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2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0 Turbo Premium Review & Test Drive 9
Posted by Harvey Schwartz in 2013 Cadillac ATS, Automotive, Cadillac, Cadillac ATS, Test Drives on 07 9th, 2013
2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Two Beauty Right Wide Two Done Small

2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Two Beauty Right Wide Two Done Small

The all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS compact luxury sport sedan is Cadillac’s challenge of superiority in the world’s most significant luxury car segment.  Developed on an all-new, lightweight rear-drive architecture, the ATS reflects a new expression of Cadillac’s Art & Science execution philosophy, centered on a foundation of superb driving dynamics and mass efficiency.  It is the most agile and lightweight Cadillac, with one of the lowest curb weights in the segment-less than 3,400 pounds.  This new Cadillac combines the highest state of luxury, innovative high-technology and safety systems with superb high-performance dynamics.

The ATS’s superb attributes starts with the unique styling.  It interprets Cadillac’s Art & Science design language in a new proportion, tailoring the signature styling and refinement cues for the most compact Cadillac while upholding-and-advancing the exemplary attention to detail and technological elements for which the Cadillac brand is now known.  A long 109.3 inch wheelbase and wide 59.9-front/60.9 inch-rear tracks are the cornerstones of the ATS’s firmly planted stance, which is enhanced further with short overhangs and taut sheet metal that appears to wrap tightly around the Premium’s 18X8 inch front and 18X9 inch rear wheels and tires.

2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Two Beauty Headon Done Small

Bold vertical light elements-HID headlamps with Adaptive Forward Lighting including new LED front signature lighting detail-as well as LED door handles and active grille shutters lend technologically advanced style and function to the ATS.  The grille shutters close at highway speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag and enhance fuel economy.  The front fascia of the all-new ATS is highlighted with the signature Cadillac grille now with midnight chrome accents.  Down below is a wide air-intake for the turbo’s intercooler surrounded by a chrome strip which also features a spoiler and flat bottom plate to keep the front well planted at high speeds.  The silhouette shows steeply raked windshield A-pillars, flared fenders, aerodynamically styled side mirrors, pull-out door handles, swept-back B-pillars, narrow windows surrounded by a thick chrome strip, a scallop at the bottom of the doors, deep side extensions and a flat roof with a fastback styled rear window.  At the rear are large vertical LED taillights, V-shaped spoiler at the end of the trunk lid, the Cadillac wreath just below, and a chrome strip with Cadillac stenciled at the right side.  Below the rear bumper is a diffuser to manage rear airflow and two polished stainless steel exhaust tips.  It is a look that is modern, aggressive and luxurious as only Cadillac can deliver.  Keeping the aerodynamic drag to a superb 0.299 are underbody aerodynamic shields that help smooth airflow.

Motivating the all-new ATS are three engines starting with a standard 2.5 liter four-cylinder making 202hp and 191lb.ft. of torque, a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder and the 3.6 liter V6 making 321hp and 275lb.ft. of torque that is available only for North America.

2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Engine Done Small

I tested the ATS with the potent 2.0 liter turbocharged/intercooled four-cylinder engine that features an aluminum block and heads, DOHC’s with continuously variable timing, and direct high-pressure fuel injection.  This high-tech powerplant generates a healthy 272hp at 5,500rpm and 260lb.ft. of torque at just 1,700-5,500rpm.  It is smooth, high-revving and very quiet.  When pushed the exhaust note going through the large dual exhaust system emanates a loud growl.  At 136hp per liter, the new 2.0 liter is one of the most power-dense engines in the industry, topping engines from European competitors.  All of the engines are mated to six-speed transmissions, including the Hydra-Matic 6L45 automatic with tap-shift and paddle shifters available on the 2.0 liter turbo and 3.6 liter engines.  A smooth-shifting six-speed manual transmission is also available with the turbo engine when you want to be a closer part of the powertrain.  I tested the automatic with up/down tap-shift on the leather-wrapped stick, and magnesium paddle shifters on the steering wheel.  It was great fun shifting so quickly and precisely with either of the modes.  The paddle shifters are large so it is always within your fingertips to upshift or downshift.  Keeping the automatic in Drive also shifts fast and precisely when your speed reaches the electronically controlled speed needed to upshift.  The 2.0 liter turbocharged engine pushes the new ATS to 60 mph from a standstill in just 5.7 sec.

