The BMW 3 Series has dominated the small luxury segment for decades, and it's easy to understand why. The 3 Series has consistently delivered best-in-class driving dynamics in spite of the competition having over 20 years to play catch-up.

Enter the hotly anticipated 2013 Cadillac ATS. In many ways, it mimics the larger CTS, but with some softer lines up front and along the flanks. The headlamps flow all the way back to the mid-point of the front wheel wells. The rear end employs the trademark Cadillac vertical tail lamps, plus a pair of inset exhaust tips.

There's little doubt that the ATS is gunning for the 3 Series, and Cadillac is confident that its new sports sedan is a real pavement slicer. The car's development included plenty of time on the Nurburgring, it boasts nearly 50/50 weight balance, and it features a five-link independent rear suspension, a first for the Cadillac brand. The ATS tips the scales at 3,400 pounds, slightly more than the 3,362-pound BMW 328i sedan. The ATS is also the same exact height as the Bimmer, the wheelbase is within a few tenths of an inch, and the Caddy is about one inch wider.

ats interiorInside, the ATS really steps up its game, with eye-catching color combinations and a choice of real wood or carbon fiber accents. The ATS also features cut-and-sew stitching on the dash and seats, and what appear to be materials that are a step up from the larger CTS. Among the available features are performance seats that offer adjustable side bolstering.

The ATS also features Cadillac's new CUE technology, which offers Bluetooth, USB, auxiliary inputs and a slot for an SD card. CUE also incorporates an eight-inch LCD touchscreen, which opens up to reveal a large storage area. There's also a 5.7-inch display nestled inside the gauge cluster, a color heads-up display, and push-button start.

Power is critical in this segment, and the ATS features three engine offerings. The base model uses GM's all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder generating an estimated 200 horsepower at 6,200 RPM and 188 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 PRM. The up-level 2.0-liter turbo four might be the most interesting choice, with 270 horses at 5,300 RPM and 260 lb-ft at just 2,400 RPM. The top engine is the familiar 3.6-liter V6, which offers 318 horsepower at 6,800 RPM and 267 pound-feet of torque at 4,900 RPM. The 3.6 and the 2.5 run on regular unleaded, while premium is recommended for the 2.0 turbo. Transmission choices include a Tremec M3L TR3160 six-speed manual and a Hydra-Matic 6L45 six-speed automatic.

Cadillac hasn't released pricing or fuel economy numbers yet; we're expecting those closer to the ATS's summer launch. Hit the jump to read over the Cadillac press release, and peruse the high-res images in the gallery above.

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2013 Cadillac ATS Challenges the Status Quo

• All-new, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive architecture with one of the lowest curb weights in the segment – less than 3,400 pounds (1,542 kg)
• Broad lineup of engines, including two four-cylinders and a V-6 for North America, capitalizes on lightweight structure for performance with efficiency
• Cadillac CUE, a comprehensive, in-vehicle experience that merges intuitive design with auto industry-first controls and commands for information and entertainment data

DETROIT – Cadillac today introduced the 2013 ATS, an all-new compact luxury sports sedan intended to challenge the world's best premium cars. Developed on an all-new, lightweight vehicle architecture, Cadillac's entry into the world's most significant luxury car segment goes on sale this summer.

The rear-drive ATS brings Cadillac's blend of technologically driven performance, elegance and design to a new audience of spirited drivers. Its sophisticated driving experience is enhanced with Cadillac CUE, a comprehensive, in-vehicle user experience that merges intuitive design with industry-first controls and commands for information and media data.

"Designed with quick, nimble and fun-to-drive dynamics, ATS expands Cadillac's portfolio into a crucial global segment," said Don Butler, vice president of marketing for Cadillac. "For a new group of luxury consumers, this is a car that will fit their lifestyle and challenge the segment's status quo."

The Cadillac ATS is a new expression of Cadillac's Art & Science execution philosophy, built 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 (1,542 kg).

Germany's famed Nürburgring served as one of the key testing grounds, along with additional roads, racetracks and laboratories around the globe, ATS engineers balanced performance with Cadillac's trademark refinement. Contributing components and features include:
• Nearly 50/50 weight balance
• Cadillac's first five-link independent rear suspension using lightweight, high-strength steel and efficient straight link designs
• A multi-link double-pivot MacPherson-strut front suspension with direct-acting stabilizer bar
• Driver-adjustable FE3 sport suspension with Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping
• Underbody aerodynamic shields
• Premium (belt driven) electric variable-effort steering gear from ZF Steering Systems
• Four-channel ABS with available Brembo performance brakes
• Available all-wheel drive

"More than just another new entry, the ATS aims to change the status quo of the European-dominated segment," said Butler. "That is why our approach in all elements of its development is so extensive and focused."

