Chevrolet Introduces 2015 Colorado Sport Concept

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DALLAS – With a pair of mountain bikes mounted and a weekend’s worth of gear stowed, Chevrolet’s Colorado Sport concept is ready for adventure. It was unveiled today at the State Fair of Texas, demonstrating the lifestyle-oriented versatility of Chevy’s all-new midsize pickup.

“It’s not just mountain bikes, but just about any passion you can name, from kayaking, fishing, dirt bikes and more,” said Tony Johnson, Colorado marketing manager. “It’s a truck for those who need the versatility of a pickup to support their work and lifestyle interests, but don’t need a full-size truck to do it.”

The 2015 Colorado is available in extended- or crew-cab models, with a choice of a 2.5L four-cylinder or 3.6L V-6 engine. The Colorado’s V-6 is the segment’s most efficient, with an EPA-estimated 27 mpg on the highway (2.5L 2WD models), and the most powerful, at 305 horsepower (3.6L). It also boasts the segment’s highest trailering rating – 7,000 pounds, when properly equipped.

The Colorado’s interior is tailored to meet the needs and expectations of today’s midsize truck customers. With a quiet cabin and interior designed for thoughtful functionality, the Colorado offers features common to cars and crossovers, including Chevy MyLink with a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and segment-first applications of Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert.

At the back of the Colorado, proven Chevrolet truck features offer conveniences not found in competitors’ vehicles, including an easy lift-and-lower tailgate and rear bumper assist steps, which eases cargo loading.

The Colorado also offers the innovative and adjustable GearOnTM Accessory System that allows customers to stow larger items such as bikes and kayaks above the bed, leaving room for smaller gear, such as coolers and tents, inside the bed. The GearOnTM System is at the heart of the Colorado Sport concept’s package of lifestyle and personalization accessories. Additional accessories on the truck – all available from Chevy dealers – include:

  • Assist steps
  • Cargo rings
  • Splash guards
  • Tiered storage
  • Bike rack
  • Cargo divider
  • Wheel lip moldings.

Accessories were at the heart of Colorado’s development, giving customers options to match its capabilities with integrated functionality and designs to complement its distinctive styling. GearOnTM accessories are designed, engineered, tested and backed by Chevrolet, and many can be ordered with the vehicle and included in the price. The cost of added accessories can be factored into financing for the Colorado, and all vehicle accessories are covered by the new-vehicle warranty.

The Colorado Sport also wears unique concept wheels that are being evaluated for future production.

Prices for the 2015 Colorado start at $20,995 for a four-door extended cab model with a 200-horsepower four-cylinder engine. Chevrolet supports Colorado owners with two years or 24,000 miles (whichever comes first) of scheduled maintenance.

Editors’ Note: The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price includes destination freight charge but excludes tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

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GM to build new Cadillac at Detroit-Hamtramck

General Motors Co. will build a new, top-of-the-range Cadillac car — bigger than the XTS — at its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant.

GM CEO Mary Barra is planning to make the announcement Friday, the company confirmed.

The automaker has been installing new tools and equipment at Detroit-Hamtramck for the yet-unnamed flagship car. Production is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015, GM said.

The high-tech car is expected to be a low-volume model — at least initially. GM is not saying if additional jobs will be tied to production of the car, but the addition of new vehicles typically helps secure jobs at plants. The company and the United Auto Workers have been talking for years about adding a second shift at Detroit-Hamtramck.

“We’ve been told they’re going to (add a second shift),” UAW Local 22 President George McGregor said. He said he doesn’t know when it would be added or how many more jobs it might bring.

About 1,600 Detroit-Hamtramck workers on one shift build the Volt, plug-in hybrid Cadillac ELR, Opel Ampera, Chevrolet Impala and Chevrolet Malibu on one production line.

Production at the plant has been halted for retooling for the new Cadillac and other vehicles since mid-August; it is expected to resume in mid-November, according to UAW Local 22. The local represents hourly workers at the plant.

