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    Looking Into the Mind Of Cadillac's President

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      What Does Johan de Nysschen See for the Future of Cadillac?

    Since Cadillac has brought in Johan de Nysschen as its new president, the decisions made by him - such as the CT/XT nomenclature and moving some of their staff to New York - have caused many to experience a range of emotions from happiness to outrage. So we don't know how many people are going to feel about de Nysschen's thoughts about Cadillac in the future that he talked with a couple of outlets at the LA Auto Show.

    First up is Reuters who reports that that de Nysschen sees Cadillac selling a $250,000 luxury sedan, but not anytime soon.

    "It is too early today for a $250,000 Cadillac. Fifteen years from now, it won't be," said de Nysschen.

    Next up is Car and Driver who got a flurry of thoughts from de Nysschen. Here's what they got.

    • Cadillac is working on an all-new diesel engine that will launch in 2019. The U.S. will be getting this new engine.
    • A 911 fighter from Cadillac? de Nysschen says there is a possibility of this, but not till after 2020. (Also, Corvette may have something to say about this as well. -WM)
    • The V lineup will be growing to possibly five or six models in the future. One of those models could be an SUV - not the Escalade though.
    • Sales target for the ATS-V? Modest Volume.

    Source: Reuters, Car and Driver

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    A diesel is sorely needed, but still 5 years away?  He has some lofty ambitions, but Cadillac isn't going to have a 911 fighter or a $250,000 car or any of these niche cars.  The money just isn't there.  I read the other day that Cadillac is spending $2.5 billion to expand their model line, Audi in spending $30 billion over 5 years on new models.  Cadillac will have a hard enough time just keeping the ATS/CTS current, let alone spending big money on low volume niche cars. 

     

    Part of his job is PR, he has to talk about the bright future to keep investors buying stock in GM.  All this same stuff was said back in 2003 when the CTS came out, how they'd have a new crossover SRX, a new rear drive STS to battle the 5-series and E-class, a new converitible to battle the Mercedes SL, and 5 years later GM was bankrupt and half those models were scrapped.  We have heard all this optimism before without results.  I don't think Johan will have any better result than those that came before him.

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    Actually, it really makes me wonder where all the money is going at Audi since practically everything is built on the MLB platform with a few MQB VW Broughams at the lower end.  Of note, their only real sales gains are when they rebadge VWs. 

     

    Audi is the king of "same sausage, different lengths"... so what are they blowing all this money on?  The interiors aren't that far above and beyond equivalent Cadillacs and they fall apart.

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    Audi is supposed to expand to 60 models, but A4, S4, RS4 is 3 models by how they count.  They spend a lot on body styles.  Perhaps money will go into new engines because that 2.0T and supercharged V6 have been around forever.   Maybe they will role out a new version of MMI and a self driving system for the A8, there was rumor of a new rear drive platform for the A8.  Electric drive could consume a lot of dollars, if they make that E-Tron sports car, or a fully electric sedan that could be a big R&D investment.

    Edited by smk4565

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    Figure a billion per engine platform. No more than half a B on mimi. Electric drive will be in an existing platform, so just the cost of the power train, maybe maybe $1.5b.

    I'm just not seeing $30 billion. It's one thing to *say* your going to spend $XX billion dollars.... Its another thing to do it. How much of this is just Audi trying to out boast Mercedes?

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    ^ Agreed. It smacks of the fallacy that a mercedes headlight assembly actually costs $1300- it's not credible. Accounting/PR spin, IMO.

     

    Add to that this eye-opener; if audi spends 15 times the R&D money yet barely eclipses Cadillac in sales (clearly; audi is on the same crushing volume track MB/BMW is), that's a terrible ROI for R&D dollars. And by that token; to get to MB levels they'd seemingly have to spend 200 billion!

     

    I don't see significant marketshare upswing for audi in the foreseeable future, they're already in most lux/ entry crapbox segments, they have diesels, sports cars, performance variants, AWD….. where are they going to go?

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    He's just saying the current Opel diesels don't cut it when it comes to a luxury brand. No surprise there, really, but still better to offer them right away or to outsource someone's diesel than be left to rot in Europe again.

