Cadillac introduces new XTS Sedan at LA Auto Show
Cadillac introduced a completely new sedan here at the LA Auto Show. Check out the slideshow of the new XTS above and you’ll see that Cadillac is definitely on the right track as they continue the evolution of their approach to design. Cadillac executives promised that there would be no more “design by committee” at the luxury brand and they presented the XTS as a representation of a clear direction for the brand.
As you can see from the photos, the design is very impressive. It retains some of a hard lines and edges we’ve seen from Cadillac but the XTS represents a more refined expression of this approach.
Most importantly, the XTS will be the first model to feature Cadillac’s new CUE system that was created to provide a comprehensive in-vehicle experience. We previewed the CUE system last month and were very impressed as it presents a great leap forward for the in-car user experience. Here’s what we said then: “New innovations like tactile feedback on your finger when you touch the 8-inch center stack screen and proximity sensing that has control buttons pop up on the screen as you hand approaches make this system very user friendly, and the customization features make CUE a very powerful system that greatly enhances the driver experience.”
The new XTS also features a 3.6L direct injection engine and advanced all-wheel drive system and is rated at an estimated 300 horsepower. It comes with 19-inch wheels standard and optional 20-inch wheels along with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Cool safety innovations include a new “virtual bumper” system that will automatically stop the car at low speeds when an obstruction like a telephone pole is picked up by the sensors. Other features include warning systems for things like lane departure. The Safety Alert Seat feature vibrates either the left or right side of the driver’s seat cushion as a warning depending on the location of impending concerns.
The new XTS is a 2013 model that will go in sale in the spring of 2012 and will be positioned directly above the CTS family in Cadillac’s lineup. With its elegant design and the new CUE system, the XTS gives Cadillac another formidable entry in the luxury sedan market.
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First Drive: 2012 Honda CR-V
The Honda CR-V has been a consistent leader in the entry CUV market category for years. This category is exploding in popularity and more carmakers are introducing crossovers to compete in this space. With the all new 2012 model Honda has updated the CR-V and this fourth generation should help the company hold on to its leadership position. We traveled up to Michigan on a crisp November day to test drive the new CR-V and came away very impressed.
As you can see from the photos, the updated design looks great. The front grille and wrap-around headlights are a nice improvement over the previous model. The overall look is more aerodynamic which also improves performance. The lines of the vehicle are much more aggressive and dynamic and should be a hit with buyers.
The most impressive feature of the interior would be the new one touch fold-down rear seat. The Honda engineers have crafted a clever method that has the 60/40 rear seats automatically fold down simply by the pull of a cord at either the side of the seat or a lever at the top of the seat. The lower seat cushion automatically pops up and the headrests and backside of the seat fold down and disappear below it. The result is a best in class cargo area.
I really liked the center stack and the overall feel of the dash. The new CR-V also has new high-tech features as all models include a Bluetooth HandsFreeLink phone interface (previously an available feature), a full-color intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID), a multi-angle rearview camera and an SMS text messaging function. Honda has also introduced Pandora Internet Radio as well. Many more features like the nav system are available as options.
The new CR-V sports a more efficient engine design with improved horsepower and torque, along with an all-new Real Time All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) with Intelligent Control System™. It’s powered by a 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine with 185 horsepower and 163 lb-ft. of torque and has a standard 5-speed automatic transmission. As I drove the CR-V through the back roads in Michigan I was consistently impressed with the performance and handling. The vehicle has good acceleration and responsiveness and zips around corners with ease.
The CR-V also features best in class fuel economy with 23/31 MPG for the two-wheel drive and 22/33 for the AWD. Another interesting addition is the white-to-green ambient light on the dashboard. As the light moves to green the driver knows that the current driving patterns are resulting in better fuel economy.
The new CR-V is fun and functional, so I expect it will continue to have very broad appeal, with active singles and young couples being primary targets. It goes on sale on December 15th and you should check it out.
Posted in: Cars, On Location
Tags: 2012 Honda CR-V, auto photos, auto slideshow, automobile photo gallery, autos, autos for guys, autos for men, car info for men, car photo gallery, car photos, car slideshow, compact crossover, crossover, crossover vehicles, CUV market, first drive, first drive automobile reviews, first drive car reviews, first drive reviews for guys, first drive reviews for men, honda, Honda CR-V, Honda CR-V first drive, Honda CR-V review, new automobiles, new autos, new cars
The New Camaro ZL1
The Camaro has been a huge hit for Chevrolet and today the company made several announcements relating to the heavily anticipated Camaro ZL1. Chevy said that the ZL1′s monster engine will be rated at 580 horsepower and that the base price of the vehicle will be $54,995. It’s quite a vehicle to introduce as Chevy celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The new ZL1 coupe is a 2012 model that will go on sale early next year.
