The ATS Goes Long In Its Target Market
It’s not secret that General Motors is depending on China to ensure a rosy future for its Cadillac brand. However, the imported ATS, complete with pinched-off rear seating and thirsty turbocharged engine, isn’t cutting the mustard. No surprise, then, that GM will be building the ATS locally in the future, with one very important change.
Carnewschina reports that the Cadillac ATS will be built in China with a choice of the 200-horsepower 2.5L four-banger or the 3.6 DI V6. More importantly, to suit the, ahem, unique tastes of the Chinese market, the wheelbase will be stretched four inches, making it an ATS-L.
At this point, it’s tempting to write something along the lines of “Oh, those wacky Chinese and their obsession with rear-seat comfort and K-turn-nightmare wheelbases.” But think about it for a moment. The traditional brand image of Cadillac includes spaciousness, doesn’t it? Yet every single Cadillac built since the demise of the RWD Fleetwood has been cramped in the back to some extent. The original CTS and edged-up STS were disasters in that regard; your humble author used to daily-drive an ’06 STS AWD and when I adjusted the front seat to my preference it would touch the rear lower cushion. Even the famed DTS wasn’t exactly S-Class-competitive in back, thanks to its shared platform. The ATS is pretty much a four-door 2+2, like a Mazda RX-8. Where’s the appeal in that? Why aren’t all Cadillacs spacious and comfortable in back?
For now, it looks like, as with the previous STS-L and the Buick “Park Avenue” G8, the General is saving its best ideas for its favorite market.
Cadillac still trying to copy instead of being different, such a shame. Wake me when they actually make a car that's what a Cadillac was always supposed to be. Don't worry GM, everyone will buy it. I think that all of us here couldn't get jobs at GM because I think the requirement for employment is abject incompetence with an MBA degree.
The modern preference for room is Escalade. Today's chauffeured want HEIGHT & stretch. Good Lord to think a Versa has more rear room then a luxo-sedan? ATS is gloved towards folks with adolescents off to boarding school or empty nested. I spy Canada Goose jacket - brand image you never get value on.
I think most folks here seem to misunderstand the intent of the ATS. The ATS is an attempt to expand the brand beyond limos, old folks and people with a cigar aficionado subscriptions. It isn't a family hauler - it is aimed at those who like to drive - you know those people that keep wailing in the comment section that the E46 3 series was the best car ever. If you want a family hauler then Cadillac offers plenty of other model that will do that, namely the SRX, CTS, XTS or Escalade.
@ 'Noble713' BMW already built your desired car, the M3 saloon/4-dr. And we have pristine 96' 328i 4-dr sitting here waiting for a LS376/6-speed/C4 transplant. We could build you one. The cost of rebuilding the M52 engine(about $7,000) was just a little less then the new crate LS engine and it would still leave you with only 190hp, versus the LS376's 530hp through dual cats. More Hp with the LS9 (638hp/604 pds torque)or (650+ hp and 680 ft.-lbs. of torque, on 91 octane pump gas) with Edelbrock's E-Force supercharger kit. With a P/W of 1hp to 6.25pds, I expect the combo to post low to sub 4-second, 0-60mph times, and solid mid to low 12 second times in the quarter mile. The LS376 weighs less then the M52 and moves weight back in the chassis for better balance and it should provide better turn-in with less understeer. I'm shooting for a $25,000 install against a $30,000 budget. The most intensive part of the conversion will be the sub-frame to hang a C4 differential, suspension, brakes, and interfacing the BMW instrumentation with the LS/trans. I figure about 90-100 shop hours. The E-39 M5 rear gears and suspension was considered, but they are hard to locate, expensive as recycled parts, and pricey to rebuild. And there are some concerns about holding up to the LS power with the BMW M-variable LSD unit, these conditions favored the durable C4 LSD gear and its cheap and easy rebuilding and gear selections. If you build your dream car with an LS engine, let me know if you need experienced input or custom parts to help you with your build. Costs_ All new(LS3-install kit-6-speed) and used(C4 rear parts and modified driveline) parts and custom parts fabrications, will run you about $15-$17,000. All used assemblies and parts, about a third less. Unless your an experienced fabricator with a fully tooled shop, expect the project to run about 150 hours. We may make a complete E-36/LS install kit available in late 2014 or 2015.