SRX – Cadillac’s first-ever luxury crossover


A genuine all-rounder, Cadillac’s first-ever luxury crossover, the SRX is a bridge between Cadillac’s premium full-size saloons and its powerful luxury SUVs. Both the SRX Elegance and Sport Luxury models feature third row seats that enable up to seven people to enjoy travelling in the all-wheel drive crossover’s luxurious interior, attracting a stream of new and younger buyers to the brand.

First introduced in 2004, the Cadillac SRX crossover set a new trend in combining the sporty exterior and driving dynamics of a luxury estate with the off-road capabilities and interior space of an SUV sport utility vehicle. For 2008, the right-hand drive SRX is available in the UK as a three-model range with prices starting at £28,100 (on-the-road).

The SRX expresses Cadillac’s bold design vocabulary with its crisp, sharp-edged look, striking vertical headlights and taillights, bold front side sections and the V-shaped front tapering into the classic Cadillac grille.

In the UK, SRX features permanent 4-wheel drive and comes with a choice of V6 or V8 engine, Elegance or Sport Luxury equipment/trim level and a selection of 9 exterior and 3 interior colours. The SRX is built in the USA alongside its Cadillac CTS and STS stablemates at GM’s award-winning Grand River Assembly Centre in Lansing, Michigan.

Eye-catching Exterior Design

Visually bridging the gap between Cadillac’s performance saloon and SUV, the innovative, bold styling of the SRX is truly eye-catching. With its long, lean look, SRX stands out in a world of soft shapes. Its head-turning design is a prime example of Cadillac’s overall design theme to create vehicles that make an immediate, emotional connection with buyers.

While the raised front fascia, raised side-sills and command-view seating are themes expressed in luxury sport utility vehicles, the SRX also follows the look of CTS with its sharp lines that cascade from front to rear, imparting a sense of motion, fluidity and dynamism.

Vertical headlamps with dual-projector lamps have a distinctive, modern, jewel-like appearance. Their corners are rounded to enhance aerodynamics. Tail lamps echo the vertical orientation of the headlamps and reinforce the height of the vehicle. The lamps are ‘instant-on’ LEDs with clear red lenses revealing the light facets and echoing the jewel-like quality of the headlamps.

Visual appeal of the SRX Sport Luxury model can be further enhanced by customers specifying the optional Sport Package. This adds a fresh exterior look with ‘sport’ front and rear fascias, a sport body-colour front grille with V-Series mesh backing, chrome roof rails and dual chrome exhaust tailpipes, plus (for Elegance buyers) 18-inch ultra-bright alloy wheels.

Luxury and Space are Interior DESIGN highlights

The interior design of the 2008 SRX benefits from significant changes and upgrades first introduced last year, with upscale materials, comfortable, ergonomic seats and thoughtfully placed controls and switches, plus softer surfaces, new flush-mounted switches and controls, together with enhanced storage capacity.

The SRX cabin now utilises Cadillac’s new ‘cut-and-sew’ interior process that combines advanced technology with the hand-rendered precision of expert craftsmen. Coverings for components such as the instrument panel, centre console and door trim are cut, sewn and wrapped mostly by hand. Wrap-around wood trim envelops the SRX cockpit, starting on the rear doors, continuing to the front doors and on across the instrument panel. This blending of advanced technology with craftsmanship in vehicle interiors is a modern Cadillac trademark.

Elevated seating positions in SRX ensure that not only is the driver guaranteed a commanding view of the road, but the ‘command performance’ extends to the rows behind, where theatre-style seating provides excellent visibility for all occupants. The second row seats are 50 mm higher than the first row, while the third row seats rise 120 mm above the second. This arrangement allows middle and rear seats passengers to see the road or landscape – or have a better view of the rear seat entertainment system.

The splendid view and open-air feeling of the SRX can be boosted even further with the optional ‘UltraView’ powered glass 450 cm2 sunroof (over the first and second row seats) and the ‘UltraView Plus’ option which adds a fixed glass roof over the third row seats for a total of 650 cm2 of sky.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the SRX interior is its generous space thanks to a 2957 mm wheelbase which is one of the longest in its class. There is an exceptional amount of legroom in the rear, and added versatility with a 100 mm fore-aft middle seat travel and class-leading 1040 mm middle-row legroom.