Proportion and balance are on the ATS’s side, with a low curb weight of just 3,373 pounds and power-dense powertrains that are also highlighted to achieve 50/50 weight distribution and a great power-to-weight ratio.  They complement wide front and rear tracks-59.5 front and 60.9 inch rear-for a lower center of gravity that promotes great stability and a neutral feel when attaching curving roads.  Putting it through its paces it feels lighter than the stated curb weight.  Furthermore, low vehicle mass and optimal brake sizes are expected to give the ATS braking performance that is among the best in the segment, with Brembo brakes fitted to the 2.0 liter turbo and 3.6 liter engine, the ATS stops from 60mph to 0 in about 129 feet.

2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Pan Left Done Small

The real fun of piloting the all-new ATS is the incredible suspension system that hugs the road, turns as if you are at the side of a wall and smoothes out the bumps when traveling over poorly paved roads.  The suspension and steering systems work together to give you a feeling that you are at the wheel of a real racecar because it is so responsive with just a slight tug of the leather-wrapped sporty steering wheel.

Up front, a multi-link MacPherson strut suspension setup uses a double-pivot design for a more precise feeling of control, including more linear communicative steering and a smoother ride.  It also improves impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces.  The double-pivot system incorporates a pair of ball joints and lower control links that replace a conventional wishbone at each wheel.  The optimal balance of ride and handling is achieved via a suspension geometry that decouples road inputs by integrating a soft fore/aft ‘ride link’ that provides greater isolation from impacts and a stiff, laterally positioned ‘handling link’ for more direct steering feel and quicker lateral response.  The control arms, the spindle and the body form an effective four-bar link for each side of the front suspension, creating virtual pivot points for reduced spindle length, significantly reducing steering wheel feedback due to wheel impacts and imbalance. There is also a direct-acting stabilizer bar.  The front suspension’s design also enables a short spindle and positive-offset steering geometry for optimal steering control, excellent straight-line stability and a more refined ride.  High-durometer rubber and hydraulic bushings are used with the front suspension for an excellent balance of ride comfort and precise response when cornering.  Luxury and performance taken to the next level!

2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Beauty Rear Done Small

At the rear of the ATS is the first five-link independent in a Cadillac.  It’s design that helps reduce roll center motion, enables positive lateral control, reduces ‘squat’ during acceleration and promotes excellent dynamic stability.  In short it helps keep the tires planted on all surfaces and during all hard-cornering maneuvers.  Four handling links (upper and lower control arms) are used at each side to control wheel motion and a toe link at each wheel provides additional horizontal control-particularly during hard cornering.  The upper and lower links create an effective double-wishbone design, although the links are mounted independently.  As with the front suspension, the five-link design creates virtual pivot points that the ATS’s engineers used for geometry optimization.  The stiff links are mounted on a cradle that contributes to a smooth, quieter and more isolated ride.  The cradle is made of steel (with hydroformed side rails) to help optimized the car’s structural stiffness and mass.  Germany’s famed Nurburgring served as one of the key testing grounds, along with additional roads, race tracks and laboratories around the world where ATS engineers tested and balanced the performance with Cadillac’s trademark refinement.  Enhancing the ride and handling of the ATS turbo are 18X8 inch front and 18X9 inch machined alloy wheels wrapped with Bridgestone 225/40R18 inch front and 255/35R18 inch rear Potenza REO5A super-high-performance run flat tires for superb grip and a smooth, quiet ride.

