One might do a double take these days when you see the Cadillac logos on the forefront of automobile racing. Cadillac is actively involved with racing and gaining lots of attention especially from the European auto makers. Cadillac has several new cars and for the first time Cadillac is leading the charge of head to head competition not only on the racecourse with the Pirelli World Challenge but directly competing for automobile buyers with the automobile houses of BMW, Mercedes, and Audi.
This is quite a departure from Cadillac's previous target audience of going after the repeat Cadillac buyers with a good portion of them in the plus 65 age group. It's now about performance and style. Cadillac is now attracting a younger audience especially with new models such as the Cadillac ATS.
Developed on an all-new, lightweight rear-drive architecture, the ATS reflects a new expression of Cadillac’s Art & Science execution philosophy, centered on a foundation of driving dynamics and mass efficiency. It is the most agile and lightweight Cadillac, with one of the lowest curb weights in the segment – less than 3,400 pounds.
Promoted as an entry level luxury car, the new 2013 Cadillac ATS not only was voted the 2013 Luxury Sports Sedan of the year but the new ATS is in direct competition with the Audi A4, BMW 328, Lexus IS, Volvo S60 and the Mercedes Benz C350.
The all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS is GM's attempt at out BMW-ing BMW, and by many accounts, it does. The ATS is Cadillac's new compact luxury sports sedan with three different engine options, either a six-speed manual or automatic and rear- or all-wheel drive. The ATS' base engine is a 2.5-liter four cylinder that makes 202-hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. Available only with a six-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive, the base engine ATS is EPA rated at 22/33 mpg city/highway. One step up on the ladder is the 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine, good for 272 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The rear-drive-only manual transmission model nets 19/30 mpg, while the automatic gets 21/31 mpg with rear-drive, or 20/30 with all-wheel drive. The top-spec ATS engine is a 321-hp and 275 lb-ft of torque 3.6-liter V-6. Paired only to an automatic tranny, the V-6-powered ATS gets 19/28 mpg with rear-drive, and 18/26 mpg with available all-wheel drive.
Even more exciting is that the 2013 ATS is this year's North American Car of the Year which was voted by a panel of automotive journalists, Motor Trend Magazine, and Esquire magazine. Billed as a luxury sports car, the Cadillac ATS even beat out the BMW 3 Series competitor.
Results so far indicate that more than 70 percent of drivers who traded in a vehicle to purchase a new ATS were new to the Cadillac brand. Whether or not those buyers traded in other luxury cars is not clear, but the numbers are good for Cadillac either way. Apart from conquest sales, Cadillac is targeting young, first-time luxury buyers, whom it dubs "move-ups."
A driver-focused interior with integrated technology and crafted materials complements the exterior elements and supports the ATS’s driving experience. Everything from the placement of the pedals to the position of the shifter is designed for effortless and intuitive performance driving. Available performance seats have power-adjustable bolsters to optimize lateral support during high-load cornering.
Contributing to the interior’s intuitive feel is an instrument panel that wraps into the doors and a center stack in the mid-instrument panel that flows into the center console. LED lighting for the bold gauge cluster enables clear, at-a-glance viewing in all lighting conditions, while ambient lighting accents functional elements of the console and doors.
Real wood, metal plating and carbon fiber trim and Cadillac’s cut-and-sew instrument panel, console and doors enhance the emotional connection to the ATS. Choices of many interior color themes, each with unique accent trim material, cover a wide range of flavors – from light, open and warm to black and serious, to bold, technical and sporty.
The new ATS performance feels great on the road, and its elegant stylish design will set you apart on your elegant evening adventure. Price of our test automobile was $40,000.