Episode 1100 – New Honda Odyssey, 2014 Buick Regal Revealed, Jaguar Unveils XJR

March 27th, 2013 at 11:54am

Runtime: 8:21

Honda pulls the wraps back on its new Odyssey minivan with a new feature that makes it even more family friendly. Buick reveals its 2014 Regal and Regal GS that will go on sale later this fall. Also at the New York Auto Show, Jaguar unveils a performance R version of its flagship XJ sedan. All that and more, plus host John McElroy gets to your questions and comments in this week’s edition of You Said It!

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Welcome to Autoline Daily. Goodness, we’re already midway through the work week.

CTS GETS BIGGER AND LIGHTER
Well, we’re in a New York state of mind today because there’s lots of news coming from the New York Auto Show. We have a lot more details about the all-new redesign of the Cadillac CTS. They extended the wheelbase 1.2 inches, which stretched the overall length by 5 inches. The roof and cowl are 1 inch lower, and when you put it all together, the car looks a lot sleeker. The base curb weight is 3,616 pounds, or 1,640 kilos. Cadillac claims that that’s 200 pounds or about 90 kilos lighter than a BMW 528i. Part of the weight savings comes from aluminum door structures. The new CTS will also have an optional 8-speed automatic, a feature that probably would have come sooner to the Cadillac line-up if not for the GM bankruptcy. Check the link in the shownotes for a lot more information on this car.

NEW HONDA ODYSSEY SUCKS
Despite their boring reputation, minivans are perfect for families with young children, and now the 2014 Honda Odyssey has a new feature to make it even more family friendly. The Touring Elite model comes standard with a built-in vacuum cleaner which the company calls HondaVAC. It’s integrated into the back of the vehicle and can operate continuously while the engine is on, no electrical outlet is needed. And it can even work for up to 8 minutes when it the engine is turned off. Oh yeah, the Odyssey gets some updated styling and new safety and infotainment features.

2014 BUICK REGAL REVEALED
Yesterday Buick revealed the new LaCrosse, today it took the wraps off the 2014 Regal. It’s powered by a new 2.0L turbo with 18 more horsepower and a 2.4L with eAssist is also available. The engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and the Regal GS is available with a six-speed manual. It also features refreshed styling, a new all-wheel-drive system and new safety features. It goes on sale this fall.

FIRST R MODEL FOR NEW GEN XJ
Jaguar just unveiled a performance R version of its flagship XJ sedan. The XJR features a retuned suspension, some aerodynamic bits and exclusive interior materials. It’s powered by a 5.0L supercharged V8, mated to a 8-speed automatic transmission and can go from zero to sixty in 4.4 seconds.

NEW RANGE ROVER SPORT
In another JLR reveal, it pulled the wraps off a new Range Rover Sport. The SUV benefits from 75 percent unique parts compared to its sister vehicle, the Range Rover. It’s lightweight aluminum architecture and chassis are actually based off the Jaguar XJ sedan.

A3 HAS GOT YOUR ENGINE
In other New York news, Audi announced the all-new A3 sedan. Even though the exterior has been completely redesigned it still is unmistakably Audi. It features a wide variety of powertrain options, including a 1.8L or 2.0L gasoline engine, a 2.0L diesel, a plug-in gasoline hybrid offered in the e-tron or a high-output 2.0L in the new S3. They’ll hit the showrooms in the first quarter of 2014.

BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME
OK, this final tidbit did not come out of the New York auto show, but we welcome it nonetheless. Lexus is going to build that outrageously beautiful LF-LC. They were knocked out by the public’s reaction this concept car generated out on the auto show circuit, and so it has been given the green light to go into production. But so far we don’t know where or when.

Coming up next, it’s time for You Said It!

David Sprowl heard our reports of how truck fleets in the U.S. are getting really interested in converting to compressed natural gas or liquid propane and asks, “I have to wonder if diesel locomotives should be converted to LPG or CNG?” David, they’re looking into it. The Burlington Northern railroad is experimenting with locomotives using liquid natural gas. So is the Canadian National Railway. GE and Caterpillar are making locomotive engines that can run on LNG. They expect to have the results of their tests next year.

Law19157 wants to know, “With the combined weight of the Liquid propane or natural gas & their tanks, is it heavier than the combined weight of petrol and its gas tank?” Law, compressed natural gas is stored at 3,600 psi and they need very heavy tanks to withstand such high pressure. But liquid propane is stored at about 250 psi, so they tanks are not as heavy. And because liquid propane is so much lighter than gasoline, when the tanks are full, the LNG system is lighter than the gasoline one.

