By on August 4, 2011

GM’s North American boss Mark Reuss released this, the first official teaser image of the 2013 Cadillac ATS, at the Management Briefing Seminar in Traverse City this morning. Previously we’d had only an under-the-skin look at what appears to be the ATS along with the usual mule shots, but this teaser doesn’t cast a whole lot of light on the situation. I mean, frankly, it just looks… like a Cadillac. Between this shot and the dire rumors surrounding the ATS’s Alpha Platform development, I feel like I’m beginning to understand what GM CEO Dan Akerson meant when he said that this ATS and Caddy’s new “flagship” XTS

are not going to blow the doors off, but they will be very competitive.

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26 Comments on “2013 ATS: It’s A Cadillac!...”

  • avatar

    After a long glorius history of wonderful Cadillac names, I really hope they can do better than “ATS” or “XTS”.

  • avatar

    Looks a lot like a C Class with slightly smaller windows. I’m sure Cadillac will differentiate it with some awful angular atrocities on the front and back, though.

    • 0 avatar

      At first glance I also see more Mercedes than Cadillac. At second glance I see first-gen CTS. Are they moving back towards more angular forms?

      In the end the thing I most care about is how it handles.

    • 0 avatar

      My thoughts exactly…From the front to the B-pillar it could be a C-class and even the wheels seem quite similar to some of the standard C-class wheels.

      Maybe if it handles well it stands a chance in Europe as well…Well not really of course but at least they might sell some, say Lexus IS amounts of them.

      I say forget about the AWD and focus on the RWD version being as light and nimble as possible. No need for the extra weight and torque reactions in the steering wheel. I doubt BMW sells that many AWD 3-series anyway (percentage).

      • 0 avatar
        Vance Torino

        “I doubt BMW sells that many AWD 3-series anyway (percentage)”

        Mmmm, really?

        Let me rephrase:
        “Here in the snow belt, I’m quite sure BMW LEASES quite a lot AWD 3-series anyway.”

        Actually, I’m TOTALLY sure most of the BMWs with pretty women/trophy wives in them are X-drives here in Ohio. Probably a good thing. Which is everything you need to know about why all these entry-lux cars need AWD.

      • 0 avatar

        Uhm, 38% of 3 Series on which AWD is offered are sold w/ AWD.

        For the CTS, the rate is even higher; nearly 50% of all CTS sold are w/ AWD.

        AWD is a must.

      • 0 avatar

        Well ok…I would imagine the US market is a little different. I’m quite sure here in Europe the percentage is much lower than that (except maybe in Switzerland etc). Most 3 series are 4 cilinder company leases to middle management types, IT-folks and bank employees. Then there’s the occassional enthusiast buying the hi-po versions who wouldn’t think about ordering AWD cause that’s for people who drive Audis.

        I seldom see trophy wifes driving 3 series. Definitely not sedans or coupes, maybe the odd Touring or convertible. European trophy wifes mostly drive one of those french hardtop-folding roof cars or premium SUVs.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m in the middle of my European Delivery vacation, picked up my 328i Wagon last Friday and have driven Munich-Stuttgart-Berlin-Copenhagen-Stockholm-(big boat)-Helsinki since then. I can make a few observations, I think.

        1. Europeans do not buy sedans, for the most part. I don’t think there was any point during all that German driving that there were fewer than 2-3 other 3-series wagons within view. I saw a bare handful of 3-series sedans, no coupes, and one convertible (driven by a STUNNING blonde in Denmark, BTW). Wagons RULE in Europe. So unless Cadillac offers one they might as well stay home.

        2. Admittedly, MANY 3-series here are unbadged, but I have seen *one* X-drive 3-series. Today, in Finland. Europeans are smart enough to avoid the fuel economy penalty unless they really, really need it.

        3. Anyone who thinks Europe is “small” needs to drive Munich-Stuttgart-Berlin-Copenhagen-Stockholm in two days, while also taking in the BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes museums along the way. :-)

      • 0 avatar


        Yeah that sounds about right. Well the sedans are bought too, but especially in northern Europe people like their wagons.

        In most circumstances I don’t think you need, much less want AWD over RWD. Here in the Netherlands I’d be surprised if the xdrive percentage would be significantly above 5%. Now if you live in Scandinavia or in the alps that would be a different story.

