We hope you saw the Cadillac Super Bowl commercial this past weekend, but if you missed it, now's your chance. The 31 second spot highlighted the all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS, which was developed on the stomach-churning length of asphalt in Nürburgring, Germany known as "Green Hell." The road is designed to push the car and driver to the limit, while enabling Cadillac to develop the car to take on the BMW 3 Series.
The 2013 Cadillac ATS has been garnering buzz about its technological advances and ambitious engineering for a while now. One focus of Cadillac engineers is dramatically reducing the vehicle's weight. A systematic approach was taken to the weight-cutting process, replacing parts with an aluminum hood, magnesium engine mount brackets and lightweight, natural-fiber door trim panels. An overall lower mass allows the ATS to be more nimble and controllable.
We at Plaza Cadillac loved this commercial, and we can't wait for the ATS! Stay tuned as we continue to bring you all the breaking news on the new vehicle.
Cadillac's in-vehicle user connectivity and control experience received a Popular Mechanics Top Gadgets of CES 2012: Editors' Choice Award at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Cadillac also held the distinction of being the only automaker selected for the award.
The editors of Popular Mechanics base their top picks on innovation, potential impact on the gadget's industry, and general appeal. Editors at the magazine praised CUE's use of HTML 5 and its intuitive user interface in particular.
CUE has the first automotive use of capacitive touch, which uses electrodes to sense conductive properties, such as the swipe or push of a finger - technology often used in today's popular mobile phones. The interface also uses natural speech recognition, Bluetooth connectivity for up to 10 devices, and a motorized concealed storage department.
CUE will make its debut in the Cadillac 2013 XTS sedan starting in late spring in North America. Starting in late summer, you will also be able to find CUE in North America in the all-new 2013 ATS sport sedan.
We at Plaza Cadillac are proud to be part of such an innovative brand, and we are excitedly waiting for the new XTS and ATS! Check back here for breaking notice about these new models.
Although February is the shortest month, it often feels like one of the longest as many people find themselves deep in the middle of winter blues. But we're lucky to live in St. Louis, where there are always fun things to do. If you're tired of being stuck in the house this month, check out Plaza Cadillac's picks for cool events to do around the city!
Mardi Gras is technically on February 21, but in St. Louis we celebrate during the whole month! Soulard in St. Louis has a number of different and fun activities for you to do this month, including the PetSmart Wiener Dog Day Derby, the Mayor's Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball, and the River City Grand Parade. Ticket prices and times vary, so check the website for details.
February is Black History Month, and St. Louis is celebrating with "Lift Every Voice," at the St. Louis Symphony with Hollywood star Jenifer Lewis. Jenifer has been featured in films such as The Preacher's Wife and Disney's The Princess and the Frog, along with Broadway's Hairspray. And on February 10, she will join the Symphony's IN UNISON Chorus to celebrate the rich African and African-American culture with a variety of acts and songs. The show starts at 7 p.m., and tickets can be purchased here.
Home improvement fanatics should mark their calendars for the weekend of February 23. That's when the St. Louis Home and Garden Show takes place at America's Center and the Edward Jones Dome. This consumer show offers five shows in one fantastic weekend, highlighting the latest in Lawn & Garden, Kitchen & Bath, Interior Design, Pool & Spas, and Building Projects. The show will last from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults, $4 for children ages six to 12, and free for children ages 5 and under. Tickets can be bought online here.
The 7th annual St. Louis Blues Festival is slated for February 25, and already looks like it'll be one to remember. St. Louis native Shirley Brown will be headlining, accompanied by Sir Charles Jones, the "King of Southern Soul," R&B singer Mel Waiters, Bobby Rush, Millie Jackson, and Theodis Ealey. Tickets are $59.50 and $49.50, and can be found here.
How do you like your luxury crossover served? Soft and rounded or taut and crisp? If the latter is your preference, the 2012 Cadillac SRX is definitely the vehicle for you.
Signature Cadillac Styling
While other manufacturers have gone with flowing lines, Cadillac has plowed a separate furrow with its uniquely sharp-edged styling. This family look has been rolled out across the range, but perhaps nowhere is it better executed than in the SRX crossover. A tall five seater, the SRX combines the practicality of a hatchback or wagon with the can-do attitude of an SUV and the elegance and performance of an executive sedan.
Tall headlights bedecked with fine details bookend the chevron-shaped grille that dominates the frontal view. The Cadillac crest stands front and center, bisected by a horizontal divider, while the lower edge vees down towards the bumper. Along the sides a bold crease slants up from behind the front wheels to the back, while the roofline dips to match, narrowing the side windows towards the rear. Along the back, upright LED taillight clusters flank the liftgate, the glass of which leans forward to meet the roof.