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    If I am spending $30B only to produce manatee faced FWD vehicles of different sizes, then please dear board of directors, fire me.

     

    I have been reading about Audi's 11-figure R&D for past three years from SMK. Audi has yet to produce anything of significance from that figure. May be it is going to have a nuclear fusion propulsion system tomorrow.

     

    A R&D of $1 with significant outcome is 1 billion times better than R&D of $1B with no outcome.

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    I don't know what Audi is spending it on either, most of their cars seem to have barely changed in the last 5 years. I am only saying that Audi stated they would spend $30 billion from 2014-2018. But remember Audi is the #1 selling luxury brand in the world, they sell like 400,000 cars a year in China.

    This is where the problem for Cadillac is, they don't have the economies of scale or volume for GM to give them a massive R&D budget. So Cadillac gets limited to 3 sedans, a couple SUVs and maybe a coupe. It has been that way for 15 years. And they haven't expanded the line yet or got the money to do so.

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    My point is that you're comparing Cadillac's declared spend with Audi's clearly fictional declared spending plans. 

     

    Cadillac get's their economies of scale from the rest of GM. The 3.6TT is a great engine and it gets much of its bones from other GM vehicles, but Cadillac has done a great job of making it special.  Cadillac has Magnetic ride control which it shares with Corvette and GMC Denalis.  Buick isn't even using MRC right now in their cars that have adjustable suspension, so it really has become predominantly a Cadillac exclusive.  Cadillac gets their economies of scale from the parts you cannot see, and engines, and transmissions.

     

    That leaves Cadillac to worry about bodies, interiors, and chassis tuning. 

     

     

    So Cadillac gets limited to 3 sedans, a couple SUVs and maybe a coupe. It has been that way for 15 years. And they haven't expanded the line yet or got the money to do so.

     

    A3, A4, A6, A8

    ATS, CTS, XTS, LTS

     

    TT, A5, A7, R8

    Absent, ATS Coupe, Absent/New CTS coupe is a virtual certainty, Absent

     

    Q3, Q5, Q7

    Absent/Buick Encore, SRX, Escalade, Escalade ESV

     

     

    Not really seeing the giant holes you are. 

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    Audi has an A5 convertible, TT convertible, to which Cadillac has no convertible.   Cadillac isn't in the A3/Q3 segments, the XTS is a one and done product, the XT6 if it is priced in the 70s probably straddles the A7 and A8 in pricing.  It isn't yet clear what that car will be against.  There are a few product line gaps, more importantly Cadillac has a lack of diesels, and the ELR is their only hybrid/electric.  Cadillac takes too long to get things to market too, alternate body styles and V-series trims appear 2 years after the base sedan.  Again it goes back to lack of funding, Audi might lie about what they spend, but we know BMW and Mercedes are good for about $6-7 billion a year in R&D and Cadillac barely has the budget to keep a 5 vehicle lineup fresh, imagine if they tried to do it with a 10-12 vehicle line up.  And to give Cadillac more money that means you have to take it away from Buick and GMC, which would be fine with me, but GM won't do that.

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    And with BMW, where is the money going? There is no radial departure in styling, they've been selling the same 3-series (stylistically) since 1997.  They've been selling the same 7-series interior since about '91.   Talk about not keeping things fresh....  Mercedes was stuck in a very conservative styling rut there for a good 15 years and only recently has gotten some mojo back (I know some here don't like the new Benzes, but I do)

     

    Cadillac doesn't need the kind of budget you are talking about.  It's not going to take $6b - $7b a year to build an ATS convertible and CTS convertible and a Q3 competitor.  It's not going to take another $1B to build a large mid-size crossover when all the bones already exist in other divisions or within Cadillac itself. It wouldn't even take more than $1B to build a small Z4/SLK like Cadillac roadster on Alpha platform especially with Camaro going on that platform.

     

    Cadillac does not operate within a vacuum at GM, they get to pull on the resources of all of GM.

