Cadillac set to fortify European lineup

The all-new Cadillac Escalade will be the first vehicle to hit the ground in Europe as the American luxo-marque initiates stage two of its European invasion. It'll appear in showrooms at the end of the year, joined by the all-wheel-drive STS, which will be offered for the first time. Also in '06, the Cadillac BLS gets a 6-speed manual and the automatic is given a sport mode.

After the ball drops in Times Square, Q1 2007 will see the arrival of the SRX with its spiffy new interior and a rear-wheel-drive version. The rear-driver supplements the AWD version that is currently available on the Continent. The product blitz concludes with an attack by Cadillac's V-Series cruise missiles. The 448-horse, wind-in-your-hair XLR-V comes first, followed by the even more potent STS-V (476 hp) shortly thereafter.

Why is Cadillac throwing down the gauntlet with a bunch of V8-powered machines in Europe, where smaller cars and diesel power dominate the roads? Well, their stated goal of producing vehicles that equal or surpass the quality of their European competition is no secret. For them to do that, they're going to have to go play in the competition's backyard.

Besides, no one says a peep about the European automakers' vehicles that Cadillac is competing against, many of which are available with thirsty gasoline V8s of their own. For Cadillac to make progress on the other side of the Atlantic, they have to bring their best, which is precisely what they're doing. We'll keep an eye on how things go.

(Cadillac press release after the jump)

[Source: Cadillac via Inside Line]


Cadillac Into Second Phase of Renaissance in Europe

* SRX with new interior and rear-wheel drive
* Escalade on sale end of 2006
* BLS with six-speed manual transmission
* STS available with all-wheel drive
* STS-V and XLR-V due in 2007

The 2007 model year marks an important milestone in Cadillac's efforts to strengthen its position among the world's luxury brands. The new Escalade luxury SUV aims to extend Cadillac's leadership in that category. The SRX crossover boasts a luxurious new interior and the Cadillac V-Series cars (XLR-V, STS-V) will tap into the potential of the division's performance, luxury and exclusivity.

This new phase of the division's renaissance aims to continue Cadillac's noteworthy progress in dramatic designs and enhanced performance. "Phase two" also adds a renewed emphasis on more elegantly detailed products.

For example, the new interiors of the SRX crossover, as well as the STS-V and XLR-V, feature interior components cut, sewn and wrapped by hand, bringing extreme accuracy and attention to detail. The supercharged Northstar V-8 engine powering the STS-V and XLR-V is hand-assembled to exacting standards at GM's Performance Build Center in Wixom , Mich. Each engine is built from start to finish by a single expert craftsman. The new Escalade features a completely distinct and luxurious new interior, with high technology features such as power release second-row seats and a rearview camera system.

2007 Cadillac product highlights

SRX: The SRX luxury crossover enters the 2007 model year with a redesigned interior. The all-new cockpit is more luxurious and spacious, featuring a new instrument panel, hand-wrapped upper trim, console, center stack, door trim, wood trim, analog clock and steering wheel.

The instrument panel and door trim use Cadillac's new cut-and-sew interior process. The vehicle's new cockpit is hand-built, in the same painstaking fashion Cadillac applies to the STS-V and XLR-V models, bringing elite craftsmanship into the heart of the luxury marketplace.

New for 2007 is the 6L50 Hydra-Matic six-speed transmission that provides increased performance and fuel efficiency. First introduced on Cadillac's acclaimed STS-V and XLR-V Series, the new transmission is now standard for rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive V-8 models. While the SRX has so far been offered in Europe with all-wheel drive only, a rear-wheel-drive version will be added to the 2007 product lineup and will hit the market beginning of 2007.

Escalade: The all-new 2007 Cadillac Escalade, the next generation of the iconic luxury SUV, establishes a new level of power, style and elegance and introduces the next step in Cadillac's ongoing renaissance.

Based on General Motors' all-new full-size SUV architecture, the '07 Escalade features new powertrain, chassis, safety and interior systems. These integrated systems deliver the most powerful, efficient luxury SUV in the segment, led by a new 6.2L all-aluminum V-8 engine with variable valve timing technology delivering 409 horsepower/PS (301 kW) and 565 Nm of torque.

The Escalade has a sleeker, cleaner and more athletic form with improved aerodynamics, while appearing smaller in stature than its predecessor. It is instantly identifiable and incorporates styling cues from Cadillac's landmark Sixteen concept vehicle, including a more detailed signature grille, front fender vent ports and layers of chrome accents.

An all-new interior is a cornerstone of the new Escalade and sets a new standard for refinement. The warm and inviting interior is complemented with premium materials.

Cadillac Escalade will be in European dealer showrooms in late 2006.

BLS: The 2007 model year of the Cadillac BLS comes with a few refinements. All BLS manual transmission models will have six speeds. For the versions equipped with an automatic transmission and either the gasoline or diesel engine, a new, standard Sport Mode feature allows the driver to press a button to select a sportier transmission shift pattern. Sales of the new gearbox begin following the Paris Motor Show.

STS: The STS luxury performance sedan delivers sophisticated luxury in a contemporary package. For 2007, Cadillac is making all-wheel drive available on STS to meet the growing demand for this technology.

New for 2007 is the 6L50 Hydra-Matic six speed automatic transmission that provides increased performance and fuel efficiency. The transmission, first introduced on Cadillac's acclaimed STS-V and XLR-V, is standard on AWD and RWD V-8-equipped models. The new transmission features a generous 6.04:1 overall ratio that delivers strong launch acceleration yet provides "tall" overdrive ratios that decrease engine rpm to enhance fuel economy and reduce noise levels while cruising at highway speeds. Estimates by GM engineers have shown nearly 7 percent improvement in 0-to-100km/h times and up to a 5 percent improvement in fuel efficiency. The STS with all-wheel drive will be available in Europe in the fourth quarter of 2006.

STS-V: The supercharged 2007 Cadillac STS-V is General Motors' most intense expression of Cadillac power and performance yet. It has the sophistication of its STS sibling, yet elevates the performance and luxury attributes of the brand's growing V-Series lineup. The STS-V debuted in late 2005 in North America , representing an historic combination of performance technology and hand-crafted elegance.

The 476 horsepower STS-V is the most powerful Cadillac ever. It is capable of exceptional performance for an automobile of its size. Each 4.4-liter Supercharged Northstar V-8 engine is hand-assembled to exacting standards at GM's Performance Build Center in Wixom , Mich. , and is built from start to finish by a single expert craftsman.

The 2007 STS-V also marks the initial phase of Cadillac's cut-and-sew approach to interiors, with extensive use of leather-wrapped interior surfaces created by craftsmen who cut, wrap and sew leather components individually. The STS-V is expected in Europe in March 2007.

XLR-V: The 2007 Cadillac XLR-V is a landmark car in Cadillac's long history. XLR-V elevates the performance and luxury attributes of the brand's growing V-Series lineup to the fullest extent.

XLR-V is the quickest, most agile and most exclusive Cadillac ever offered. Launched in early 2006, the supercharged XLR-V also adopts Cadillac's cut-and-sew philosophy.

The 448 horsepower supercharged Northstar V-8 engine powering the XLR-V is hand assembled to exacting standards at GM's Performance Build Center in Wixom , Mich. Like with STS-V, each engine is built from start to finish by a single expert craftsman. The XLR-V series will be on sale in Europe in the first quarter of 2007.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader for 75 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 327,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit , GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries . In 2005, 9.17 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM operates one of the world's leading finance companies, GMAC Financial Services, which offers automotive, residential and commercial financing and insurance. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at

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