It’s Friday once again, which means it’s time for another round of my Five For Friday: Five Thoughts about the Auto Industry for August 16, 2013. The Cadillac Elmiraj, Lincoln’s sinking ship, Ford takes the C-Max down a few pegs, the BMW M4 in the flesh, and the Cadillac ATS flexes its muscles - let’s look at my take on the most noteworthy and interesting automotive stories from the past week.
01. Cadillac Elmiraj Stuns Pebble Beach Crowds
Cadillac wowed journalists last night when the Cadillac Elmiraj concept coupe rolled out at Tehama Golf Club in Monterey, California. The long, low, and wide four-seat coupe showed off slab-sided styling similar to that of the Cadillac Ciel concept convertible (which was present for comparison purposes), mixed with the thin LED headlights and new grille that has already proliferated across the company’s lineup. The coupe is undeniably gorgeous, but it makes me wonder how much of the two-door’s looks will eventually be translated to Cadillac’s upcoming S-Class sedan rival. It wouldn’t be a stretch to extend the enormous Elmiraj design over a four-door platform.
02. Lincoln Black Label: Not Enough
Lincoln, on the other hand, used its Pebble Beach soap box to debut…new trims on existing models. The Lincoln Black Label editions, of which there are three, combine various interior elements designed to please customers that Lincoln imagines are out there awaiting these particular designs. The MKS full-size sedan will be one of the first vehicles to have access to the Black Label trims by the end of next year.
It’s sad to compare the fate of America’s two domestic luxury brands – Cadillac’s surging product lineup and exciting concepts to Lincoln’s growing irrelevancy. Nowhere was this more on display than in Monterey this week.
03. Ford Drops C-Max Fuel Mileage Rating
It’s an open secret that the Ford C-Max Hybrid hatchback can’t match its 47-mpg combined factory rating in real world driving, and now it’s official. Ford has re-rated the C-Max at 43-mpg in combined driving, and it has announced a plan to reimburse owners and lessees for the difference in efficiency. Those who bought the C-Max will receive $550 cash, while those who are leasing are entitled to $325. One can only assume that a similar about-face is on the way for the Ford Fusion Hybrid, which makes use of an identical drivetrain.
04. Heretical BMW M4 Accepts Crown From M3
The era of the BMW M3 coupe – once the most potent illustration of the German brand’s performance prowess – has come to an end. BMW has taken the wraps off of the BMW M4 coupe, the first track-ready edition of the recently-relabeled 4 Series lineup. With the 3 Series and M3 monikers now reserved exclusively for sedan and wagon body styles, the BMW M4 takes over for the coupe and convertible…sort of. Because we’re now going to get an M4 Gran Coupe, which will have four doors. Branding morass aside, the M4 concept that was shown off in Monterey featured a 450 horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission.
05. Massive Horsepower Announced By Cadillac ATS Aftermarket
When it became known that the Cadillac ATS compact luxury sedan would be available with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, it was clear that it was only a matter of time before the aftermarket would offer a tuning solution that would dramatically increase its output from the 272 horses available from the factory. That time is now, with Pfadt offering two distinct kits for the four-door car. The first provides 350 horsepower and consists of ECU programming and a few bolt-ons, while the second churns out 450 ponies and features a more comprehensive set of parts changes to the car’s drivetrain, including several replacement turbo options. What’s especially nice is the price: $1,200 for the entry-level package and $4,999 for the full-bore beast.