Owners of GM vehicles equipped with OnStar will soon be able to subscribe to a $3.99/month service that allows them to track and locate their vehicle at any time. Called Family Link, the service will show the vehicle’s current location at any time via the new OnStar Family Link web site, and will even provide text and email alerts if certain locations are reached.
We can think of a few uses: forgetting where you parked, tracking a stolen car, aiding in EV use planning, keeping tabs on the kids (or a significant other), making car sharing services that much easier, etc. For now, Family Link will only be available on GM vehicles fitted with OnStar as OEM equipment, and not for users of the standalone OnStar FMV system.
All 2012 GM vehicles come standard with OnStar, though features vary by model and subscription package. Family Link will begin its public launch in mid-April.
The 2012 Honda CR-V has room for you, your family and all your gear and will save you a bundle on a $5+-per-gallon summer vacation (23 city/31 highway mpg) over a larger SUV. Honda’s segment sales-leading compact crossover is redesigned for 2012 with all new eager-to-please styling and a versatile interior. Now it can be yours to lease at a price you can afford.
Years of speculation over the next-gen BMW M3 and its engine have reached fever pitch as the car’s release date gets closer. Now Car and Driver reports the next M3 will use a new advanced BMW M-Power twin-turbocharged V6, rather than a V8 like the current car or a turbo inline-6 in more-typical BMW fashion.
BMW hasn’t offered a V6 engine in a production car, well ever, so this would be a radical departure, but you can bet any powerplant with the M3 label on it will be a work of art.
Reports place engine displacement between 3.0 and 3.5 liters with rumored power output figures of around 429 horsepower and 405 lb-ft. of torque, with info attributed to “a BMW insider.” Enthusiasts claiming insider knowledge of M-Power suggest this may be accurate.
The yellow car shown here is an artist’s rendering that essentially swaps front and rear design details from the new F30 2012 3-Series onto a current-gen E92 M3 car. Official sightings are limited to heavily camouflaged test mules (shown in the video below), but we do know the new car will debut as a sedan first with the coupe and convertible to follow.
Expect the F80 2014 M3 Sedan to bow late next year with the coupe and convertible to follow with a release date by mid-Summer 2014. As for pricing, we’ll venture to say around $65k to start. The current M3 starts at $60,100.
Cadillac has tried to do the small entry-level luxury car thing before. The 1980s brought the forgettable Cimarron, while in the late 1990s and early 2000s Caddy offered the downright dislikable Catera. Each time Cadillac marketed the cars as a chance to take on the Germans, but failed. Not this time.
The 2013 Cadillac ATS is an all-new rear-wheel drive small luxury sport sedan with its sights clearly set on the BMW 3-Series and sport-minded compact models from Infiniti, Audi, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz that each year try to dethrone Germany’s best. The ATS is sized nearly identically to the new 2012 3-Series Sedan, its width, length and height within fractions of an inch and its wheelbase slightly shorter.
Gentlemen, start your engines: there will be three at launch. The value engine for cost-conscious mpg lovers will be GM’s 2.0-liter Ecotec four-cylinder, making 200 horsepower. Stepping up to sportier, an all-new turbocharged 2.0-liter Ecotec four will make 270 horses and 260 lb-ft. of torque, besting the 328i’s twin-turbo four which outputs 240 horses and 260 lb-ft.
Sitting atop the range, a 3.6-liter V6 will make 318 horsepower and 265 lb-ft. of torque, though curiously it won’t be offered with the 6-speed manual available only with the 2.0T. Buyers will have the choice of a 6-speed autobox with any engine, though the Infiniti G37 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class offer seven cogs, while the BMW has eight. Fuel economy should suffer a bit.
The real question facing Cadillac is: how does the ATS drive? Don’t get us wrong—it looks great on paper: MacPherson strut front and multilink rear suspension with an available driver-adjustable magnetic ride control system. A ZF-designed electronic power steering system, available Brembo brakes and limited-slip differential. Add near-perfect 50-50 weight distribution to that list and you have what BMW has spent decades to engineer.
In fact, Cadillac says the development team set sights on the E46 (1999-2005) 3-Series, a well-balanced and light-on-its-feet car that appeals to many drivers even more than today’s high-tech and heavier BMWs. We can’t wait to wring this thing out.
Inside is a sculpted and attractive if a little busy interior. Without decades of conventions to be tied down to, Cadillac could go any direction they liked with this one. Overall it looks warm and inviting with purpose, though the Hyundai Veloster-like center stack is a little weird. Cadillac’s new CUE infotainment system will be on hand.
Does this car have what it takes to run with the pure driving thrill of the BMW and Infiniti, the effortless power of the Mercedes, the luxury of the Lexus and the raw class oozing from the Audi? We think so. We commend Cadillac for daring to be great.
The ATS will debut this summer with pricing for the base 2.0 expected to start at around $31,000.
Watch the dyno run below as LMR’s unassuming fourth-gen Chevy Camaro Texas Mile Car makes an insane 1,808.6 horsepower and 1,330.2 lb-ft. of torque at the rear wheels. The result? How about a 239-mph standing mile, on street tires, with the boost turned way down.