William Maley

Cadillac News: Cadillac Escala Concepts Previews the Future of Brand's Design

106 posts in this topic

William Maley    393

The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has become an auto show of sorts in the past few years with luxury automakers showing off concepts and new models. Cadillac has used the event to show off various concepts such as the Ciel and Elmiraj. Last night, they revealed the Escala concept.

 

“Escala is a concept with two clear objectives. First, Escala is a statement of intent for the next iteration of the Cadillac design language, and also technical concepts in development for future Cadillac models. Secondly, Escala builds Cadillac’s aspirational character, signaling the brand’s return to the pinnacle of premium,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Cadillac.

 

Escala (Spanish for scale) provides a preview as to Cadillac's future in terms of design and a possible idea to a long-rumored flagship. The overall profile reminds us of the Audi A7 with a coupe-like roofline and liftback. The front end features a new grille design and slimmed down chrome surround. Flanking either side of the grille are slim headlights with organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology.

 

Size-wise, the Escala is 6.5 inches longer, 2.7 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches in the rear; and rides on a 4.5 inch longer wheelbase when compared to the CT6.

 

The Escala's interior is a feast for the eyes. Cadillac describes it as having a “dual personality”. The front is focused on technology with three curved OLED screens that consolidate the instrument cluster and center stack into one unit. The back is focused on comfort with seating for two and a panaromic sunroof.

 

Under the hood lies a brand new 4.2L twin-turbo V8 with cylinder deactivation. No power figures are given, but we expect to see this engine in the CT6 in the near future.

 

Could we see the Escala as a production model? We'll let de Nysschen answer this.

 

“Escala is a concept car, but one based upon the unrelenting rise of our product substance. Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing product plan.”

 

Source: Cadillac

 

The Escala Concept introduces the next evolution of Cadillac design.
Album: Cadillac Escala Concept
8 images
0 comments

 

Press Release is on Page 2






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smk4565    321

I would agree on the horizontal lights, it gives it a bit of an Impala look and a Cadillac should have vertical lights.  Overall I like this car.  I am not a big fan of lift back rear ends, but it does add to cargo space, so that is a plus.   Few minor issues aside, I think it looks good.

 

The name is stupid, I thought right away of Escalade without the "de" and Spanish for scale?  Why would you name a car scale.   I guess it won't matter because it will be called CT8 if they build it.

Thing is though, this is a small segment that is shrinking.  Many here have said how the S-class has sinking sales, but the S-class outsells the A8, 7-series and Jag XJ combined.

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hyperv6    774

Not sure the headlamps will be an issue unless some laws are changed. 


The car is interesting and too difficult to judge in photo's. It for sure is a concept and not really close to production outside. But inside the cars is as close as any of the show cars have been. What they have in there is pretty close to possible at a higher price point. 

 

I have seen claims of it looks like an Audi A7, Jag, Aston, Lexus and the hatch hints at Tesla in a odd way. 

I think the car has some real global appeal and the real key is the styling would play well but they must execute top trim materials and features. They need to lead the way on some technologies and not just add Apple play and call it a day. 

While this may be a show car I think there are elements of the future of A&S on the car. I picture this with a more formal roof line and even in a coupe and while I will not pass final judgment till I see it in person I think it is decent. 

The responses on the web have been all over as expected as some of the traditialist are ranting not enough chrome or no bench seat and others appear to like it. One survey had a 75%+ approval which is good. 

This is some of the first work JDN may have had some influence on so this will give us some direction  to where to expect changed. We know he has been very critical on present interiors and this one shows a new direction. 

I feel things will be getting very interesting in 2019 and later. 

While I am not blown away with the photos I am not put off. I expect it will be like the Lacrosse where I was ok with it and then when I saw the first one I was shocked at how well the proportions played out. The wider look really better balanced the car and design. 

 

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aurora97    58

The only criticism I have is consistent with everyone else so far - the headlights need to be vertical.  Otherwise, the front end looks a bit too much like a new Mustang.  Everything else seems like Cadillac is tipping the scale in the right direction.

