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First Drive: 2013 Cadillac ATS

Let the buzz start here.

by on Jul.24, 2012

The 2013 Cadillac ATS is the brand's first compact sedan in a quarter century.

For all too many potential buyers the idea of a compact Cadillac brings to mind the last attempt by the U.S. maker to tackle the likes of the vaunted BMW 3-Series. Caddy’s dreadful Cimarron almost single-handedly brought the General Motors flagship brand to its knees, helping shatter its long-standing image as the “Standard of the World.”

It’s no surprise Cadillac officials spent nearly three decades dithering about whether to return to the compact market – a decision finally forced upon the brand by global sales trends.  As TheDetroitBureau.com has reported, GM has given Caddy the go-ahead to produce an all-new flagship meant to tackle the likes of the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.  But the real sales growth is at the other end of the market – especially if Cadillac finally hopes to generate some real volume outside the U.S.

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So, the 2013 Cadillac ATS could become one of the most important products in the Detroit luxury brand’s history – as critical to Caddy’s long-term success as the finned wonders the maker rolled out a half-century ago.

That said, simply entering the compact luxury market is no guarantee of success.  The Caddy ATS will have to face off with not only the latest-generation BMW 3-Series but equally tough European alternatives such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4 – never mind the new Acura ILX, the redesigned Lexus ES and the upcoming replacement for the Infiniti G.

Putting the 2013 ATS through its paces at Atlanta Motorsports Park.


Cadillac ATS to Start at $33,990

Maker will have slight advantage over BMW 3-Series.

by on May.07, 2012

Cadillac's new ATS will plug a gaping hole at the bottom of the maker's line-up.

Cadillac is betting it can win entry into the hotly competitive luxury market with a mix of styling, performance and pricing, the base model of its new 2013 ATS sedan to carry a sticker of $33,990.

That’s about $2,000 less than the MSRP for the king of the compact luxury segment, the BMW 3-Series, which starts at $35,795 for the base 328i.

But as with BMW and other competitors, the Detroit maker plans to offer a wide array of options, including all-wheel-drive and a more sporty V-6, which will let buyers nudge the price tag for the 2013 Cadillac ATS all the way up into the mid-$40,000 range.

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“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 Cadillac’s director of marketing Don Butler. “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.”

Of course, Cadillac has tried that before.


New Cadillac ATS Aims to Become Luxury Brand’s Best-Seller

Sedan will be followed by wagon, performance model, other spin-offs.

by on Jan.09, 2012

Cadillac's new ATS reaches showrooms over the summer, shortly after the launch of the big XTS.

It may be Cadillac’s smallest model but the new ATS sedan has some big shoes to fill.

Making its debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, in Detroit, this week, Caddy gave the automotive media a sneak peak Sunday night at the 2013 model, which will follow the luxury brand’s premium-luxury XTS sedan to market later this year.

Slotting beneath the current mid-range Cadillac CTS, the 2013 ATS will target some of the world’s most popular luxury models, like the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. But Caddy officials are nothing if not confident, General Motors President Mark Reuss suggesting that the new offering should eventually become the best-selling model in the Cadillac line-up – and give the U.S. brand the nudge it needs to crack key overseas markets like Europe.

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The 2013 Cadillac ATS will be produced at a GM plant in Lansing, Michigan, the same factory now producing the larger CTS.  The underlying platform for the two share some similarities, but Caddy Chief Engineer David Leone stresses that the “architecture” of the smaller model has undergone extensive revisions designed to not only improved its ride and handling but also to sharply reduce its weight.