Currently reading: Detroit motor show 2012: Cadillac ATS
Revealed: the firm’s latest attempt to crack the ultra-competitive BMW 3 series segment
Mark Tisshaw
News
2 mins read
9 January 2012

The Cadillac ATS saloon is the firm’s latest attempt to crack the ultra-competitive BMW 3 series segment. Revealed at the Detroit motor show, it's based on an all-new lightweight rear-drive platform and features an advanced new turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine in its line-up.

The ATS will go on sale in the US this summer, but UK sales are yet to be confirmed. A General Motors source told Autocar that provisions had been made for right-hand drive. They added that new diesel engines for the ATS were also in development, and it would seem logical for GM to wait until these are ready before launching the ATS in the UK given diesel’s dominance in the segment.

See the official image of the Cadillac ATS, plus a pic from the show

Launch US engine options include the new power-dense 270bhp turbo four, a 200bhp 2.5-ltre four-pot and a range-topping 318bhp 3.6-litre V6. Performance and economy figures have yet to be confirmed. Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are offered, with all-wheel drive also optional.

At 4643mm long, 1805mm wide and 1421mm high, the ATS is 20mm longer, 6mm narrower and 8mm shorter than the BMW 3-series. Cadillac quotes the ATS’s weight as “less than 1542kg”; the new BMW 320d weighs 1420kg.

Cadillac engineers undertook much of the ATS’s development at the Nurburgring. GM claims the advanced chassis blends “balanced performance with Cadillac’s trademark refinement”.

Features include Cadillac’s first multi-link independent suspension at the rear and a multilink double-pivot MacPherson strut set-up at the front. The suspension is fully adjustable and features Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping. The ATS also features a near 50/50 weight distribution.

Styling wise, the ATS builds on Cadillac’s ‘Art & Science’ design language. It features bold vertical LED lights at the front, and an active grille to help reduce drag. As standard, 17in alloys are fitted with 18in alloys optional.

The driver-focused interior includes Cadillac’s new ‘Cadillac User Experience’ infotainment system, which centres on an 8in LCD touchscreen used to control everything from Bluetooth phone connectivity to the Bose sound system.

Cadillac has yet to confirm pricing, but our source indicated it “needed to be competitive against similarly equipped BMW 3-series, Mercedes C-class and Audi A4 models”.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Join the debate

Comments
30
Add a comment…
Overdrive 12 January 2012

Re: Detroit motor show: Cadillac ATS

BriMarsh wrote:
Autocar wrote:
The driver-focused interior includes Cadillac’s new ‘Cadillac User Experience’ infotainment system, which centres on an 8in LCD touchscreen used to control everything from Bluetooth phone connectivity to the Bose sound system.
Yuck! I'd argue if it has this crap in the dash it's not "driver-focused".

And why would that be? Because "driver focused" cars don't have such things in their dashes?

BriMarsh 11 January 2012

Re: Detroit motor show: Cadillac ATS

Autocar wrote:
...a range-topping 318bhp 3.6-litre V6
Yummy!
Autocar wrote:
The driver-focused interior includes Cadillac’s new ‘Cadillac User Experience’ infotainment system, which centres on an 8in LCD touchscreen used to control everything from Bluetooth phone connectivity to the Bose sound system.
Yuck! I'd argue if it has this crap in the dash it's not "driver-focused".

ianp55 10 January 2012

Re: Detroit motor show: Cadillac ATS

Overdrive wrote:

Engelbert wrote:
To suggest that Cadillac ATS will be competitive with BMW 3-Series is ludicrous. One might as well suggest that a Morris Minor "side-valve" is competitive with a Bugatti Veyron. E

Is this view backed up by your personal experience of driving both cars, the Caddy and the 3?

I haven't driven the latest 3 or the ATS, but the previous Cadillac was very well thought of; even some of the usually "look down theirs nose at US cars" UK mags admitted as much.

I thought the CTS was a stunning design I looked at one at the Caddy dealer in Reading but the network supporting it was not so good and the importer did not last long. But if GM were to take a leaf out Nissan & Toyota's book and market Cadillac along the lines of Infinitti/Lexus then it might take off

Find an Autocar car review