No. 1018
October 16, 2019

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

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On The Table


SEPTEMBER 18, 2019

(Cadillac images)
Cadillac is one domestic automaker that isn't afraid of offering sedans, apparently. The new 2020 Cadillac CT4 sport sedan is aimed at "a new generation of sport-luxury customers," according to Cadillac PR minions. The CT4 "delivers a driving experience unmatched by front-drive competitors," according to the manufacturer. It also incorporates the latest Cadillac technologies, including available Super Cruise (available in calendar year 2020). The Sport (shown) and V-Series models are differentiated by darker accents and performance-focused details, including unique grilles, fascias, rocker extensions, rear spoiler and exclusive performance design wheels. Each trim also features LED exterior lighting, including headlamps, tail lamps and signature vertical lights at all four corners.
The all-new CT4 is built on Cadillac’s excellent RWD sedan architecture. "Exceptional balance from near-perfect weight distribution contributes to one of the segment’s nimblest, most responsive driving experiences," according to Cadillac PR minions. Enhancements of the front and rear suspension systems, including Cadillac’s signature double-pivot MacPherson-type front suspension (with dual lower ball joints), are designed to improve road isolation and driver feedback. “Cadillac is dedicated to building the most exhilarating sport-luxury sedans,” said Rob Kotarak, Cadillac chief engineer. “Every element of the CT4 is designed to bring innovative technologies right to the driver, providing discerning driving dynamics with cutting edge precision.” Additional chassis and driving dynamics features include:
 Bosch premium electric, rack-mounted power steering system; Precise and more-dependable eBoost brakes with patented Duralife coated rotors; Brembo front brakes are standard on Sport and V-Series models; ZF MVS (Multi-Valve System) passive dampers; All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is available on all models and Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 comes on the V-Series RWD. Selectable vehicle drive modes are standard and allow customers to enhance their vehicle settings for different preferences and conditions. The modes, Tour, Sport, Snow/Ice and Track, are joined by new My Mode and V Mode (V-Series), which can alter the calibrations for transmission shifting, suspension, steering and brake feel, front/rear torque split (with AWD), vehicle sound character and other vehicle attributes.
The all-new Cadillac CT4 features the brand’s 2.0L Twin-Scroll Turbo engine, with three-step sliding camshaft technology along with Active Fuel Management and automatic stop/start. The standard engine produces 237HP (177 kW) and 258 lb.-ft of torque (350 Nm). It is coupled to a eight-speed automatic transmission. Cadillac’s new 2.7L segment-first Dual-Volute Turbo engine is available on Premium Luxury and is standard on V-Series. This engine produces an estimated 309HP (230 kW) with 348 lb.-ft of torque (472 Nm) in the Premium Luxury model and 325HP (242 kW) and 380 lb.-ft of torque (515 Nm) in the CT4-V. It is matched with a segment-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission with Electronic Precision Shift. Like the 2.0L Turbo engine, the 2.7L Turbo also features a three-step sliding camshaft design, along with Active Fuel Management and automatic stop/start. Additional technologies include:
 Active Thermal Management, which uses targeted engine heating and cooling to improve performance in hot and cold ambient temperatures; An integrated exhaust manifold, which recovers heat for faster engine and transmission warm-up, along with quicker turbo response; An efficient electric water pump enables continual cabin heating, even when the engine is off during stop/start events and a tandem solenoid starter enables a faster response from a stop/start event and enables a smoother drive-away.
The CT4 benefits from GM’s new digital vehicle platform, an all-new electronic architecture that enables the adoption of the company’s next generation of technologies. The platform enables faster signal transmissions as well as continuous vehicle improvements through over-the-air updates and enhanced cybersecurity measures. Other features: Keyless entry and push-button starting; Leather-wrapped steering wheel (with available heating); Full-color dual-display driver information center; HD Rear Vision Camera; LED interior lighting with stealth mode; Dual-zone automatic climate control with a humidity sensor, dust/particulate filter and rear-seat vents andPremium audio system with Active Noise Cancellation. The 2020 CT4 will be available for ordering later this year. It will be manufactured at GM’s Lansing Grand River facility in Michigan, which received a $211-million investment to build the next-generation Cadillac sedans. Pricing and additional information will be announced closer to the start of regular production. 


The 2020 Honda CR-V has updated styling, new features and upgraded powertrains, including a new CR-V Hybrid to be built in the company's Greensburg, Indiana, plant. The 2020 CR-V Hybrid is the first electrified SUV from Honda in America, joining the Accord Hybrid and Insight as the third electrified Honda manufactured in the U.S. Honda will apply its advanced two-motor hybrid-electric system to all of its core U.S. models in the years ahead. Beyond the new hybrid-electric variant, major upgrades to the 2020 CR-V include front and rear styling tweaks, redesigned wheels and standard Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technology (previously available only on EX and above trims). All non-hybrid 2020 CR-V models are now powered by the 1.5-liter VTEC™ Turbo engine, previously available only in EX and above trims. The 2020 CR-V will go on sale at Honda dealerships nationwide this fall, followed by the launch of the all-new CR-V Hybrid in early 2020. Production of the CR-V Hybrid for the U.S. market will take place at Honda's Greensburg, Indiana, plant alongside CR-V and the Insight hybrid sedan. The company will invest $4.2 million and add 34 new jobs in the plant to support production of the CR-V Hybrid. Honda's Russells Point, Ohio, plant will manufacture the CR-V Hybrid's two-motor power unit, and the company's Anna, Ohio, engine plant will produce its 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine.