C-tech says, “Thanks for recognizing Bobby Smith of the Spinners. For the record, he was not the lead singer for many of the group’s hits like ‘Then Came You’ or ‘Rubberband Man’, that was Phillipe Winn, but he did contribute to the writing and performing. Some of those Spinners songs should / could be used in automotive commercials, how about “Rubberband Man” for CVT transmissions?”

John heard our report on the global race amongst car companies to lock up a carbon-fiber supply chain and asks: “If the big companies are scoring the carbon fiber suppliers will the hobbiest still have sources?” Yes, don’t worry about it. You’re about to see a huge jump in carbon fiber production and prices are going to come down a lot.

Rumblestrip adds this: “In the race for carbon fiber, who will be the first company to channel Henry Ford, and just buy a supplier outright? It sounds as if VW & BMW are the closest. Besides the enormous startup costs, what’s stopping someone like Hyundai from just having their own plant? They already benefit greatly in cost and quality measure from owning their own steel plant.” Great point Rumblestrip, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone like the Hyundai Group gets its own carbon fiber company. But so far no automaker has the manufacturing volume needed to justify having its own in-house supplier.

Thanks for all your letters and comments, we love getting them. Before we go don’t forget that our guest on Autoline After Hours tomorrow night is Ken Kelzer, the chief engineer on the all new Chevy Impala. I love these shows with the chief engineers because you learn so much about these new cars. So join me and the Autoextremist, Peter De Lorenzo for some of the best insider discussions in the industry.

And that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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57 Comments to “Episode 1100 – New Honda Odyssey, 2014 Buick Regal Revealed, Jaguar Unveils XJR”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    I wondered why the headline read “Honda Odyssey sucks”, they make the best minivan in the business, that should have gone to the GM and Ford minivans of yesteryear, which really SUCKED big time, why can’t Caddy engineers and designers extend the darn wheelbase and keep the overall length the same, why don’t they take a page from the Germans’ design book?

  2. Dan Clemons Says:

    GM has got to stop turning a bathtub upside down and calling it a Buick.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    John Mc. said:
    “But liquid propane is stored at about 250 psi, so they tanks are not as heavy. And because liquid propane is so much lighter than gasoline, when the tanks are full, the LNG system is lighter than the gasoline one.”

    Did you mean that the liquid propane system is lighter, rather than the LNG system?

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1,
    The CTS’ wheelbase/overall length relationship is in line with the E-Class. The new one will extend the length more than the wheelbase, but will still be within the “normal” range for cars in its category.

  5. pedro fernandez Says:

    I fondly recall the Citroen DS from back when, long wheelbase, short overhangs, beautiful ride. One of the best cars I have ever ridden.

  6. Bradley Says:

    The Regal GS on paper looks great.

    *Step on Soap Box*
    In a world without the bailout, it would be a car to consider for me.

    How does this car appeal to the GM loyalists, and those that hold in their mind the good old days? It is the polar opposite of what GM sold to them in the United States for decades and it isn’t an American rooted design.

    It is great GM has turned their product line around, but all the money that the execs took home for decades should have paid to turn the ship around, not tax-payers.

    In other words..me, a non-GM guy, likes the Regal, but will never buy it.

    Those that are GM Loyal, why would they buy it as it is the complete opposite of the products GM provided that made them loyal.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #6,
    I was “GM loyal” in that I always had a GM product when I was a salary employee of the company. I also had a non-GM product or two, most of that time. If I hadn’t worked for GM, probably the only GM car I would have ever owned might be the one I had most recently, a Malibu Maxx.

    I like some of GM’s current products, including the Regal, but wouldn’t buy anything they now sell, because none are really the type cars I buy. If they sold the Regal wagon in the U.S., I might consider it some day. The “bailout” would not keep me from buying either a GM or Chrysler product. To me, the bailouts were the right thing to do, and both the current, and previous administrations seemed to mostly agree.

  8. Steve Weintraub Says:

    John, I think you meant to say that the A3 will be available the first quarter ot 2014, not 2013.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Volvo wagons will return to the U.S. market:

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130327/NEWYORK/130329831?utm_source=DailyDrive20130327&utm_medium=enewsletter&utm_term=image6&utm_content=20130327-Volvo-V60-wagon-joins-U.S.-lineup-in-2014&utm_campaign=awdailydrive

  10. Brett Says:

    John,

    Sadly, there is no more Burlington Northern, nor is there a Santa Fe Railroad. Now there is simply the numbly-named “BNSF Railway” Chico doesn’t live there anymore…

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    #9 question is: if they build it and bring it will anyone buy it now that is has become Vorvo?

