While these prices are hard to evaluate without a full breakdown of standard equipment – which Cadillac promises in due time – we can compare them to two benchmarks, the all-new 2012 BMW 3 Series and the slightly larger CTS. While Caddy does undercut the base 3 Series price of $35,795, that entry-level ATS is down some 40 horsepower. The mid-priced ATS, the one with the turbo 2.0-liter, however, trumps the 328i's 240-hp engine by almost that much. With equivalent starting sticker prices, it only makes the inevitable head-to-head battle all that more interesting.
The CTS, however, starts at $36,810, which makes the top-level ATS seem spendy at first glance. Granted, the CTS is nearing the end of its life cycle, but clearly those looking for a more luxury-oriented, V6-powered sedan are going to have to closely study the standard equipment sheet to determine what justifies the $5,000-plus price premium for the smaller car.
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New luxury sport sedan launches this summer
DETROIT – The all-new, rear-wheel-drive Cadillac ATS compact luxury sport sedan with a fuel-efficient 2.5L engine and next-generation six-speed transmission will be priced starting at $33,990, including destination charges. Highway fuel economy will be well over 30 mpg.
"The ATS enters a vehicle segment this year that's one of the most competitive in the market, from both a price and performance standpoint," said Don Butler, vice president of Cadillac Marketing. "ATS will bring a distinctive presence and compelling value while offering quick, nimble, fun-to-drive dynamics that will appeal to the lifestyles of modern luxury buyers and challenge the segment's status quo."
A mid-level model with a lightweight and powerful 2.0L turbocharged engine costs $35,795 including destination and will offer automatic and manual transmissions, and rear- or all-wheel drive.
Topping the engine range is a 3.6L V-6 with a preliminary rating of 320 horsepower, costing $42,090 including destination with an automatic transmission and standard content that includes CUE, leather 8-way power seats with memory, adaptive start and more. All-wheel drive will be available.
A full breakdown of availability and pricing of packages and options will be available later.
ATS goes on sale this summer, but already the new sport sedan is positively impacting Lansing, Mich., where more than 440 new employees have been hired at Cadillac's Lansing Grand River plant where the ATS will be assembled. A total of 600 new employees are expected to be part of Cadillac's $190 million investment in the facility.
A dedicated engineering team has traveled the globe refining and advancing the ATS to meet customer demands. The addition of advanced materials has reduced curb weight to less than 3,400 pounds, more than 100 pounds less than an Audi A4 or Mercedes-Benz C250.
Time spent at premier race tracks around the globe, including Road America, Road Atlanta, Phoenix International Raceway and the Nürburgring in Germany has enhanced the ATS' sporty ride and handling and engine tuning. The 3.6L model is expected to have a 0-60 mph acceleration time of well below six seconds.
Cadillac's new CUE user interface, standard on most ATS models, offers the first automotive use of capacitive touch to create an intuitive, modern way for drivers to interact with the car. This technology, used for most smartphones and tablet computers, uses electrodes to sense the conductive properties of objects, such as a finger.