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First introduced in model year 2013 as Cadillac’s all-new full-size flagship model, the car featured stunning style, a very luxurious interior but lacked the power and performance to better compete in its luxury segment. That all changes in 2014 with the addition of a twin-turbo 3.6 liter V6 turning all four wheels including Cadillac’s world renowned Magnetic Ride Control suspension.
The stylists also took another look at the body and added satin chrome ‘Twin-Turbo’ grille with satin chrome surrounding the lower air-intake and lower side vents. The vertical LED running lights and adaptive HID headlights remain Cadillac’s signature cue. Down below is a splitter and spoiler to help keep the front wheels solidly planted on the road. Underbody panels rearward also enhance underbody airflow. The silhouette shows a low sloping hood, steeply raked windshield A-pillars, pull-out LED illuminated door handles, aero-styled, heated outside mirrors with auto-dimming glass that feature turn-signal indicators and puddle lamps, a full-perimeter chrome strip around the greenhouse, chrome strips at each door bottom and ending with fast-back rear glass. The rear satin chrome strip ends with a sharp point giving the new XTS VSPORT AWD a look of motion when standing still. The rear reveals big vertical LED tail/brake lamps, and a LED center high-mounted rear stop lamp that acts as a spoiler. Down below is a wide satin chrome wing with Cadillac stenciled in. Further below are wide rectangular satin chrome dual exhaust outlets connected by a full-perimeter satin chrome strip and a bottom-mounted backup lamp. On the left side of the trunk face is the XTS 4 badge and on the right side is the new ‘V’ badge revealing that this is a very special high-performing Cadillac. The flared fenders are stuffed with giant 20X8.5 inch turbo-style painted aluminum alloy wheels wrapped with 245/40R20 inch Bridgestone Potenza high-performance low-profile tires for excellent grip, traction and a smooth quiet ride. The new refined look is taut and athletic with attention to detail unlike any other Cadillac.
Also unlike any other new Cadillac is the roomy, sumptuous interior with loads of luxury and sporty cues. It is tailored to provide roominess in a more efficiently size package. It offers more interior space than midsize luxury sedans and is comparable to full-size sedans, particularly in the rear seat area, where it has 40 inches of rear legroom. That about four inches more than the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and about two inches more than the Audi A6. When it comes to trunk space, the XTS is in a league all its own with 18 cubic inches exceeding both midsize and full-size competitors-more than the Audi A6 and A8L, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and that doesn’t take in account that the rear seats fold split 60/40 to further open the space. It equals room for five or more suitcases for that long vacation trip.
To focus on the interior is to gaze at an interior fully wrapped in leather, satin chrome and real veneer wood. It represents Cadillac’s new expression of luxury also in its use of authentic materials and unprecedented connectivity. The Soleil Keisel front and rear leather bucket seats are very comfortable and supportive with heating and ventilation elements. The front seats are 10-way powered with manual elongated seat bottoms to help relieve pressure on the thighs during those long drives. The leather/chrome/wood veneer wrapped steering wheel is heated with power tilt/telescopic for the correct angle and reach for ease of use plus it feels so perfect in my hands. It features buttons for the Bose Studio Surround Sound system with 14-speakers with energy-efficient amplifier including two speakers at each front seatback top. Also featured on the steering wheel are controls for 12.3 inch gauge cluster with driver information center including a turbo gauge. There are also buttons for the Radar Sensing Cruise Control and Bluetooth Hands Free Phone system. Also standard is a tri-zone automatic climate control with air-vents and rear controls at the end of the front center console. This console features dual cupholders and a deep/wide/lighted storage box. The black piano veneer center stack power opens and closes and is a great place to store items that I want out-of-sight. My XTS VSPORT AWD model came standard with eight inch color display with navigation utilizing Cadillac’s CUE capacitive-touch control with proximity sensing, heptic feedback, gesture recognition and natural voice recognition. CUE is part of a more comprehensive and layered approach to the car’s design, capabilities and performance. I felt so a part of the new XTS VSPORT with its unique use of quality materials and connectivity. I really didn’t want to leave the car when I came home. Standard equipment in the XTS VSPORT AWD model not mentioned above includes memory package for driver/front passenger, heated rear outboard seats, keyless access with push button start/stop, adaptive remote start, capless fuel filling, remote trunk release, rain-sensing wipers/washers, universal home remote, power dual outside mirrors with auto dimming/turn signal indicator, self-dimming rearview mirrors, dual map lamps, ambient lighting, aluminum keck plates at all four doors, storage slots in each door, a push-button deep and wide glove box that is lighted, dual lighted vanity mirrors, grab handles above each seat, map pockets behind the front seatbacks, pull-down rear armrest/dual cupholders/storage bin, power windows all express up/down, power door locks, head-up display to increase safety, front/rear parking assist, full carpeting including the trunk with a trunk cargo net and signature front/rear floor mats. Options included in my test XTS VSPORT AWD-driver assist package-adaptive cruise control, automatic collision preparation and front/rear automatic braking. The new XTS VSPORT AWD model is the most comfortable and luxurious of all the new Cady’s and the new VSPORT AWD model is awesome to drive.
