By on January 8, 2012

The Cadillac ATS was revealed this morning amid a torrent of lewd headlines and premature requests for an ATS-V wagon. Visually identical to the CTS, the ATS is supposed to be a competitor to the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4, with the biggest question being what the hell is going to be done with the CTS?

Powering the CTS will be a 2.5L 4-cylinder as the base engine that will likely make 190 horsepower, 180 lb-ft and return 30 mpg on the highway. This engine will likely end up in Hertz Premium Collection editions of the ATS, but there’s also a 2.0L 270-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder, and a 3.6L V6 making 318 horsepower. A 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic will be offered.

Vague mentions of a 3,400 lb curb weight were thrown around, but nobody has determined what engine or transmission combinations were in reporting this figure. The 2013 BMW 3-Series, for reference, weighs in at 3311 for a manual 328i at its lightest, while an automatic 335i tops out at 3509, the heaviest car in the range. The ATS will have a multilink rear suspension, available Brembo brakes, all-wheel drive and magnetic ride control. Cadillac’s CUE system will also be offered.

 

 

 

 

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54 Comments on “NAIAS Preview: Cadillac ATS...”


  • avatar
    Twitter: phauser

    When did the model for luxury carmakers become “make every car look the exact same, but at a slightly different size and price”?

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Last time Cadillac made a car based on a Chevrolet Compact it didn’t pan out too well for them. Remember the Cimmaron?

    • 0 avatar
      Twitter: phauser

      I thought this was based on the new GM Alpha platform?

    • 0 avatar
      ozibuns

      Which Chevrolet compact? ATS is RWD.

    • 0 avatar
      MZ3AUTOXR

      Cimmaron was close to 30 years ago. Hardly a fair comparison.

      Besides, the Cimmaron was just some badges and ‘luxury appointments’ on a Cavalier. It wasn’t ‘based’ on a Chevy compact, it was a Chevy compact.

      • 0 avatar
        car follower

        The Cimmaron came out 30 years ago. It was a 4 cylinder too. Another stunt that GM pulled back about 30 years ago was a 4 cylinder engine that didn’t have balance shafts. The accountants told the engineers that they weren’t needed.
        I hope that the 2.5L 4 cylinder is as good as they say it’s going to be and I hope the accountants allowed the engineers to buy some competitors 4 cylinder engines from Ford and Toyota. This way they would have a benchmark to to get to.

    • 0 avatar
      tonyola

      Last time BMW made a car based on an Italian microcar it didn’t pan out too well for them. Remember the Isetta?

      Let’s be relevant with modern times, OK?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The Isetta saved the company. BMW sold 161,728 of them at a time in the mid ’50s when the rest of BMW’s automotive production added up to about 15,000 cars. The Isetta and its twin cylinder derivatives allowed BMW to develop the 1500 that grew into the model line that made them what they are today.

    • 0 avatar
      Dynasty

      What a retarded comment.

    • 0 avatar
      Rican5.0

      I don’t like it either. Some are whinning the comparison is not fair or dated but you hit it right on the head. This thing is a spiritual succesor to that past piece of crap. A fucking 4cyl on a Cadillac? It’s supposed to be a “Premium” brand (and no I don’t care how many turbos it has).

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      “Real men of genius” comment award.

    • 0 avatar
      rochambeau

      The Seville from the ’70′s–was based on the Chevy Nova platform and was a smash hit.

    • 0 avatar

      What is Cimmaron?

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        It’s one of those “popping fresh roll” thingies that you peel the paper off the cylinder and crack it open on the counter…

      • 0 avatar
        car follower

        What was a Cimmaron….it was a Chev Cavelier with a lot of lipstick on it. The Chairman of the Board was an accountant and the executives were either accountants or lawyers. They were all chauffeur driven and only cared about the balance sheet and spent all their time looking at the income statements. Engineers and product people were looked on as interruption of their time.
        Someone probably a marketing person came up with an idea of small luxury car or a car to compete with the BMW 3 series of the day. His idea was shot down by the board and he quit. Then along came some guy that had been with GM for 30 years and was padding his retirement anyway and he got the go ahead to take a Cavelier and give it lots of lipstick and powder and call it a Cadillac Cimmaron.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      And the Chevrolet Alpha platform RWD car I can buy today is…

      Bueller?

