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.
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”.