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Cadillac To Unveil New SRX

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GM to show off sleeker Cadillac SRX at Detroit auto show in effort to appeal to luxury buyers

DETROIT January 4, 2009Kimberly S. Johnson(AP)-- General Motors Corp. is counting on the 2010 Cadillac SRX crossover vehicle to lure luxury car buyers with new design and performance features.

The redesigned vehicle was unveiled Sunday and is set to go on display at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit later this month. It replaces the SRX model first launched in 2004.

To help compete with better-selling rivals like the Lexus RX, Acura MDX, and the BMW X3 and X5, the SRX's designers took elements from other Cadillac models and melded them into this one. The new SRX looks faster than its boxy predecessor, with a curving roofline and a more rounded nose that still retains an aggressive look.

"For GM, it's our most aggressive brand," said Clay Dean, GM's global director for Cadillac design. "We want to appeal to people that set the trends."

Cadillac put more energy into improving the interior quality and exterior design of the car, Dean said. A 3-liter direct-injection V-6 engine comes standard, with the option for a 2.8-liter turbocharged V-6. Although fuel economy testing wasn't complete, GM estimates highway miles per gallon will fall in the mid-20s.

Cadillac has a strong following among luxury car buyers, and the brand remains an important one for GM.

Cadillac sales fell 24 percent in the first 11 months of 2008, about on par with U.S. light truck and SUV sales overall. The automaker sold nearly 148,000 Cadillacs in January through November, including about 14,800 SRXs. But Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus division sold five times as many RXs.

The 2010 SRX is expected to be in showrooms in mid-2009. Pricing hasn't been announced.

The public got its first peek of the SRX at a California auto charity event in August. The model is one of three launches GM has planned for the Detroit show that starts next week. There's a new Chevrolet Equinox crossover that the automaker unveiled in December, and a redesigned 2010 Buick LaCrosse sedan will make its debut.