      Bueller?

      Bueller?

  • avatar
    mike978

    The CTS is due to be replaced in a couple of years and move larger to be a true 5 series competitor. It will be hard selling the CTS in that time. But it has been done before when the X3 first came out and was sized near the X5. The X5 was then replaced by the current larger vehicle.
    As for engines, they are bracketing the 240hp turbo 328i with 190hp and 270hp (assume same as the Regal GS). Interesting approach, will see if it works.

  • avatar
    Rob Finfrock

    Congratulations, GM. I mean it! The ATS looks like it fully lives up to Danny Boy Akerson’s lofty claims.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I think GM (or anybody) would be very happy with being considered “very competitive” against the 3 series.
      Let see how it drives, but being the same size (within an inch), RWD, 50/50 weight distribution, a more powerful turbo engine it has the potential to match up at least as well as an A4 or C-class and those two have been chasing the 3 for a long time. For Cadillac’s first real attempt (BLS doesn`t count) it looks promising. Time will tell.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Yeah, but why would anyone who can afford a 3-series or an Audi choose to buy a Cadillac?

        There’s also such a thing as cachet, or snob appeal. I can understand why people want to be seen driving a 3-series. It is instant recognition that you have arrived.

        What will other people think when you drive up in one of these? What connotation do other people associate with Cadillac? If Cadillac is supposed to be a status symbol, it isn’t selling.

        Hence, I think it will bomb. There will always be a few people who choose one, but there won’t be enough buyers for it to break even.

        No fear, the taxpayers are here. GM has nothing to lose. We, the people, own them. The tax payers will bail GM out again whenever it goes bust again.

      • 0 avatar
        car follower

        There was a time when a car and Cadillac in particular had a cachet or snob appeal. I can remember how we looked up to people that drove Buick’s,Oldsmobile’s and Cadillac’s. To-day that isn’t as meaningful. Leasing means anyone that has cash flow (income) can drive a big car. Most Audi’s,BMW’s and MB’s are leased. It’s called drive by the month.
        Getting back to Cadillac,did you know the CTS is a favourite with widows and a favourite with the 30 to 50 year old women that is college educated is the Kia Soul. There was more Kia Soul’s sold last year than there was CTS’s. That is why after 3 years on the market Kia made some good changes to the SOUL whereby Cadillac after 4 years only revised the grille. Pardon me, in 2010 they stuck a light weight 3.0L into it and took out the basic 3.6L. Apparently the widow market didn’t care.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        That was a long time ago. My dad made the customary move upwards during his lifetime, first a Chevy, then an Olds, then a Buick and finally, a Cadillac – first a Coupe de Ville and later, his final car, a Sedan de Ville.

        But interestingly enough, he didn’t race GM. He used Mopar engines for his dragsters, predominantly the 426 Hemi.

        I don’t see the wisdom in Cadillac trying to go mano-a-mano with BMW, Audi and M-B. What would work for GM is to build mass appeal, a la Toyota Camry, and expand upon that. That would make money for GM if their midsized people-car would be the best seller instead of the Camry.

        For Cadillac, I think they should stick to competing with the Lexus 460, the Lexus ES350 and leave well enough alone. It would be so easy for Cadillac to offer more quality and value than a 460 and 350. All they have to do is reverse-engineer what sells Lexus and improve on that. As it is, Buick is stealing all of Cadillac’s thunder by advertising that they are competing with Lexus. Not the same ball park. No cachet there either.

        One other thing about income or cashflow. Most old people I know, those 65 and older, choose to lease these days instead of buy. I must be a throwback because I still buy, and I’m 65.

