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Local News / Automotive

Tuesday, 18 September, 2012 9:16 PM

2013 Cadillac XTS luxury sedan unveiled at SAE Detroit Section meeting

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

SAE Detroit Section members and guests checking out the 2013 Cadillac XTS inside the San Marino Club in Troy, Mich.

 

by Gloria Rzucidlo
gloria1025@yahoo.com

 

|

TROY, Mich. -- The Cadillac XTS was described as an inspiration, a dream, a symbol of achievement. The tradition continues with segment leading products, and red-blooded marketing, according to a video created by GM. "It's time to deliver on promise. The time is here. Are you ready?" The XTS takes over the role of the "big Cadillac" replacing the aged DTS. It offers front-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive. XTS is the brand's technology flagship which includes the new Cadillac User Experience (CUE) system. CUE features the industry's first production use of a touch screen in a vehicle infotainment and human/machine interface system.

The XTS chassis and suspension package includes standard Magnetic Ride control, HiPer strut front suspension, rear air springs, and front Brembo brakes. The hydraulic steering assist features Nexteer Automotive's Magnasteer magnetorheological variable assist. The XTS package includes a front-facing camera, a rear backup camera and a radar mounted in each rear quarter panel.

Jeanne Merchant, GM's Vehicle Chief Engineer, says every car has a story. "XTS creates a timeless design," she explained. "This is where our story begins. Our mission is to fulfill the promise of elegant, modern and spacious design which our customers have fallen in love with. Even the details has details. The rearview mirrors appear to float on pedestals. There is dramatic lighting in both exterior and interior. The headlamps swivel and the exterior door handles illuminate. Interior ambient lighting comes alive. With rear seats folded down, it will fit a 55-inch TV screen. This vehicle creates space and elegance that you expect from a Cadillac. XTS redefines luxury and technology."

Merchant added: "Our goal is the industry's first safety alert approach in crash avoidance. The safety features continually surveys the road for expected hazards. These systems are key to driver awareness and driver assist technology which include forward collision alert system, radar-based cruise control, camera-based lane departure warning, radar-based blind zone alert and cross traffic alert. The seat vibrates, has standard push-button start and has a 14-speaker Bose surround sound system. Every interaction with our customers define our brand. Every 2013 Cadillac XTS sold in the United States includes an Apple iPad."

Christine Park, GM's Cadillac Lead Designer, says they integrated sheet metal together and used technology as no other car has in the world. "We spent more emphasis on interior spaciousness. The exterior demands a sleek and low profile. A fifth window elongates the shape. Our vertical signature lighting makes XTS stand out even at night. The beauty you see in the exterior extends in the interior. The console looks like a beautiful wooden jewelry box. There is harmony between the exterior and interior. The elegance can be seen in the interior like a brush stroke. It connects the car as one complete work of art. The design looks clean and simple. The experience is multi-dimensional."

She drew a sketch of the interior for the audience on the big screen before our eyes. "You have just witnessed the art of XTS," Park explained.

Renee Conneally, GM's Program Engineering Manager, couldn't attend because she lost her voice. Jeanne Merchant spoke on her behalf. "The standard of the world is a mindset that fuels our shared long-term commitment to the brand," Merchant said. "What is luxury? Authentic design, authentic materials, spaciousness, smooth performance, and purposeful technology is the ultimate luxury. Smooth performance includes HiPer strut suspension which virtually eliminates torque steer. The 3.6-liter, V6 direct injection achieves 17 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Purposeful technology includes safety technologies with full speed range adaptive cruise control and auto collision preparation and low-speed emergency braking."

Mike Hichme, Manager of GM's User Interface Design Group, says he is responsible for hardware and software at General Motors. "We were going to design a new entertainment system," he explained. "What are we going to do for the next generation? We thought that the designers and engineers would collaborate from the beginning. One of the first things we needed to realize is bringing bright people together. However, none of them got along with anyone. We had struggles early on. We taught the engineers to draw. The designers were eager to learn the technology. This helped the team mesh up. Where do you start? What the industrial designers did was benchmarking, then things started to surface. Piano black, touch screens, seamless transition between displays and controls were some key features of the CUE system in the center stack."

Hichme added: "We observed customers as they interacted with their infotainment systems. We built this artifact model to find out what people used and brought into the car. We have two liters of storage areas and it's out of sight. We have two USB ports, SD slot and an auxiliary jack. We built an affinity diagram and put together sticky notes regarding direct customer observations. We wanted to minimize the time people took their eyes off the road with natural language and voice recognition. Another feature is steering wheel control integration. You can browse music, recent calls or address book on the steering wheel which is the key to driver distraction.

"We do our own user testing. It is best for the designers to do the testing. Outside testing didn't work, so now we do our own testing. Eventually everything connects, people, ideas and objects. Industrial design, graphic design and interaction design work together. We have Cadillac CUE customer assistance center to get feedback from the field."

Jeanne Merchant provided the closing remarks. "Remember, whether you are arriving or departing, XTS will get you there in style," she says. The event ended at 8:45 p.m.

2012 SAE Detroit Section Chair Brian Sangeorzan announced all of the future SAE events. The next event, titled “Following the Electron Through the Electric Vehicle" will also take place at the San Marino Club on Wednesday, Nov. 7.

For more information about the SAE Detroit Section or to purchase tickets to future events, visit www.sae-detroit.org.

Related Story: 2013 Ford Escape revealed during SAE Detroit Section meeting

 

 

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

2013 SAE Detroit Section Chairman Brian Sangeorzan

 

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Another 2013 Cadillac XTS luxury sedan

 

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

GM Vehicle Chief Engineer Jeanne Merchant

 

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Copyright © 2012 AmericaJR.com. All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.

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