     

    And I call  :bs:  on the way Audi counts models. The A6, S6, A6 Avant, A6 Allroad, A5, S5, RS5, A5 Cabriolet, S5 Cabriolet, and RS5 Cabriolet are not 10 models. They are 1 model with various bodystyles and powertrains. 

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    BMW has spent a lot of money on carbon fiber, electric motors, batteries, etc for the i3 and i8.  If cars like that become the future of driving they might look like geniuses 10-15 years from now.  I think BMW wastes money on things like the 3-series Gran Turismo, 3-series Gran Coupe, X4 crossover coupe, etc.  They should put money into a 7-series based SUV to go into a new segment, rather than making 8 versions of the 3-series when the 3-series already dominates that segment.  Mercedes has a more complete and well thought out line up.

     

    If Cadillac were to go the Mercedes route, they would need compact, small, medium and large size cars with sedan and coupe (8 models) compact, small, medium, large SUV (4 models), and mix in at least one sports car, and at least 2 of the 4 cars (like ATS/CTS) should have a convertible version.  That is 15 models, at least 10 need a V-series, so that is 25.  They would have to roll out 4 products ( a coupe or v-series version of an existing car would count) a year on 6 year cycles to keep the line up fresh.  It would be at least $2 billion a year,  probably $3.  They aren't rolling out products that fast now, I doubt they have the money to do so.

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    But remember Audi is the #1 selling luxury brand in the world, they sell like 400,000 cars a year in China.

    This is where the problem for Cadillac is, they don't have the economies of scale or volume for GM to give them a massive R&D budget. So Cadillac gets limited to 3 sedans, a couple SUVs and maybe a coupe. It has been that way for 15 years. And they haven't expanded the line yet or got the money to do so.

     

    You are okay to justify Audi to be tarted up VW so as long it is #1 in sales, but yet you have reservations for Cadillac to be sharing anything within GM. If you want Cadillac to chase volume then you should be ready for Cadillac FWD based on Cruze, Equinox, Trax, Impala. Because like it or not FWD sells in masses.

     

    Cadillac should not be chasing Germans for sales crown. It should focus exclusivity. Let Buick handle the low rung BMW, MB and Audi. There is no need for a FWD Cadillac to compete the A3, 2 series (sedan) and CLA. Make Verano and Encore more potent, slap a GNX line and more features; that should do the trick. GM was already ahead in the FWD game with those two before the Germans jumped in, make them better.

     

    GM can make excellent case of economy of scales by diversifying Cadillac platforms with Chevrolets and Buicks/Opels. Cadillac does not need its own platform unlike BMW or Mercedes does.

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    I don't like Audis personally, the lower end cars aren't luxurious, the 2.0 is a buzzy engine, they are unreliable and they have stiff suspensions because the don't have a rwd chassis, so they have to sacrifice ride quality for handling where as a BMW or Mercedes is pretty good at both.

    I don't think Cadillac needs to copy Audi, I am just saying Audi sells a lot of cars and they have a lot of resources and money to work with because the Premier group is VW's profit center. Cadillac isn't seen as the cash cow of GM that gets whatever it wants.

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    they have stiff suspensions because the don't have a rwd chassis, so they have to sacrifice ride quality for handling where as a BMW or Mercedes is pretty good at both.

    Da'f@#k? What the hell are you talking about?! RWD v. FWD has no bearing on ride quality... none at all. 

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    So why do Audi's ride hard compared to a Mercedes or BMW. Audi has to use a super stiff suspension for handling because they are front heavy and not as well balanced as a BMW. Rear wheel drive cars have a handling advantage over fwd, thus the suspension can be tuned somewhat for ride comfort and still handle better than a stiff suspension front driver. Mercedes and BMW make a superior car to Audi is all I am saying, they have better ride/handling balance.

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    I have two coworkers who have Audi's. A4 and A6. Both ride hard but they love it for that reason. As Drew stated, this is NOT a RWD versus FWD but the way Audi has tuned their suspension.

     

    You have clearly not spent any time in BMW or MB FWD appliances as they ride hard and are anything but luxury rides. Cadillac DOES NOT need to compete in the FWD subcompact space. Buick has that covered just fine.