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smk4565    321

I have no problems with the car or design, I think big grill is good and can translate to other products.  I do have a problem with Johan saying this :  

“Escala is a concept car, but one based upon the unrelenting rise of our product substance. Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing product plan.”

Unrelenting rise of product???  What the CT6 and the $39k XT5?  Not really unrelenting or all that much of a meteoric rise.    The thing for Cadillac fans to worry about though is when he says depending on development of the large sedan segment.  Well the large sedan segment is shrinking, people just want crossovers.  Johan has already built in an excuse why not to build the car.

 

 

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surreal1272    672

Don't understand the light issues some are having. It's just a concept and those kind of lights will never see production. Overall, I like what I see here and the numbers are a plus. It measures longer than the S class while having way more cargo room. That's a nice start in my book. 

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aurora97    58

The grille reminds me of a 1969 Coupe De Ville.  That gives props to the old school design.  I want more details about these new V8s though.  How many will there be and what kind of output will they have?

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Frisky Dingo    611

Good looking car, but doesn't identify as a Cadillac in the slightest bit. You could replace the badge with Kia, Hyundai, or Audi logo and never no the difference.

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Suaviloquent    713

I don't know what to think of it honestly. It seems like there are bits and pieces with vague familiarity to other cars but not sure what is taking priority here, form or function. As well, I feel they do not want to keep A&S stagnant, but some themes like vertical blade lights appear a little to watered down and the rear reminds me of a GT BMW wagon.

 

Given Cadillac's recent history of concept cars, I am alright with it as the nice gesture they seem to do for pebble beach, but outside of that I see the same kind of stagnation and trying to cater to old and new with this design as anywhere else.

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oldshurst442    986

Yeah....

This concept's face looks familiar to me in the form of Elmiraj grille and Aston Martin Lagonda fascia rolled into one.

I like it but like others, I would prefer vertical headlamps like the Elmiraj had.

It did not blow me away like the other concepts, it is pretty, but like Frisky said, it dont feel like a Cadillac.
Im ready to let go of Arts&Science, but only if it is replaced by something that identifies what a Cadillac should look and feel like.I dont know what that is, but this concept's exterior does not have a Cadillac feel to it.

Let me repeat, I like it, and Im sure it will be quite imposing in person, but so far, I aint feeling any Cadillac vibes with it.

 

Interior is simplistic in a very elegant way.

I LOVE THAT.

Im not sure about the suit material effect they chose, its different and its cool, and I think it could work...instead of the usual all around leather that has been the go to luxury material. Suede is leather, but I was never a fan of it either on a jacket or car interior.

I think I might like the expensive personally tailored designer suit look of it all!

 

LOVE THAT TRUNK.

The  way it opens, the volume, the way its designed and the way the interior materials of it gel. It looks expensive..

Who ever thought that a trunk could be so luxurious and beautifully made to look expensive like the rest of a car's interior???!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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oldshurst442    986
17 minutes ago, oldshurst442 said:

 

 

 

 

I ran out of editing time...

And best of all with that trunk, no need to go SUV with a trunk opening and space like that!!!

 

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dfelt    1,773

Interior is cool, not sure on some of the fine details they did, but hey, it is a concept. Exterior, Hate the coupe look. Been done to death. Rear Sucks, keep a more traditional vertical tail light. Front, over all fine but loose the horizontal head lights like everyone has mentioned and get to a vertical set, a true symbol of Cadillac.

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ocnblu    733

That awkward moment when the new guy drops his bags on your designers and says "make me a Cadillac A7!  I'm going to turn this new house into a home!"  Also, Cadillac lights simply do not zig like that.  Needs vertical lights without branches, front and rear.  I do like the interior and the engine and the RWD chassis.

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The name reminds me of La Scala, the opera house in Milan.   The fastback roofline reminds of the A7 mixed with the Citroen C6... the front makes me think Mazda mixed w/ current Cadillac styling...I like the dimensions--127 inch wheelbase, 210 long... maybe a preview of a possible CT8? 