The 2.0 liter turbo comes with the FE3 Sport Suspension with a mechanical limited-slip differential standard that is not matched by all other competitors and gives the ATS turbo an edge when it comes to ensuring all of the powertrain’s torque is applied to the tires during hard cornering.  It is houses in a robust 8.6 inch carrier.

Further supporting the ATS’s new and unique suspension designs are advanced damping, steering and braking systems including Magnetic Ride Control, which is the heart of the FE3 Sport Suspension package, the above mentioned limited-slip differential and a high-capacity cooling system.  MRC is a real-time damping system that delivers more precise body motion control.  It ‘reads’ the road every millisecond and can change damping forces in only five milliseconds.  You can manually change the damping settings from Touring/Sport/Snow but pushing a button on the center console next to the Traction Control On/Off button.  Changing the setting from Touring to Sport or visa-versa, adjusts the intervention of the StabiTrak and traction Control systems.

2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Dashboard Done Small

All ATS models come with a premium electric, variable-assist power steering gear from world-famous ZF Steering Systems.  This system is designed to deliver excellent response and on-center characteristics, while also saving fuel because engine power isn’t directly required to assist gear movement-as is the case with conventional hydraulic systems.  The steering gear has a great torsional stiffness and lower operating friction, which enables the steering feel with almost perfect linear response.  Additionally, the steering column and intermediate shaft feature stiff, direct-acting and low-friction ball bearing designs.  That means there is almost no ‘lash’ in the entire steering system for a more immediate and connected-to-the-road feel in your hands.  Further enhancing the steering feel and front turn-in is the three-piece strut tower brace found in front of the engine.

Cadillac uses their own high-tech innovations for the powertrain and suspension then uses technology and innovation from the world’s great aftermarket companies.  That also includes the superior braking system found on the turbo that I tested.  Four-wheel power-assisted steel disc brakes give the ATS great braking power as they use Brembo four-piston calipers to clamp on the 12.6 inch vented discs up front.  The rear 12.4 inch vented discs are clamps with GM single-piston calipers.  The braking system also includes ABS, BA, an auto dry system, and a Ferritic Nitro Carburized process for corrosion resistance.

While the innovations and engineering under the skin are competitive with the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class and Lexus IS class, it is the interior that really separates the all-new Cadillac ATS from its aforementioned competitors.

2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Front Seats Done Small

All four doors open wide to reveal a sumptuous and luxurious cabin with several sporty cues to give the all-new ATS a one-of-a-kind sport oriented interior.  The driver-focused interior features integrated technology and crafted materials that complements and supports the ATS’s driving experience.  Everything from the placement of the aluminum/rubber foot pedals, the tilt/telescoping sport steering wheel and the position of the shifter knob is designed for effortless and intuitive performance driving.  The leather-trimmed performance front bucket seats are 12-way power-adjustable with power-adjustable side bolsters to optimize lateral support during high-load cornering with 10-way power-adjustable front passenger seat.  Further contributing to the interior’s intuitive feel is an instrument panel that wraps into the doors and a center stack in the mid-instrument panel that flows into the center console.  LED lighting for the bold gauge cluster enables clear, at-a-glance viewing in all lighting conditions, while ambient lighting accents functional elements of the console and door.  The ‘head’s-up’ display has four different screens for your viewing pleasure as you never have to take your eyes off the road to view important driver information.  Real wood, metal plating and carbon fiber trim and Cadillac’s cut-and-sewn instrument panel, console and doors enhance the emotional connection to the ATS.  Standard features on the Premium Collection ATS that I tested not mentioned above include Bluetooth phone connectivity with voice recognition, USB, auxiliary and SD memory card ports, Sirius XM satellite radio, keyless access and keyless push button start/stop, Bose Premium Surround Audio system with 10-Bose speakers, reconfigurable 5.7 inch instrument panel cluster display/trip computer, an 8-inch full-color touch display with navigation, dual-zone climate control with air filtration, dual map lights, rain-sensing wipers, power/heated side mirrors with driver-side self-dimming, dual lighted vanity mirrors, universal home remote, remote vehicle start, front aluminum door kick plates, map pockets behind the front seatbacks, cruise-control, front/rear parking assist, rearview camera, power door locks, power windows with front express up/down and rear express down, dual cupholders front and rear, air-vents at the rear of the front center console, grab handles at each door, front and rear floor mats, rear pass-thru and 60/40-split folding rear seats.  The trunk features full carpeting, a deep storage tray on the right and underfloor storage to complement the entire package.