  12. HtG Says:

    Last night at the CTS reveal, GM said that 70% of ATS buyers were new to Cadillac. But they didn’t say if that figure was global or North America. I’d like to know how the NA sales are proportioned. (and who was that gal in the red high heels?)

  13. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit ;

    In fact the CTs is longer ( which is one of Cadillac’s marketing dept’s brags ) than the Mercedes …. which is ridiculous … other than the fact that not having the quality customer loyalty etc of Mercedes Benz they had to out do them somehow . Pathetic if you ask me

    A big TWO THUMB’s up to Volvo ne Geely for bring the Wagon back online in the US

    But a huge TWO THUMB’s down to Audi for canning the A3/S3 hatchback here and dumping the sedan version on us instead

    And a double two thumbs down for the Soap on a Rope Buick

    As to the bailouts ? Thats still an issue for History to decide . So far Chrysler’s been a total bust …. and GM’s doing the same old same old all over again …. but we’ll see say ten years from now

  14. ColoradoKid Says:

    12 HtG … what they’re not saying is where the h – e – double toothpicks those ‘ supposed ‘ new to Cadillac sales are coming from . Seeing as how BMW – Mercedes – Audi as well as Lexus and Infiniti sales are all up …. they sure as ____ aint coming from their customer base . And from what a little birdie told me ….. 45- 70% of those ATS sales are in fact …… Fleet sales

    And errr …. what ‘ Global ‘ sales HtG ?

  15. HtG Says:

    14 I did feel the wording from the stage invited a question. Know anything about the lady in red?

  16. Bradley Says:

    #7 and #13
    Not to argue/or discuss the details, but there should be Hyundai Camaro’s and KIA Impalas on the road today.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11, Good question. I think the “country of ownership” would deter me, in this case.

    13, I’m going to wait for real information on cabin and trunk space before faulting the CTS’s length. The new one will be about 5 inches longer than the E-Class. If it has the same rear seat space as the E, but a larger trunk, I see nothing wrong with its being a little longer. If the CTS has less total interior space, yeah, that indicates inefficient design.

    ….and Chrysler’s been a total bust? How so? Many, if not most of their products are doing pretty well. Yeah, the Dart and 200/Avenger, not so much, but the 300/Charger/Challenger, GC/Durango, and Wrangler are selling quite well.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13, Yep, I agree completely on the A3. I liked the old one. It had too much of a price premium over a Jetta wagon, but I like it. The new one will have way too much price premium over any number of other front drive cars, and front drive based AWD cars.

  19. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit I think most buyers are not even aware that the Chinese now own Volvo, as long as the cars are still, engineered and built in Sweden, they should still be ok, it’s just that Volvo has lost the cachet it once had as a premium European brand, I blame Ford’s mismanagement for that.

  20. HtG Says:

    Engadget has this piece on BMW/Mini opening the door for integrating iOS into their cars. Some music software will soon allow one’s iPhone to be drive the dash. I’m reading more and more about coming standard for in car tech. Hold on, Margo!

    http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/27/bmw-integration-for-audible-glympse-rhapsody-tunein/

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12,
    Those numbers would probably be for global sales, but the non-US and Canada sales would be so small, that global and North America numbers would be very similar.

  22. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit

    re; Chrysler doing pretty well . In comparison to what ? The worst years in Chrysler’s sales history ? That and the whole FIAT/Alfa Romeo debacle all adds up to one serious mess on the best of days in mine and an awful lot of financial analysts opinions .

    BTW I’m with you on the Chinese ownership of Volvo thing as well …… unfortunately . No GeelyVolvo shall darken my garages doorstep … it it had one .

    ——-

    HtG – 15 – Nein !

    But …. the most entertaining part of Cadillacs reveal shpeel last night ( other than the Devil in the Red Dress ) was their OTT ludicrous claim they’ll triple Cadillac sales over in the next three years .

    Yeah right !

    Honestly ? I’ve got a better chance of becoming more famous than ( composer ) John Adams … wealthier than Eric Clapton…. and having a bigger car collection than Jay Leno ;-)

  23. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Kit, go to the Show’s link (on Cadillac); there are the specs for the car listed. The trunk is 13.7, and more interesting to me, is the weight (while 200 lbs. lighter than the “5″ series) is actually 250 to 300 lbs. lighter than the smaller outgoing CTS model.

  24. AZCarnut Says:

    Love my 2009 Challenger and my 2013 Ram pickup.

