Month: August, 2010
GM’s board of management has completed the papers for an initial public offering and is expected to file them with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States today, according to Reuters sources with knowledge of the proceedings.
According to the report, GM’s filing has been delayed by the departure of its CEO Ed Whitacre last week, who will be replaced by Dan Akerson on September 1.
GM expects to raise between $15 billion and $20 billion in the IPO, which will make it one of the biggest ever. It has also lined up a long list of banks to underwrite the effort but those details have not been finalized.
GM is currently 60 percent owned (a controlling stake) by the United States federal government.
We can expect more news to follow soon.
About 300 dealers will hold special events to unveil all-new model
The CTS Coupe is expected to attract a new generation of luxury sports car enthusiasts to Cadillac and go head-to-head with the BMW 335i Coupe, Mercedes-Benz E350 Coupe and Audi A5. “Cadillac is once again ready to compete with the world’s best,” Autoblog wrote in its review of the CTS Coupe.
Almost 300 Cadillac dealers will host events showcasing the new model as part of CTS Coupe Premiere Week. Customers should contact their local Cadillac dealer for more information about the CTS Coupe and details on the event in their area.
The CTS Coupe has been cited by the automotive press for its groundbreaking design and outstanding performance. “It’s safe to say the coupe is positively gorgeous,” Automobile magazine wrote in a review. “Pictures simply don’t do it justice, which is saying quite a bit.”
“The CTS Coupe is one of the most significant automobiles to enter the market this year,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president of Cadillac sales and service. “It represents the new focal point for Cadillac in terms of design and performance. Cadillac and its dealers want to make sure customers are given a chance to get an up-close look at this stunning new vehicle.”
The CTS Coupe extends the CTS line, which has been named to Car and Driver’s 10 Best list for three straight years. It shares design cues with the CTS Sport Sedan, but the CTS Coupe has a wider track, lower roofline and shorter length, giving it an aggressive stance and sleek, athletic profile.
The CTS Coupe starts at $38,990 and comes standard with a 3.6L Direct Injection V6 engine that produces 304 horsepower, six-speed auto tap up/down shifting, rear-park assist and Bose audio. A high-performance CTS-V Coupe model also is available with a 6.2L Supercharged V8 that produces 556 horsepower, dual-mode magnetic ride control suspension and Brembo brakes.
Controversy can be a good thing, and there’s a fair bit of it surrounding the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, the new two-door version of the Caddy sedan with a 556-hp supercharged V8 forged in Mount Doom.
Is it better than a BMW M3 or Audi RS 5? Is it, or is it not, pathetic that Motor Trend and Car and Driver this month attempt to compare the CTS-V with these European performance coupes? Is the CTS-V’s styling – as angular as early Kraftwerk, a strange splintered diamond chip of a car – wonderful and heroic, or a fugly waste of photons?
I’ve just spent a week in the CTS-V and, while debate can be bracing and informative, I hereby invoke cloture. Here’s the cold-blooded, clear-eyed, un-debatable bottom line about the CTS-V:
Styling: Not even close. The CTS-V is a visual event, an annunciation, a car that radiates masculinity and soul as if it were a fresh fuel rod. Go ahead and park the CTS-V next to the German rivals. Open yourself up to the melancholic moment when the two other cars seem to shrink, to shrivel into ordinariness, to waste away like a worm on a hot muffler. I’m not saying the CTS-V is aesthetically perfect. I’m saying it makes the German cars look like taxis. End of debate.
Driving: The CTS-V is more fun to drive than the M3 or the RS 5. Importantly, I’m not saying it’s a finer, more advanced performance machine, even though the Caddy – bigger and heavier – is quicker around the Nurburgring than those two cars, and anyone who says American cars don’t handle is a pathetic hater. I’ve driven lots of performance automobiles, from Alfa 8C Competiziones to Zondas, and I can assure you, the CTS-V – with the big racy rubber, the magnetic dampers, the limited-slip diff, the Brembo land anchors, the gut-bucket torque – gets around corners wonderfully.
But, never mind: I said fun. The entertainment factor is off the charts in the CTS-V. Why? Well, first, because it’s a dancing bear. This is a big, steel-bodied front-engine coupe, and that means, when you dive into a corner, a lot of weight transfers, so you feel like you’ve really got a hold of something. But because of Caddy’s superb chassis tuning and 1-g lateral grip, the car take a nice firm suspension set early and affirmatively. Now it’s locked down, shoulder to the ground, effortlessly predictable. From this posture you can tuck in, chase the apex and let the car understeer through the corner or you can pick up the throttle early and help it rotate with power-on oversteer. The CTS-V makes it easy for mere civilians to drift like Tanner Foust. It’s the fact that you have such a broad range of options – and therefore cornering lines – that makes the car fun.