Cargo space is also versatile, ranging from a useful 238 up to a cavernous 1960 litres – depending on the number of seats is use. In order that the cargo bay may still be quickly and easily used whenever required, the third row seats can be power-folded into the floor at the touch of a button.

Northstar V8 heads powertrain line-up

The Cadillac SRX features a choice of two high-tech powerplants – the legendary Northstar V8 or a highly-efficient, all-aluminium V6 engine with variable timing of both the intake and exhaust valves.

For fitment in the SRX, the 4.6-litre, 32-valve V8 Northstar engine was extensively re-engineered to make its first appearance in an all-wheel drive vehicle. It is a sophisticated, technically advanced powerunit that generates 330 ps at 6400 rpm and 427 Nm of torque at 4400 rpm.

The engine incorporates a host of technically advanced features including electronic ‘drive-by-wire’ throttle control and variable valve timing for extremely accurate fuel injection and more efficient combustion. The new VVT system also eliminates the need for an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system and close coupled catalytic converters, mounted directly adjacent to the exhaust manifold, give added efficiency and rapid warm-up from cold.

The six-speed 6L50 Hydra-Matic automatic transmission provides both increased performance and fuel efficiency. It features a generous 6.04:1 overall ratio that ensures strong ‘launch’ acceleration from standstill, while also providing a ‘tall’ overdrive top gear for enhanced fuel economy (improved by 4%) and reduced noise during cruising.

The 3.6-litre V6 VVT powerplant develops 261 ps at 6500 rpm and 344 Nm of torque at 2800 rpm. This 60-degree dual overhead cam (DOHC), 24-valve engine boasts electronic throttle control, variable valve timing, multi-port fuel injection, two-stage roller chain cam drive, aluminium block and cylinder heads and a forged steel crankshaft. Up to 90 percent of peak torque is available in a wide band from just 1600 to 5800 rpm. It is coupled to a five-speed 5L40 Hyrda-Matic automatic gearbox.

Both the five- and six-speed automatic transmissions feature Driver Shift Control (which offers clutchless sequential manual shifting), electronically controlled engine braking, downgrade detection with brake assist (to help control speed during hill descents), Performance Algorithm Liftfoot (to prevent premature upshifts) and a Transmission Control Module (TCM) that detects a drop in vehicle speed prior to entering a turn, and gives up to two downshifts to provide the driver with maximum engine braking.

Independent Suspension and Sophisticated Running Gear

Cadillac SRX brings breakthrough levels of performance and ‘drivability’ to the luxury sport-utility segment. All-wheel drive, independent suspension and outstanding chassis control systems – including Magnetic Ride Control (on Sport Luxury models) – are combined with outstanding powertrain combinations to create a true driver’s car.

The high torsional rigidity of the SRX bodyshell, its near perfectly balanced 50-50% front-rear weight distribution and outstanding dynamics of GM’s Sigma chassis architecture ensure superior ride quality and excellent dynamic stability to create a rare sport-utility vehicle that is fun to drive. Exceptional wheel travel, with 200 mm of travel in the front and nearly 250 mm in the rear, delivers a truly subtle and well-controlled ride.

The independent double-wishbone front suspension features aluminium components to reduce unsprung mass and enhance handling. The independent multi-link rear suspension with fully isolated rear subframe is one of the most advanced in the segment set-up to ensure maximum handling stability. The self-levelling rear suspension adapts automatically to different loads and road conditions.

The car’s handling precision is perfectly matched by its speed-sensitive Electronic Variable Assist Power Steering and easy manoeuvrability when parking is a benefit of the relatively tight 12.1 metres turning circle.

The SRX is equipped with four large ventilated disc brakes featuring dual piston (front) and single piston (rear) lightweight aluminium calipers to meet the highest performance demands. Backed up by ABS, the system also includes Panic Brake Assist (to boost braking power in an emergency) and Dynamic Rear Brake proportioning that regulates braking pressure depending on vehicle load.

Every SRX model is equipped with high performance tyres optimised for ride, handling and dynamic capability. The Elegance model has 17-inch alloy wheels with 235/65 (front) and 255/60 (rear) tyres. Sport Luxury models are equipped with ultra-bright finish 18-inch alloy wheels, plus 235/60 and 255/55 tyres.

