8 months with a Renault Clio

Top Car's Wayne Batty says goodbye to his Renault Clio. It’s not a soppy farewell but the little 'automatique' did its maker proud.

Kia's trendy family pick

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post experiences the upcoming Cerato.

New big-daddy Caddy a hybrid?

2010-01-13 08:09
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Cadillac
Model XTS
Engine 3.6l V6, hybrid
Power 260kW
Torque 400Nm
Cadillac went big at this year’s Detroit auto show, unveiling its probable STS and DTS replacement – the XTS.

Although labelled a concept by Cadillac company representatives, the XTS Platinum cues an awful lot of production engineering details, including a hybrid drivetrain – which is very much the automotive must-have item of 2010.

Properly big

As its future destiny is to fill the void left by STS and DTS (when production ends) you’d expect the XTS to be a properly large car – and it sure is.

Compared to a W221 S-Class the XTS is 79mm more substantial bumper-to-bumper, yet it remains quite fetching in terms of design – especially with its oversized grille framed by those narrow headlights.

Powering the XTS is a 3.6l direct-injected V6 petrol engine augmented by an electric motor. Cadillac engineers quote the drive system as having 260kW and 400Nm on demand for peak acceleration response.

Cabin architecture is splendidly symmetrical with a high level of perceivable digitisation. Don't you just love all that impractical beige too?

Lithium on-board

Concerning battery set-up, XTS uses a liquid-cooled lithium ion pack similar to the system due to be employed in Chevrolet’s Volt, with a capacity of around 8kW-h.

Pure electric drive is only operable at speeds of less than 65km/h and for a range of only 32km, which should make XTS perfect for a heavily trafficked daily commute.

The XTS hybrid drive system shores up efficiency by enabling full electric drive in congested urban environments and on overrun, with Cadillac promising a wall-socket (voltage unspecified) recharging timeframe of only five hours.

Shape is simple and classic. Tyres are allegedly bespoke Bridgestone items specially made for the XTS and its 20-inch wheels...

All-wheel drive Caddy limousine?

Like all Cadillac products ride comfort is paramount and to this end the TXS features independent suspension at all four wheel corners, with body-control further buoyed by Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) enhanced dampers.

These MRC damper units are magneto-rheological controlled (instead of fluid managed by conventional mechanical valves) and can respond to chassis loading and ride-comfort demands in milliseconds.

XTS also sports all-wheel drive, which should ensure outstanding traction security at pace – especially in colder climates during winter.

Inside the XTS cabin promises to be sumptuously comfortable and generously spacious – as one would expect for a car the limousine class bearing Cadillac's nameplate.

Science-fiction geeks should find the laser-etched cabin suede trim bits particularly appealing.

At the other end of the style spectrum, those 20-inch multispoke wheels (which feature genuine brushed billet aluminium inserts) are pure gangster…

Expect a production version of XTS towards the end of 2012, which should see a massive reduction in the carbon-footprint of American music-video productions...


Inside Wheels24

Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in SA

Want to experience what it's like to be behind the wheel of a 419kW sports car? Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in our interactive Snapchat video filmed in SA.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.