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balthazar    1,876

Cadillac La Scala, circa 1973 :

1973-Cadillac-La-Scala-sedan-concept.jpg

 

- - - - -

RE the Escala ~ IMO its very crisp & contemporary, but as with the El Miraj, I find a number of details I don't think are optimum WRT being on a Cadillac. I am digging' the dimensions, but I would love to see the Escala & CT6 next to each other, in person.

Edited by balthazar
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smk4565    321

Sadly with where the market is today, Cadillac could roll out 10 crossovers and all 10 would outsell a full size sedan.  

It is amazing how similar the La Scala looks to the 1992 Seville, took them a long time to get there.

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smk4565    321

Lutz is pretty much right on, Cadillac advertising is doing nothing, and they need crossovers in a bad way.   Too many 5 year plans and lack of consistency to stay on the attack.

I liked the Seville of the 90s and the 98 redesign as well, and the Northstar in the 90s was very competitive, it beat most other V8s in power.  Then they let it rot on the vine like GM often did with products back then.

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regfootball    234
On 8/19/2016 at 8:20 PM, Frisky Dingo said:

Good looking car, but doesn't identify as a Cadillac in the slightest bit. You could replace the badge with Kia, Hyundai, or Audi logo and never no the difference.

It's funny, because when i first saw the pictures of this thing, I thought, what the eff is this?

Tesla is the first thing that popped into my head.  Then, it's got some of the Hyundai Genesis going on.  A little bit of an Acura greenhouse even.  Then, Cadillac A7.  And then I am like, there really isn't much traditional Cadillac going on.  Front end is totally bland.

Johan wants to, or thinks he can, or has been told to make Cadillac more global and exclusive.  So it's interpreted as throwing the baby out with the bath water.  Anytime you have a 'new design direction' it's supposed to be a stunning statement.  Think Chrysler's cab forward for example, or the mid 00's new 300.  This really doesn't achieve that sort of statement.  Anything that was maybe positive on the Elmiraj is totally gone also.

It basically is throwing out art and science. Well, it was interesting because while on vacay, in a small bodunk town we visited this wkd sat a brand new ATS coupe in that really stunning red color.  So mad i didn't take a pic.  If i had seen the car in profile first i would have been like 'second ever G6 coupe'.  But all the bling and detailing on the car apart from its being not a spot on the car it was a stunner.  PArt of the reason for that was whatever the residual leftover of the Cadillac A&S cues....the bladed front and rear (albeit moderately expressed) The vertical taillights, the highly detailed and sharp edged grille....the bombastic logo.  And this is with the ATS and CTS that have the mutt styling of A&S and some weak attempt at trying to look German.  (where the ATS fails the wow meter here is it's physical size just isn't large enough to convey wow like a CTS sized car could....not enough width, not enough length and wheelbase).  If this had been a gen 2 CTS coupe with a similar new era eased over styling of the last CTS coupe and with a bit more rakish look I think it would have been more effective.

Cadillac is having so much trouble putting a face on the cars like the CTS and CT6, and finishing the rest of the car too.   

Johan's probably wanting to take a dump on the traditional Cadillac fan base in every way.  Jack up the prices, get rid of the old styling, rather have them be big in other countries.  GM prob thinks Buick will pick up the old fan base with its lower prices, etc.  At the same time, they'll give up on sedans now and stock the house with a bunch of crossovers.

IMO Cadillacs biggest failures of the last 5-8 years is the ATS came out and quite simply is way too small to appeal to any customer base that would even consider Cadillac.  Even those who may be lured by its performance.  The new CTS went up too far in price and really with its ugly front end, wtf rear end, and confusing sides messed with the Cadillac look too much.  The XTS really should have been promoted more to at least get some customers in the showroom (and yes, it's ok to have your XTS at a discount and basically offset cars like the Lexus ES). Many Cadillac customers never even knew what an XTS was, they were told the DTS was dead and nothing to replace it.  The CT6 just arriving may have confused everything even more.  No v8, it's long but not wide, rear lacks length and presence, and pricing is again an issue.  Cadillac hasn't done anything to compete with Tesla and as for gas engines, they really could stand to have a much better 2.0 turbo.  Only just now is Cadillac putting a respectable turbo 6 in their cars.  And then, CUE.