A broad lineup of engines – including two four-cylinders and a V-6 for North America – delivers strong power to the ATS and capitalizes on the car's lightweight structure to complement its performance with efficiency. The optional engines include an all-new 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 270 horsepower (201 kW) and Cadillac's award-winning 3.6L V-6, estimated at 318 horsepower (237 kW).

At 135hp/L, the new 2.0T is one of the most power-dense engines in the industry, topping engines from European competitors. ATS will offer both manual and automatic transmission options, along with rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive configurations.

The ATS will deliver peak highway fuel economy of more than 30 mpg.

A spirit of lightness and balance
Making the ATS one of the segment's lightest cars was a fundamental criterion for and the guiding principle during its development, but it was done in a nuanced manner that ensures a refined driving experience.

"Low weight gives the ATS a more nimble and controllable feel, while also optimizing the performance and efficiency of the powertrains," said David Masch, ATS chief engineer. "But we were careful to manage the weight while maintaining Cadillac's signature levels of refinement."

Optimizing the ATS's mass was the result of a four-pronged philosophy that included strict adherence to original architectural goals, measured load management throughout the vehicle, benchmarking components to see if lighter solutions were available and an overall culture that "weighed" the mass of every component in the car against all aspects of its development.

An aluminum hood, magnesium engine mount brackets and even lightweight, natural-fiber door trim panels contribute to the ATS's low overall mass – and reflect the systematic approach of evaluating every gram that went into the car. But some weight was deemed not only beneficial, but essential to the ATS's driving experience. An example is the cast iron differential: Engineers found they could improve fuel economy with a cast iron differential rather than a lighter aluminum version.

And while the rear suspension is mostly steel, the focus on load management and straight links enabled significant weight savings without using alternate materials. This helps offset the weight of the engine and transmission at the front of the vehicle, helping the ATS deliver its near-perfect 50/50 weight balance, while also contributing to lower noise and vibration. A similar approach was taken on the wheels, where extra structural aluminum was strategically added to further reduce vibration.

"We approached development by counting all the grams in the ATS," said Masch. "We minimized them where we could and put them to the best use where they were needed."

Tailored design weaves in signature style and refinement
The 2013 Cadillac ATS interprets Cadillac's Art & Science design language in a new proportion, tailoring the signature styling and refinement cues for the most compact Cadillac while upholding – and advancing – the exemplary attention to detail and technological elements for which the brand is known.

A long, 109.3-inch (2,775 mm) wheelbase and wide front/rear tracks are the cornerstones of the ATS's firmly planted stance, which is enhanced by short overhangs and taut sheet metal that appears to wrap tightly around the tires. Seventeen-inch wheels are standard and 18-inch wheels are available.

Bold vertical lighting elements – including new LED front signature lighting detail – as well as illuminating door handles and active grille shutters lend technologically advanced style and function to the ATS. The grille shutters close at certain highway speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag and enhance fuel economy.

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, plated metal plating and carbon fiber trim and Cadillac's cut-and-sew 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.

CUE and ATS technologies
The ATS is offered with Cadillac CUE, a comprehensive, in-vehicle experience that merges intuitive design with auto industry-first controls and commands for information and entertainment data. It is designed to be unique for each consumer, from the "simple user" to the fully connected "super user."

CUE, which stands for Cadillac User Experience, 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 reduces complexity through customized information, voice commands and fewer buttons and larger icons. For example, most of today's luxury cars have around 20 buttons controlling the radio and entertainment functions. CUE has only four.

The heart of CUE is the eight-inch LCD multi-touch sensitive screen, seamlessly integrated into the top of the central instrument panel and a motorized fully capacitive faceplate at the bottom concealing a 1.8L storage area. The vibrant LCD screen displays CUE's home page, which resembles a smart phone's screen by using large, easy-to-target icons to execute commands. Capacitive technology refers to using electrodes to sense the conductive properties of objects, such as a finger.

In addition to CUE, the ATS is offered with other technologies, including:
• Bluetooth phone connectivity with voice recognition
• USB, auxiliary and SD memory card ports
• SiriusXM Satellite Radio with three-month trial subscription
• Keyless access and keyless push-button start
• Reconfigurable 5.7-inch instrument panel cluster display
• Full-color reconfigurable heads-up display.

The ATS is offered as a well-equipped standard model and in Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections. A Bose® Cabin Surround audio system is offered on the standard model, as well as Luxury and Performance Collections. It is standard with the Premium Collection. A navigation system is also available with Luxury and Performance Collections and standard with the Premium Collection.

'Control and alert' safety strategy
Safety in the ATS is based on Cadillac's "control and alert" strategy that employs advanced technologies – including radar, cameras and ultrasonic sensors – to help prevent crashes.

