The centerpiece of the Cadillac display at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show next month will be the 2013 Cadillac ATS, an all-new compact luxury sedan that General Motors hopes will compete against the likes of the BMW 3-Series, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A4.
If this seems like a lofty goal, it is.
The BMW 3-Series, which has sold 85,882 vehicles for the calendar year through November, looks to be on track to sell roughly 93,000 by year’s end. Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class overtook the 3-Series as top luxury car sales leader for November, selling 8,358 for the month (compared with 7,568 for the 3-Series). Year-to-date, however, it’s still BMW 3-Series all the way. The Audi A4 is further down the sales list, selling just over 31,500 through November.
Announcing that the ATS would be debuting at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, GM Production Development Chief Mary Barra said that “ATS enters the biggest market segment in the global luxury car industry, both in terms of volume and importance.”
The 2013 Cadillac ATSEnlarge Photo
What do we know about the 2013 Cadillac ATS? As MotorAuthority points out, the all-new ATS will be rear-wheel drive, a key component in the drive to do battle against the erstwhile German competitors. In fact, the ATS has been extensively tested, both on the Autobahn and the Nürburgring circuit. See the video below for a closer look at GM’s testing of the ATS to “go from good to great.”
The new ATS platform, dubbed “Alpha,” which can be expanded or contracted to accommodate different sized cars, is expected to also underpin the next-generation CTS and Chevrolet Camaro.
What is clear is this: When the 2013 Cadillac ATS goes on sale next summer, how well it does against its German competition will be all about the luxury sedan’s execution in sporty handling, advanced technology, safety, design, and luxury features. In short, it needs to excel in all these areas to convince BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4 buyers to defect to Cadillac.
Want more information on the 2013 Cadillac ATS? Check out continuing coverage of the Detroit Auto Show when press days begin January 9, 2012.