It would be one thing for Cadillac to price their cars way up if the cars they were selling were desirable.  When you miss the mark badly with new and existing customers on styling or size or powertrains or features, and your ad campaigns suck, how are you supposed to build brand equity or expect to get big profits?

^^^^92 Seville, still the total package.  My folks didn't have the STS version, they had the SLS equivalent.  It's fine for Cadillac to have maybe 1 model with the four door coupe / hatch look but i hope they don't turn their whole lineup to these jellybeans.  Cadillacs should have some creases, some blades, edges, angles, etc.  ELR gets big thumbs up for it's styling (it just is limited to electric) and look at it's creases.  Cadillacs didn't ever have hofmeister kinks like this confused thing has.

I don't think Johan is going to work out the way it's been going.

 

 

2016_cadillac_ats_ats-coupe (1).jpeg

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smk4565    321

They could put the Evoq concept into production now and it would be the best looking and most modern looking Cadillac and it was from 1999.  The XLR washed out a lot of the good looks and had weird shape.  The Evoq still looks stunning today.

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      The design of the BMW Concept Z4’s front end is undeniably sporty in nature. The relationship between the low-set, broad kidney grille and the positioning of the headlights higher up sparks deliberate associations with the BMW Z8 and lends the BMW Concept Z4 a certain flamboyance. In place of the customary bars, the inside of the kidney grille features elaborately designed mesh, whose vertical orientation recalls the sporty, functional kidney design of early BMW roadsters such as the BMW 328 Mille Miglia. In a departure from the BMW norm, the Concept Z4 provides a vertical interpretation of the classical four-eyed headlight look, with two overlapping tubes on each side. The turn signal indicators point diagonally towards the kidneys from above and underline the dynamic flair of the front end. And the clamshell bonnet with stylised gill vents curves over the wheels, creating an intriguing and virtually seamless sweep over the front end as a whole. The front apron cuts a genuinely athletic figure with its sculptural design language. Its trio of large air intakes are a nod to the powerful engine further back and so carry the promise of a dynamic driving experience. The large carbon-fibre insert in the central air intakeis straight out of the motor sport playbook and champions the use of detail to emphasise the front end’s dynamic presence. Together, these design elements compose a fresh and memorable face for the Concept Z4 – one which pays a very modern and sporting tribute to the celebrated roadsters of BMW’s past.
      Athletic and eye-catching – the rear end.
      The design of the BMW Concept Z4 likewise references details and qualities from BMW’s rich roadster tradition and updates them for the years ahead. The wide and low design of the rear picks up the lines of the car’s flanks and massages them into a modern rear of beguiling clarity in terms of surfaces and styling elements. The powerfully flared wheel arches give the car broad haunches, which are emphasised by the slim, L-shaped rear lights and therefore further enhance the car’s sporting stance. Above the rear lights, the boot lid – complete with prominent spoiler – stretches across to the burly wheel arch extensions, sending out a message of power-infused agility. Below, large air outlets in the rear apron create their own dynamic impression. The carbon-fibre diffuser adds a sporty and exclusive flourish and signs off the rear end at its lowest point to the road.
      Exterior and interior in unison.
      The kinship between the interior and exterior of the BMW Concept Z4 is evident in both forms and colour scheme. The design language of the interior takes the powerful, three-dimensional character of the exterior and adds another voice to the dynamic chorus. Much of the interior adopts the colour of the car body, creating a clear visual link between the interior and exterior. Only a classy chrome trim strip provides separation.
      Maximum focus on the driving experience.
      At the same time, the interior serves to reinforce the total focus on the driving experience too. The driver’s seat as well as the door trim panels, instrument panel and centre stack that encircle the driver are finished entirely in black, meaning that they stand out prominently from the coordinated orange shades of the exterior and the rest of the interior. Together they form a clearly defined area that wraps around the driver like a capsule, producing a very sporty sensation. This creates a pure-of-purpose driving environment with a pronounced “cone of vision”, where the steering wheel as well as the surrounding black surfaces appear to be surging forward and, in so doing, accentuate the cabin’s powerful driver focus.
      The instrument cluster and central information display form a high-quality cluster ofscreens that are integrated into the driver’s cockpit to flawless ergonomic effect. The two displays are now positioned at almost the same height and in close proximity to one another, which gives the impression of a single, cohesive unit. They work together to deliver the right information at the right time. The driver can choose which elements they wish to call up (via touch command) from the content available in the information display–route guidance, playlists or other infotainment features. Above the instrument cluster, the Head-Up Display presents the key driving information within the driver’s direct field of view.
      Prominent surfacing.
      Emerging from the driver’s side of the cabin is a sporty instrument panel of inherent lightness. The clever arrangement of surfaces and edging breaks up the considerable volumes and engenders the impression of a powerfully chiselled muscle. The clear wraparound design from the doors to the instrument panel enhances the sporty, cocooned feeling in both seats.
      In keeping with the focus on the essentials, all the controls are grouped into “function islands”. Nothing distracts from the driving experience. Trim elements inside the cabin are likewise minimalist in nature. Indeed, it is instead the classy materials, carefully applied polished chrome accents and swish, hexagonal laser-cut motifs in the seats that do most to create the interior’s exclusive ambience. Carbon-fibre door sill finishers and embossed asymmetrical logos in the seats and instrument panel set the seal on the interior’s sporting profile.

