The Cadillac team has produced a host of dynamic new vehicles in recent years that have challenged the status quo in many market segments.
With the ATS, Cadillac has used their “Art & Science” design philosophy to become a contender in the luxury sport sedan arena, taking on the likes of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. Their goal? Nothing less than becoming the number one car in what many consider to be the most competitive market segment in the world.
Let’s see what ATS has to offer.
The 2014 Cadillac ATS comes standard with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine producing 202 horsepower.
Options include a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 272 horsepower and a 3.6-liter V6 producing 321 horsepower. All engines come coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission, but a six-speed Tremec manual transmission is available with the 2-liter turbo. Rear wheel drive is also standard and all-wheel drive is optional.
All engines feature continuously variable valve timing and direct fuel injection to optimize the power and efficiency, and reduce emissions under all driving conditions.
The ATS is the first new rear wheel drive platform for Cadillac in over 20 years and includes a multi-link MacPherson strut suspension up front and Cadillac’s first five-link independent suspension at the rear. The development team spent many hours at the Nürburgring fine tuning the suspension and handling characteristics of the ATS.
A feature of the ATS not offered by the competition is a mechanical limited-slip differential that ensures great traction out of corners without any intervention by the electronic stability control system. Couple the abundant power, a lightweight chassis with a 50-50 weight distribution and Brembo brakes for stopping power, and you have a car that’s capable of handling anything the competition has to offer. More on Wikipedia.
The Cadillac ATS doesn’t take a back seat to anyone in its class when it comes to the quality of its interior or the comfort and convenience features that it offers. Four trim levels are offered—Standard, Luxury, Performance and Premium—to suit anyone’s taste.
Eight-way power adjustable front seats with leather seating surfaces are standard and the Performance trim level features leather sport seats with individually stitched panels and manual four-way adjustable headrests. The wrap-around driver oriented instrument panel with LED lighting for the gauge cluster includes, depending on the trim level, carbon fiber, aluminum, or real wood accents.
When you’re the new kid on the block in a tough neighborhood, as the ATS is, it’s not enough to be as good as the other guys—you have to be better to establish your credibility. Team Cadillac has done their job in making a car that can hang with the best in its class.
Are the experts impressed? You bet they are. Kelly Blue Book summed it up best when they concluded in their test of the ATS that, “There’s a new player in town, and it’s a Cadillac.”