2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Heads Up Display Done Small

The all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS comes with Cadillac CUE-a comprehensive in-vehicle experience that merges intuitive design with auto industry-first controls and commands for information and entertainment data.  It is designed to be unique for each consumer from the simple user to the fully connected super user.  CUE (Cadillac User Experience) pairs entertainment and information data from up to 10 Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices, USBs, SD cards, and MP3 players with a vehicle infotainment system that reduces complexity through customized information, voice commands and fewer buttons and large icons.  For example, most of today’s luxury cars have around 20 buttons controlling the radio and entertainment functions, CUE has only four.  The heart of CUE is the 8-inch LCD multi-touch sensitive screen seamlessly integrated into the top of the central instrument panel and a motorized fully capacitive faceplate at the bottom concealing a 1.8 liter storage area.  The vibrant LCD screen displays CUE’s home page, which resembles a smart phone’s screen by using large, easy-to-target icons to execute commands.  Capacitive technology refers to using electrodes to sense the conductive properties of objects such as a finger.  It is slow going at the beginning but you’ll grow accustomed to its easy-to-use controls once you use it for a couple of driving periods.

2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Back Seats Done Small

The all-new ATS is one of the safest vehicles to be driving or as a passenger with these standard features-airbags-driver/front passenger frontal/side/knee, front/rear outboard head curtain and side impact airbags, 4-way adjustable front head restraints, driver awareness package (rear vision camera system, hill hold/start assist), daytime running lights, ONSTART collision response, LATCH system for child seats, rear child security door locks, audible theft deterrent with vehicle immobilizer, remote keyless entry, three-point safety belts for all five seats, strong structural safety cage, front/rear crumple zones, and steel beams in each door.

Options included in my Premium Collection test ATS included adaptive cruise control, side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, front/rear automatic braking and automatic collision preparation, cold weather package with driver/front passenger heated seats and a heated steering wheel.

After my seven-day test drive the impression I got was that Cadillac has it the mark in all categories that make a compact luxury sport sedan supreme.  It is the real deal, competing head-on with the best from Europe and Japan.

Word has it that Cadillac is working on a ultra-high-performance ATS-V with a 3.0 liter twin-turbo and other go-fast measures to compete with the BMW M3, Audi S4, Lexus IS-F and M-B C-AMG.

2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Two Beauty Right Wide Two Done Small
2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Headon Action Left Done Small
2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Two Beauty Headon Done Small
2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Pan Left Done Small
2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Beauty Rear Done Small
2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Dashboard Done Small
2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Cluster Done Small
2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Heads Up Display Done Small
2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Push Button Start Stop Done Small
2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Front Seats Done Small
2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Back Seats Done Small
2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Door Trim Done Small
2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Badge Done Small
2013 Cadillac ATS Turbo Engine Done Small



  • Price: $44,895.00 Premium Collection/$49,710.00 as tested
  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged DOHC inline-4-cylinder 272 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm / 260 ft-lbs. torque @ 1,700 rpm
  • Construction: unitized welded steel body with direct-mounted front cradle and rubber isolated, multi-link independent rear suspension, aluminum hood
  • Turning circle: 35.9 ft.
  • Length: 109.3 inches
  • Height: 55.9 inches
  • Width: 71.1 inches
  • Track: f/r-59.5/60.9 inches
  • Legroom: f/r-42.5/33.5 inches
  • Headroom: f/r-38.6/36.8 inches
  • EPA passenger volume: 90.9  cu.ft.
  • EPA trunk volume: 10.4 cu.ft.
  • Trailer towing maximum: 1,000 pounds
  • 0-60 mph: 5.7 seconds
  • Fuel tank: 16 gallons
  • EPA fuel mileage: 21/city, 31/highway


2013 Cadillac ATS Crowned North American Car of the Year 14
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in 2013 Cadillac ATS, auto show, Automotive, Cadillac, Cadillac ATS, News, North American Car of the Year on 01 14th, 2013

To kick off the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, the announcement for 2013 North American Car of the Year sounds loud in naming the all-new 2013 Cadillac as the winner.

