It’s rare that I absolutely gush over an automobile. After all, as an automotive journalist I drive about 80 new vehicles every year. And yes, we’re talking Porsches, BMWs and Benzes, Bentleys and Bugattis. So when the press folks at Cadillac offered up the all-new 2015 ATS Coupe, my interest was piqued because I like the direction Caddy is moving in, but I was not ready for the superb effort that is the ATS Coupe.
The ATS is the baby of the Caddy lineup, with Big Daddy Escalade at the top of the heap, and XTS, ELR, SRX and CTS in the middle. The ATS can be considered in many ways a baby CTS, which in itself is a compliment. So imagine my angst when Cadillac announced that the scorching hot CTS Coupe, with its performance “V” variants would be eliminated from the lineup, replaced initially by the smaller ATS Coupe, with performance models to follow at some point in the future.
I immediately thought “Caddy is punking out. They want a cheaper coupe, and will somehow sacrifice performance.” I thought back to other performance/luxury oriented cars that Cadillac and parent company General Motors produced, got them just right, and pulled the plug. The GTO, XLR, Allante, Grand National and Firebird came to mind. But alas, this is no trickery by Caddy or the big General. I recently drove the all new Chevy Corvette, which I dubbed “the best American car I’ve ever driven.” That still holds true, but the ATS Coupe is certainly a strong number two. (more…)