With stunning power and handling, the CTS-V gives the already excellent Cadillac CTS a huge performance edge. First-class interior and cutting-edge cabin tech make it a comfortable cruiser, but get it on a track where you can really have some fun. BMW M3s and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG's better watch out if they see a CTS-V coming up behind them.
NEW ORLEANS -- General Motors is talking with several automakers about putting GM's OnStar telematics service in their vehicles, says OnStar's top executive.
"We did make a decision late last year that we are now talking to other vehicle manufacturers about the potential of bringing OnStar services to their vehicles either in the United States and Canada or other parts of the world," OnStar President Chet Huber told Automotive News here during the NADA convention.
Huber declined to identify the automakers.
In the past, OnStar had deals with Acura, Volkswagen, Audi, Subaru and Isuzu and a … Read more
We didn't expect a tuner car from Chevy, but the Cobalt SS measure up in all ways. Two-liter four cylinder engine, check. Variable valve timing, check. Turbocharger, bonus. With 260 horsepower, the Cobalt SS has more power than a Honda Civic Si, and the Cobalt SS' limited slip differential, stabilizer bars, and suspension tuning lead to good handling in the corners. Put it in launch-control mode and you can achieve maximum grip and acceleration off the line. Chevy also steps up a bit in cabin tech, giving the Cobalt SS iPod integration and a bass-heavy Pioneer audio system.
What should a modern car have? There are the obvious things, such as fuel economy, practical interior space, and drivability, but what about great cabin tech? We'll tell you the three most important amenities to look for by the dashboard.
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The 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid is either the first guilt-free full-size SUV or an example of unrestrained excess. The Yukon is big, with three rows of seating and a cliff-like front-end. And it uses one of the bigger engines available in the Yukon line, a 6-liter V-8. But it adds GM's new two-mode hybrid system to give it surprisingly good fuel economy. In city traffic, we're talking close to 20 mpg. Good thing it has hybrid labels around the body to fend off public rancor.
The cabin electronics are the same as GM has been offering on its … Read more
SHANGHAI -- Imagine a driver from Guangzhou has an accident. He calls OnStar, but the Mandarin-speaking OnStar staffer doesn't understand Cantonese, the dialect spoken in Guangzhou.
"You can't plan and design a system to cover 1,000 different dialects," says Jonathan Hyde, director of telematics for GM China Group. GM assumes that most car buyers will speak Mandarin, the dialect taught in China's schools.
Hundreds of local dialects are just one challenge General Motors faces as it prepares to launch OnStar in China. But the chance to be the first to offer such services in the world's fastest-growing automotive market trumps any trepidation Hyde might feel.
"It's fun," he says of his job. "This is all a huge opportunity."
With a 6-liter V-8 and brawny styling, the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT looks like the return of American muscle, only, it's not. The new G8, an example of International brand engineering, actually comes from Australia, where it's called a Holden VE Commodore. These origins explain some odd styling around the cockpit, such as window and mirror controls mounted on the console and a big red display showing battery charge and oil pressure.
The central point of the G8 seems to be the big engine, not really the best peg to hang your hat on these days. The car … Read more
With the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ, Chevrolet makes its strongest bid yet to unseat the Toyota Camry as America's most popular car. For cabin quality, the Malibu LTZ equals the Camry and even the Honda Accord. The Malibu features the most modern powertrain we've yet seen from Chevrolet, although the handling feels wobbly, especially at freeway speeds. The head unit in the Malibu LTZ is GM-standard, it has a decent interface for playing MP3 CDs and a standard auxiliary input. The cabin electronics are rounded out with OnStar's various services, including hands-free-calling and turn-by-turn directions.
Our short life of crime ended abruptly as we tried to speed away in an OnStar-equipped Chevy Tahoe. The gas pedal went loose, the engine slowed to an idle, and we rolled to a stop. Fortunately, police didn't pounce on us as we stepped out of the car, we were merely greeted by OnStar representatives who wanted us to see how the system worked. We experienced this new OnStar service, called Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, in the parking lot of Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., at a special demonstration. With the service, OnStar can cut engine power to a vehicle. … Read more
GM announced two new services for OnStar this week, one that involves a partnership with MapQuest, and one for people who can't program a DVR. With the MapQuest partnership, called OnStar eNav, users will be able to find destinations on the MapQuest Web site, then push a button to have the destination sent to their cars. This service should come in handy for people planning vacations or needing complex routes, and signals OnStar's foray into the Web-enabled world. To use eNav, you will need a vehicle equipped with OnStar turn-by-turn navigation. The second service, OnStar Destination Download, requires … Read more