The safety features bolster driver vision and awareness of road hazards, and intervenes to help the driver avert potential crashes. In some cases, Cadillac's advanced crash-avoidance systems will act without the driver, such as automatic braking, which will activate based on information indicating potential hazards.

Among the most sophisticated of the features is Front and Rear Automatic Brakes. This relies on short-range radar technology and ultrasonic sensors to help the driver prevent front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary.

Optional advanced safety features include:
• Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
• Intelligent Brake Assist
• Forward Collision Alert
• Brake Pre-Fill Automatic Collision Preparation
• Lane Departure Warning
• Side Blind Zone Alert
• Rear Vision Camera With Dynamic Guidelines
• Adaptive Forward Lighting
• Hill Hold/Start Assist (Standard, manual transmission)

The advanced technology safety features complement the ATS's roster of other safety features, including eight standard air bags (10 with optional features), safety belt pretensioners and load limiters, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel ABS.

ATS also features OnStar standard for one year. It can use GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of a crash. OnStar service also includes myCadillac and OnStar myLink mobile apps, which offer vehicle information, controls and OnStar services via the customer's iPhone or Android smart phone.

About Cadillac
Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years, Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and advanced technology. More information on Cadillac can be found at media.cadillac.com.

2013 CADILLAC ATS PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS

Overview
Model: Cadillac ATS Sedan
Body style / driveline: 4-door luxury sport luxury sedan, RWD/AWD
Construction: Unitized welded steel body with direct-mounted front cradle and rubber-isolated, multi-link independent rear suspension
EPA vehicle class: small car
Manufacturing location: Lansing Grand River Assembly, Lansing, Mich.

Engines
2.0L Turbo DI VVT 2.5L I-4 DI VVT 3.6L V-6 DI VVT
Displacement (cu in / cc): 122 / 1998 150 / 2457 217 / 3564
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86 3.46 x 3.97 / 88 x 101 3.7 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6
Block material: cast aluminum cast aluminum cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum cast aluminum cast aluminum
Valvetrain: DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing DOHC, four valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing DOHC, four valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing
Fuel delivery: direct high-pressure fuel injection direct high-pressure fuel injection direct high-pressure fuel injection
Compression ratio: 9.2:1 11.4:1 11.5:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 270 / 201 @ 5300 (est) 200 / 149 @ 6200 (est) 318 / 237 @ 6800 (est - gas)
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm): 260 / 353 @ 2400 (est) 188 / 255 @ 4500 (est) 267 / 362 @ 4900 (est - gas)
Recommended fuel: premium recommended but not required regular unleaded regular unleaded or E85
Maximum engine speed (rpm): 6350 7000 7200
Estimated fuel economy: TBD TBD TBD

Transmissions
Tremec M3L TR3160 Hydra-Matic 6L45
Type: fully synchronized six-speed manual with single overdrive six-speed, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive with torque converter clutch
Gear ratios (:1):
First: 4.12 4.06
Second: 2.62 2.37
Third: 1.81 1.55
Fourth: 1.30 1.16
Fifth: 1.00 0.85
Sixth: 0.80 0.67
Reverse: 3.75 3.20
Final drive ratio: 3.27 3.27 (2.5L, 3.6L)
3.45 (2.0T)

Chassis / Suspension
Configuration: rear-wheel drive
Differential: open (FE2 suspension); mechanical limited-slip (FE3 suspension)
Front: MacPherson-type with dual lower ball joints and direct-acting stabilizer bar; Magnetic Ride Control (FE3)
Rear: independent five-link with monotube shock absorbers; Magnetic Ride Control (FE3)
Steering type: ZF rack-mounted electric, power-assisted and variable assist
Steering ratio: FE2: 16.8:1
FE3: 15.3:1
Steering turns, lock-to-lock: FE2: 3.16
FE3: 2.86
Turn circle (ft / m): FE2 RWD: 36.38 / 11.09
FE3 RWD: 35.99 / 10.97
FE2 AWD: 38.05 / 11.60
Chassis control: four-channel StabiliTrak w/ brake assist and traction control

Wheels and Tires
Wheel size and type: 17x8-inch aluminum (painted)
17x8-inch aluminum (polished)
18x8-inch aluminum (machined-face)
18x8-inch aluminum (polished)
Tire size: P225/45R17 90H all-season
P225/45R17 90V run-flat all-season
225/40R18 92V run-flat all-season
225/40R18 88W / 255/35R18 90W run-flat summer-only
225/35ZR19 88Y / 255/30ZR19 91Y run-flat all-season (LPO)

