Click above for high-res image gallery of the 2010 Cadillac SRX
Almost exactly a year after revealing the Provoq Concept
, Cadillac is debuting the redesigned 2010 SRX wearing essentially the same suit of clothes. At that time, the Provoq was thought to be a preview of a new smaller crossover called the BRX, but Cadillac informed us last summer that the "BRX" was actually the all-new SRX.
We'll be seeing the new SRX in production form at the Detroit Auto Show
, and while automakers often throw the term "all-new" around, in this case it really seems to apply. There is almost nothing carried over to this version of the SRX compared to the old one, although many of the greasy bits are shared with other GM vehicles. The biggest difference going from the Provoq concept to the production SRX is the powertrain. The Provoq used a Volt based E-Flex powertrain with a fuel cell range extender. The SRX is a far more conventional though fully modern luxury crossover. Read all about the details after the jump.
Live photos Copyright ©2008 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.
When introducing the new SRX, Cadillac VP Mark McNabb stated, "Design is an initial product differentiator." Design is after all the first thing people notice about a new vehicle. Of course, a great design doesn't gaurantee a good vehicle awaits under the skin, but a bad design may result in people never discovering if the vehicle is any good at all. The new SRX takes the latest iteration of Cadillac's much lauded design language and applies it to a crossover that has a more aggressive SUV-like look than the wagon-shaped first generation SRX.
The most obvious visual difference between the Provoq and SRX is the grille. The "fuel cell powered" Provoq had thermostatically controlled shutters in the grille that were meant to open and close depending on the powertrain's cooling demands. The production SRX reverts to a more conventional setup similar to that of the current CTS and STS. The LED fog-lights in the lower front corners have also been replaced by more conventional looking units.
One interesting detail that Cadillac design chief Clay Dean pointed out on the SRX is its new three-dimensional wreath and crest logo. The elements in the crest have been layered at different depths to give it more presence. The logo is part of the whole aesthetic that consists of "layers of texture" and "vertical and horizontal creases" leading to what Dean dubbed "bold design and drama." Dean also told the gathering that "pure luxury is about genuineness." It remains to be seen how genuine the SRX is, but it certainly looks like a contemporary Cadillac and fits in with the CTS family.
Virtually the only design elements that have changed from the Provoq are the larger side view mirrors, more conventional door handles and tail-pipes that have replaced the water exhaust slots on the Provoq.
On the inside, the concept's design is again carried over virtually unchanged. Some of the shinier metallic trim bits have been replaced by similar satin finish parts on the pre-production example we were shown, while others are now finished in wood. The SRX also gets a similar pop-up navigation screen to the unit in the new CTS. Like the CTS-V, the SRX gets an electronic parking brake that is activated by a switch on the console to the left of the shift lever. The EPB frees up space in the footwell that would otherwise be occupied by a foot activated unit.
One design element that's echoed both inside and out is a longitudinal crease running the length of the body work and center stack. This is a design element that is turning up more and more on luxury vehicles from various manufacturers, including Acura. Dean described it as similar to the crease one finds in a pair of tailored trousers that provides a more upscale look.
When we saw the Provoq and Saab 9-4X concepts that share their platforms at the last Detroit Auto Show
, most assumed that both vehicles rode on the same Theta architecture as the similarly sized Saturn Vue and Chevy Equinox
. Saab and Cadillac officials, however, repeatedly told us this was incorrect but declined to be more specific. We know now that this premium crossover architecture is actually a blend of components and systems from the Theta platform and new Epsilon II architecture that is used for the Opel Insignia.
The original SRX was based on the same Sigma platform as the CTS, meaning it had rear- or all-wheel-drive configurations. This new Theta-based architecture gets front-wheel-drive for base models and all-wheel drive is optional. The AWD variant uses a Haldex system to apportion drive torque to the rear axle as needed. An electronic limited slip differential distributes the torque based on slip and stability control requirements. The eLSD can send up to 100% of the drive torque to whichever wheel has the most traction or send torque to whichever side is needed to help the vehicle follow the driver's intended trajectory. If all of that sounds familiar, it should. This is essentially the cross-wheel-drive system found on the Saab Turbo-X.
That's not all that the new SRX gets from the sporting Saab. The SRX also gets a choice of two V6 engines, both derivatives of the high feature V6 family that has been available here in 3.6L form for several years. The new base engine is a 3.0L version with direct injection that will be installed in several GM platforms this year, including the Chevy Equinox
. In the Cadillac, the 3.0L is rated at 260 hp (5 hp more than the Chevy CUV) and 221 lb-ft of torque. The 3.0L essentially matches the power of the older port-injected 3.6L, although it falls short on torque compared to the 254 lb-ft of the larger engine.
Those craving more torque will want the optional engine, a 2.8L V6 with a turbocharger putting out 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. This is essentially the same engine from the Saab Turbo-X and the first turbocharged engine ever offered in a North American market Cadillac. Both engines are mated to separate 6-speed automatic transmissions. The 3.0L is paired wih the same 6T70 unit used with the 3.6L in other GM products, while the 2.8L is bolted to an Aisin Warner unit.
The body of the new SRX is independently suspended at all four corners with struts in the front and a multi-link layout in the rear, while the dampers also have real-time variable rate control. Tractive and cornering forces are applied with either 18-inch or 20-inch wheels and tires. The front-wheel-drive version weighs in at relatively porky 4,300 lbs and all-wheel drive adds about 150 lbs.
The SRX will be offered at launch in front- or all-wheel-drive with conventional drive-trains only. However, chief engineer Lyndon Schnieder told us that "there is no architectural reason the Two-Mode hybrid won't fit." Since the SRX is aimed directly at the Lexus RX350 and Toyota also offers the hybrid RX450h, this would seem to be a logical next step. Since Cadillacs already command a price premium, the extra cost of the hybrid would be more palatable.
We won't know for several more months how the driving experience of the new 2010 Cadillac SRX compares to competitors like the Lexus RX or Acura MDX. The latter should provide an interesting comparison with its Super Handling-All Wheel Drive pitted against the Haldex system in the Cadillac. One thing is certain, the SRX is a far more attractive and well proportioned piece than its predecessor and easily better looking than the rather bland looking new RX.