And then there’s corner exit. It’s true that the CTS-V supercharged V8 isn’t quite the wraith-shrieking wundermill of a German sports coupe. But the grunt – peak torque is 551 pound-feet at 3,800 rpm – is galling, enormous, awesome. And Caddy engineers specifically tuned the traction management to wring the last Mu of grip out of the asphalt before the computer steps in to feather, ever so slightly, the output. The result is a car that absolutely digs for China as you unwind the wheel on corner exit.
And, oh yeah, it’s fast. This is a car that effortlessly reaches 100 mph in about 9 seconds and when the supercharger is fully angered, you can well and truly smoke the baloneys in third gear. Oh my. I need a moment.
Other indisputable facts: The Recaro seats are splendid. Herman Miller never sold a chair half its equal.
The overrun engines noises are delirious, a lush, pyrotechnic cackle, like the rewarding sound of a distant string of Daisy Cutter munitions falling on Al Qaeda hideouts.
The Caddy’s suede steering wheel rim is so much better than the BMW’s Nerf-y, thick-sectioned wheel, it isn’t even funny.
The Caddy is – at the risk of being political incorrectness – a man’s car. Hefty steering, locking rear diff, glowering aesthetics. This car isn’t going to appeal to everybody. Only a few good men.
As I said, these are the facts of the case and they are not in dispute.
Friday, August 6th 2010, 08:55 GMT
The World Rally Championship’s return of retrospective manufacturers looks set to continue, with Saab now tipped to follow Mini back to the sport’s highest level.
Saab, which last competed in the WRC in 1979, has been linked to a possible entry in 2012, with the firm’s first ever World Rally car running off a possible 9-1 or 9-2 base car.
The engine for the car would be likely to come from BMW, meaning a universal 1.6-litre turbocharged motor for the Mini and Saab.
After being on the verge of collapse late last year, Saab has been purchased by Spyker. Senior officials from Spyker have already met with the sport’s organisers – and they are expected to go into the next round of meetings at the Rally of France in early October.
AUTOSPORT’s sources stated: “The initial meeting [between Saab and WRC officials, believed to include both the FIA commissions and promoter North One Sport] has happened and there’s a huge amount of enthusiasm from all concerned. Like Mini, Saab has a great heritage in the sport and a return to the WRC makes a lot of sense.”
North One Sport’s Simon Long refused to be drawn on specific manufacturers, but said: “I think Mini’s announcement has given people a lot of confidence in the sport. The messages we’re getting are all positive.”
Volkswagen is believed to be the next manufacturer ready to commit to the WRC, with the German firm expected to begin a limited programme of WRC rounds in 2012 before a possible full entry in 2013.
DETROIT – The 2010 Cadillac SRX received the highest possible rollover protection rating of “Good” in a recent evaluation by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This was one of four tests leading to the Institute’s Top Safety Pick Award for all SRX models built after May 2010.
“Car buyers shopping for safety need look no further than vehicles earning the Top Safety Pick designation,” said Institute president Adrian Lund. “This award means the SRX has elite status for overall crash protection. The SRX not only affords buyers the best protection in the four most common kinds of crashes, this vehicle also has electronic stability control, a crucial safety feature that can help drivers avoid many crashes altogether.”
The 2010 SRX is designed to protect occupants before, during and after a crash. In addition to a strong body structure and chassis that absorb crash energy, SRX has a number of standard safety features. These include rollover-capable head curtain side air bags, front seat-mounted pelvic/thorax side air bags, front safety belts with dual pretensioners and the safety and security of OnStar.
“The redesigned SRX has been a phenomenal success for Cadillac since its introduction last year,” said Don Butler, vice president of Cadillac Marketing. “SRX has won over consumers with its bold design and impressive array of features. The IIHS Top Safety Pick Award provides another great reason for luxury crossover buyers to consider SRX.”
SRX continues to be a strong contributor to Cadillac’s sales momentum. In July, total sales of the model rose almost eightfold, increasing 783 percent and marking the best sales month ever since its original introduction in 2003.
For more information visit Red Noland Cadillac