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by Matt Brogan

Cadillac today unveiled the next-generation SRX Crossover which is due for release in early 2010.

Featuring a completely new design, and more-efficient, high-technology engine choices, the new SRX mid-size luxury crossover will be on show next week at the North American International Auto Show.

“The all-new SRX is a fresh and compelling crossover aimed squarely at the priorities of luxury buyers,” said Mark McNabb, Cadillac’s North America Vice President, “With new technologies for increased efficiency and safety, the redesigned 2010 SRX Crossover focuses on both the emotional and pragmatic sides of the luxury consumer.”

Designed with efficient performance in mind, including the choice of two high-tech six-cylinder engines that are new to Cadillac, the SRX offers a 3.0-litre direct injected 193 kW V6 engine as standard (pictured) with the option of an all new 2.8-litre turbocharged V6.

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Both engines employ technology that helps produce strong performance that is typical of larger-displacement engines whilst allowing up to a 25-percent reduction in hydrocarbon emissions (fuel economy testing is not yet complete) and both will be coupled to a Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. The new SRX also includes a driver-selectable “eco mode” that alters transmission shift points to maximise fuel economy.

Performance and safety are enhanced by an on demand all-wheel-drive (AWD) system that is designed to optimise vehicle handling and stability in all driving conditions.

The AWD system includes an advanced electronic limited-slip differential (ELSD) that distributes torque as needed from side to side along the rear axle, as well as from the front to rear axle. The pre-emptive, active-on-demand system provides an extra measure of capability in wet or icy conditions.

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“The 2010 SRX will deliver excellent, balanced driving dynamics in all types of weather,” said Bob Reuter, Global Vehicle Chief Engineer. “The all-wheel-drive system with electronic limited slip effectively transfers torque not only from front to rear, but also along the rear axle. This system sets a new benchmark for all all-wheel-drive systems, giving the driver control and confidence on any road surface.”

Traction control has improved for the new model as well with the system capable of transferring up to 100-percent of torque to the wheel that has more grip. The ELSD also gives the driver control when cornering hard or completing a high-speed maneuver, such as a lane change, by momentarily applying more or less torque to either of the wheels to help the rear of the vehicle more closely follow the direction of the front wheels.

SRX rides on a wider track that was designed to deliver sharper handling and greater stability while the suspension includes a real-time damping system in conjunction with AWD that adjusts shock damping rates in response to road conditions for a smooth ride quality. A dedicated five-seater with generous cabin space and cargo room it can tow up to 1,600kg (braked).

“Cadillac is known for bold design. The 2010 SRX Crossover builds on that reputation,” said Clay Dean, Cadillac Global Design Director, “As with the 2008 CTS, we advanced our Art and Science design to create a crossover for style-conscious customers. The exterior features a dramatic diving gesture on the body side to impart the feeling of movement, even at rest.”

A multi-piece shield grille with Cadillac’s iconic vertical headlamps (as seen on the CTS) feautres light pipe technology and optional adaptive lighting. This bold face then flows in to a tightly wrapped, sweeping body that tapers downward at the rear, giving the vehicle a sporty profile.

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Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are standard on the SRX with 20-inchers offered as an option. A bold accent line dives across the body side and culminates at a chrome front quarter vent that incorporates a side marker lamp. An integrated spoiler on the rearward edge of the roof extends the sleek lines and improves aerodynamics.

“Inside the new SRX, technical precision blends with old-world craftsmanship,” Dean said. “Hand-cut-and-sewn coverings on the instrument panel and ambient lighting details convey a finely tailored cabin.”

An integrated center stack houses controls for climate and audio systems, while the navigation system rises from the center of the instrument panel. A signature example of the SRX’s attention to detail is the Cadillac script logos in the front door sill plates that illuminate when the doors are opened.

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Other features include a powered tailgate with adjustable height setting; integrated HDD (hard disc drive) for audio storage and a dual-screen rear DVD entertainment unit. Bluetooth compatibility is standard, as is GM’s turn-by-turn navigation system.

SRX’s safety features include a strong body structure and chassis that absorbs crash energy is complemented by the use of martensitic steel in the fully enclosed rocker sections. Martensitic steel is one of the strongest available and its use in the rockers helps protect against intrusion during a side-impact crash, while also maintaining the structure during front and rear crashes.

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Additional safety features include standard head curtain side air bags, standard front seat-mounted pelvic/thorax side air bags, front safety belts with dual pretensioners and load limiters, rollover mitigation sensors, a pedal release system and trailer stability assist.

The SRX was also designed to meet European pedestrian protection standards; and the front bumper is positioned for greater compatibility with car bumpers.

Production begins in the second quarter of 2009, with dealer availability in early 2010. GM Premium Brands will then decide on RHD version suitability (for the local market) thereafter.




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