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    Buick does just fine with the Regal and Verano T handling and they're FWD. They also don't beat you up over the road... so what is Audi's excuse?

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    I have Airmatic, in Sport 2 it handles pretty well, very little body lean. But bumps are noticeable, especially on our garbage roads, so I almost never use Sport2.

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    but you've gotta turn up the sport mode to get it... which is my point. it's not a FWD/RWD thing, it is a suspension tuning decision by Audi.

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    I think Audi has always appealed to those uptight folks who want stuff 'just so'.....very conservative designs but for example interiors with really tight fits and gaps and interesting and nice material textures and finishes.  It's more about it being like contemporary art.  Attention to fine detail.  These folks would drop 100 bucks on a pair of jeans because of the stitching pattern and the name.  I dispute highly the notion that people buy Audi's for performance.  For awhile, when their AWD was exclusive, it was another differentiator.  Now its just an asset for them.

     

    Cadillac's big problem in one aspect has been even though their interiors are nice, I don't think they have ever had the precision that one of those Audi bangers would find appealing.  Seats aren't taut enough, the padded surfaces are a bit fluffy.  the precision of which things are put together is not 100% there yet.  Plus Cadillac interiors still probably seem a bit overstyled for the Audi set although i think they are great in comparison to a lot of the BMW interiors.  Mercedes really has jumped back to the front of the pack on a lot of interior stuff.  I really do think interiors drives a lot of it.  A huge percentage of lux car makes is crossovers now.  I don't think performance drives luxury sales as much as some think, except maybe BMW.  I think though the performance has to be available to those few that want it.

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    one local dealer is advertising new CTS for about 16k off list...on their website....

     

    DeNishen needs to get that he can push the price of caddies up all he wants.  there still is a major chore in finding the ceiling on what people will pay.

     

    as for me, i would love to pounce on one of these ATS or CTS deals.

     

    http://www.walserchevroletbuick.com/new-inventory/index.htm?search=&make=CADILLAC&model=ATS&model=CTS&model=XTS&saveFacetState=true&lastFacetInteracted=inventory-listing1-facet-anchor-model-5