      • 0 avatar

        If you don’t think a Caddy can compete, you should look up the new SRX. It out sells competing BMW, M-B, and Audi SUV’S. It’s very close to being the top seller in it’s class.

    • 0 avatar
      car follower

      Cadillac sold in 2011 – 56905 SRX’s
      Lexus sold 82595 RX350′s
      M-B 24310 GLK’s
      Audi 24908 Q5′s
      Cadillac should do better in 2012 now that they took out those dogs from under hood…3.0L V6 low on torque and that 2.8L Turbo made in Australia that required premium gas. Cadillac got permission from the accountants and financial control people at the silver silo to put that 3.6L DI engine that was available and used as std equipment in the CTS coupe.
      FYI Cadillac in 2011 sold 55042 CTS’s,BMW 3 Series sold 94371,and MB C Series 69314. Easy to see that the ATS and CTS combined will in 2012 not out sell the BMW 3 Series

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I don’t know what it is, but this car, in the pictures provided, just doesn’t seem to have near the presence of the CTS. I don’t know if it is too tall and narrow, or if the front end is not as aggressive (I still love the current CTS even at several years old) or what.

    I hope it will be competitive. I still feel up to the last/current 3 (obviously now experience with the brand new model) it truly is one of the best cars you can buy at any price. It is easy to love, but yet everyone has one. I’ve always preferred the CTS as it drives great (though not at a BMW level) but gives some really aggressive style and more pop inside than the Germans as well.

    Honestly, I have to say I was expecting something at least as aggressive looking as the CTS, if not more so. Smaller, and in this segment, should also be sportier. Not just driving, but looks wise too.

    We’ll see in person, but it just doesn’t have that stare-you-down front end of the CTS. I suspect this nasty red color doesn’t help either.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    If GM keeps making cars like the recent high-quality Buicks and Caddies, their chances for survival are increasing exponentially. Now if they would only get serious about making Chevrolet the low-cost performance and low-cost family car value leader, they would be golden.

  • avatar
    stroker49

    Looks nice! I also like the CTS and present STS. So much a 2005 STS is my daily driver. But please don’t look too much at European premium cars, but keep some things simple. After five years of service one of the bulbs in the front needs to be changed on my car, to do that the whole facia has to be removed first! There should be a law requiring a head light to be possible to be changed in the dark without tools in ten minutes!

    • 0 avatar
      car follower

      My daily drive back in 2006 was an STS…V8. Lots of power. My next was a 2009 CTS 3.6L DI and AWD.
      Good handling,poor seats and no rear leg room. My current drive since Dec 1/2011 is a Hyundai Genesis 3.8L and 8 speed trans. More car and less money. Good seating and lots of interior room. So far so good.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    Maybe it’s just me, but I see a lot of Malibu in the styling. Obviously, the cars share nothing but engines, but there’s a definite family resemblance. Whether or not that’s a good thing, I don’t know.

    Personally, I like the looks. I’ll be very curious to see how this thing performs.

  • avatar
    carguy

    The ATS shows promise. I’m happy to see the reference to “real wood and metals” for the interior in the press release as use of fake chrome in the current CTS made it look cheap (as does the CTS center stack which seems to be made out of the same silver plastic they made boomboxes from in the 80s).

    Let’s see how it drives and how all these fancy electronics will stand up to daily use.

  • avatar
    Dynasty

    I don’t like the rear end styling on it, but other than that it is an okay looking car.

    Interior looks nice, but then again CGI interior shots are hard to get wrong.

    The V6 model might be an excellent used car value in a few years.

    • 0 avatar
      spatula6554

      I echo those sentiments exactly…the C pillar and back end do not lend themselves to the sporty nature which is required to compete with the 3 series. As a member of the demographic which would be purchasing either a 3 series or competitor, the ATS would not feel the same. As stated earlier, let’s wait unti we see it in person (track test)!