  25. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – 20 – BMW/MINI has probably the best working relationship of any of the car manufactures with Apple . Something …. unlike the rest who’ve made the mistake of trying to bully their way into Apple’s good graces ( not recognizing Apples financial worth and cache ) BMW/MINI has worked very hard and treaded very lightly to cultivate . Mercedes probably has the 2nd best relationship w/Apple

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #22,
    Here is a pretty good summary of Chrysler’s results, at least through late last year:

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/chrysler-group-llc-reports-september-2012-us-sales-increased-12-percent-best-september-sales-in-five-years-172261551.html

  27. John McElroy Says:

    @ Kit #3
    You’re right. I meant to say that the LPG system is lighter, not LNG.

  28. HtG Says:

    25 It will be very interesting to see how Apple develops iOS into new categories. Cars are a huge space, along with appliances, sensors, the Cloud, who knows maybe even the thing on your desk. But Tim better move fast, because Larry and Sergei don’t need permission. Strange things gonna happen.

  29. T. Bejma Says:

    #14

    Ask your little “birdie” where those fleet sales are going because I travel several times a month, use all the major rental car companies in Memphis, Nashville, Detroit, St. Louis and Kansas City and I have NEVER seen an ATS in a rental lot.

    See CK, the thing about the fact that the entire auto industry is expanding (+1M this year) is that each of the luxury brands you mentioned can have their sales go up (even though Infinity did not go up) but still lose sales to the ATS. They didn’t teach you that in Sound Engineering school? ;-)

  30. T. Bejma Says:

    #23

    New bigger CTS lighter than old smaller CTS…

    More advantages of the all new Alpha platform. CTS is using some of the same tricks from the ATS like cast magnesium strut towers, more aluminum and high strength steel. Expect to see more GM products put on a diet as the new models come out…

  31. HtG Says:

    TB, do you think there’s any way the next Miata will weigh ~1800 pounds like some rumors say? Can that be done at a price?

  32. T. Bejma Says:

    #31

    Maybe if they put the 12A rotary in it ;-)

    My RX7 was just under 2000 lbs. with a live rear axle, sheetmetal body and a roll cage…

    Seriously, all that light weight stuff costs a fortune so unless they want to make a $40,000 tiny convertible, it will be tough to go on that big of a diet…

  33. ColoradoKid Says:

    29 Then you aint looking on the right companies lots there son … cause there’s plenty o’ ATS’s to had as rentals ! Fact is thats how I drove one … remember ? So did several others here .

    BTW … The entire auto industry especially the mid level luxury market is on the verge of over saturation ( actually its beyond over saturation but its ….. )…. only being held afloat at the moment by synthetically held monetary values & interest rates , government subsidies etc . Fact is the entire world economy is at present nothing more than a Potemkin Village. Take any one element away at this point in history and the whole thing collapses on itself . Didn’t anyone at all teach you thats ? And FYI ……. 3rd part of that undergrad triumvirate …… Business …. and then there’s the cuz’s ;-)

    And errr… its the Ultra Luxury market thats growing T…. not the mid or entry level luxury market . Where you been lately ?

    As to the so called tricks and diets on the CTS … Yippidee do da deal . Lets see how long those ‘ tricks ‘ hold up under real world conditions . If Cadillac’s history tells us anything ….. not very long at all .

  34. ColoradoKid Says:

    T Bejma

    Trust me on this . No one of any note is losing any sales or sleep over the ATS … nor will they with the CTS or anything else Cadillac may place on offer .Like I’ve told you BMW sees Cadillac as insignificant … Mercedes couldn’t car less about them … Audi sees Cadillac as the mid level luxury joke of the century …. and Infiniti / Lexus knows they’ve got so much reliability and customer loyalty to the point of not caring about Caddy . Take a little notice here . MB BMW Audi etc marketing never so much as mention Cadillac in their ads etc … whereas Cadillac brings them up in almost every campaign Caddy’s launched over the last two decades . Whats that tell you … ehhhh ?

    As to Cadillac’s delusion of tripling sales in the next three years though …

    To Who ? China doesn’t want them . The UK/EU hates them ( and their overall market is diminishing ) The US market certainly doesn’t have the capacity to triple Caddy’s sales … so WTH are they all going to get sold pray tell ?

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33,
    It seems that a lot of the “mid-luxury” market is kept going by subsidized leases. All of them, including Benz and BMW are offering 3 year leases at prices that would work out cheaper than buying the cars, taking excellent care of them, and keeping them 10 years.

  36. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit from the believe it not dept. I just got some prices on both the Yaris and the outgoing Corolla and the latter is actually almost a grand cheaper even though it is more car than the Yaris, I guess that’s because it is an outgoing model?