Cadillac had its work cut out to go head-to-head with the likings of the all-new Honda Accord and Ford Fusion in a battle to the finish line. With the introduction and astounding perception by many journalists, the Cadillac ATS edged out its competition while it followed somewhat of a formula familiar to those of us who recognize vehicles like the BMW 3 Series being such an influence on the automotive industry as a whole. With Cadillac focusing on that aspect, they brought the new 2013 ATS to fruition surprising many with its characteristic design and performance attitude.

“This is a very meaningful honor for the entire Cadillac team, especially the men and women who build the ATS in Lansing, Michigan, and our dedicated and talented designers and engineers,” said Bob Ferguson, GM vice president, global Cadillac. “A car like ATS is the result of incredible commitment and focus. That’s the only method for creating a great performing luxury car.”

The new 2013 Cadillac ATS attempts to offer up something for everyone with a total of 3 engine choices, all-wheel-drive options and a choice of a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission.

The next move of course is for us enthusiast to expect an ATS-V performance version of the new 2013 North American Car of the Year.

Cadillac’s Future Lineup Seeks US Domination, Green-Lights Range-Topping Flagship Vehicle 24
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in 2013 Cadillac ATS, Automotive, Cadillac, Cadillac ATS, Cadillac Ciel, GM, News on 07 24th, 2012

Cadillac has recently expressed their goal to disrupt BMW’s and Mercedes-Benz’s grip on the US automotive luxury market. To do such a thing, Cadillac will need to introduce a new flagship vehicle to compete with the likings of the BMW 7 series and Benz S Class and at the same time keep other moving forward.

According to Automotive News, Cadillac plans to hit up the big boys with their own 7 series and S class competitor slated to be launched in 2015. Sources confirm that the new flagship vehicle will ride on GM’s rear-wheel drive Omega platform. Best news of all to come out of this story is the idea that styling will likely be influenced by the Ciel Concept, which is just what the lovely public has been craving for ever since its introduction a couple years ago.

Cadillac also plans to keep other segments forward moving. The ATS has already received praise in several reviews as a worthy BMW 3 Series competitor while a coupe and performance-injected ATS-V is on the horizon for a 2014 release. The new XTS has paved the way for Cadillac to rollout original technological advancements while hinting at what we could expect in other future Cadillac vehicles. The CTS is expected to get a redesign next year, and a newly designed Escalade will be ready to sport itself on a platform based on the company’s next generation pickup truck architecture.

A new Cadillac ELR coupe, set for introduction in late 2013, will satisfy the eco-green segment in a sports coupe flavor featuring an upgraded Chevy Volt powertrain. A facelifted SRX crossover will be introduced later this fall with a complete redesign expected for late 2014. To conclude Cadillac’s plans for US luxury domination, a new large crossover is expected to be introduced in 2015 to fill the gap between the Escalade and SRX. You could think of it as an answer to Infiniti’s hot-selling JX crossover.

Dear Cadillac – Enough With The ‘Green Hell’ Ads: Video 8
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Cadillac ATS, Automotive, Cadillac, Kurt, video on 02 8th, 2012

We get it: Cadillac wants the world to know that its new ATS compact sedan is as good as a BMW 3-Series sedan. We’ll reserve judgement until we actually get a chance to drive an ATS (preferably back-to-back with a comparable, 2012 BMW 3-Series), but we sincerely hope that Cadillac doesn’t pull a bait-and-switch on us. The 3-Series line includes a lot of different models, so if you’re emphasizing the “sport sedan” characteristics of the ATS, it’s only fair to throw down against the new 3-Series Sport Line, with the variable sport steering and the adaptive M suspension.