From the "Why?" File: Lexus held the world premiere of its first luxury yacht, the Lexus LY 650, in Boca Raton.


Editor-in-Chief's Note: Tom Pease, our L.A.-based correspondent, filed this report about attempting to experience an EV test drive in L.A. It didn't go well. -PMD

Not Charged Up: Or How I Didn't Drive the Electric Car.

By Tom Pease

Beverly Hills.
 This past weekend the LA Department of Public Works sponsored an event called “ChargeUp LA” at the LAPD training center near Dodger Stadium in downtown LA. Now, I do love EV's (even if I don't own one), and I also love free events where I get to drive cars and collect swag.

What I don't love are badly organized events on hot days. Why is it that these events are so poorly run? I had the same complaint about a few iterations of the AltCar Expo, but at least that was held at the Santa Monica Civic Center two blocks from the beach, so it wasn't 98 degrees in the (nonexistent) shade. First off, they were fifteen minutes late opening the gate. I know, fifteen minutes doesn't sound like a whole lot of time and it isn't, if I am, for instance, sitting in my air-conditioned office typing this missive. If I am, however, standing outside feeling the SPF 1000 lotion sweating off my face from under my SPF 50 sunhat (yes, they exist) then it's an issue. This seemed to be a recurring theme with this event: provide as little shade or water as possible in an area of LA that is guaranteed to be broiling. So much so that if they were touting solar energy I would think they were pounding home the message of the power of good old sol by treating us to free heatstroke.

In any case, after waiting to get in we waited to register to drive at the event, then waited again to register at each individual booth to drive individual cars. I started with the Mini Countryman. I never got out of the parking space. First, I was directed to start the car. This is achieved by flipping a toggle switch, one of a row of identical ones far down on the dash rather than a button that's clearly marked, and obvious. Why? Because it's Mini. Then you have the devilish gear selector that is similar to the one in my BFF's Cadillac, which is hated by her, her husband and apparently every valet paring attendant on the Westside. After four attempts shutting the thing off and on and having the selector's “D” glow without any forward movement, I decided life was too short and bailed. Note to self: when trying for a quick getaway, the Mini is not the car to choose.

Then I went to sign up at the BMW booth for the iWhatever, the little one (the i3 -WG). They asked that I provide them with my cell phone number, which I do not give out. They insisted, saying that they would use it to “contact me with offers,” etc. Rather than just make up a number or tell them that I don't give mine out so that I don't get phone calls from random d-bags giving me “offers” I passed on the test drive.

Off to Tesla. Of course, everyone wanted to test the Tesla, so there was going to be a wait. No problem; I would just claim part of the tent that was in shade and had a slight breeze. Ah, but then the organizers stepped in and informed the Tesla people that they could not load people into their cars in the parking spaces by their little tent as they had been doing, but had to have people queue in the event's mini tent, next to the Mini's mini tent. The event tent had five chairs and could comfortably hold about twelve people and was at the point where the course bottle-necked into one lane with no possibility to pass, meaning that there were about 50 people jammed into the tent and fifteen or so cars waiting to load, unload or exit. But, hey, they weren't burning gas, right?

So I drove the Model X. It's big, it's plush, it has great AC. It also has regenerative braking that is fairly obtrusive (not the only EV I've driven that does this) and a ludicrously small rearview mirror for a car with blind spots you could hide the Grand Tetons in. They do have an on-call rearview camera in the giant center display (that disconcertingly, at least for me, takes the place of all instruments), but I think something like Cadillac's rear camera might be a better idea: years of shifting eyes right to the mirror makes sense. As a matter of fact, I'd like to institute a board of common sense in automotive design: don't make your engine start switch a random toggle, but an obvious button up there. Manufacturers got together almost 60 years ago and decided on PRNDL for gearshifts to avoid confusion. Toggle up, toggle down, hop, skip, jump and pray isn't an improvement.

But I digress. After the Tesla, as it was now flirting with triple-digit temps, I decided to bail on the event rather than standing for a half-hour broiling waiting for a Leaf or Pacifica, and hightailed it to the nearest purveyor of frozen coffee drinks. Because on a blazing summer L.A. day, there is almost nothing a nice ice-blended can't fix.


AE Song Lyrics of the Week:


Who's gonna tell you when
It's too late
Who's gonna tell you things
Aren't so great.

You can't go on, thinkin'
Nothing's wrong, but bye
Who's gonna drive you home

Who's gonna pick you up
When you fall?
Who's gonna hang it up
When you call?

Who's gonna pay attention
To your dreams?
And who's gonna plug their ears
When you scream?

You can't go on, thinkin'
Nothing's wrong, but bye
Who's gonna drive you home, tonight?

"Drive" - The Cars (RIP Ric)