GM this year said it would invest $384 million into the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which straddles the border of the two communities, to build the next-generation Chevrolet Volt and make investments for two other cars it did not name.

The automaker and the union for several years have discussed the possibility of adding a second shift at Detroit-Hamtramck.

In April, Gerald Johnson, then GM’s vice president of North American manufacturing, said the carmaker expected that investments at the plant could lead to some hiring, but he would not say if a second shift would be added. Johnson then said that while GM “certainly hopes” to add a second shift, it would be driven by demand for vehicles.

The big Cadillac will give the brand an entry in a top luxury segment in which it doesn’t compete, helping to build Cadillac’s image and enabling it to reach influential new customers, said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen.

The rear-wheel drive car is expected to go head to head with the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which have starting prices of about $75,000 to $95,000.

“People notice what brands successful people choose. And so if you can begin to position Cadillac there and draw them into your driver profile, then over time, then ‘halo’ cars like that help to develop brand image,” he said in an interview. “Because more and more, the brand is then associated with success, with affluence, with people who change the world.”

The new car will join a lineup of Cadillacs that have not sold strongly this year compared to the luxury competition, despite high acclaim.

Cadillac’s U.S. sales through August are down 4.7 percent, with sales of the ATS and XTS sedans each falling more than 20 percent.

New Caddy bigger

Cadillac’s Global Chief Marketing Officer Uwe Ellinghaus, in an interview this month, said the new model is bigger and more luxurious than the CTS.

“We don’t think the CTS, as great as the car is, is the end of our dreams, our aspirations if we really want to be an emotional brand,” he said. “Therefore, the company has decided to invest in a proper luxury sedan that will be … a top-of-the-range car.”

Ellinghaus said the new car keeps the design language of its redesigned CTS and will be the lightest car in its segment. He said the car will be shown early next year.

Last month, Mark Reuss, GM’s head of global product development, purchasing and supply chain, said Cadillac was working on a large Cadillac sedan on a new platform that would come out in about a year.

New LaCrosse in works?

Some analysts expect the other car coming to Detroit-Hamtramck is the Buick LaCrosse and speculate that it could come to the plant in mid-2016. GM has not commented on what the other vehicle is.

The next-generation Volt will debut in January at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It will be a 2016 model and analysts say production could begin in fall 2015.

The new Cadillac will become the fifth model of that brand built by GM in Michigan. Besides the ELR at Detroit-Hamtramck, the company also builds the ATS, ATS Coupe and CTS in Michigan at its Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant.

2017 Cadillacs to feature driver-assist, vehicle-to-vehicle communication

General Motors Co. will debut a 2017 Cadillac CTS with standard technology capable of talking to other cars and roadway infrastructure to alert drivers of hazards.

It also will roll out advanced driver-assist technology that will allow a vehicle to drive itself on highways at full speed or in stop-and-go traffic; the feature called Super Cruise will debut on a different 2017 Cadillac. Both vehicles would hit showrooms in about two years, the automaker said.

The march toward smarter, more connected transportation isn’t just in cars. The state of Michigan said Sunday it will begin installing technology next spring on Metro Detroit freeways to enable connected cars to communicate with the roadway, through sensors and cameras along the roadways, in hopes to help traffic flow and cut down on crashes.

GM expects to be the first automaker to offer a car with vehicle-to-vehicle technology allowing it to communicate with other vehicles and transportation points to alert drivers to potential problems in road conditions and in its path ahead. For example, the upcoming CTS could alert a driver that a car five vehicles ahead suddenly braked.

The carmaker expects possibly to be the first to offer semi-automated driver-assist technology — what GM calls Super Cruise — that allows drivers on highways to take their hands off the wheel and foot off the gas.

Company CEO Mary Barra made the announcements Sunday, to hundreds during the kickoff of the annual World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems. Thousands of industry professionals from around the world are gathering this week for the event, which this year is at Cobo Center. GM said it is deploying the technologies to help reduce or eliminate traffic crashes and road congestion, as well as help the environment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expects to announce by late 2016 rules that would require vehicle-to-vehicle communication; estimates say technology could reduce up to 80 percent traffic accidents.

