / 2044 80.5 / 2044
Overall height (in / mm) 74.4 / 1889 74.0 / 1880
Front track (in / mm): 68.7 / 1744 68.7 / 1744
Rear track (in / mm): 68.7 / 1744 68.7 / 1744

Interior

First Row Second Row Third Row
Headroom (in / mm): Escalade: 42.8 / 1087Escalade ESV: 42.8 / 1087 Escalade: 38.7 / 983
Escalade ESV: 39.1 / 993
Escalade: 38.1 / 967
Escalade ESV: 38.5 / 978
Legroom (in / mm): Escalade: 45.3 / 1150Escalade ESV: 45.3 / 1150 Escalade: 39.0 / 990
Escalade ESV: 39.7 / 1008
Escalade: 24.8 / 630
Escalade ESV: 34.5 / 876
Max cargo room – seats folded (cu ft / L): Escalade: 94.2 / 2667Escalade ESV: 120.5 / 3412 Escalade: 51.6 / 1461
Escalade ESV: 76.5 / 2166
Escalade: 15.3 / 433
Escalade ESV: 38.7 / 1096

Capacities

Escalade Escalade ESV
Curb weight (lb / kg): 5603 / 2541
(2WD w/ 20-in. wheels)5845 / 2651
(4WD w/ 20-in. wheels)
5827 / 2643
(2WD w/ 20-in. wheels)6086 / 2760
(4WD w/ 20-in. wheels)
Max trailer towing
(lb / kg):
8200 / 3719 (2WD)
8000 / 3628 (4WD)
8000 / 3628 (2WD)
7700 / 3492 (4WD)

Information shown is current at time of publication.

 

OnStar’s RemoteLink added to Windows phones

OnStar RemoteLink

OnStar RemoteLink

 

BY GERRY MILES

The release hit my inbox before Steve Ballmer announced he’d resign within a year from the software giant and MSFT stock prices rose.

Having been around when OnStar was first introduced decades ago at the NY Auto Show and how great it is at helping people out of jams, notifying first responders when crashes take place and the like, the news gets better.  OnStar’s RemoteLink Mobile App is now the first remote telemetry app from an automaker that works on the four primary smartphone platforms – iPhone, Android, Blackberry and now Microsoft Windows phones.

(Insert Blue Screen of Death joke here)

Drivers select Microsoft Windows phones can start experiencing remote vehicle connectivity. The app is available on both Windows Phone 7 and 8 operating systems, and will be accessible in the Windows Phone Store on mobile devices.

“RemoteLink remains one of our subscribers’ most desired OnStar services, so to be able to offer it across all of the major smartphone platforms is a great step for us,” said Steve Schwinke, GM director, Application Development, Global Connected Consumer. “RemoteLink is one of the most-used automotive manufacturer apps in the marketplace and is a great example of what you can do with built-in vehicle connectivity.”

The app, GM says, is most commonly used nearly 600,000 times a month for checking vehicle data such as oil life, tire pressure and fuel level.

RemoteLink for Windows, like the Blackberry version, was written using HTML5 technology.

The app will be available for OnStar subscribers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico and will support four language options: US English, Canadian English, French Canadian and Spanish.

This expansion comes on the heels of the announcement that RemoteLink’s key-fob based features – remote start, lock, unlock and horn and lights activation – would be standard for five years on all new GM vehicles. This launch means that GM drivers with select Windows phones will be able to access RemoteLink key-fob features as well. The five years of standard remote key-fob services does not include access to additional OnStar services.

RemoteLink connects to a driver’s vehicle in a secure fashion, requiring a username and password to log in and a four digit PIN to make a remote vehicle command.

OnStar subscribers can download the application and visit onstar.com to enable remote commands.

Now I wonder if the Seattle Seahawks will enjoy a similar fate as the MSFT stock price.