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      Honda has been working on two top-priority management challenges in the midst of abrupt changes in the global business environment surrounding the automobile industry: to strengthen the structure of our automobile business and to further increase the speed of business transformation for future generations.
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      Strengthening automobile business structure 
      Ever since I became the president of the company, I have been conveying the message that we will make Honda strong by creating strong products and also by strengthening our inter-regional coordination and collaboration. We put special emphasis on the strengthening of our global models, which have been the source of Honda's core competence, and also the enhancement of our regional models.
      As a result, we currently have the five global models, namely Civic, Accord, CR-V, Fit/Jazz and Vezel/HR-V, and these five strong models now account for 60% of our global automobile sales. At the same time, our regional models such as the N Series for Japan, Pilot for North America and Crider for China are playing an important role as a source of growth for each respective region.
      However, as a result of accommodating regional needs somewhat excessively in each individual region, we recognize that the number of models and variations at the trim and option level have increased and our efficiency has declined. So, we will undertake initiatives to further strengthen our inter-regional coordination and collaboration and advance our art of making automobiles in order to simultaneously increase the attractiveness and efficiency of both global and regional models.
      Strengthening inter-regional coordination and collaboration
      As for inter-regional coordination and collaboration, under the new operational structure we adopted for our automobile operations starting from April, we began reviewing and sharing the product lineup by grouping some of our six regions outside Japan based on a similarity of key factors, such as market needs and environmental regulations. With this initiative, by 2025, we will reduce the total number of variations at the trim and option level for our global models to one-third of what we have now. In addition, we will increase efficiency by eliminating and consolidating some similar regional models into even more competent models shared across multiple regions.
      Advancement of our art of making automobiles (automobile development) 
      As for the advancement of automobile development, since I became the president, we have been increasing the efficiency and speed of our Monozukuri (the art of making things) by innovating the entire process, from planning and development all the way through production, by enabling the S-E-D-B (sales, manufacturing, R&D, purchasing*1) functions to collaborate beyond the boundaries of their divisions.
      Moreover, we have already introduced the Honda Architecture in our development.
      The Honda Architecture is a company-wide initiative which will increase the efficiency of development and expand parts-sharing for our mass-production models. The first model being developed with this new method will be the global model we are launching next year. And we will continue increasing the number of models to which we apply this new architecture.
      With the strengthening of global and regional models through inter-regional coordination and collaboration and with the introduction of the Honda Architecture, by 2025, we will reduce the number of manhours we use for the development of mass-production models by 30%, and we will repurpose those manhours to accelerate our research and development in advanced areas for the future. In this way, we can continue creating new technologies which will support the future of Honda.
      Strengthening our operational structure in the area of production 
      In addition to the area of development, we are further strengthening our operational structure in the area of production as well, so that we can create strong products with high efficiency.
      We are making steady progress in optimizing our production capacity in all regions. When this is complete, we are expecting to see that our global capacity utilization rate, excluding China, will increase from 90% recorded in 2018, and we will be producing at full capacity by 2022.
      In China, the third plant of Dongfeng Honda became newly operational, and this put us in a position where we can definitely accommodate market demand in China. We believe that this progress we made paved the way for the optimization of our global production capacity.
      From here onward, we think it is important to increase our competitiveness by increasing the efficiency of our production system in North America.
      For our business in North America, while keeping pace with sales expansion, we enhanced our model lineup and established a flexible production system where our plants sometimes produce various models in duplication to accommodate changes in market demand. However, as a result of the pursuit of high flexibility, an increase in the investment amount and a decline in production efficiency started to become an issue. Therefore, in North America as well, we will reduce the number of variations at the trim and option level, and at the same time, we will simplify the production model allocation at each plant. Through this initiative, we will re-establish a highly-efficient production system and realize the growth of North American business through the pursuit of quality.
      By implementing these initiatives to increase production efficiency in each region, we are expecting to reduce global cost in the area of production by 10% by 2025, compared to the cost recorded in 2018.
      Through all these initiatives I have mentioned, we will steadily strengthen the structure of our automobile business and realize the solidification of our existing automobile businesses by 2025, and, at the same time, we will accelerate our preparation for the future.
      Direction for the electrification of our automobile products
      Striving to realize a carbon-free society, Honda set a goal to electrify two-thirds of our global automobile unit sales by 2030.
      When we talk about the introduction of electrified vehicles, there are two perspectives. One is the improvement of fuel economy, and the other is zero emissions. Regulations for the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are becoming increasingly stringent in every country around the world and complying with CAFE standards is one of the most important challenges for the automobile industry. At Honda, in light of the required infrastructure and how people use automobiles, we believe that hybrid technology is, at this moment, the most effective way for us to comply with CAFE standards. Therefore, we will electrify our products mainly with hybrid technologies. By increasing sales of our hybrid models all around the world, Honda will contribute to the global environment through the improvement of fuel economy.
      To this end, we will expand the application of our 2-motor hybrid system to the entire lineup of Honda vehicles. In addition to the 2-motor hybrid system which is compatible with mid-to-large-sized vehicles, we developed a new, more compact 2-motor hybrid system suitable for small-sized vehicles. This small-sized 2-motor hybrid system will be adopted first by the all-new Fit which we are planning to exhibit as a world premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show this fall.
      In addition to the expansion of the lineup of products equipped with the 2-motor hybrid system, we also will expand the application of the 2-motor hybrid system on a global basis. With that, by 2022, we are expecting to reduce the cost of the 2-motor hybrid system by 25% compared to the cost of this system in 2018.
      As for zero emission vehicles, with our battery EVs we will comply with the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program being adopted by California and other states in the U.S. and China's New Energy Vehicle (NEV) mandate. We will efficiently introduce our battery EVs to the market by selecting the most appropriate partners and resources to satisfy the different needs in each region.
      In North America, we will jointly develop battery components with General Motors and introduce highly-competitive battery EVs in the market.   
      In China, in order to keep up with the fast speed of electrification, we have already begun introducing battery EV models developed together with our local joint venture companies in China. While envisioning the introduction of battery EV models from the Honda brand, we will continue utilizing local resources in China and introduce more battery EV models in a timely manner to fulfill local market needs in China.
      In Europe and Japan, we will introduce the Honda e, a new battery EV model, which was recently introduced as a prototype at the Geneva Motor Show.
      To summarize, Honda will popularize and improve the business feasibility of electrified vehicles by focusing on hybrid vehicles and battery EVs.
      Changes in operational structure
      In order to ensure the solid implementation of these initiatives I just introduced for our automobile business, we renewed our operational structure as of April. The aims of this structural change are to establish an organization which brings all regional operations together to strongly facilitate inter-regional coordination and collaboration and to increase the speed of our business operations by enabling prompt decisions and prompt execution.
      Today, I introduced our initiatives to strengthen our automobile business structure and the direction of our electrification. Under the new organizational structure, we will realize our goals with a keen sense of speed. 
      Closing
      As we stated in our 2030 Vision, Honda is striving to grow through the pursuit of quality so that we can fulfill our vision to "Serve people worldwide with the joy of expanding their life's potential."
      Honda will continue taking on new challenges while being driven by strong passion, so that we can continue to be a company that society wants to exist even in 2050 after Honda becomes more than 100 years old. 
      *1 S-E-D-B: Sales, Engineering (Manufacturing), Development (R&D), Buying (Purchasing)
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Cadillac will be unveiling the Cadillac CT4 along with a V-series version on May 30th according to Motor1.
      Both the CT4 and CT5 ride on a second generation Alpha platform called Alpha 2.  The CT5 is offered in rear-wheel drive with all-wheel drive being an option. It is highly likely that the CT4 will get this same offering. 
      There is word that the V-series version of the Cadillac CT5 will also debut.  It is likely to pack the same 4.2-liter Blackwing V8 that is available in the CT6. The CT4 V-series is likely to get an uprated version of the 3.0TT.
      While the CT5 is more of a fastback style, the spyshots of the CT4 shows a more conventional sedan profile and an Escala style grille similar to the CT5's.
      The CT5 is likely to start in the high mid-$30k range while the CT4 will be aimed more at entry-level luxury buyers. 

