We've been following the development of Cadillac’s all-new premium mid-size sedan for almost a year now but at long last, and after the first photos showed up online earlier today, the Detroit Motor Show-bound 2013 ATS has been officially revealed.
The design is what you'd expect from a 21st-century Cadillac, full of sharp creases and vertically stacked rear lights, with the exception of the headlights that extend back into the front fenders.
The interior offers a few surprises as well, including the instrument panel with a reconfigurable 5.7-inch display, though some of us found the center console and steering wheel bearing a passing resemblance to the Chevrolet Cruze.
Another highlight of the interior is the Cadillac's new CUE technology that pairs entertainment and information data from up to 10 Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices, USBs, SD cards and MP3 players with a vehicle infotainment system that includes an eight-inch LCD multi-touch sensitive screen.
Moving on to the Cadillac's hardware, GM stresses that the Nürburgring has been one of the ATS’ main testing grounds to ensure that its handling is more than a match for the best in its class – meaning the BMW 3-Series its German cousins.
Key features of the Cadillac’s 3-Series fighter include standard rear-wheel drive, a 2,755 mm (109.3-inch) long wheelbase, wide front and rear tracks, a near 50/50 front/rear weight distribution and the brand’s first-ever lightweight five-link rear suspension. The front also gets a multi-link suspension, while there's an available driver-adjustable FE3 sport suspension with Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping.
The ATS is equipped with a ZF variable-assist steering system, Brembo brakes and is optionally available with all-wheel drive.
Cadillac claims that its curb weight of 1,542 kg (3,400 pounds) is one of the lowest in the class. This has been achieved thanks to a “weighed” approached that resulted in the ATS having an aluminum hood, magnesium engine mount brackets, lightweight and natural-fiber door trim panels.
“More than just another new entry, the ATS aims to change the status quo of the European-dominated segment”, said Don Butler, Cadillac’s vice president of marketing. “For a new group of luxury consumers, this is a car that will fit their lifestyle and challenge the segment’s status quo. That is why our approach in all elements of its development is so extensive and focused.”
Buyers of the ATS will be able to choose between three all-aluminum, direct injection gasoline engines.
These include a base 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four with 200HP and 255Nm (188 lb-ft), a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 270HP and 353Nm (260 lb-ft) of torque, and a 3.6-liter V6 with an output of 318HP and 362Nm (267 lb-ft) of torque. All engines can be combined with a 6-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.
Pricing and fuel economy figures will be released closer to the ATS's launch date this summer.