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Chris Bruce2012-01-11 17:55:48

The Smaller Cadillac ATS is Not Really That Small

The Smaller Cadillac ATS is Not Really That Small


After tons of teasing, Cadillac has finally revealed the ATS, and it did so with barely even a whimper. Cadillac did not host an official press conference. Instead, it placed two ATSs on the show floor to photograph and sit in as people desired. 

Cadillac has focused on building a performance-oriented, compact luxury sedan. The ATS is available with a variety of engines, an optional magnetic suspension, 50/50 weight distribution and optional all-wheel drive. 

The ATS will also the first Cadillac that will be available with CUE, Cadillac User Experience. The system has Bluetooth-connectivity and accepts USBS, SD cards and MP3s. It also accepts voice commands. Cadillac has cut the number of physical buttons to control the radio down to four. 

The first thing that must be said is that the ATS is not really that compact. In pure numbers, the ATS has a 109.3in wheelbase; its big brother the CTS has a 113.4in wheelbase. The ATS is 182.8in long, while the CTS is 191.6in long. Both cars have basically the same width: 71in for the ATS and 72.5in for the CTS. The ATS is certainly smaller, but the difference is minor. Just looking at the two cars, they appear to be the same size. Maybe Cadillac is planning on growing the CTS in the future, and the ATS will basically take its place in the lineup. 

When it is released later this year, the ATS will have three available engines. There will be a 2.0 liter turbocharged, four-cylinder engine with 270hp and 260lb-ft of torque. There will also be a 2.4l naturally aspirated, four-cylinder with 200hp and 188lb-ft of torque. Finally, the top of the range engine will be a 3.6l V6 that is in the current CTS with 320hp and 267lb-ft of torque. Cadillac has not revealed fuel economy specs for any of the engines yet. 

Cadillac has not revealed any performance specs for the ATS yet, but it should be quite quick. The ATS weighs about 400 pounds less than the CTS, so with the V6 that they share, the ATS should have an acceleration advantage. 

Transmission options are either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. 

There are two available suspensions on the ATS. The standard car has an open differential and MacPherson struts for the front suspension. It also comes with stability control, braking assist and traction control. The other option uses Magnetic Ride Control front and rear with a mechanical limited-slip differential. The magnetic suspension also gives the car a tighter turning circle and quicker steering ratio. This also comes with stability control, traction control and braking assist. 

As with all modern luxury cars, four-wheel disc brakes are standard, but higher trim levels get Brembo brakes. Depending on trim level, the ATS comes with either 17in or 18in wheels. 

The ATS will be built in Lansing, Michigan. Cadillac has not yet announced a price for the car, but it will be available later this year. 


ATS 2.0 Turbo DI VVT ATS 2.0 Turbo DI VVT
122 cu in
Top Speed
6, Manual
Maximum power
270 hp @ 5500 rpm
Saloon (sedan)
Fuel consumption (combined)
annual ownership cost

1 comment

I am a bit disappointed... I like Cadillac's design, but this one is just the same as the CTS...
14.01.2012 @ 10:01


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