Make my Cadillac XTS AWD

One of the available features of the new Cadillac XTS, arriving in showrooms this summer, is the Haldex All-wheel drive system with electronically controlled limited slip differential.

The advantage of this system:

  • All-wheel drive traction for improved control & safety in rain or snow

while the disadvantages:

  • slightly more weight
  • 1 mpg less highway fuel economy

Traditionally the disadvantages to an AWD system have been more severe.  The new system is lighter and more capable which act to mitigate the disadvantages and improve the advantages.

Cadillac notes:

A smart Haldex all-wheel-drive system – with an electronic limited-slip differential that splits torque between the rear wheels – complements an advanced HiPer Strut front suspension and standard Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping to give the XTS sure-footed, confident and comfortable ride and handling traits. A linked H-arm design with “air springs” comprises the rear suspension.

One of the features previously discussed for the XTS AWD (see discussion here) was the ability to ‘tune’ the powertrain to have the same characteristics as a rear-wheel drive vehicle.

Another feature I would like to see is a full performance version of the AWD hardware — say on a future CTS-V — with the advantage of full hp launches with AWD traction.  I am hopeful that as Cadillac continues to develop these systems along with Haldex that we will see a high-performance version some day.


Cue the Possibilities in your Cadillac

Cadillac introduced their new Cue Technology this week, or Cadillac User Experience.  More info and a video at the full release.

What if the entire dash board becomes a touch sensitive electronic display?  In the short term it means visually better and more entertaining instruments.

But what can it mean in the long term?  More customization of the instruments available.  I like to know a great deal about what is going on in the Cadillac.   What if I could choose which instruments are displayed, and which information is included — design my own dash display?  I may choose to have a very busy, information intensive dash display.

You may only want to know speed and gas remaining.  What if you could opt for only those pieces of information?  Suddenly use of an electronic display gives many options that were not available before — if Cadillac chooses to empower Buyers to select them.

More displays — bring back onboard diagnostics on all models.  What about 2-way video with OnStar, so I can see the operator as we talk about my destination?  Possibilities; the new CUE technologies bring more possibilities.

Don’t under-estimate the value of beauty and functionality rolled together.  It is these touches that make Cadillac a luxury marque.  But when the new technology opens the way to more control, more easy user-customizations and personalization, and opens our imaginations to what could be, I know Cadillac is on the right path.

Cadillac CTS Coupe, then XTS, then ATS?

No Cadillac ATS at the NY Auto Show.   The CTS-V Sport Wagon was there instead.

The CTS Coupe and CTS-V Coupe will be in showrooms this summer.  Lots of excitement about these two, and hopefully “a rising tide lifts all boats” and increased showroom traffic will result in more CTS Sedan sales as well.

Next model year, in 2011, we are likely to see the new Cadillac XTS sedan rolling down the line at Lansing Grand River as a 2012 model.  At that point we will have the CTS Family in Sedan, Coupe, or Sport Wagon, including CTS-V Sedan, Coupe or Sport Wagon.  Escalade Family in regular, extended, or pickup bed, and SRX.  The STS will bow out after the 2011 model probably.  Cadillac said that the DTS will continue in 2011, but it does not appear in the order book, so that seems limiting.

The ATS will likely arrive in 2012 as a 2013 model; the rumors still don’t correlate.  I expect we will see a concept soon, and then it will arrive in 2012 as a 2013 model.  The XTS arriving in 2011 as a 2012 model suggests that the ATS won’t arrive in 2011.

The ATS will take over from the CTS as the sedan sales leader for Cadillac.  This is a crucial launch for Cadillac, as the ATS will largely become the new Cadillac, and everything depends on how good this new model is. The CTS refresh will make it a bit larger and a bit more upmarket.  The ATS and the refreshed CTS will both be on the Alpha platform.