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    • By William Maley
      Acura has pulled the curtain back on the refreshed 2018 RLX sedan. Your first thought might be along the lines of, "that's still a thing?"
      We can't blame you for this train of thought. Acura only sold 1,478 RLXs last year. To give you some perspective, 46,740 Mercedes-Benz E-Class models were sold in this same period. Despite this, Acura is still planning to soldier on the RLX. 
      The most obvious change for the RLX is the new front end. Acura's "diamond pentagon" grille is here, along with the jewel eye headlights and a new sculpted hood. The back also sees some changes with new LED taillights and a gloss black rear diffuser. The interior doesn't see many changes aside from new materials and reshaped front seats.
      Acura will offer two variants of the RLX. The RLX with Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) uses a 3.5L V6 with 310 horsepower and a new 10-speed automatic. One step above is the RLX  Sport Hybrid with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) which takes the V6 and pairs it up with three electric motors to produce a combined output of 377 horsepower. 
      For safety, the 2018 RLX comes with the AcuraWatch suite of technologies including automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control. Exclusive to AcuraWatch is Traffic Jam Assist which uses the adaptive cruise control and Low Speed Follow systems to keep the vehicle moving at a set distance in congested traffic, 
      “This redesign of the 2018 Acura RLX is transformational, creating road presence and styling that better reflect underlying performance capabilities of the vehicle,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president & general manager in a statement.
      The 2018 RLX will make its official debut next week during Monterey Automotive Week in California.
      Source: Acura
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Acura Reveals Striking New Design for 2018 Acura RLX; Debut Set for Monterey Automotive Week