Brakes
Type: four-wheel disc with sliding calipers on base; four-channel ABS/TCS w/ DRP; Brembo brakes with fixed calipers on Luxury, Performance and Premium collections
Rotor type and thickness (in / mm): Standard front: 11.8 x 1.02 (300 x 26) vented, with Ferritic Nitro Carbunized process for corrosion resistance
Standard rear: 12.4 x 0.90 (315 x 23) vented, with Ferritic Nitro Carbunized process for corrosion resistance
Uplevel front: 12.6 x 1.18 (321 x 30) vented, with Ferritic Nitro Carbunized process for corrosion resistance
Uplevel rear: 12.4 x 0.90 (315 x 23) vented, with Ferritic Nitro Carbunized process for corrosion resistance

Dimensions

Exterior
Wheelbase (in / mm): 109.3 / 2775
Length (in / mm): 182.8 / 4643
Height (in / mm): 55.9 / 1421
Width (in / mm): 71.1 / 1805
Track (in / mm): front: 59.5 / 1512
rear: 60.9 / 1548
Curb weight (lb / kg): less than 3,400 / 1,542 (approx.)
Weight distribution (% front / rear): 51 / 49

Interior
Legroom (in / mm): front: 42.5 / 1079
rear: 33.5 / 851
Headroom (in / mm): front: 38.6 / 980
rear: 36.8 / 935
Shoulder room (in / mm): front: 55.2 / 1345
rear: 53.9 / 1370
Hip room (in / mm): front: 53.0 / 1345
rear: 52.3 / 1328

Capacities
Seating capacity (front / rear): 2 / 3
EPA passenger volume (cu ft / L): 90.9 / 2573
EPA trunk volume (cu ft / L): 10.2 / 290
Trailer towing maximum (lb / kg): 1000 / 454 (3.6L)
Fuel tank (gal / L): 16 / 60.5
Engine oil (qt / L): TBD
Cooling system (qt / L): 8.1 / 7.7 (2.0T)
7.1 / 6.7 (2.5L)
11 / 10.4 (3.6L)

*SAE certified.

Note: Information shown is current at time of publication.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 240 Comments
      bvz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well well. Color me impressed. It isn't as awesome as the converj, but for a production car I am quite taken by the styling. I like it better than the cts. It has much of the same characteristics but has been softened a bit, and the proportions are better which equals a look that is more pleasing to (my) eye. I'm not their target market because I can't afford one, but in a couple of years when my 3 series needs to be replaced I might be in the market for a slightly used one. And that is the part that has me happily surprised. I have never even considered a domestic car before and now suddenly I find that many of my first choices are not imports (though many of them started life as overseas designs).
      AudiA4
      • 2 Years Ago
      My initial impression was a bit underwhelming, since I thought it was perhaps too derivative of the existing CTS. However, the more I view it the more I like it. It seems quite buttoned down, very sophisticated...frankly, something GM and Cadillac often ruin by dialing up something too garish. I have a strong feeling this will look even more impressive in person. If this is a sign of the new Cadillac (and GM), then they have a bright future. They also might have a new customer, as I'm looking to replace my '06 e90 BWM 330i. p.s. You know this is going to look downright brilliant in the V-series variant.
      ammca66564
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ha! I knew it! GM was jerking our chains on this . . . remember when there were rumors a few months back that the ATS was going to be heavy - several hundred pounds heavier than a 3-series? Nope, not. D'ya suppose GM let that rumor out there to emphasize that they'd gotten the weight right? In the know car guy types, worried by the rumors that the ATS would be bloated, are now registering clearly that no, the car is actually quite svelte? Nice work!
      Sozo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, now that's a beautiful car.
      carfan
      • 2 Years Ago
      OMG what a beautiful car... I love it, it's so elegant and sporty. I love this car. I hope it will show up in Europe very soon, because if not I'll emigrate to the USA
      Tam
      • 2 Years Ago
      i'm hesitantly excited for this car. if they brought out a hot wagon it would make some waves. pricing is the factor here seeing how a decently equipped 335 will put you over 45k now.
      Peter
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am impressed and, as an old man, it may be time to consider getting my Caddy and this is it. Congrats, Caddy! Nice work.
      Renaurd
      • 2 Years Ago
      Beautiful, just beautiful, If I was going to buy a car right now, this would be it.
      sean949ca
      • 2 Years Ago
      Absolutely a home run! I haven't been this excited about any domestic car in a very long time. Cant wait to see it in person and probably take one home.
      Random Guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      My High Expectations have been pleased...
      Monkaroo
      • 2 Years Ago
      GM finally got the interior right with this car. Those are proper sport luxury seats, very BMW and the Exterior profile is very C-Class Mercedes. This car will be a home run. Even the wood grand and leather tones compliment each other rather well. Luxury car buyers don't always look for the most HP but a balance of good performance and luxury
      Dennis Baskov
      • 2 Years Ago
      6 speed manual is a big plus. I think it can give the 3 series a run for its' money, after all the 3 series chassis wasn't reversed engineered for nothing.
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