• Jun 22, 2010
Cadillac ATS mule - click above for high-res image gallery

Look what the spies have caught. Fresh from our time in the nothing-else-looks-like-it Cadillac CTS Coupe, comes these furtive shots of what we think is the upcoming Cadillac ATS. We've heard different rumors, but the dedicated BMW 3 Series fighter will either show up in 2013 as a 2014 model, or 2014 for the 2015 model year. Whenever it shows up, the ATS will be riding on a smaller version of GM's new/upcoming Alpha platform, the same basic RWD chassis that will also underpin the third generation CTS as well as the next Chevy Camaro.

We've taken a long, hard look at these spy shots, and have concluded that whatever sits under the CTS shell has had its wheelbase shrunk, leading us to believe this is in fact an ATS mule. The wheels are far too close to the passenger compartment. The other giveaway are the two places to insert fuel. At first we thought perhaps this is an XTS prototype and that the second orifice was (maybe) because of the new big Caddy's plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain. However, we think the vestigial door in the photographs is actually there because of the shortened chassis of the ATS. Also, GM will be placing PHEV plugs on the driver's side for convenience. We've also heard nothing about an ATS PHEV, though an ATS Hybrid has been rumored.

As for the mule in these pictures, here's hoping whatever's under there is worthy of all six ducks.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 62 Comments
      karl mckenzie
      • 4 Years Ago
      Where are the truely innovative designers for caddies? These designs are passe
      and old at this point and time. Caddies were headturners they've some how lost that touch...get busy with the gull wings,glass tops/split tops,self parking,dynamic lighting,roll-out steps,zero turn radius features. Keep on playing it safe and soon Caddy will be left behind in the dust( oriental dust)!!!
      fp3b
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't think this is the ATS. Cadillac is making the CTS on a larger platform to compete with the larger size luxury cars. Like the 5 series. The ATS is the entry-level. This car is too big for that.
      • 4 Years Ago
      a few years ago there was a movie called "the island" that had a futuristic cadilac in it. GM should look into going into production on that car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Clever.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Holy HELL we have some f'ignorant posts on this story. IT'S A MULE!! RTF article for the love of God. Would it help you make the connection if it was towing farm equipment?

      Thanks for the laughs though, and @ Corey FTW with the KGP line...
      mikesatcher
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's not a coupe, it is a four-door (sedan)!
      • 4 Years Ago
      With more compact dimensions than a CTS, I hope the ATS body creates an appearance where the wheels fill the openings and sit out closer to the corners of the car. This mule has too much overhang, the wheels are too small, and set in too far.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I completely agree with you. What ever were those GM designers thinking, with their years of experience and boatloads of talent? I mean, a 5-year-old could make a car that has its wheelwells filled correctly. This vehicle looks like a faceted 1968 Jaguar E-Type.

        /sarcasm

        Reading >>>>>>>> you. Game over, please insert quarter.
      • 4 Years Ago
      While style is subjective...... I'm not liking Cadillac's current design language... it's very late 90's early 90's Japanese with the sharp creases. It reminds me of the Mitsubishi Starion. I loved that car, it was the father of the Eclipse.... before the 3g... but, has that "I have seen this before look". Though, that could be just me.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It is just you.

        Cadillac's design language is very bold, very fresh and very now and is in no way reminiscent of old Mitsubishis.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have heard about this mule being created...interesting to see snap shots of it live. Can't tell much about it though from the pics other than it is smaller than the CTS shell covering it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm amazed at how they can learn so much from a mule that seems so thrown together. Although this one isn't as hacked up as most it still seems too awkward to be useful.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This brings up an interesting point: why would the fuel door be on the passenger side of a car? I could understand if it were a mass produced car that mainly sold in Britain and Japan, but otherwise, it's just silly to have the driver walk around the car.

      Seems like it would be a standard deal, like a glove box's location, that the driver's side is where the fuel goes in.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, mainly I'm just saying it should be standardized. I've seem some idiots have trouble at the gas station because of this issue. I think this should just be normal. And while it's not a huge hassle to have to walk around the car, it is less efficient for no apparent reason.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My VW has the fuel door on the passenger side and it doesn't bother me a bit. My mother's Malibu('09) is the same.

        The extra steps don't bother me at all and also it makes sense if you're on the side of the road(if you run out of gas perhaps), you aren't standing in traffic filling up the tank.
        • 4 Years Ago
        But I still see where you're coming from. It should be standardized for all cars. Like if a car is a rental or borrowed. Or stolen, but I don't condone that.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The GMC Terrain I've been driving is the same way. It really isn't that big of a deal. Just 5 extra steps.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I like the fuel door on the passenger side. Most stations have those pillars, and if the fuel door is on the passenger side, it saves me from having a brain fart and hitting the pillar with my door when I get out.
        • 4 Years Ago
        seems some people disagree with my 'wisdom', so never mind. Let the market have either option out there, then.
        • 4 Years Ago
        i have thought about this too and i have come to the realization that when cars are built the home market has the gas port on the drivers side but when it comes to america it remains on the side it was over seas because that were it was initially made for and it wouldnt be very cost effective to flip which side it is on
      • 4 Years Ago
      Please Cadillac, make it as light as is possible. If you want to compete with the 3-series, then being light will give you a leg up on performance (handling, acceleration) and mpg.

      Go for it. Don't pull a Camaro on this one.

      Oh, and drop an LNF in there with a 6-speed stick too.
        • 4 Years Ago
        BMW is the best in class... C class would be aiming low.

        Not my observation as an Audi owner though.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm not saying they'll match the 3-series (especially the M3), but you have to aim high.

        I personally would rather see the hipo version be a turbo 6. If there is a DI turbo 6 replacement for the 2.8T, I think the hipo version of the ATS would be a good fit.

        A small block would be pretty good too, especially if they made a smaller (physically, not just displacement) version of the small block as has been rumored.
        • 4 Years Ago
        A V-Series with either a hi-performance TT V6, or (ideally) a high-revving small-displacement V8.

        And when I say 'high-revving V8', I don't mean something with a Honda powerband. The LS7 has a 7K redline, after all.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The rumor mill (and common sense) insists that the planned ATS-V engine is a naturally-aspirated smallblock V8 -- 450-475 hp direct-injected 6.2L with cylinder deactivation and other gas-saving technologies, differing only in small details (if at all) from what will be the next base Vette engine, most likely.
        • 4 Years Ago
        A turbo 4 would be fantastic, but I could settle for the 3.6. Either way, I'm looking forward to the V series. :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        it's interesting their aiming for the 3 series, very ambitious target, why not just go for the C class?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wonder how it will look like in the end. Caddy has been really getting the styling right with the CTS-series
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