2012 Cadillac SRX: official details, photos, specs and price

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 7, 2011

General Motors said that a new model will be added to the Cadillac brand beginning next month. GM is referring to a new 308hp 3.6L direct-injected V6 engine that features a driver-selectable ECO Mode for optimal fuel economy. The 2012 SRX has a starting price of $36,060 (inclusive of $875 destination charge).

Among the upgrades and revisions in the SRX for 2012 are standard Bluetooth on all models, an optional heated steering wheel, a xenon Blue Metallic exterior paint option that will start being available in fall 2011, an all-ebony interior option with contrasting stitching, and a new 20-inch wheel finish option.

Don Butler, Cadillac vice president of marketing, said that the crossover category is considered as one of the largest and most significant segments in the luxury market. He stated that GM will be building on the success that the SRX has achieved as the top-selling Cadillac worldwide.

The other highlights of the SRX include HID headlamps with Adaptive Forward Lighting, Bose 5.1 surround sound with navigation, a full-color LCD Driver Info Center, and a rear-view camera system.

OnStar is offered as standard and it features myCadillac and OnStar RemoteLink mobile apps and Stolen Vehicle Assistance. In addition, SRX has been fitted with an advanced All Wheel Drive system with electronic limited slip rear differential that moves power front-to-rear as well as distributes power across the rear axle depending on driving conditions and traction.

Adaptive Real-Time damping technology is used on the chassis for exceptional ride control. The braking system features Rainsense automatic windshield wipers, allowing the brakes to make slight periodic caliper applications. It also keeps rotors dry, guaranteeing maximum stopping power in wet conditions.

The LFX engine that powers the SRX is mated to the automatic 6-speed Hydra-Matic 6T70 transmission. This transmission is controlled electronically and has the tap down/tap up driver control. Since it has an overall 6.04:1 ratio spread, it enables a steep first gear and a tall overdrive top drive that is crucial for road cruising at low-rpm. The wide ratio spread also means that fast acceleration is possible even from standstill.

This ensures that acceleration is maximized while the fuel economy is optimized. During cruising, it ensures that the noise of the engine is lowered. The sixth gear meanwhile is the overdrive ratio that allows the revolution of the engine to be as low as possible to make it suitable for highway cruising. It helps lower the losses due to the engine friction and also enhances fuel economy. With the help of the Eco feature, which is driver-selectable, it enables the 6T70’s shift points to be altered and this boosts the fuel economy by as much as 1 mpg.

Improving the fuel economy as well is the addition of the clutch to the variable displacement compressor of the air conditioning. As a result, the compressor only operates when it is needed and does not add drag even when it is turned off. To ensure that this model is able to attain the performance goals set, the engineers had to redesign its exhaust system. Specifically, the team put in dual runners starting from the engine and all the way to a collection point that has been placed further rearward.

Both the length and the diameter of its pipes were tuned in order to enhance the low-end torque starting at 1,200 rpm and up to 3,000 rpm. The exhaust pulses are able to vibrate from the engine’s cylinders and have been timed in order to get to the collection point so that they will be able to phase together accurately.

This is a tuning effect that is also known as scavenging. What this process does is to pull the exhaust gases from out of the engine and then coordinate it with the low pressure and high pressure pulses for each of the cylinder. The result is that the maximum torque is now possible even at 2,400 rpm and continues at the level until 5,300 rpm.

Power and torque were improved. The company did everything especially when it came to having the LFX’s airflow optimized, from the times it goes inside the engine to the point that it goes out in the muffler, Pilibosian shared. Because of this amazing airflow, the company was able to surpass its target of 300 horsepower, she added. At the same time though, she continued, the company made sure that the variable dual valve timing system was delicately calibrated and thus with the exhaust system, it led to the engine bearing excellent low-end torque.

Press Release

Cadillac SRX for 2012: More Power, Features

A new 3.6L V-6 – the segment’s most powerful standard engine – headlines updates to the 2012 Cadillac SRX. It enhances a combination of performance, technology and refinement that is resonating with more luxury crossover customers.

SRX retail sales rose 17.7 percent in the first half of 2011, building on a record-setting 2010 sales increase of 150 percent.