The SRX also provides Cadillac’s state-of-the-art Magnetic Ride Control system on Sport Luxury models. For the ultimate ride and handling balance, this system delivers real-time variable adaptive damping with computer control that allows the damping of each wheel to be varied 1,000 times a second – a performance unmatched by any other system – to guarantee a great ride and virtually eliminate heave, pitch and roll.

Equipment, Fixtures, Fittings and Storage

For 2008, the SRX is available with a choice of Elegance or Sport Luxury equipment and trim. The Elegance comes with remote keyless entry, 8-way power adjustable heated front seats, dual-zone climate control air-conditioning, cruise control, leather-trimmed seats, power adjustable pedals, power folding third row seats, power opening/closing tailgate, premium Bose 8-speaker audio system and an auxiliary port for connecting MP3 devices such as an iPod.

As well as being able to specify the 4.6 V8 Northstar engine, customers who choose the Sport Luxury SRX can enjoy additional equipment including Magnetic Ride Control, larger ultra-bright 18-inch alloy wheels, power adjustable lumbar support front seats, DVD navigation system with integrated in-dash 6-disc CD changer, and rear air-conditioning.

A key priority for SRX designers was providing usable and convenient storage space. Up front, there are covered door bins, door map pockets, front seatback pockets, a centre console with two compartments, a bin behind the front console, a glove box with shelf and twin covered cup holders.

In the rear, SRX has a second row fold-down console with cup holders, twin third-row cupholders, plus large side storage bins in the cargo area and an available cargo net to always ensure safe stowage of items in the luggage area. For added security, an integrated cover hides items stored on the luggage area floor. The cover colour is fully integrated with the interior design and the cover virtually disappears into the side wall of the rear compartment when not in use.

The standard roof rack, with a maximum load capacity of 45 kilos, extends the vehicle’s storage capability.

The seven-strong list of factory-fitted options includes a rear seat entertainment system with 180 mm flip up LCD screen mounted on the back of the centre console, DVD player, infrared headphones, video game jacks and a remote control. Elegance models can be further enhanced with DVD navigation or a 6-disc in-dash CD changer.

Optimised Protection with Active & Passive safety technologies

The SRX features state-of-the-art ‘passive’ and ‘active’ safety technologies to provide optimised protection for occupants in the widest possible variety of driving scenarios, helping drivers cope with hazardous situations or providing a safety cage if an accident is unavoidable.

As a first line of defence, the SRX’s bodyshell makes extensive use of ultra-high strength steel in its octagonal-section front engine bay chassis rails, side sill panels and various longitudinal chassis rails. The vehicle’s largest structural member is an immensely strong two-piece, transverse magnesium casting behind the dashboard that complements the frame’s first cross member running parallel to it below the floor pan.

Each SRX has a total of six airbags fitted as standard, including dual-stage driver and front passenger airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags and two full-length curtain airbags. All are controlled by a central Sensing Diagnostic Module (SDM) which automatically detects an impact, gauges its severity and determines the most appropriate airbags to deploy.

As well as class-leading passive safety in both its structure and equipment, the Cadillac SRX leads the way in dynamic or ‘active’ safety too. The same advanced technologies that give stirring performance and excellent road behaviour, also create a safe vehicle in all driving conditions.

The vehicle’s strong, all-weather performance makes it a true driver’s car, with the latest technologies helping SRX drivers to stay in confident control. The all-wheel drive system runs a 60-40% front-rear torque split as the default, automatically diverting more torque to a specific wheel or wheels in the event of tyre slippage.

SRX is equipped with a standard traction control system (TCS). It combines both engine torque reduction and brake application on individual wheels to eliminate wheelspin at all driving speeds for maximum driver control regardless of conditions.

Fully integrated chassis control is augmented by Cadillac’s ESP-style StabiliTrak system. This full-time, fully-automatic system detects deviations from the driver’s intended course and applies the brake to one or more wheels to eliminate excessive understeer and oversteer, particularly during sudden evasive manoeuvres and when driving on wet, snow-covered or icy roads.

Other standard safety features on SRX include Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist, seatbelt pretensioners, the LATCH system (for easy installation of child seats at both outboard positions of the second row), child security door and window locks, anti-theft protection and battery rundown protection.

Source: Cadillac (press release/media site)