“We need to bring it all to market and do it quickly,” Barra said. “Let’s strive to build cars and trucks that don’t crash.”

The Michigan Department of Transportation said Sunday it is partnering with GM, Ford Motor Co. and the University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Center consortium to add vehicle-to-infrastructure communication to more than 120 miles of Metro Detroit highways. It’s expected to be the largest deployment of vehicle-to-infrastructure technology in the U.S. when fully completed.

The first “connected corridor” is slated for the heavily traveled 50-mile stretch of Interstate 96/Interstate 696 from U.S. 23 in Brighton to Interstate 94 in St. Clair Shores, MDOT says. Work will begin in the spring, State Transportation Director Kirt T. Steudle said.

“From an infrastructure perspective, we’ve got to do this,” Steudle told The Detroit News. “We’ve got to figure out how we’re going to do this. … There’s too many lives that are depending on doing this.”

The state will add a network of sensors and cameras on the sides of highways to collect data that can be communicated to vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure equipped cars. The cost is expected to be in the millions, but will come from state and federal funding, as well as private sources such as cellphone companies that may have an interest in working on the system, Steudle said. Other freeway stretches likely to get the technology include parts of I-94, U.S. 23 and I-75, GM’s Chief Technology Officer Jon Lauckner said Sunday.

MDOT said, for example, if a car equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle technology stops suddenly in fog or if a vehicle’s stability-control system turned on while driving along a slippery highway, every other car equipped with the technology would know “almost instantaneously” and drivers would have time to react.

GM said it does not plan to help the state pay for roadway upgrades. Barra called upon Congress to fund research on vehicle-to-vehicle technology and pay for associated highway infrastructure. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Sunday also called on Congress to pass a bill with ample funding.

GM said the Cadillac with optional Super Cruise will be able to drive itself on highways under normal driving conditions, though Lauckner and John Capp, GM’s director of global safety strategies and vehicle programs, said drivers will need to remain engaged.

“We are working on some technology that makes sure they stay engaged in a very, I think, clever way that you’ll hear more about as we get closer to the rollout,” Barra told reporters.

The Super Cruise technology will be available on a new luxury vehicle in a segment in which Cadillac does not currently compete.

It could be years until other automakers offer other vehicles with the technology. So at the start, only a few CTS cars may actually be able to talk to one another. But Steudle said other automakers are working on similar technology and he expects more announcements are forthcoming.

Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure works by sending and receiving data over radio frequencies; information includes vehicle location, speed and direction of travel. The technology will warn drivers of hazards and can work with features already on many luxury and premium cars such as forward-collision warning.

GM confirmed that supplier Delphi Automotive is supplying the technology on the CTS. Delphi, which has a large presence in Michigan, said Friday it will be the first to market vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technology.

Adding the vehicle-to-vehicle technology could cost about $300 per car, according to NHTSA. Super Cruise driver-assist would likely be part of a top-of-the-line technology packagebut it didn’t say how much it would cost. Cadillac’s top technology package currently costs buyers an extra $3,000, GM said.

“I’m convinced customers will embrace (vehicle-to-vehicle) and automated-driving technologies for one simple reason: They are the answers to everyday problems that people want solved,” Barra said.

The ITS conference is bringing together 10,000 automakers, suppliers, government officials and other industry leaders from across the globe to showcase technologies. In addition to panel discussions and speakers at Cobo, more than 30 demonstrations of connected and autonomous vehicles will take place beginning Monday on Belle Isle.

GM plans to demonstrate an Opel Insignia equipped with cameras, sensors, and vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication; automated driving will be demonstrated at low speeds, in stop-and-go city traffic and at highway speeds. GM will demonstrate vehicle-to-pedestrian communication on a Chevy Cruze that alerts drivers to construction workers.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140907/AUTO0103/309070042#ixzz3D1sMOaEu