      Aug 10, 2017 - TORRANCE, Calif.
      2018 Acura RLX adopts new Acura design direction including signature diamond pentagon grille Supercar inspired 377-horsepower RLX Sport Hybrid with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ has been further optimized based on NSX learnings Standard AcuraWatch™ enhanced with Traffic Jam Assist, an Acura first Acura today unveiled a redesigned 2018 Acura RLX reflecting the brand’s new Precision Crafted Performance design direction to create a more substantial presence for Acura’s top-of-the-line luxury sports sedan. The 2018 Acura RLX will make its public debut during the prestigious Monterey Automotive Week, August 15-19 on the Monterey peninsula. The new RLX incorporates design cues to showcase its performance capabilities, including Acura’s signature diamond pentagon grille, a more sculpted hood, new wheel designs, bold, newly designed LED taillights, dual exhaust finishers and a gloss black rear diffuser.
      The 2018 Acura RLX is the most sophisticated and best performing Acura sedan ever, with Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD™) technology, shared with the NSX supercar, that creates a powerful and precise driving experience unmatched in the segment. Acura has simplified the RLX trim structure to make the brand’s innovative Sport Hybrid technology more desirable and accessible streamlining the offering to two well-equipped variants. The new 2018 Acura RLX will go on sale in November.
      The 377 total system horsepowersup1 RLX Sport Hybrid seamlessly integrates a direct-injected V-6 with three electric motors and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ for instant acceleration, precise handling, outstanding all-weather performance and excellent fuel economy. Based on developments from the NSX, the RLX Sport Hybrid powertrain and dynamic handling has been further optimized.  
      The 310-horsepower RLX with Precision All-Wheel Steer™ is now mated to a new 10-speed Automatic Transmission (10AT) delivering a more refined driving experience, as well as improved acceleration and passing times.
      “This redesign of the 2018 Acura RLX is transformational, creating road presence and styling that better reflect underlying performance capabilities of the vehicle,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president & general manager.
      Standard features on the 2018 RLX Sport Hybrid include premium Krell Audio System, Surround View Camera, parking sensors, LED fog lights, remote engine start, ventilated and heated front seats, heated rear seats and steering wheel and more.
      The 2018 RLX features the unique AcuraWatch™ suite of technologies, as standard equipment, and has been enhanced with the addition of Traffic Jam Assist, a first for Acura. Working in conjunction with Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow, Traffic Jam Assist helps reduce driver stress in highly congested traffic situations by helping keep the vehicle in its lane and a set interval behind a car detected ahead.
      AcuraWatch™ also includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with automatic emergency braking, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM). AcuraWatch uses a millimeter wave radar and monocular camera sensing technology to detect other vehicles as well as lane markings and can help intervene to prevent or mitigate the severity of a collision.
      The 2018 Acura RLX is complimented by three new exterior colors including two premium paint offerings – Brilliant Red Metallic and Majestic Black Pearl. Inside, the 2018 Acura RLX receives upgraded materials and touchpoints including a completely redesigned seat featuring high-contrast piping and stitching, as well as a new Espresso interior option, which adds sophistication to an interior with class-leading space and comfort.  
      The 2018 Acura RLX will be featured at multiple events throughout Monterey Automotive Week including the Carmel-By-The Sea Concours on the Avenue on Tuesday, August 15 and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, on Friday, August 18.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Acura has pulled the curtain back on the refreshed 2018 RLX sedan. Your first thought might be along the lines of, "that's still a thing?"
      We can't blame you for this train of thought. Acura only sold 1,478 RLXs last year. To give you some perspective, 46,740 Mercedes-Benz E-Class models were sold in this same period. Despite this, Acura is still planning to soldier on the RLX. 
      The most obvious change for the RLX is the new front end. Acura's "diamond pentagon" grille is here, along with the jewel eye headlights and a new sculpted hood. The back also sees some changes with new LED taillights and a gloss black rear diffuser. The interior doesn't see many changes aside from new materials and reshaped front seats.
      Acura will offer two variants of the RLX. The RLX with Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) uses a 3.5L V6 with 310 horsepower and a new 10-speed automatic. One step above is the RLX  Sport Hybrid with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) which takes the V6 and pairs it up with three electric motors to produce a combined output of 377 horsepower. 
      For safety, the 2018 RLX comes with the AcuraWatch suite of technologies including automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control. Exclusive to AcuraWatch is Traffic Jam Assist which uses the adaptive cruise control and Low Speed Follow systems to keep the vehicle moving at a set distance in congested traffic, 
      “This redesign of the 2018 Acura RLX is transformational, creating road presence and styling that better reflect underlying performance capabilities of the vehicle,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president & general manager in a statement.
      The 2018 RLX will make its official debut next week during Monterey Automotive Week in California.
      Source: Acura
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Acura Reveals Striking New Design for 2018 Acura RLX; Debut Set for Monterey Automotive Week

