Weekly Recap: Lincoln Continental serves up the style, Cadillac CT6 delivers the substance in New York

Plus: Volvo To Build US Plant, 2016 Camaro Cuts Weight And Ralph Gilles Gets A Promotion

  • The Lincoln Continental Concept unveiled at the 2015 New York International Auto Show.
  • Image Credit: AOL On
Lincoln and Cadillac grabbed the spotlight this week at the New York Auto Show in a dramatic fashion that evoked the brands' glory days. America's two luxury carmakers went toe-to-toe with their glittering reveals and plans for ambitious expansion. Both were selling their technology, style and the promise of a better future. Cadillac vs. Lincoln. At the Javits Center, 2015 seemed a lot like 1956.

Neither company was interested in drawing comparisons with the other, which is fair, and accurate. They're in vastly different places in terms of sales and the pace of their turnarounds, but they hope to reach the same eventual destination at the pinnacle of the luxury-car world.

Lincoln used the element of surprise to great effect with the Continental concept. A production version is still at least a year away, and the company was vague on details. Officially, we don't even know if it is front- or rear-wheel drive, though speculation abounds. Who cares? The seats can be adjusted 30 ways! The Continental also showed off a bold chrome grille that will be the new face of Lincoln. The blue bomber also rolled on blinged-out 21-inch polished aluminum wheels, used a 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine and had huge LED head lights with "laser-assisted" high beams.

All of this resulted in almost blinding attention. The concept drew rave reviews, stirred controversy with Bentley designers who argued Lincoln ripped them off, and most importantly, pointed a way forward for the newly determined brand that hopes to compete with Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Cadillac and Lexus.

  • The 2016 Cadillac CT6 unveiled at the 2015 New York International Auto Show.
  • Image Credit: AOL On
  • 2016 Cadillac CT6 | 2015 NYIAS

Meanwhile, Cadillac showed the CT6, a finished product that will top its range and is loaded with the best and latest technologies General Motors has at its disposal. With production starting late this year, Cadillac had more specifics at the ready. Engines? Cadillac has a couple V6s and a turbo four for sure. It's working on a hybrid, and has considered a V-Series variant. It's based on a new rear-wheel-drive, aluminum-intensive chassis called Omega, features an advanced collision-mitigation system with automatic braking and has a cabin that's laden with "leathers, exotic woods and carbon fiber." It will be assembled at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck factory and goes on sale next year. At this point, Cadillac is more than willing to talk about every except for the price.

The devil was not in the details for Cadillac, as evidenced by the CT6. But it wasn't for Lincoln either. Yes, their showpieces at the New York Auto Show were in different stages of development, but both brands used them to illustrate their focus and plans for revival. Forget about 1956. Cadillac and Lincoln are poised for intriguing futures.

Other News & Notes

Volvo S60Volvo to build US factory

Volvo announced this week it will spend $500 million to build its first factory in the United States, and production is expected to begin in 2018. The company is negotiating with a short list of potential locations and expects to make an announcement within two months, a spokesman said. No specific locations were revealed.

Volvo, which is owned by China's Geely Holding, is looking to expand its manufacturing footprint to better compete as a global carmaker. The automaker has two factories in Europe and two in China. Volvo wants to sell 100,000 cars annually in the United States. It sold 13,722 units through the first quarter of this year, flat compared to the same period in 2014. "Volvo Cars cannot claim to be a true global car maker without an industrial presence in the US," CEO Håkan Samuelsson said in a statement.

2016 Chevy Camaro2016 Chevy Camaro2016 Chevy Camaro slims down

The 2016 Chevy Camaro sheds more than 200 pounds compared with the fifth-gen model in a bid to improve handling, acceleration and fuel economy. Camaro engineers made greater use of aluminum, including for the instrumental panel support beam, which cuts nearly 10 pounds compared to the steel beam in today's Camaro.

Aluminum is also used for the front and rear suspensions, and some of the links are made from composite materials that are said to be lighter than aluminum. This results in a 21-percent weight savings versus the current steel setups. Chevy said it made "dozens" of other small changes to contribute to the overall weight loss. The next-gen Camaro debuts May 16 in Detroit.

Ralph GillesRalph Gilles named to global FCA design post

Longtime Chrysler design chief Ralph Gilles was promoted to head of global design for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. He oversaw Chrysler design – which is now known as FCA US – since 2008. In his new role he will supervise design for all of Fiat Chrysler Auto, and he gets a seat on the company's group executive council.

Gilles joined Chrysler in 1992 and became a breakout star for the design of the 2005 Chrysler 300. He's also been in charge of the company's motorsports division, Dodge and SRT. Gilles takes over for Lorenzo Ramaciotti, who is retiring, but will remain with the company as an advisor.

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