And while we’re complaining, enough with using the “Green Hell” Nürburgring Nordschleife reference in every single ad. That horse has been flogged to death; in fact, it’s been flogged to death, buried, dug up, flogged some more and then buried again. It’s clear: you tested the ATS on one of the world’s most challenging racetracks to fine-tune the suspension, chassis, throttle and brake settings. That should yield a sedan with impressive handling, but we won’t know until we drive one.

We’ve got some concerns about the 270-horsepower turbo four that Cadillac is using in the ATS, too. We’ve driven the engine in Buick Regal GS trim, and to be honest, it wasn’t that impressive. Granted, the ATS is a lighter car, and its rear-drive platform will certainly improve handling. Still, we can’t help but think that Cadillac is setting some unreasonable expectations of the new ATS before the car even hits the streets.

If it’s as good as you’re telling us, finding buyers won’t be a problem. If it isn’t, all the “Green Hell” references in the world won’t help to move inventory.

And Now, The Cadillac ATS Makes Its Debut: Video 24
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Cadillac ATS, Automotive, Cadillac, Kurt, video on 01 24th, 2012

After a six-month buildup, Cadillac unveiled the compact ATS sedan at the Detroit Auto Show. Dubbed by Mark Reuss, GM’s North American president, as, “the car to finally challenge the German cars at their own game and win,” the soon-to-be-launched ATS already has some big shoes to fill. To the car’s credit, GM is equipping it with a Magnetic Ride Control suspension (found on the CTS-V, the Corvette ZR1, the Camaro ZL1 and the Ferrari 458 Italia) and has done all it can to reduce weight, bringing the ATS is at under 3,400 pounds.

The engine options announced so far don’t have us convinced the car is a legitimate sport sedan. The base engine is a 2.5-liter Ecotec four, good for just 200 horsepower, while the “enthusiast” choice seems to be a 270-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four. There’s also a 318 horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6, but Cadillac almost seems to be downplaying this option.

We suspect the 2.0-liter turbo four chosen for the ATS is the same engine used in the Buick Regal GS. We’ve driven that car, and the power simply feels adequate, not impressive. Granted, the Cadillac is some 300 pounds lighter than the Buick and drives the rear wheels, not the front, but we have a hard time seeing the ATS as a legitimate opponent to the BMW 335is.

Maybe our opinions will change when we have a chance to drive the car. Until then, color us “cautiously optimistic” and enjoy the fourth video in Cadillac’s “ATS The Journey” series, below.

Cadillac (Finally) Shows Off The ATS Sedan: Video 9
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Cadillac ATS, auto show, Automotive, Cadillac, Detroit-Auto-Show, Kurt on 01 9th, 2012

The 2013 Cadillac ATS

Cadillac has been teasing its ATS compact sedan for the better part of six months. We’ve seen it in heavily camouflaged guise and even wearing just a mild disguise, and we know that it laps the ‘Ring in a reasonable amount of time. We also know that it will come chock full of the latest infotainment gadgetry, namely Cadillac’s CUE icon-based control system, displayed on an eight-inch touch screen.

We know know exactly what it will look like, too, and to no one’s surprise it resembles a scaled-down Cadillac CTS. Here’s the good news for enthusiasts: Cadillac is claiming that the ATS weighs less than 3,400 pounds, and maintains a near perfect 50/50 front to rear weight distribution.

Three engines are planned, including the base 2.5-liter four-banger, good for 200 horsepower, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four said to make 270 horsepower and a 318 horsepower V-6. Rear drive is standard, but Cadillac will also build the car in the previously rumored all-wheel-drive as well. There’s no word of a “Type V” version yet, but we’d like to think one is in the works.

Look for the 2013 Cadillac ATS to begin hitting dealerships this summer.