      Aug 10, 2017 - TORRANCE, Calif.
      2018 Acura RLX adopts new Acura design direction including signature diamond pentagon grille Supercar inspired 377-horsepower RLX Sport Hybrid with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ has been further optimized based on NSX learnings Standard AcuraWatch™ enhanced with Traffic Jam Assist, an Acura first Acura today unveiled a redesigned 2018 Acura RLX reflecting the brand’s new Precision Crafted Performance design direction to create a more substantial presence for Acura’s top-of-the-line luxury sports sedan. The 2018 Acura RLX will make its public debut during the prestigious Monterey Automotive Week, August 15-19 on the Monterey peninsula. The new RLX incorporates design cues to showcase its performance capabilities, including Acura’s signature diamond pentagon grille, a more sculpted hood, new wheel designs, bold, newly designed LED taillights, dual exhaust finishers and a gloss black rear diffuser.
      The 2018 Acura RLX is the most sophisticated and best performing Acura sedan ever, with Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD™) technology, shared with the NSX supercar, that creates a powerful and precise driving experience unmatched in the segment. Acura has simplified the RLX trim structure to make the brand’s innovative Sport Hybrid technology more desirable and accessible streamlining the offering to two well-equipped variants. The new 2018 Acura RLX will go on sale in November.
      The 377 total system horsepowersup1 RLX Sport Hybrid seamlessly integrates a direct-injected V-6 with three electric motors and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ for instant acceleration, precise handling, outstanding all-weather performance and excellent fuel economy. Based on developments from the NSX, the RLX Sport Hybrid powertrain and dynamic handling has been further optimized.  
      The 310-horsepower RLX with Precision All-Wheel Steer™ is now mated to a new 10-speed Automatic Transmission (10AT) delivering a more refined driving experience, as well as improved acceleration and passing times.
      “This redesign of the 2018 Acura RLX is transformational, creating road presence and styling that better reflect underlying performance capabilities of the vehicle,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president & general manager.
      Standard features on the 2018 RLX Sport Hybrid include premium Krell Audio System, Surround View Camera, parking sensors, LED fog lights, remote engine start, ventilated and heated front seats, heated rear seats and steering wheel and more.
      The 2018 RLX features the unique AcuraWatch™ suite of technologies, as standard equipment, and has been enhanced with the addition of Traffic Jam Assist, a first for Acura. Working in conjunction with Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow, Traffic Jam Assist helps reduce driver stress in highly congested traffic situations by helping keep the vehicle in its lane and a set interval behind a car detected ahead.
      AcuraWatch™ also includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with automatic emergency braking, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM). AcuraWatch uses a millimeter wave radar and monocular camera sensing technology to detect other vehicles as well as lane markings and can help intervene to prevent or mitigate the severity of a collision.
      The 2018 Acura RLX is complimented by three new exterior colors including two premium paint offerings – Brilliant Red Metallic and Majestic Black Pearl. Inside, the 2018 Acura RLX receives upgraded materials and touchpoints including a completely redesigned seat featuring high-contrast piping and stitching, as well as a new Espresso interior option, which adds sophistication to an interior with class-leading space and comfort.  
      The 2018 Acura RLX will be featured at multiple events throughout Monterey Automotive Week including the Carmel-By-The Sea Concours on the Avenue on Tuesday, August 15 and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, on Friday, August 18.
    • By William Maley
      Equinox, Acadia, Envision and XT5 Achieve Best July Ever
      Crossover and trucks account for 80 percent of sales for best monthly mix ever July incentive spending as a percentage of ATP below industry average, driving ATPs up nearly $1,000 Commercial sales up 40 percent for best July since 2007 Lowest daily rental sales mix of any full-line automaker DETROIT — General Motors (NYSE: GM) today reported July U.S. retail sales of 202,220 vehicles, down about 14 percent from strong sales in July 2016. In July, GM’s crossovers and trucks account for 80 percent of sales for the company’s best monthly mix ever.