        And come on now…a badge? That doesn’t work for Europeans. You don’t want to be the cheap guy in the 316i but you also don’t want to be douchey showoff who has the 335 sign on the back. That’s what they differentiate the exhaust tips for, so that people who know. For the E90/91/92/93; 4 cilinder = single tip exhaust, 25i/d and 30i/d = double tip, 35i/d = single round tip on both sides.

    • 0 avatar

      Save the picture and play with the contrast and brightness. It has the same three light treatment to the back that the CTS coupe has and tall Cruze headlights up front. The grill looks to be a bit more buldgey than the CTS. Nothing too surprising or horrendous.

  • avatar

    Damned with faint praise.

    What a stupid thing to say.

    Good luck, GM

  • avatar

    It looks like a CTS with a very short trunk. If you like the CTS, but can’t afford it, you will like this car.

    Perhaps Cadillac can make a two-door version that has no trunk and call it the XTS Gremlin.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Seems to be like every other mid-sized sedan. Ho-hum.

  • avatar

    Last time I saw a new car that the automaker tried that hard to keep you from seeing in profile, it was the 2006 Chrysler Sebring.

  • avatar

    What is a Cadillac?
    With moves like this in the marketplace, who knows?

    GM needs to decide what their brands represent in order to make those brands attractive. Gluing “Cadillac” onto a car, does not make it a Cadillac.

    GM is in the auto business – but Cadillac is NOT. Cadillac is in the prestigious luxury business. Do they still know this?

    Over the past decade Cadillac has been trying to reinvent itself as something else, and just confusing the hell out of everyone. If Cadillac is nothing more than just a nice car, then just give up now. Cadillac’s angular weirdness isn’t what makes it’s cars prestigious anymore than tailfins for back fenders made Cadillac rocket ships. It is about being a Cadillac, and after watching such stupid stunts as Cadillac SUV, CUV, station wagons and the loss of legendary brand names as Eldorado, Seville and Coupe d’Ville, GM is clearly demonstrating a ridiculous level of contempt towards Cadillac’s legacy and value.

    If this crap is a Cadillac, so was the Cimarron.

  • avatar

    Frankly, I’m glad the ATS and XTS “are not going to blow the doors off.” I like the doors of my cars firmly attached to the car, not blown off, thank you very much. Judge the car on its merits when it’s available, like you always do, and please stop using that idiotic quote from that idiotic CEO.

  • avatar

    “GM is in the auto business – but Cadillac is NOT. Cadillac is in the prestigious luxury business. Do they still know this?”

    It’s time to retire this argument. You can say the exact same thing about Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Lexus. ALL of these brands have range of cars that include entry-level models aimed at those who aspire to luxury.

    • 0 avatar

      The difference is that Mercedes, for example, has a whole line of S-Classes that uphold the marque’s prestige, even as people sign on the dotted line for a C-Class. Those S-Classes sell lots of C-Classes.

      What, exactly, does Cadillac have that is nearly as prestigious? Nothing…which is why Cadillac is really an upper-medium price brand at best. It is no longer a true luxury brand. GM has long wanted Cadillac, however, to play in that league. The ATS won’t bring about this result.

      • 0 avatar

        And what are the volume sellers for Mercedes? Crossovers and small sedans.

        Cadillac is doing for GM exactly what it needs to do: sell in respectable volumes at high profit margins. That’s why any talk of a super-high-end Cadillac is preposterous. It’s not going to happen because it’s a bad business idea. Mercedes gets away with it because it takes a while for people to figure out there really isn’t all that much more that you get over a mass-produced product for your much higher price.

        By way of analogy, how many people actually own Mark Levinson home audio equipment? Not even a single-digit fraction of those who own the mobile variety in Lexus cars. Which business makes them more money?

  • avatar

    It should be noted that, as far as looks go, “not blowing the doors off” would only put in the same league as (or even ahead of) an A4 or 3 series which get blander and more style-free with each revision. The C class stepped up a bit last go round. Let’s hope what it lacks in design it makes up for in engineering.

  • avatar

    ATS and XTS are dreadful names.

  • avatar

    I hate to say it, but when I first saw this picture, I thought it was the new Camry…

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    are not going to blow the doors off, but they will be very competitive. – Dan Akerson

    Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like, uh, your opinion, man. – Dude

  • avatar

    I get the strange feeling this thing is going to be a 1/3 series situation- i.e., it will have 98% of the weight of the CTS and 75% of the interior space. “Notsureifwant”. Small cars have been getting a little too dense for my tastes ever since the B5 A4.

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