The Cadillac ATS Tackles The Nürburgring Nordschleife: Video 19
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Cadillac ATS, Automotive, Cadillac, Kurt, video on 12 19th, 2011

Cadillac has released its third video from the new ATS’ German vacation, and this one shows the car in action on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. If you’re a fan of Gran Turismo 5 or Forza Motorsports, the video has some good tips on tackling the track in a mid-size, rear-drive car, so it’s worth watching just to lower your lap times. It’s also worth watching to get a sense for how much effort Cadillac is putting into the development of the ATS.

We already know that the ATS will come with three engine options, but we aren’t told which engine is in the car running the hot lap. We think we’re hearing turbo whine, so our guess is that it’s the 270-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo getting the workout. Assuming that’s the case, the lap time of “28.09” referenced at the end of the video likely refers to 8:28.09 seconds, which is a more-than-respectable time for a midsize sedan. That time makes the ATS faster than an Audi TTS Coupe, but just a tick slower than a Hyundai Genesis Coupe with the 3.8-liter V-6.

Next up is the ATS reveal video, which you can expect to see about the same time the Detroit Auto Show kicks off. We’re looking forward to (finally) seeing the undisguised ATS, but more importantly, we can’t wait to get behind the wheel of one.

2013 Cadillac ATS To Get Three Engine Options 15
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Cadillac ATS, Automotive, Cadillac, engines, Kurt on 12 15th, 2011

2013 Ecotec 2.0L Turbo from the Cadillac ATS

If you want more proof that Cadillac is serious about challenging the likes of BMW with its upcoming ATS sedan, here it is: the car will (initially) come with three engine options, including a 2.5-liter four cylinder that should serve as the base engine and will probably produce just short of 200 horsepower. Cadillac will offer a 3.6-liter V-6, too, probably pulled from the SRX crossover. In the 2012 SRX, the engine produces 308 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, which should prove to be sufficient to power a compact sedan.

The big news, however, is a Cadillac-tuned 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which will put out 270 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. That’s 135 horsepower per liter, making the new engine one of the most power-dense motors on the planet. It achieves this via direct fuel injection, continuously variable valve timing and a twin-scroll turbocharger that produces up to 20 pounds of boost. That’s quite a bit for a stock engine from a luxury manufacturer, so Cadillac has built the engine to include a forged crankshaft and oil-spray piston cooling; they’ve also focused on reducing friction to produce more efficient power.

Suspiciously absent from the lineup is an ATS-V engine, which we’re hoping will come further down the line. Of the available choices, the turbo four is the one most attractive to drivers, since the V-6 will add weight and make the car nose-heavy without producing significantly more power. The 2.5-liter four will be the high-volume engine, sold to buyers who care more about luxury and comfort than about driving and performance.

Look for more details on the ATS when the car breaks cover at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.

Cadillac ATS Development, Chapter 2: Caddy Sweats The Details 11
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Cadillac ATS, Automotive, Cadillac, Kurt, News, video on 11 11th, 2011

These days, just about every automaker builds good cars. Truly great cars, however, are few and far between, and great is exactly what Cadillac is targeting with its upcoming ATS compact sedan. BMW’s 3-Series will be the car’s primary competitor, and as the new kid on the block Cadillac knows it can’t be just “as good” as the 3-Series; it must, in fact, be better.

Developing a car that goes fast around a track isn’t terribly difficult, but tuning it so it remains comfortable as a daily driver is. The very things that add speed, like a lowered and stiff suspension, big stabilizer bars, narrow profile tires and hard suspension bushings also detract from ride quality. For Cadillac customers, that simply won’t fly, so the trick for Cadillac’s engineers is finding the right balance between ride and handling. While matching BMW for fit, finish and content. While beating them on price.

If you get the feeling that this may be the biggest challenge Cadillac has ever faced, you’d be correct. The ATS will be a “reverse halo” car for Cadillac, designed to lure new buyers into Cadillac showrooms. Get it right, and you introduce a new generation of buyers to the Cadillac brand. Get it wrong, and your only hope is that the Chinese will like what you’ve done with the car.

