Coinciding with the announcement of the pending introduction of the Cadillac BLS into the South African market early in 2007, General Motors SA released details of a long term expansion of the Cadillac range with two further models under consideration for introduction in the latter part of 2007.
Cadillac SRX - Genuine all-rounder
These are the Cadillac SRX, a luxury crossover vehicle, and the Cadillac STS, a sport luxury sedan.
The Cadillac SRX crossover vehicle is a genuine all-rounder, combining the advantages of two vehicle classes.
The SRX provides a combination of a sporty exterior, excellent driving dynamics and on-road safety expected of a luxury station wagon with the off-road capabilities and interior space of a Sport Utility Vehicle.
Traditional Cadillac styling cues immediately identify the SRX as a member of the Cadillac family, albeit slightly emboldened.
For South Africa it is likely that the 3.6-litre V6 VVT engine will be specified.
This engine produces 190 kW at 6 500 r/min and 342 Nm at 2 800 r/min.
Drive is via a five-speed automatic transmission with 'Driver Shift Control' which offers clutchless manual shifting, electronically controlled engine braking, and downgrade detection with brake assist.
Full time all-wheel drive is standard. Under normal conditions the torque split is 50:50 front to rear via a centre differential.
In the event that slippage is detected, torque is directed to the wheels, or one wheel, that offers the best traction. A full suite of electronic driver aids provides a high level of active safety.
It is anticipated that the SRX specification for South Africa will include a third row of seats providing seating for seven in the vehicle.
This version includes a one touch power-fold mechanism that allows the third row of seats to be folded away into the floor area at the touch of a button to provide an expanded luggage area.
Based on GM's Sigma architecture, like the Cadillac STS, the SRX is designed to deliver excellent driving dynamics.
A near 50:50 weight distribution, low centre of gravity, outstanding powertrain, independent suspension all round and a host of vehicle stability technologies contribute to making the SRX a luxury crossover vehicle that is, at its core, fun to drive.
Full details of the Cadillac SRX specification and availability will be released as the programme to introduce this exciting vehicle in South Africa is progressed.
The STS will be the flagship of the Cadillac range in South Africa.
The anticipated specification for South Africa includes the 4.6-litre Northstar V8 engine matched to Cadillac's five-speed automatic transmission with 'Driver Shift Control'.
Cadillac STS - Pure driving luxury
Maximum power is 239 kW at 6 400 r/min with torque of 427 Nm at 4 400 r/min. Claimed maximum speed is 250 km/h and 0-100 km/h acceleration in 6.2 seconds.
Styling includes vertically stacked headlights and LED tail lamps.
With an overall length of 4 985mm, a wheelbase of 2 957mm and front/rear track of 1 596/1 581mm, the Cadillac STS has a large platform that accommodates a spacious and stylish interior, with the emphasis on high-quality fit and finish.
As befits its luxury status, the Cadillac STS is packed full of luxury and high-tech appointments.
One of these is the integrated chassis control technology that combines a high level of dynamic performance with a comfortable ride.
This technology is linked to a two-mode Magnetic Ride Control with performance or touring selections available.
GM says the electronically controlled magnetic-fluid based real time damping employed on the STS is the world's fastest reacting suspension control system.
A full suite of electronic driver aids assists the driver in maintaining control in the most challenging of circumstances.
Full details of the Cadillac STS specification will be announced later, and its introduction will depend on right-hand drive availability.