The Camaro ZL1 features a supercharged 6.2L engine that makes it the most powerful production Camaro ever. The ZL1 goes from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds and hits a top speed of 184 miles per hour! It also features a Performance Traction Management system that helps this beast hug the corners.
Chevy will also introduce a ZL1 convertible as a 2013 model that they featured at an event ahead of the 2011 LA Auto Show and Bullz-Eye was on hand to snap some photos of this beautiful vehicle as you can see in the slideshow above. Anyone who appreciates convertibles will love this vehicle.
Posted in: Cars, News, On Location
Tags: 2011 LA Auto Show, auto photos, auto shows, auto slideshow, automobile photo gallery, automobile show, autos, autos for guys, autos for men, camaro, Camaro ZL1, Camaro ZL1 gallery, Camaro ZL1 photos, Camaro ZL1 slideshow, car info for men, car photo gallery, car photos, car shows, car slideshow, chevrolet, Chevy Camaro, GM, LA Auto Show, LA car show, LA cars, LA motor show, Los Angeles Auto Show, Los Angeles car show, Los Angeles motor show, motor shows, new automobiles, new autos, new cars, North American auto shows, North American automobile shows, North American car shows, North American motor shows
NASCAR at Night: Bullz-Eye’s time at the Bank of America 500
When you think of NASCAR, you think of a few key images. First, there must be loud, fast, heavily stickered cars careening around an oval. Secondly, the race will probably take place somewhere in the south. And finally, there must be enough flowing Budweiser and blaring country music twang to annoy Toby Keith. Yes, these are stereotypes, but no one ever mentions just how much fun a NASCAR event is because of it. Bullz-Eye went to the Bank of America 500 in Charlotte as a guest of Valvoline to witness this circus in person.
NASCAR races, like horror movies, are better at night. The reason is the same, drama. The noises seem louder, the speed seems more intense, and the crowds become more restless with anticipation. And really it is the fans that make these events what they are. Their blind devotion to single drivers makes the most ardent sports team fan blush. Depending on their favorite driver’s success in the rest, certain sections of the track may be in utter despair and crazed happiness at the same time.
The venue is also crucial. Charlotte can be described as one of the cradles of NASCAR. This southern city not only contains the track, but the Roush Racing Team as well. With its southern charm, fantastic barbeque, and good times vibe, the city is the embodiment of NASCAR’s attitude.
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Posted in: Cars
Tags: autos, autos for guys, autos for men, Bank of America 500, car info for men, Dale Earnhardt, motor oil, NASCAR, The Chase, Valvoline, Valvoline NextGen
Photos of 2012 Chevy Volt
Check out our review of the 2012 Chevrolet Volt, the plug-in hybrid that is garnering a ton of attention. As you can see from the slideshow above, the styling is excellent on this vehicle.
It’s going to be fascinating to see how the Volt and other plug-in hybrids do in the marketplace. Cost is obviously a factor, but as more manufacturers put out electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, we should see the costs coming down.
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Tags: 2012 Chevy Volt, auto photos, auto slideshow, automobile photo gallery, autos, autos for guys, autos for men, car info for men, car photo gallery, car photos, car slideshow, chevrolet, chevy, Chevy Volt slideshow, General Motors, GM, new automobiles, new autos, new cars, plug-in hybrids
Product Spotlight: Valvoline NextGen
Car guys get a bad rap when it comes to being seen as “green.” The public at large sees us as a group of people who would love nothing more than to suckle the last drop of oil out of the earth to in order to be able to do burnouts in front of church that much longer. However, in many ways, car guys are the original environmentalists.
What person do you know threatens his bank account and relationships over recycling? Definitely not Mr. Toms shoe wearing compost maker down the block. He’ll toss his compost pile, and everything nature friendly, right down the drain if they slightly inconvenience him, but not car guys. We will go to absurd lengths just to keep our cars on the road. Restoration is nothing more than a nicer word for recycling. And to help keep our cars on the road a little longer, as well as the resources needed to run them, Valvoline has released its line of NextGen oil; the first commercially viable oil that uses 50% recycled oil.
Valvoline recently invited Bullz-Eye down to North Carolina to showcase this new product, and how it is being used in everything from the car in your driveway to the cars on racetrack.
When you hear “recycled” oil you might be under the assumption that it is inferior to new oil. However. Valvoline explains that it is the additives in the oil that get used up during its lifetime, and that the actual oil is fine. If you take the spent additives out of the oil, and do some refining, you get the same quality product as you had the first time around, but you didn’t have to drill it out of the ground again. All that needs to be added after that are some new additives and its ready for your car once again.
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