Cadillac’s Bob Ferguson has confirmed that Cadillac is well on its way to building a sub-SRX sized crossover to compete with the likes of the BMW X3, Mercedes GLK, and Audi Q5. The vehicle, hinted at before in other interviews from other Cadillac execs, would live on the Alpha platform developed for the ATS, expanded to underpin the 2014 CTS, and expected to underpin a coupe that would be sized between the ATS and CTS.
The new crossover would likely possess interior room not much smaller than the SRX – allowing the next SRX to grow in size (much like BMW grew their X3 to close to X5 size right before they released a larger X5).
However, based on the light-weight Alpha chassis would allow Cadillac to undercut the SRX’s 4000+ lbs by hundreds of pounds. We’d expect something in the 3600lb range when it debuts.
Expect the new crossover in 2-3 years as a 2016-2017 model.
Cadillac has mentioned, through their North American head of Marketing, Don Butler, that they plan to continue to offer coupes and wagons (sticking with some of the expansion they started with versions of the CTS in the past few years). What isn’t completely clear is if coupes and wagons will be versions of the CTS going forward.
Since this opens the floor for us to play what-if, let’s look at what Cadillac has said and what they may be doing to meet the competition head-on in these and other segments.
First of all, we have a Cadillac that is moving to a brand new rear-drive architecture for most of their mainstream cars. Alpha is the new chassis that underpins the ATS as well as (in stretched Alpha+ form) the CTS. So, no matter what Cadillac decides to do, these will all live on the same basic architecture (a boon for volume/cost). This also marks the end of Sigma, the platform developed in the late 90′s and early 2000′s as part of Cadillac’s first re-birth.
GM has released results of their October sales and Cadillac is up 14.5% over last October. However, there are interesting points to pull out of the sales data that show that the XTS and ATS are helping cover for significant softness in older products.
For instance, the CTS is down by 1574 units (40.2%) year over year while the Escalade (due for replacement in about a year) is down 20.6%, heavily weighted-down by a 30% drop in the non-ESV/non-EXT variants.
Loss of the 477 Escalade units, 1574 CTSes, as well as 403 DTSes and 179 STSes is offset by a solid 2540 XTS and 1266 ATS that are both probably pulling some sales from CTS though exact impact is hard to calculate from this data.
SRX, which is in the middle of its cycle but just got a freshening is showing some strength with a 10.8% bump (537 units up from last year). If ever you wanted to know what the emphasis on crossovers is about – check out how the SRX is actually Cadillac’s strongest seller by over 2:1 over the second best-selling XTS.
Below is the sales data released by GM for the Cadillac brand. Columns in this table are: Model, Oct 2012 sales, Oct 2011 sales, % Change Oct 2012 vs 2011, ’2012 Year-to-date (YTD)’, ’2011 YTD’, and % Change 2012 vs 2011.
Cadillac announced some time ago that the SRX would receive a mid-cycle refresh that includes some exterior nips and tucks as well as a brand new dash that includes the new Cadillac User Experience (CUE) system. What they waited until just now to tell us is that the SRX’s flavor of CUE also includes a re-think of the rear-seat entertainment system for and tested by kids.
Upgrades from the earlier rear-seat entertainment include dual, 8″, front seat-back mounted screens as well as support for high-def video including Blu-Ray disk compatibility. In addition to the front-seat CUE upgrades, the rear seat passengers can now connect and control personal media devices instead of just feed video and audio in through RCA jacks. Newly added are USB jacks and a SD slot all available at the rear side of the front console.
Also re-imagined in this iteration is the remote control that is now inspired not by a TV remote, as in the previous system, but by game console controllers to better fit the expectations of the younger rear seat passengers. Cadillac even clinic-ed the new SRX’s rear seat system with children to ensure ease of use.
The system will list for $1595 on the updated SRX that is going on sale now.
See Cadillac’s video presentation of the new systems below.
At this week’s New York Auto Show, Cadillac is showing off the updated SRX with new interior featuring their CUE infotainment system as well as a host of new safety tech that will also appear this year on the brand new ATS and XTS sedans (and is expected in the CTS and Escalade when they see their next redesign).
If you want all the gory details, follow the jump to the Cadillac press release below:
Cadillac announced details today of the updated SRX with new interior, updated exterior details, and the CUE infotainment system.
Outside updates are headlined with a more detailed grille treatment and updated front fender ports.
However, the big news is the updated interior featuring the CUE infotainment system, making this the first non-brand new model to get such updates as well as Cadillac Driver Aware and Driver Assist technologies.
These updates follow last year’s switch to the 3.6l direct injection V-6 that replaced the prior 3.0l base V-6 and 2.8l turbo V-6 that the SRX has had since it’s launch in 2010.
The CUE system brings the touch-centric user interface features we’ve talked about here before as well as standard HD radio, Bluetooth audio streaming, a hidden storage bin behind the center faceplate with included USB port, SD card slot, as well as updated design of the rear-seat entertainment system.
Other interior updates include new steering wheel and shifter design as well as a new instrument cluster that integrates with the CUE system (though it is not a large LCD like you will see in the XTS and as an option on the ATS.) Also making their appearance in the 2013 update are interior sound cancellation technology to better quell unwanted noise without increasing vehicle weight with traditional sound deadening materials.
Further updates to the SRX include new wheel designs as well as the addition of 3 new exterior colors (Evolution Green Metallic, Glacier Blue Metallic, and Silver Coast Metallic).
Cadillac User Experience that will debut on this year’s ATS, XTS, and refreshed SRX promises to finally bring Cadillac’s up to speed with modern electronic gadgets and should match or surpass systems from the competition with LCD virtual gauges, capacitive center touch screen, and support for gestures that most drivers have become familiar with on their smartphones.
Matt Highstrom is part of the team that developed the system and takes us through the design high points below. Enjoy.