While the origins of the automotive industry are rooted in the development of the internal combustion engine in the 1860s and ‘70s, principally in France and Germany, the USA had joined in earnest by the early 1900s. Since Cadillac’s beginnings in 1902, the brand has forged a solid reputation for achieving automotive engineering firsts.
Establishing the spirit of innovation and daring that has sustained Cadillac for over a century, Model A, which was introduced during the 1903 New York Automobile show, had an overhead valve engine, rack and pinion steering and split-core fasteners which didn’t require lock washers.
The brand’s early years focused on the pursuit of refinement to enhance its leadership status. Cadillac’s tradition of industry firsts began in 1912 and the following highlights demonstrate that this was only the very start of over a century of bold design and ingenious technology.
In 1912, Cadillac’s award-winning, sophisticated Delco electrical system integrates self-starting, ignition and lighting functions for the first time.
Overview: Not everyone likes to drive, feel the road through the seat of their pants, or hear the roar of an engine at full throttle, and the 2016 Lexus ES aims for that clientele. Quiet, comfortable, and spacious, the Lexus ES luxury sedan is available with either a surprisingly quick 268-hp 3.5-liter V-6 in the ES350 or an efficient 200-hp gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain in the ES300h. The latter nets a 40-mpg EPA city rating and includes distinct visual touches such as blue badging, a lip spoiler on the trunk, and a hidden exhaust pipe. Whereas previous versions of the ES shared underpinnings with the mid-size Toyota Camry, the sixth generation, introduced for 2013, rides on the full-size Toyota Avalon’s longer wheelbase. As a result, rear-seat passengers enjoy 40.0 inches of legroom—a figure that (just barely) betters the new Buick LaCrosse and makes it among the best in the segment. Besides the LaCrosse, the ES competes against the likes of the Lincoln MKZ, as well as similarly priced, if slightly smaller, entry-luxury models such as the Acura TLX and the Volvo S60. For this review, we drove the conventionally powered Lexus ES350.
What’s New: Lexus lightly refreshed the ES’s exterior and interior for 2016. A bigger and bolder version of the brand’s ubiquitous spindle grille dominates the ES’s front end, while redesigned headlights, which now offer standard LED low-beams, add a hint of aggression to the car’s design.