  37. pedro fernandez Says:

    What’s next for minivans? a small washing machine?

  38. ColoradoKid Says:

    Diesels

    This’ll put a smile on the diesel fans faces ;

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/bmw-drops-more-diesels-on-american-consumers/

    Kit as well ( 328d wagon …. coming to a BMW dealer nearest you Mr G )

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    Now if only the cost of diesel fuel would drop as well!

  40. C-Tech Says:

    I am a little concerned about the CTS. Part of its appeal to me was that it looked very well proportioned and athletic, this version does not. I will wait to see it in person and drive it.

    @ #29 TB the ATS V6 I test drove was from Hertz (I LIKED it!)

  41. T. Bejma Says:

    #34

    I have to agree with you about the tripling of Cadillac sales. I don’t see them getting to almost 500,000 vehicles (3 x 149,000 – 2012 sales) without some other (or 2) high volume vehicle. Double the sales perhaps (ATS/XTS with a full year, new Escalade). Sounds like some marketing guy with loose lips. What do you always say CK – Under promise, over deliver? Looks like we still need a few of those people in the upper ranks…

  42. cwolf Says:

    I don’t mean to curve off the Cadillac sales proclamations, but again today, all the praises given to BMW and MB just seem to get less meaningful. I was just looking at “Wards” list to the 10 best 2013 interiors, only Audi remains from Europe. I think it hillarious that Kia makes the list but MB and BMW does not. My gosh…..even the Chevy Spark made the final list of 47! Yuk-Yuk!!!

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #38,
    That 328d wagon sounds nice, except for the $40K. Still, if I drive it and like it well enough……..

  44. T. Bejma Says:

    #42

    Oh come on now cwolf, you know that Wards is getting their palm greased from GM (who had the most, at 9, of the 47) because there is no way they could do anything better than BMW, MB, Audi, Lexus or Infinity… ;-)

    [/sarcasm]

  45. Earl Says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing that new CTS. I traded my 09 for a Hyundai Genesis and have not regretted it. The CTS had no leg room in the back and my wife’s back couldn’t adjust to the poor seats. The ’12 Genesis has 3.8L 6 and already an 8 speed transmission. Good seats and lots of leg room in the back

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    42,
    I suppose the Ward’s “10 best interiors” are evaluated relative to their competition, not in absolute terms. As far as the Spark, I kind of like the interior because it is bright and colorful, unlike the usual black, grey, and beige offered in most of today’s cars.

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Wards 47 nominees made the “list” only because they are new, or refreshed for the 2013 model year. See:

    http://wardsauto.com/vehicles-amp-technology/forty-seven-vehicles-vie-interior-honors

  48. T. Bejma Says:

    #46

    From the Ward’s 2012 Best Interiors…

    “The WardsAuto editorial staff selected the 10 winners from a field of 40 vehicles with new or significantly improved interiors.”

  49. ColoradoKid Says:

    Well …. Franz’s tank is full …. the mountains are calling … snows most excellent ….haven’t had a sitzmark in weeks now … bags are packed .. so off we go …

    To All

    Happy Easter and may the Easter Bunny fill your baskets to the brim with hopefully most excellent chocolates and goodies . See y’all Monday

    ———

    HtG- The Bushnell book ….. excellent … but errr …. kind of creepy ….. its like the guy knows me personally and is describing me to a tee . But somehow I bet you already knew I’d say that ;-)

  50. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Well done Ram.. http://jalopnik.com/dallas-auto-journalists-ram-pretends-its-a-ferrari-an-461477372

  51. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit

    One last . That upcoming 328d Estate /Touring/Wagon / what ever they’ll call it this time around .

    Got to admit … if they do one with BMW’s X-Drive … I may just have to have a very serious look at the thing . Not saying I’d definitely switch …… but I’ll most definitely give the car a good going over .

  52. ColoradoKid Says:

    50 – Dodge/Chrysler/FIAT quality at its finest ! Again !

  53. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Yup.

  54. Brett Says:

    #37

    I seem to recall that either Lincoln or Ford had a Navigator/Expedition concept making the rounds in the mid-2000s that sported a built-in washing machine.

  55. T. Bejma Says:

    Uh oh, looks like Ford may be in some trouble…

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/29/us-autos-ford-suit-idUSBRE92S00C20130329

  56. Julius Lambert Says:

    John,I didn’t hear you mention the CTS 3.6L TWIN TURBO[444HP beast]along with the 8 spd auto trans

  57. Julius Lambert Says:

    3D computing could solve much of the BIG 3s supply chain.