The twin-turbo 3.6 liter V6 delivers 410hp at 6,000 rpm and an amazing 369 lb.ft. of torque between just 1,900-5,600 rpm for rocket sled acceleration of 0-60 mph in just 6 seconds, not bad for a 4,200+ pound sedan. This powerful V6 engine features an all-new cylinder block casting, DOHC, VVT, cylinder heads that feature a high-tumble intake port design that enhances the motion of the air charge for a more efficient burn when it is mixed with the new direct fuel and ignited in the combustion chamber, strengthened connecting rods, machined, domed aluminum pistons with a top steel ring carrier for greater strength, a 10.2:1 compression ratio, patented, integrated charge air cooler system with low-volume air ducts, two turbochargers that produce more than 12 psi of boost, vacuum-activated wastegates with electronic control valves, and a tuned air inlet and outlet resonators, aluminum cam covers and other items inside the engine bay to contribute to exceptional quietness and smoothness. This new engine pulls strong and mighty whenever I called upon it to quickly accelerate or quickly merge into fast highway traffic especially when passing slower vehicles on the road. So seamless is the powerflow thanks to the standard Hydra Matic 6T75 six-speed automatic transmission. You have two modes: Tour when in Drive and Sport when in Manual enabling me to use the tap shift pads behind the steering wheel for lightning quick shifts up or down the gears. I would have liked to have seen the use of the all-new eight-speed automatic but maybe it will be included in the 2015 XTS VSPORT AWD.
Enhancing my exhilarating driving experience is a layered approach that relies on new and established technologies-all rooted in a stiff structure. The body is infused with strategically placed ultra-high strength steel for strength and crash protection, and serves as the foundation for the advanced chassis system. A smart all-wheel-drive system features the world-famous Haldex technology-with an electronic limited-slip differential that splits torque between the rear wheels-complements an advanced HiPer Strut over coil suspension with hollow direct-acting stabilizer bar and Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping shocks up front that gave me a confident, sure-footed and comfortable ride and handling capability. The rear setup features a linked H-arm design with solid direct-acting stabilizer bar, air springs and Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping shocks. HiPer Strut is based on the MacPherson strut front suspension design and features dual-path top mountings that separate the transfer of spring and damper loads to the body structure. It improves ride and handling by providing a more linear and communicative steering feel improved camber control, improves impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces, reduces torque steer and improves vehicle sensitivity to tire irregularities and wheel balance. Magnetic Ride Control delivers precise body motion control-‘reading’ the road every millisecond and changing damping in just five milliseconds. It replaces conventional mechanical-valve shocks with electronically controlled shocks filled with a magneto-rheological fluid containing minute iron particles. Under the presence of magnetic charge, the iron particles align to provide resistance almost instantly. It is so smooth and seamless. Even in the tightest turns the body remains flat, no leaning or bending as I easily maneuver around a curve at high speed, confident but with my heart pumping for the next corner. The proven hydraulic power variable-effort rack & pinion steering is right-on target with precise response to my inputs with no slush, always on center. The ratio is set at 15.3:1. StabiliTrak electronic stability control and traction control are standard and help control the direction of the vehicle by using the throttle, brakes Magnetic Ride Control shocks to keep me from losing traction when I corner a little above the top adhesion point.
Speaking of safety, the new XTS VSPORT AWD brakes hard and straight thanks to 13.6 inch vented front discs clamped with Brembo 4-piston calipers and 12.4 inch vented rear discs clamped with single-piston calipers. The discs feature GM’s new Dura Life with FNC-Ferric Nitro Carburizing coatings for extra life and corrosion fighting elements. The brakes pull hard with an excellent linear feel and feature standard ABS, EBD and BA.
The new XTS VSPORT AWD’s technology fundamentally supports a range of advanced safety features, based on a ‘control and alert’ strategy that extends around the vehicle. It helps me to identify potential crash situations and even intervenes when a crash threat appears more imminent, employing visual, audible and tactile (vibration) alerts, depending on the feature. The alerts are designed to identify obstacles with sufficient warning to give me time to react and make changes-including the Safety Alert Seat feature, which vibrates either the left or right side of the driver’s seat cushion, depending on the location of the impending concern. The intervening features, including Automatic Collision Preparation and front/rear automatic brakes, take over if the threat appears more immediate or I do not react to previous alerts. This package includes Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Safety Alert Seat, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Reflected LED display. The new Intellibeam feature automatically employs high-beam headlamps when needed and instantly turns them down when oncoming traffic is detected. The Driver Assist Package includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Automatic Brake, Rear Automatic Brake and Automatic Collision Preparation. Additional safety features include dual-stage front airbags, knee airbags, side-impact airbags, front/rear head-curtain airbags, and seat side-impact airbags for outboard rear passengers, rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, 3-point safety belts for all five seats, OnStar safety alert, child proof locking rear door, LATCH system for child seats, daytime running lamps, front/rear crush zones and steel beams in each door.
Cadillac has come out with another beautifully styled sedan that seats five person comfortably with the latest in luxury, convenience, high-tech connectivity, high-performance road manners and the latest in safety features that can go ‘head-to-head’ with the finest luxury sedans from around the world.
COPYRIGHT: 2014: HARVEY SCHWARTZ
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