Posts Tagged ‘ATS’
The Chevy Volt is now the top-selling plug-in car in America with sales having tripled in 2012. General Motors, building on the Volt’s popularity and technology, just introduced the two-door plug-in Cadillac ELR at the Detroit Auto Show.
Besides having a different body, the ELR will have big 20-inch wheels. GM promises, an “engaging driving experience” to go along with the new look. The chassis and front suspension have both been altered from the Volt’s to provide a more responsive feel, said Caldwell.
The Cadillac ELR relies on the same propulsion system as the Volt but, in the Cadillac, it has been reprogrammed to provide more performance at a slight cost in efficiency. The Volt relies on a gasoline engine to provide additional energy after about 35 miles.
Unlike the Volt, the ELR will allow the driver to run the gasoline engine before it’s really needed, saving more of the battery’s charge for later. That way, GM suggests, a driver could elect save some electric charge for city driving, where a battery driven car is most efficient. The car will also have Cadillac’s “safety alert seat” which vibrates to warn a driver of hazards such as a car in a blind spot. This feature is already found on the Cadillac XTS and ATS sedans.
Pricing for the Cadillac ELR will be announced closer to its planned production date, but GM doesn’t plan to sell a lot of them. ”An additional aspect of ELR’s appeal to will be exclusivity,” said Bob Ferguson, Cadillac global vice president, said in a statement. “It will be a specialized offering produced in limited numbers.” Only about 10,000 of the cars will be produced each for year for sale in the U.S. and, later on, in Europe and China, Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell said.
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On the heels of the recession, global automakers are racing to meet the increased demand for luxury vehicles. At this week’s Detroit Auto Show, automakers unveiled nearly 2 dozen new luxury models or concept cars, expressing confidence that luxury sales will boom this year. “We see success…in very direction we look,” said Johan de Nysschen, head of Audi’s American arm.
Luxury cars and trucks — costing over $35,000 — account for 13% of the U.S. auto market. While auto sales have increased slowly over the past year, luxury car sales are forecast to grow by more than 10% in 2012, outpacing the rest of the auto market.
In their new luxury car, buyers will expect the latest technology, everything from WiFi internet hotspots to night vision displays to infotainment systems that link over Bluetooth with up to 10 devices simultaneously. Refinement has replaced raw horsepower with reduction in interior noise reduction taking the lead.
The 2012 Cadillac ATS was the most notable unveiling at the Detroit show this year. The ATS is an all-new small car that GM wants to take on the world’s most popular luxury sedan – the BMW 3-Series. BMW also renewed the 3-Series this year with BMW execs confident they can take on any comers. It appears that the real competition among luxury brands will be in the SUV’s, which are as popular to luxury seekers in Europe and China as they are here. Fuel costs and tough regulations have forced automakers to find ways to power luxury SUVs with smaller, more efficient engines. The Buick Encore, the U.S. version of the Audi Q3 and a refreshed Acura RDX — all smaller SUV’s with engines less than six cylinders, were revealed this week. Porsche will join the category with its own small SUV next year called the Cajun. Even Bentley, the British builder of six-figure sedans, will present its own SUV within a few years.
Another driver behind the return of luxury cars is the rebound of Japanese automakers, following a year of deadly natural disasters Toyota’s Lexus Division, which lost its spot as the top US luxury brand to BMW in 2011, will introduce nine new or updated models this year.
2012 promises to be an exciting year in the automotive industry as customers react to new and updated luxury cars, filled with the latest technology.