      While the U.S. market continues to moderate, sales of GM’s newest crossovers were strong in July:
      Chevrolet Equinox - up 4 percent for its best July ever. Chevrolet Bolt EV – 1,832 Bolts were sold in July for the best month ever. August will be the first month the Bolt EV is available on a national basis. GMC Acadia - up 30 percent for its best July ever. Buick Envision - up 89 percent for its best July ever. Cadillac XT5 - up 6 percent for its best July ever. GM’s July incentive spending as a percentage of average transaction prices (ATP) was 11.5 percent, more than 1 full percentage point below the industry average, and 0.5 percentage points below GM’s 2016 calendar year average. Some of GM’s competitors, without strong truck and crossover businesses, are offering significantly higher incentives across their entire portfolios, according to J.D. Power PIN estimates.
      In addition, GM’s ATPs were about $36,000, up nearly $1,000 from July 2016.
      “We have strategically decided to reduce car production rather than increase incentive spending or dump vehicles into daily rental fleets, like some of our competitors,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations.  “We are working hard to protect the residual values of our new products and growing quality retail and commercial sales, and July’s ATPs reflect that discipline.”
      GM’s U.S. commercial vehicles sales were up 40 percent from last July, the best July since 2007, led by strong large van sales (up 89 percent), small utilities (up 61 percent) and large pickup sales (up 21 percent).  Year to date, GM commercial sales are up 11 percent. U.S. daily rental sales were down more than 11,200 vehicles or 81 percent in July, as planned. In July, GM’s daily rental sales accounted for only 1 percent of GM’s total sales.  GM continues to have the lowest U.S. rental mix of any full-line automaker at about 7 percent of total sales year to date.    
      GM’s July total sales were 226,107 vehicles, down about 15 percent from strong levels last year.
      “Changing customer tastes have driven us to refocus our business on higher margin, faster growing segments, like the crossover segments. We are launching the most all-new crossovers in our history to take full advantage of the changes occurring in the U.S. marketplace,” added McNeil. “Our newest crossovers are performing very well in the marketplace and we’ll build on that momentum with the all-new Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Terrain, Buick Enclave and the introduction of the Regal TourX through the second half of 2017.”
      By the end of 2017, GM will offer customers the U.S. industry’s newest and broadest lineup of crossovers.
      “U.S. auto sales continue to moderate from last year’s record pace, but key U.S. economic fundamentals remain supportive of strong vehicle sales,” said Mustafa Mohatarem, GM chief economist. “Under the current economic conditions, we anticipate the second half of 2017 will be much stronger than the first half.”
      July Brand Retail Highlights (vs. July 2016 unless noted)       
      Chevrolet
      Colorado was up 22 percent. Both Camaro and Cruze were up slightly. Crossovers best year to date: Equinox, Traverse and Trax. Volt has best year to date. Volt and Bolt EV July sales combined for more than 3,300 deliveries. Silverado LD double cab was up 4 percent. Buick
      Best year to date retail sales since 2005, up 2 percent. July ATPs are highest since December 2015. SUV mix is highest ever at 85 percent. GMC
      ATPs are the highest ever, up 8 percent from last July. Sierra boasts the highest ATPs in the full-size pickup segment. Sierra HDs up 6 percent in July and year to date up 9 percent, the best in a decade Yukon up 4 percent. Yukon had its best July since 2007. Cadillac
      CT6 up 7 percent. Year to date, XT5 retail sales are up 10 percent vs. combined SRX and XT5 sales a year ago. July ATPs up more than $3,000 and lead the luxury market and more than $3,000 higher than its closest competitor. Guidance on U.S. Vehicle Inventory Levels
      We anticipate we will end 2017 at or below last year’s level, with fewer cars and more trucks, crossovers and utilities in the mix. Pickup, crossovers and utility sales, GM’s strength, are expected to be stronger in the second half of 2017 vs. the first half of the year. We continue to monitor the marketplace and will make additional production adjustments if needed.
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