Who knows, maybe the Zune will come back into vogue. Nah …

Edmunds.com’s Jessica Caldwell on GM, Subaru sales

GENERAL MOTORS
From Edmunds.com Sr. Analyst Jessica Caldwell: “Timing can be everything and GM is a great example in the truck market. GM has a nice sales blend of 2013 and all-new 2014 trucks that appeals to both low and high-end shoppers. And because there is so much pent up demand in this segment, we’re in the midst of a profitable time period for GM.”

SUBARU
From Edmunds.com Sr. Analyst Jessica Caldwell: “Subaru has been riding a nice wave of success for quite some time now. Americans have been responding to their products; not only are Forester’s sales are up over 50% but it was also the quickest selling car in the country last month with a days-to-turn rate of 15 days. That’s 46 days less than the industry average.”

GM’s retail sales up 23 percent in July

The 2014 GMC Sierra SLT

The 2014 GMC Sierra SLT

Total sales up 16 percent driven by double-digit increases at all four brands

DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) dealers delivered 234,071 vehicles in the United States in July, up 16 percent compared with a year ago. Retail sales increased 23 percent while fleet sales declined 6 percent.

“For GM, July was the most well-balanced month of the year from a retail sales standpoint: trucks were hot, but so were small cars and family vehicles,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president, U.S. sales operations. “Our experience shows that the difference between good sales and great sales in a slow-growth economy is how many new products you have to offer, and we are starting to hit our sweet spot.”

July Total Sales Highlights (vs. 2012)

  • GM passenger car sales were up 24 percent year over year, including a 42 percent increase in mini-, small and compact car deliveries.
  • Chevrolet car sales were up 31 percent driven by a record month for the Spark, record July sales for the Cruze and a 38 percent increase for the Impala.
  • Cadillac car sales were up 34 percent on the strength of the new ATS and XTS.
  • Pickup, van and SUV sales were up a combined 16 percent with full-size pickups up 44 percent – the best July since 2007.
  • About 15 percent of full-size pickup sales were all-new 2014 crew cabs. Double-cab models are now being shipped to dealers and regular cab production begins later this summer.
  • Crossover sales were up 6 percent, with the redesigned Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave up 33 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Sales of the all-new Buick Encore increased 39 percent from June 2013.

July Retail Sales Highlights (vs. 2012)

  • All four brands posted double-digit retail sales increases and Buick retail sales have now increased for 15 consecutive months.
  • Full-size pickup deliveries were up 51 percent and crossover sales increased 18 percent.
  • Deliveries to small business customers increased 61 percent, including a 107 percent increase in full-size pickup deliveries.
  • Sales of the Chevrolet Malibu increased 31 percent and the Chevrolet Equinox had its best-ever July retail sales with deliveries up 9 percent.
  • GMC Terrain sales were up 24 percent for its best-ever July.

July 2013 Sales

Month Total Sales YOY Change Retail Sales YOY Change 
Chevrolet 162,670 17.1% 124,750 25.1%
GMC 39,356 14.1% 33,988 23.3%
Buick 16,393 13.9% 15,662 9.7%
Cadillac 15,652 16.7% 14,719 22.7%
Total GM 234,071 16.3% 189,119 23.2%
CYTD Total Sales YOY Change Retail Sales YOY Change  
Chevrolet 1,177,804 7.0% 813,380 10.1%
GMC 260,052 10.4% 223,307 14.9%
Buick 117,230 12.1% 105,827 14.1%
Cadillac 99,331 30.3% 90,785 26.0%
Total GM 1,654,417 9.1% 1,233,299 12.4%
Fleet Segment Month YOY Change CYTD CYTD Change 
Fleet Share of Total GM Sales 19.2% (4.5) points 25.5% (2.2) points
Inventory Units at
Month-end
Days Supply (selling day adjusted) Units at Previous
Month-end
Days Supply (selling day adjusted)
All Vehicles 638,517 68 708,229 70
Full-size Pickups (GMT-900) 140,035 68 181,222 86
Industry Sales Month (est.) CYTD (est.) GM Full-year Outlook
Light Vehicle SAAR 15.7 million range 15.4 million range 15.0 – 15.5 million