Inside, there’s a driver-centric cockpit with door panels and trims curving in to meet the dashboard. Wood inserts and polished chrome trims around the center stack and air inlets create visual interest, while a Driver Information Center can be customized to suit the driver’s preferences. A power seat and power-adjustable pedals help the driver get completely comfortable, and 36.3 inches of rear legroom ensures there’s enough space for five adults to take a long trip. And if they’re bringing luggage, the 30 cubic-feet behind the rear seat (61 when folded down) should swallow it with ease. There’s also a handy underfloor storage box to keep valuable safe, plus a rail and track system that helps stop smaller items from rolling around.
Four levels of trim are offered, beginning with the base model and continuing on to Luxury, Performance, and Premium. All get a new-for-2012 3.6 liter V6 producing 308 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. Importantly though, the torque curve peaks at low revs and stays flat thereafter, giving the SRX strong pulling power through its range. A 6-speed automatic transmission with sport, manual, and “eco” modes is also standard. All-wheel drive is offered on all but the entry-level trim, although this does drop gas mileage slightly, from 17/24 to 16/23. Unlike previous model years, the ’12 SRX is happy to drink regular rather than premium gasoline.
Pricing starts at around $35,000 for the base model, rising to just under $40,000 for the front-drive Luxury and nearly $42,000 for all-wheel drive. Both get 18-inch alloys, but after that the Luxury is significantly better appointed, gaining leather seating, heated front seats, chrome rather than black roof rails, and a panoramic sunroof. This last item, consisting of two glass panels, reaches back over the rear seat to make the SRX feel almost convertible-like. A second major point of differentiation is the power liftgate with memory. This allows the owner to set a maximum opening height, something particularly useful in a garage with a low ceiling.
The next rung on the ladder is the $43,000 Performance, (almost $47,000 with all wheel drive,) followed by Premium, ($45,000 front drive and $49,000 to power all four wheels.) These both benefit from 20 inch rims, “Sport Active” suspension, speed-sensitive steering, and an oh-so-sexy, glide-up LCD display panel integrated into the center stack. This shows navigation, rear view camera, and audio information as required.
And what extras does Premium get? The difference is in the seating: heated rear and ventilated front, plus rear seat audio controls and more sophisticated climate control.
On the road, the SRX is very quiet inside, with just enough engine noise to let you know it’s smoothly humming. The handling is sharp, roll is well-controlled, and for 2012 Cadillac has tweaked and fine-tuned the suspension for a better ride. Overall, the SRX feels taut and responsive, far more like a car than an SUV.
The luxury crossover combines the versatility of the hatchback or wagon with the style and elegance of an upscale sedan. With the SRX, Cadillac fulfills this goal but in a package that dares to be different. Dramatic sheetmetal over a potent V6 and a lavishly appointed interior with excellent dynamics make this crossover a real standout.
Q. Can I replace just my front two tires or my rear two tires, or do I need to replace all four tires at the same time?
A. Some manufacturers recommend replacing all four tires at the same time, especially in four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles. Since the computers in these cars monitor the speed at which each wheel is turning, even a slight difference in circumference due to tire wear can send faulty information to the computer. That faulty information can result in undue wear on the transmission and associated hardware. Translation - expensive repairs.
Some manufacturers will even void your warranty if all four tires don’t match in circumference, wear or tread design. On cars without all-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, and new-fangled stability control, it may be practical to replace either the front or rear tires but you should check with your dealer.
If you have a front-wheel or rear-wheel drive car, you can probably get away with buying just two new tires. Some people think you should put the tires on the wheels that the engine is powering. But put them on the rear, even in front-wheel drive cars. If your front wheels lose traction, you feel it quickly and can slow down and adjust your driving. If your rear wheels lose traction, by the time you’ve felt it, it’s usually too late. Better grip in back is the safer choice, and helps keep your rear-end behind you, where it belongs.
May the Fourth be with you! Did you know that May 4th is Star Wars Day? Everyone knows about Thanksgiving and Memorial Day, but there are thousands of not-quite-so-official official holidays dotting the calendar. The banks won't be closed for Talk Like a Pirate day, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun with it. Put a little whimsy and fun back into your life with these wonderful, obscure holidays.
Positive Postcard Day - January 2
This little bit of self-affirmation is easy and fun. Think of seven positive things about yourself. It can be anything from, you're a good listener to you have a killer smile. Write them on seven postcards and address them to yourself. Put stamps on them and give them to a friend. Have the friend mail one every month or so and enjoy being reminded of just how special you are.
Do a Grouch a Favor Day - February 16
We all have at least one real grouch in our lives. Do something nice and unexpected for them. Give them flowers, shovel their sidewalk, or bring them cookies. Add a little cheer to their grouchy lives.
National Cheese Doodle Day - March 5
They're cheesy and they're doodles, what's not to love? Celebrate National Cheese Doodle Day by eating them 'til your fingers turn orange. Give them to friends! No one should doodle alone.
