Car Review: 2013 Cadillac ATS 3.6L Premium

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As the world at Cadillac continues to evolve, the expectations from buyers will also come to expect dynamic new products, which have to be the goal for any luxury car nameplate. The all-new Cadillac ATS 3.6L Premium was delivered to us at Bullz-Eye for a week of testing and admiration for what should be the new direction of Caddy and a shot across the bow at her competitors. Developed on an all-new, lightweight rear-drive architecture, the ATS reflects a new expression of Cadillac’s Art & Science execution philosophy, centered on a foundation of driving dynamics and mass efficiency. Germany ’s famed Nürburgring served as one of the key testing grounds, along with additional roads, race tracks and laboratories around the globe, where ATS engineers balanced performance with Cadillac’s trademark refinement.

EXTERIOR

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. Although the 2013 Cadillac ATS 3.6L Premium skin doesn’t stand out all that much from the CTS, it’s clear that this new Cadillac was designed for performance over everything else. A long, 109.3-inch (2,775 mm) wheelbase and wide front/rear tracks are the cornerstones of the ATS’ firmly planted stance, which is enhanced by short overhangs and taut sheet metal that appears to wrap tightly around the tires. 17-inch wheels are standard and 18-inch wheels are available.

Bold, vertical lighting elements, including new LED front signature lighting detail and illuminating door handles and active grille shutters, lend technologically advanced style and function to the ATS. The luxury feel of the exterior is clearly enhanced with the lighting from all angles of the ATS, including the sleek door handles. The grille shutters close at certain highway speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag and enhance fuel economy. High-intensity discharge headlamps with Adaptive Forward Lighting made our driving experience that much better. Exterior colors include: Radiant Silver Metallic, Black Raven, Black Diamond Tricoat, Crystal Red Tintcoat, White Diamond Tricoat, Thunder Gray ChromaFlair, Opulent Blue Metallic, Glacier Blue Metallic, Silver Coast Metallic and Summer Gold Metallic. Our test model looked incredible in Black Diamond Tricoat that somehow looked as clean after a week as it did on day one.

INTERIOR

After taking in the striking good looks of the 2013 Cadillac ATS 3.6L Premium’s body, Cadillac really needed a top-notch cabin to keep the first impression strong, and they delivered with a morello red combined with a jet black hand-crafted cut and sewn interior seating that was off-the-charts good. A driver focused interior with integrated technology and crafted materials complements the exterior elements and supports the ATS’ 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.

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Photo Gallery: 2012 North American International Auto Show

We got an in-depth look at some of GM’s current, future and concept vehicles while attending the 2012 North American International Auto Show. We’ve collected some of our favorite photos from the three-day event above, including shots of the 2013 Cadillac ATS, the 2013 Chevy Sonic RS and the 2013 Buick Encore. To read more about the event, check out our 2012 NAIAS recap.

  

2013 Cadillac ATS Revealed in Detroit

Bullz-Eye.com was invited to the 2013 Cadillac ATS presentation last night at the College for Creative Studies and we have to say that we walked away very impressed. The ATS is Cadillac’s answer to foreign automakers’ compact luxury sedans that have dominated this segment for many years. The ATS will launch this summer and Cadillac obviously has high hopes for the ATS as it will be competing in the largest segment of the luxury market, so the potential here is enormous. Along with a sleek and modern look, the ATS promises the desired performance from buyers in the compact luxury universe and that is partially because Cadillac looked at every material that went into the ATS and came away with a curb weight under 3400 lbs.

Depending on each individual buyer’s preference of the top fuel economy or all out power, you have a choice of three powertrains starting with a 200-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder that should produce over 30 mpg on the highway, a confident 270-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, or for those who want the power, there is a 318-hp 3.5-liter V6. Cadillac also went one step further by offering a manual transmission and optional all-wheel drive to the rear wheel drive platform. Pricing hasn’t been announced and believe me when I tell you we tried to find out, but we do know this segment’s current leaders start in the low 30k range and we expect something close for the 2013 Cadillac ATS.

I have to say that the 2013 Cadillac ATS made a strong first impression with us, and if the performance of this new luxury compact from Cadillac hits the mark, we look for thousands of new buyers coming into dealerships to give the ATS a drive. This segment is about much more than looks, and after hearing from GM North American President Mark Reuss and the other GM executives that presented the all-new ATS, they totally understand their potential customers and designed the ATS to “win” rather than just compete!

  

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