2013 Cadillac ATS Preview: 2012 Detroit Auto Show

January 8, 2012

Cadillac has been promising us a true BMW 3-Series competitor, and it is finally here. The 2013 Cadillac ATS is the compact luxury sedan that Cadillac is depending on to establish a new reputation among some of the world's top performance sedans.

The ATS follows the new-expression Art & Science design direction set by the new 2013 XTS, which was introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show this past fall. The front end does a great job mimicking the XTS while the side character line is softer and less pronounced. While the standard 17-inch alloy wheels fill the wheel wells nicely, 18-inch alloy wheels are optional. Out back, the ATS uses the third brake light as a spoiler similar to the CTS Coupe and XTS. Dual exhaust outlets emerge through a pseudo-diffuser with a center mounted backup light mounted low to the ground.

Cadillac says it created a driver-focused interior for the ATS, focusing on the placement of the pedals and steering wheel, along with the location of the shifter. The flowing dashboard wraps around into the door panels and features ambient lighting. A wide range of interior color options will be available, ranging from black and tan to more vibrant colors such as brown and burgundy, all complimented by various trim materials ranging from real wood and plated metal to carbon-fiber. Sport seats will be available for those who seek more support for spirited driving.

Riding on an all-new platform, the ATS will be available in both rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive configurations. While the ATS gets a 2.5-liter direct-injection four-cylinder rated at 200 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque, a 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6 rated at 318 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque is optional, Cadillac expects the volume engine to be the optional 2.0-liter turbo direct-injection four-cylinder engine rated at 270 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

Both a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmission will be offered, and while official fuel economy ratings have not yet been announced, Cadillac says the ATS will deliver a peak highway fuel economy rating of more than 30 mpg.

Cadillac is serious about going after the premium German marques and as such has fitted certain models of the ATS with Brembo brakes and Magnetic Ride Control. Cadillac claims a less than 3,400-pound curb weight on the ATS will be one of the lowest in the segment along with nearly 50/50 weight balance.

Like the XTS, the ATS will be a tour de force when it comes to technology. Cadillac's new CUE infotainment system will be available. Featuring an 8-inch glass LCD touchscreen display in the instrument panel and a 5.7-inch reconfigurable screen making up the gauge cluster, CUE helps control everything from navigation and audio, to climate control and vehicle settings. While CUE can be voice operated, the instrument panel does feature touch-sensitive buttons that can control main audio and climate control functions quickly. All touch controls for the instrument panel and touchscreen display feature haptic feedback, which provides a vibration confirming your selection.

The ATS backs up the in-cabin tech with a myriad of safety features including eight standard airbags and StabiliTrak. Optional technology includes full-speed, range-adaptive cruise control, intelligent brake assist, brake pre-fill automatic collision preparation, and much more. With all this optional technology available, Cadillac is not only looking towards the technology and driving-enthusiast crowd, but the safety-conscious crowd as well.

Stay tuned for more information and pricing as it becomes available. And make sure to follow the rest of the news flowing out of the 2012 Detroit Auto Show by visiting our dedicated show page.

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