  • avatar
    alluster

    I want to like the looks but somehow cant. The headlights need not be creeping up to the A-Pillar, the grille is too tame, a departure from the aggressive CTS, the exhaust pipes need to be placed further apart, and the grille needs to extend further down.

    Hopefully it will look better in flesh and sell very well. The specs are really great. Off the top of my head I believe it will be lighter than the Cruze!! Good to see GM working on keeping the weight down, the one area where they def. lag the competition. But seriously, why does every new GM car in the last 2 years have headlights moving up to the A-Pillar?

  • avatar
    hifi

    It’s a smart looking design. A bit conservative, but in a distinguished way. Thankfully the rear wheels move the car and the woodgrain is authentic. A V-series would be insane!

  • avatar

    The styling is too soft, the car looks comes off looking much too vanilla.

    I also greatly dislike that CUE is standard and you can’t get it with normal knob and button controled climate or radio.

    That alone may alienate a large portion of Cadillac’s base who will be confused by it as well as people like me who want something more simple and timless inside.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    I’ve never warmed up to the creased, transformer-look of these Cadillacs. I could never see myself owning one.

    • 0 avatar
      rochambeau

      There is nary a crease on this model relative to the CTS, etc.–it even has a similar below the belt-line surface treatment of the current 3 series. Not every car needs to look like a stupid jelly bean!

  • avatar

    In this segment there is not much choice. BMW 3-series and that’s all. That is why everyone is driving BMW.

  • avatar
    swedishiron

    BORING and I think the normally aspirated 4 cylinder is a BIG MISTAKE with the low level of output. If they got 220-230HP out of a high revving 2.0-2.2 four attached to a manual or automated manual then you would have something to tempt guys moving up/out of Honda 4 cylinders and the Acura TSX.

  • avatar
    car follower

    I just read where this new ATS is going to show uo the BMW series. Whenever I read or heard stuff like this i get leery. Cadillac or any GM division will never eat BMW’s 3 Series’ lunch. Just not going to happen.
    If this car catches on you can be sure they’ll start figuring how to make it cheaper. Case in point the CTS in 2008 had a 3.6L as standard engine putting out 265 or so HP. Then they stuck a 3.0L in it that had a they said 270 HP that had to be wound up to 7000 rpm and little torque. Talk about a cheap stunt. I asked a Cadillac salesman about this and he laughed because the widows that buy CTS’s won’t know know the difference. I thought to myself I’ll bet the big boys at the silver silo think the same way.
    I hope GM can get this ATS off the ground and then up date it in 4 years. By the way the current CTS came out in the fall of 2007 and hopefully will be updated by this fall…5 years. Hyundai came out with the Genesis in 2009 and updated for 2012….my math says 3 years. I hope someone at GM reads this.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    No, thanks. I’ll keep my C-class.

  • avatar
    dmw

    I was hoping for a proper RWD sports sedan in the Regal/CC/A4(premium) price range. But this is not exciting. It looks uninspiring on the outside, though I like the Cadillac interiors. But keeping in that range may mean keeping the 180lbft 4-cylinder. 180lbft and 30mpg highway is pathetic. That is not a respectable entry level powertrain in this class. Something tells me that the “270hp” in the Turbo will underwhelm just as it does in the simlarly porky Regal, meaning that only the top of line 3.6L cars will be bonafide comparisons to the 3-Series.

    You know what would have started some buzz and given this car something the German’s don’t got? a small-block V8. Yes I heard the harrowing campfire story about how GM killed that idea early on.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      dmw – the turbo is the same as in the Regal. The ATS weighs (as reported) slightly LESS than the 3, so 270hp should be more than a match performance wise for the 328i (240hp, 260lb/ft). We will see if that is the case. GM does make heavy cars, this is an exception and hopefully a sign for the future (including updated Camaro based on this chassis).

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Looks fine to me, but I’m not a Caddy customer. Hope they sell a million of ‘em.

  • avatar
    kenzter

    Great job GM! Pending a test drive, this is likely to be my next new car.


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