The new 3.6L – known by its “LFX” engine code – is the sole engine offered in the SRX. It delivers 16-percent more horsepower (308 hp / 230 kW) than the previous V-6 and provides greater low-rpm torque. Vehicle responsiveness is dramatically improved in all operating conditions – launch from a standstill, around town maneuvering in traffic, passing maneuvers and full-throttle acceleration. It is matched with the Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission, which features a driver-selectable Eco feature that alters the shift points and throttle progression to help optimize fuel economy.

SRX also brings enhanced features for 2012, as well as updates that make it quieter and more refined – including new sound-absorbing material placed strategically throughout the vehicle. The Base and Sport suspension systems have been revised to improve the ride quality.

“The improvements we’ve made to the 2012 SRX make an already great luxury crossover even better, giving our customers more performance and features,” said Don Butler, vice president of Cadillac Marketing. “Many of the changes are a direct response to consumer feedback, demonstrating Cadillac’s commitment to total customer satisfaction.”

Feature and content enhancements for 2012 include:

  • Standard Bluetooth phone connectivity on all models, with on-screen caller identification
  • OnStar Turn-by-Turn automated directions are loaded to the vehicle
  • Improved voice recognition for phone activation, navigation and radio station changes
  • A heated steering wheel on the Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections
  • Door lock switches on the driver and passenger door panels as well as the center console
  • Cruise control buttons on the steering wheel
  • Memory seat set – the occupant can set the seating position simply by pressing “set” and the number simultaneously
  • Backlighting for map lights in the overhead console
  • A new machined-face finish on the 20-inch wheels, which are standard on Performance and Premium Collections
  • Available all-ebony interior trim
  • One new exterior color available this fall: Xenon Blue Metallic.
  • Popular features returning for 2012 include a moveable cargo fence and large under-floor storage space in the rear, a liftgate that can be programmed to stop at different heights and the UltraView sunroof that covers 70 percent of the vehicle roof.

The new and enhanced elements that contribute to a quieter ride include new acoustic material in the upper instrument panel, front-of-dash area, the center console area and the inner fenders, as well as laminated glass used in the front side glass. There is also a new laminated structural barrier used under the second-row seat to block noise.

Click to review the complete list of the 2012 SRX’s standard and available features.

Inside the LFX

The SRX’s new LFX 3.6L direct-injected V-6 delivers an SAE-certified 308 horsepower (230 kW) and 265 lb.-ft. of torque (359 Nm), with efficiency-enhancing features including direct injection and continuously variable valve timing. Peak torque is achieved at only 2,400 rpm and is maintained through 5,300 rpm. The LFX is also E85 ethanol-capable.

“The development team was challenged to achieve 300 horsepower in the SRX and exceeded the target,” said Liz Pilibosian, chief engineer. “The horsepower and low-end torque of the 3.6L deliver greater power on demand at launch, on steep grades and when passing. The power band of the LFX engine also contributes to a better shift feel.”

The LFX engine is a technically advanced 60-degree V-6 with dual-overhead camshafts, continuously variable valve timing and direct injection. Supporting elements that contribute to its performance, refinement and durability include:

  • The cylinder block and cylinder heads are cast in aluminum for low weight.
  • A composite intake manifold saves approximately 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg) over the weight of a comparable aluminum intake. It also has a comparatively small radiated surface area to help it maintain excellent noise and vibration characteristics.
  • An integrated cylinder head/exhaust manifold design saves approximately 13 pounds (6 kg) per engine when compared with a comparable engine with separate head/manifold assemblies.
  • The cylinder heads include four valves per cylinder, with a dual overhead camshaft design incorporating infinitely variable cam phasing.
  • A forged steel crankshaft provides optimal strength in the bottom end, while the connecting rods are made of powdered metal that features a higher ratio of copper, which makes them stronger and enables them to be lighter.
  • The pistons are made of lightweight cast aluminum and feature a friction-reducing polymer coating on the skirts , as well as fully floating wrist pins, which also help reduce friction. Less weight in the pistons means less reciprocating mass in the engine, which in turn means less inertia and greater operating efficiency.
  • Pressure-actuated oil squirters drench the underside of each piston and the surrounding cylinder wall with an extra layer of cooling, friction-reducing oil.
  • A cast aluminum oil pan is stiffer to improve powertrain rigidity and reduce vehicle vibration. It bolts to the transmission bell housing as well as the engine block, eliminating points of vibration. Cast aluminum dampens internal engine noise better than a conventional stamped steel pan and is structurally stiffer.
  • Optimized-flow fuel injectors and the integrated exhaust manifolds/cylinder heads promote lower emissions.

