The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

13 April 2005

Hardware lust

Cadillac's STS is a pretty nice big boat, as big boats go, but the STS SAE 100, a one-off for the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress, integrates some spiffy new toys, a fair number of which should drift down to regular production lines sooner or later.

Perhaps the most frivolous, until you think about it, is the disappearance of the gas cap. Push a dashboard button and an electronic gizmo spins open the spout; it shuts itself once you've filled up and removed the nozzle. Anyone who's ever cursed himself for losing a gas cap, or who's failed to count the clicks and wound up with a glaring Malfunction Indicator Light, should appreciate this. (I qualify on the former, once, or was it twice?)

An oil-condition sensor reports to the engine computer, and thence to the dash, the level of dino juice and how long you have left before it bakes into a nasty sludge, which should serve as a nice reality check to those folks who get the oil changed every 3 years or 36,000 miles, whether it needs it or not.

The nav system is 3D, and displays actual satellite photos; there's a reasonable chance that the road ahead will look something like the screen.

With neat stuff like this, you'd think the powertrain would be something of an afterthought, but the General has bestowed a supercharged LS2 mill on this Caddy, with 505 ponies from its six liters of displacement, and a six-speed manumatic to keep them in line.

For the time being, I will keep telling myself that this sort of thing won't fit in my garage.

Posted at 2:48 PM to Driver's Seat

Right now the only reason my riding mower fits in my garage is, it's been in there since November. And tomorrow, if the garage-door repair people do their thing as promised, I'll be able to get it out. Whether I'll be able to get it back in again afterward...?

In five-and-a-half years living here, the mower is the largest motor vehicle we've ever been able to get into the dang place.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:59 PM on 13 April 2005