Cadillac’s big new XTS luxury sedan is making a lot of waves in the automotive world. Billed as a replacement for the old DTS model, it certainly is an upgrade in design and style, and it comes with more standard technology features than I have seen on a car in the 12 years that I have been writing this column.
There is just so much technology included with this car that it has been labeled as the most technologically advanced production car in Cadillac’s history. At the heart of all this technology is the new CUE system, Cadillac’s new in-vehicle tablet interface for control and connectivity, and it’s very similar to an Apple iPad.
CUE (for Cadillac User Experience) merges intuitive design with the auto controls for information and media control, and it is standard equipment on all models.
There is a big eight-inch screen in the center stack and, using the faceplate below the screen and the steering wheel controls, CUE is easy to customize. CUE also has several industry firsts, including capacitive-touch control with proximity sensing, haptic feedback, gesture recognition and natural voice recognition. Capacitive touch is the technology used on many of today’s better tablets and smartphones. Also new is a 12.3-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster. It has vibrant graphic displays showcased among four driver- selectable themes, ranging from minimal to extensive information
Aside from CUE, there’s the advanced Haldex all-wheel-drive system with an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, and the standard Magnetic Ride Control. Then there are the rear air springs for a better ride, the HiPer Strut front suspension for surer handling, front Brembo brakes for more stopping power, an intervening braking system that lessens or avoids potential collisions and short- and long-range radar systems that support adaptive cruise control, front/rear automatic brakes and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Under the hood, there’s an advanced 3.6- liter V-6 engine rated at 304 hp and 264 pounds-feet of torque. Lightweight features help reduce overall weight for greater efficiency and a more favorable front-to-rear weight balance. Examples include a composite intake manifold that saves about 5.5 pounds and an integrated cylinder head/exhaust manifold design that saves another 13 pounds. The engine is mated to the Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission with tap-shift control.
Other innovations include a capless fuel tank filler for easier, cleaner refueling and the new Safety Alert Seat that gently vibrates your butt when you are dangerously close to an object while driving or backing up.
The XTS is positioned just above the CTS in the Cadillac lineup and offered in three trim levels or collections: Luxury, Premium and Platinum. The XTS Platinum obviously is the highest level of technology and luxury, and has a unique front appearance, wheels and interior colors, materials and trim.
Base price on the 2012 Cadillac XTS is $44,995.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com