No Housework Day - April 7
Can I get an Amen? If you're a slave to your mop or if you dust like your life depended on it, today is your day. For one, glorious day, don't do it. Don't clean, don't scrub, don't do the dishes. Sadly, it'll still be there tomorrow.
National Sea Monkey Day - May 15
Sea Monkeys just don't get enough love. Today, we make things right. These little magical creatures rise from their super-sleepy suspended animation with just a wee bit of water. Take them to the park. Show them the world outside. If you don't already have sea monkeys, today is the day to get some. Give those monkeys some love!
World Sauntering Day - June 19
We're all in such a hurry, we've forgotten how to saunter. Sauntering is walking in a leisurely manner. Leave the power walking for another day and go for a nice, slow saunter. Tip: Sauntering is more fun with a partner.
Embrace Your Geekiness Day - July 13
Dust off your pocket protector and embrace that inner (or outer) geek. Let it all hang out. Talk about bits or bytes or whether Wolverine or the Incredible Hulk would win in a fight (It's the Hulk, btw). Let your geekiness, in all it's nerdy glory, shine.
Middle Child's Day - August 12
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! We all know a Jan or Peter Brady. It's always about the first born or the baby, but not today. Middle Child, today is your day.
Defy Superstition Day - September 13
Even if we won't admit it, we all have little superstitions. Today is your chance to give fate a big fat raspberry. Step on that crack, open an umbrella indoors, spill some salt and don't toss it over your shoulder. Live dangerously!
Mad Hatter Day - October 6
Named for the character from Alice in Wonderland, this is a day to celebrate silliness. The world can make us all a little cranky sometimes and we forget how much fun it is to just be a little silly. Put on a top hat and let out your inner loon.
Look for Circles Day - November 2
It's a great game for kids of all ages. You'll be surprised how many you'll find in your every day life. And, if you take the time to really look around you, you might be surprised at what else you see.
Festivus - December 23
If you don't celebrate Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or Christmas, have we got a holiday for you! Forget the Christmas tree and the menorah and get an unadorned aluminum pole. Enjoy the Airing of Grievances and the Feats of Strength. Apply the word miracle liberally to every day happenings. Thank you, Seinfeld for creating Festivus for the rest of us!
We've all seen organic food at our local grocery store, but organic clothing? It's not just for life at the Kibbutz anymore. Buying organic clothing can be a great way to help the environment, but it comes at a cost.
What the heck is organic clothing anyway?
The same principle that applies to growing organic foods, applies to the materials that are used to create organic clothing. It emphasizes using methods that are eco-friendly. Crops aren't radiated with chemicals, genetically engineered or sprayed with pesticides. The farming techniques minimize pollution and strive for a renewable and balanced eco-system.
Materials used for organic clothing include wool, silk, hemp, bamboo, soy, Tencel (wood pulp), and the most popular of all, cotton. While there's no hard evidence that wearing organic clothing has any direct impact on your health, it does have an impact on the planet and the workers who harvest the materials.
Cotton, white gold, the fabric of our lives. You're probably wearing some right now. Cotton seems like a harmless choice, a good one even. But, conventionally grown cotton requires about 1/3 of a pound of chemicals to make enough cotton for one t-shirt.
In a clean, green world, pesticides are the big baddie. According to the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) although they occupy only 2.4 percent of the world's arable land, cotton crops account for 16% of the world's insecticide released. That's a lot of poison.
Some of the commonly used pesticides that make cows grow a 5th leg and fish look like Rodney Dangerfield include cancer-causing agents such as yanazine, dicofol, propargite and trifluralin. While there's no scientific evidence that these toxins affect you if you wear the clothes, they do have an impact on the environment and the farm workers who are exposed to them on a daily basis.
According to OrganicConsumers.org, in the 1990s more than 50% of the cotton workers in Egypt suffered from symptoms of pesticide poisoning and in India 91% of male workers exposed to pesticides for more than 8 hours a day suffered from some sort of health issue.
Don't cotton to it
Organic cotton isn't all rainbows and unicorns either. Although the US grows one of the largest crops of cotton in the world, most organic cotton is grown overseas in places like China, India, Turkey and Africa. That means getting the product to the US takes a lot of energy and leaves behind a big old carbon footprint. The extra effort it takes to grow, harvest and ship organic cotton means it's more expensive, anywhere from 10-45 percent more expensive.
Coming into fashion
Even though it's more expensive, organic clothing is making its way into the mainstream. Organic clothing isn't relegated to upscale boutiques in Soho anymore. You can find organic clothing lines at Target, Gap, Nike, Neiman Marcus and many other major retailers.
With more affordable choices offered every day, it's easier than ever to buy organic. Talk to your local retailers and let them know you'd like more organic options. If you let them know the demand is there, the supply will come.
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