To help achieve their performance goals, the SRX’s engineers redesigned the exhaust system with dual runners from the engine to a collection point farther rearward in the vehicle. The diameter and length of the pipes were specifically tuned to improve low-end torque from 1,200 to 3,000 rpm.

High-pressure exhaust pulses from each of the cylinders in the engine are timed to arrive at this collection point so that they phase together in a precise way. This tuning effect, which is called scavenging, literally pulls exhaust gases out of the engine by synchronizing high and low pressure pulses from each cylinder. Peak torque now occurs at a very low 2,400 rpm and remains high all the way through 5,300 rpm. The torque and power improvements were achieved while maintaining quiet performance.

“No stone was left unturned when it came to optimizing the airflow of the LFX, from the moment it enters the engine until it is expelled through the muffler,” said Pilibosian. “The exceptional airflow qualities enabled us to exceed the 300-horsepower target, while careful calibration of the dual continuously variable valve timing system and the exhaust system contribute to the engine’s great low-end torque.”

The LFX engine is paired with the Hydra-Matic 6T70 electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission, with tap up/tap down driver control. A wide overall ratio spread of 6.04:1 allows a “steep” first gear, as well as a “tall” overdrive top gear for low-rpm highway cruising. Acceleration is maximized, as is fuel economy. Engine noise is also lower during cruising. Because of the wide ratio spread (6.04:1), first gear is a very high ratio, which provides brisk acceleration from a stop. Sixth, however, is an overdrive ratio, which keeps the engine revolutions as low as possible for highway cruising, reducing engine friction losses and improving fuel economy.

A driver-selectable Eco feature alters the shift points of the 6T70 to enhance fuel economy by up to 1 mpg. A clutch was added to the variable displacement air conditioning compressor to enhance fuel economy. The compressor is only run when needed and provides no drag when turned off.

Chassis and suspension

The SRX has a four-wheel independent suspension system and a standard rack-and-pinion hydraulic steering system – and offers a variable-effort, speed-sensitive steering system – with tuning biased for sport sedan-style driving and strong on-center feel. StabiliTrak electronic stability control is standard and works with the standard four-wheel-disc/four-channel-ABS braking system.

The core elements of the chassis and suspension systems include:

  • An independent MacPherson strut suspension system is standard on all models, featuring a direct-acting stabilizer bar and hydraulic ride bushings.
  • An independent “H-arm” rear suspension incorporates a lightweight hollow aluminum lower control arm and a hollow stabilizer bar.
  • Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering is standard on Base and the Luxury Collections.
  • Power-assisted variable-effort and speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering system is standard on the Performance and Premium Collections.
  • A rear axle ratio of 3.39 is standard on all models.
  • A trailering package is available on the Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections and increases the towing capacity to 3,500 pounds (1,587 kg).

For 2012, the Base suspension offers greater ride quality that maintains excellent handling characteristics, thanks to new upper front strut mounts, improved shock valve tuning, new bonded bushings for the front stabilizer bar and new twin-tube rear shocks that provide greater road isolation.

The Sport active suspension – standard on Performance and Premium Collections – is also improved for 2012, with new front upper strut mounts, new shock valving, bonded stabilizer bar bushings and revised calibrations for this continuously variable real-time damping suspension system. Electronically controlled dampers at each corner “read” the road constantly to make real-time adjustments within milliseconds. They deliver the just-right damper rate for all road conditions, for greater comfort and a greater feeling of control. This system also increases damping during aggressive handling maneuvers to reduce the roll velocity and pitch velocity of the vehicle for a more confident feel.

SRX is also offered with an all-wheel-drive system that incorporates an electronic limited-slip (eLSD) rear differential. It not only improves traction in slippery road conditions, but it provides side-to-side torque transfer along the rear axle to enhance control during hard cornering. It was developed in partnership with Haldex, a leader in all-wheel-drive technology and the eLSD enables the AWD system to distribute torque from the front to rear axle, and also side-to-side, across the rear axle, sending power to the wheel with the greatest traction.

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