Cadillac ATS is GM’s fresh (and formidable I dare say) attempt at sliding a strong foot into the BMW 3 series and Merc C-Class segment. Revealed a day ahead of the Detroit Motor Show, it is based on an all-new lightweight rear-drive platform and impresses with an advanced new turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine.
It’s a powerful 270bhp turbo four and other versions are the 200bhp 2.5-litre four-pot and, for the thirsty few, a 318bhp 3.6-litre V6. Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are offered, with all-wheel drive as optional.
The evolution of the ATS at the Nurburgring in Germany has become stuff to create legends, and GM claims the advanced chassis blends “balanced performance with Cadillac’s trademark refinement”.
ATS balances on Cadillac’s first multi-link independent suspension at the rear and a multilink double-pivot MacPherson strut at the front. The suspension is fully adjustable and features Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping. The ATS also boasts a near 50/50 weight distribution.
At 4643mm long, 1805mm wide and 1421mm high, the ATS is 20mm longer, 6mm narrower and 8mm shorter than the BMW 3-series. According to Cadillac figures, the ATS weighs nearly 1542kg while the new BMW 320d weighs 1420kg (122 kg less).
When it comes to styling, the ATS speaks the Cadillac’s ‘Art & Science’ design language: bold vertical LED front lamps, an active grille to help reduce drag. 17” alloys are standard with 18” alloys optional. Inside, the new ‘Cadillac User Experience’ infotainment system controls the Bluetooth to the Bose through an 8” LCD touch screen.
The ATS will go on sale in the US this summer, and Middle East arrival yet to be confirmed. New diesel engines for the ATS are also in development. Pricing isn’t yet out, but as seen in this market with the CTS, Cadillac will pitch the ATS to mean more value compared with its German rivals.