Seeking to further leverage its already strong market position, the 2012 Cadillac SRX is preparing to hit the showrooms this summer packing GM's 3.6-liter direct-injected V6 as its sole motivator. Rated at 300 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, this naturally aspirated and FlexFuel-capable engine will replace both current V6s: the 3.0-liter/265-horse base engine and optional 2.8-liter/300-horse turbo. Although peak torque of the 3.6-liter is some 35 lb-ft of torque below the T-charged 2.8, it's 42 up on the 3.0's spec and Cadillac says the broader and more expansive overall curve of this new six will provide a markedly enhanced daily driving experience while allowing it to maintain fuel economy numbers on par with the current base engine.

Other functional upgrades for the 2012 Cadillac SRX lineup include standard Bluetooth connectivity and supplemental power lock switches on the driver/passenger door panels of all models plus a heated steering wheel on all but the base STX. New machined-finish 20-inch wheels will be standard on Performance and Premium trims and optional on base and Luxury variants.

Since its full redesign for 2010, sales of Cadillac's mid-size crossover have been on a tear. Volume rose by 153 percent last year, elevating the SRX to second place in the segment, ahead of rivals like the Acura MDX, Audi Q5, and Mercedes-Benz GLK350 while trailing only the Lexus RX350.

In outlining the upcoming 2012 changes, Don Butler, vice president of Cadillac marketing, noted that "SRX is resonating with luxury buyers by offering the function of a crossover and the distinctive style of a Cadillac. Now, we're raising the standards even higher by providing the SRX with enhanced performance. The new engine will make the SRX more responsive for passing on the highway, entering freeways from on-ramps and climbing hills." Pricing on the 2012 Cadillac SRX will be released closer to its on-sale date.

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