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Cadillac will be unveiling the Cadillac CT4 along with a V-series version on May 30th according to Motor1.
      Both the CT4 and CT5 ride on a second generation Alpha platform called Alpha 2.  The CT5 is offered in rear-wheel drive with all-wheel drive being an option. It is highly likely that the CT4 will get this same offering. 
      There is word that the V-series version of the Cadillac CT5 will also debut.  It is likely to pack the same 4.2-liter Blackwing V8 that is available in the CT6. The CT4 V-series is likely to get an uprated version of the 3.0TT.
      While the CT5 is more of a fastback style, the spyshots of the CT4 shows a more conventional sedan profile and an Escala style grille similar to the CT5's.
      The CT5 is likely to start in the high mid-$30k range while the CT4 will be aimed more at entry-level luxury buyers. 
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Jeep is rumored to be testing a Mercedes-Benz supplied 2.0 liter Turbo-Diesel in 14 test vehicles in the Detroit, Michigan area. However, it is unlikely that such a vehicle would be sold in the U.S. The most likely scenario is that this is testing for the European and Asian markets.
      The Compasses were converted by an independent supplier for FCA and the suspected engine of choice is the Mercedes-Benz OM654 2.0 diesel producing 192 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque. The engine was released in 2016 for the E-Class, but the engine was designed to be mounted in transverse applications as well. 
      In the U.S., the Compass is only sold with a 2.4 liter gasoline engine.  In Europe, the Compass comes with a two different 1.4-liter gasoline engines (140 hp an 170hp), two 2.0-liter diesel engines (140 hp and 170 hp), and a 1.6-liter diesel engine (120 hp). Which engine you can get largely depends on if the car is 4x4 or not. 
      GM currently sells its compact crossovers with a 1.6-liter turbo diesel, and Mazda finally unveiled their diesel CX-5. We think that this diesel Compass would be a good fit in the U.S. and should FCA be reading this, please bring it here.
       

      View full article
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