No. 781,
January 28, 2015

About The Autoextremist@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of

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On The Table


january 14, 2015



Michelin. Editor-in-Chief's Note: The Michelin Media Center at Cobo Hall was such a revelation that media types are still talking about it. Bright, airy and non-claustrophobic, it made everything so much better. Kudos to Michelin's on-the-ground team for a great job. - PMD


Editor-in-Chief's Note: Speaking of bad auto show presentation colors, BMW showed an absolutely hideous M6 Coupe that looked so out of place and ridiculous it made my eyes hurt. Why? No one knows, apparently. Needless to say, juxtaposed against the beautiful 3.0 CSL (below), it well and truly sucked. - PMD



VW unveiled its Cross Coupe GTE plug-in hybrid concept at the Detroit Auto Show, which previews a seven-seat, mid-size, all-wheel-drive SUV that will be produced in its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant at the end of 2016. It's a SUV/crossover world now, and everyone wants in.

(GM/Buick images)
Editor-in-Chief's Note: Buick has introduced the 2016 Cascada, what they're calling "a dynamic, stylish convertible that uses innovative powertrain and chassis technologies to complement the driving experience." The 2+2, front-wheel-drive convertible allegedly has room for four adults, but really? Unlikely. Buick says that Cascada's "expressive driving experience" (whatever that means) is due to a rigid body structure, a sophisticated HiPer Strut front suspension and responsive Watts Z-link suspension in the rear. The Cascada is powered by a 1.6-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged 4-cylinder with variable valve timing that delivers 200 horsepower (149 kW) and an estimated 206 lb-ft (280 Nm). There's also an overboost feature that briefly pushes torque to an estimated 221 lb-ft (300 Nm). It goes on sale a year from now in early 2016, but Buick just had to show it at the Detroit Auto Show because they have nothing else to talk about, other than their "brilliant" tier 2 advertising masquerading as a national campaign. This is what Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick has to say: “The new, 2016 Buick Cascada is a beautiful, engaging convertible that represents the very best of the brand’s global development practices. It’s a car that will delight customers with its fun spirit and help drive the momentum that’s fueling Buick’s success.” This is what we say: The 2016 Buick Cascada is a cynical interpretation of a mo-faux "luxury" convertible with "sporty" overtones designed for poseurs and others who don't know the difference. So, this is what it has come down to for Buick, apparently. If you squint real hard and suspend rational thought you're gonna buy into their notion of an "expressive driving experience" and your life will be enriched for it. We think most consumers will give the Cascada a cursory glance and move on, however. - PMD

The "+2" of the party was left back at the winery, apparently.