Spy Shots: Cadillac ATS mule – Click above for high res-image gallery
Cadillac has made it clear it plans to enter the rarified air generally reserved for such finely tuned machinery as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class with the same verve and gusto it's done with its CTS. And the vehicle it hopes will earn them entrance into the hotly contested market is the upcoming ATS.
We know General Motors will attack the small end of the premium market with a multi-tiered approach, including engines packing four, six or eight cylinders. A new document that surfaced on Cheers & Gears seems to indicate just such an approach, culminating in a fire-breathing ATS-V with a 6.2-liter pushrod V8 engine sending 470 horsepower and 438 pound-feet of torque through either a six-speed automatic or manual gearbox.
Moving down a notch will reportedly get you the same 3.6-liter direct injected V6 engine that powers the bulk of Caddy's CTS models; 330 horses and 280 lb-ft will be routed through an eight-speed automatic transmission. According to the supposed spec sheet, that combo should net 20 miles per gallon in the city and 30 on the highway using regular-grade gas.
Finally, the rumormill swirls with talk that a turbocharged four cylinder displacing 2.0 liters and putting out 270 horsepower and 250 lb-ft will serve as the base engine for the ATS, mated up to an eight-speed automatic. Naturally, that combo will serve as the fuel mileage leader, managing an estimated 22 city/32 highway rating, though it's likely to require premium gas.
Certainly, all of this information is to be taken with a suitably sized grain of salt (mayhaps the whole shaker?), but it is in line with what we've been hearing for the last year or so. In any case, we ought to find out all the details in due time – Cadillac's ATS is expected to hit the market no later than the latter half of 2013 as a 2014 model.