We’re big fans of the Cadillac CTS-V, so we’re really pulling for them on the ATS.

The Cadillac ATS Throws Down Against BMW 27
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Cadillac ATS, Automotive, Cadillac, Kurt, Nurburgring, video on 10 27th, 2011

We showed you the first teaser video of the Cadillac ATS on the Nürburgring a few weeks back, and there isn’t a lot of new material in the Cadillac video below. It does give the best look yet at the styling of the 2013 Cadillac ATS, and it’s significant for one other reason: it gives you an idea of how serious Cadillac is about competing in this segment.

For decades, the BMW 3 Series has defined the compact sport sedan segment, and Cadillac seems intent on going head-to-head with Bavaria’s best. Previous attempts have ranged from laughable (the Cadillac Cimarron of the 1980s) to merely misguided (the Cadillac Catera of the late 1990s), but both cars were badge engineered from existing products. The ATS, on the other hand, starts from a clean sheet of paper.

It looks like the You Tube video below is part of an ongoing series, documenting the testing and tuning of the ATS. As long as the content is relevant, we’ll keep posting the progress that Cadillac is making.

Cadillac’s 2013 ATS Trains In Germany 13
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Cadillac ATS, Automotive, Cadillac, Kurt, video on 10 13th, 2011

Cadillac is serious about going head to head with BMW when its new ATS model eventually hits the market. Competing with BMW’s 3 Series is an ambitious goal, since the car has long been the benchmark for sport sedans the world over. To illustrate how intent Cadillac is about beating BMW, it’s recently released the video below, which shows Cadillac engineers working an ATS test mule at the Nürburgring.

The YouTube video makes some bold claims, including, “the ATS is probably the most sporting car Cadillac has ever done, and you’ll find this car more entertaining than anything else in the segment.” Do we need to remind you that the segment includes, at the very least the BMW 335i? Or that it could quite possibly also include the Audi S4, or the BMW M3?

Pay close attention at 1:03 into the video, when an engineer thumbs his stop watch and announces “twenty-eight oh nine,” to which a colleague replies “twenty-eight fourteen.” In terms of lap times, that either translates to 7:28.09 (doubtful, since it would make the ATS faster than a Porsche Carrera GT and just a tick slower than a Pagani Zonda F Clubsport) or 8:28.09, which puts the ATS on par with the Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8, but two seconds slower than a BMW 335i. To keep Cadillac humble, we’d remind them that a Chevy Cobalt SS lapped the ‘Ring in 8:22.85, so let’s hope Cadillac isn’t ready to call it a day just yet.

Cadillac Kills Plans For Drop-Top ATS 28
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Cadillac ATS, Automotive, Cadillac, Kurt, News on 09 28th, 2011

Cadillac's teaser image of the ATS. Image: © GM Corp.

Cadillac wants to pitch its upcoming ATS series against the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class. Original plans for the ATS called for a sedan, a coupe, a wagon and a convertible, which would have given Cadillac a counterpoint to every one of BMW’s offerings. It also would have given Cadillac a far broader range than Mercedes-Benz currently offers with the C-Class.

First, the ATS wagon fell victim to cost cutting, since projections didn’t show enough sales to justify design and production costs. Now GM Inside News reports that the ATS convertible has suffered the same fate, also a victim of insufficient demand to warrant production. That leaves a planned ATS sedan (which will appear first) and a planned ATS coupe, although the coupe is probably next on the chopping block.

Plans call for the ATS sedan to hit the market in the summer of 2012, powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder or a 3.6-liter V-6. Rear wheel drive will be standard, but all wheel drive is said to be an available option. If the coupe survives to see production, don’t expect it to hit Cadillac showrooms until 2014 or so.

There are still rumors of a V-Series variant for both the ATS sedan and coupe, but details are sketchy. There’s no word on which engine will power an ATS Type V, and it may be 2015 before we see the V-Series badge on any ATS model.