New Details On Cadillac's Upcoming ATS Mid-Size Sedan

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Cadillac CTS Coupe Concept Grile

Cadillac CTS Coupe Concept Grile

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Rear-wheel drive is a defining element of a luxury car for many buyers, endowing a car with superior handling and dynamics despite somewhat more expensive and marginally less efficient packaging. So it's with relief that Cadillac fans heard the news last week that the upcoming 'baby' sedan, dubbed the ATS, is officially confirmed to get rear-wheel drive standard, with optional all-wheel drive available. Today, even more details about the upcoming BMW 3-series fighter has come out.

The latest information on the ATS reveals that the car will possibly reflect some influence from GM's down-under subsidiary, Holden. About five years ago, Holden unveiled a rear-drive, mid-sized concept called the TT36 Torana, which actually previewed the styling of the upcoming VE Commodore (known here in the U.S. as the Pontiac G8).

But according to a GoAuto report, GM's new marketing chief and long-time product guru Bob Lutz has said the Torana is actually the basis for the Alpha platform spoken of so often in the U.S. media.

"Torana is a rear-wheel drive vehicle smaller than the Zeta architecture and smaller than the current CTS Cadillac architecture. It is, or would be, about the size of a BMW 1 Series – maybe just a tiny bit bigger to enable larger wheels,” said Lutz.

“Now that is the architecture that has been bandied about the US press under the name of ‘Alpha Architecture’, and Alpha is still under consideration, but we haven’t kicked off any design work or any engineering work because we have to sort our way through this 35 mpg task."

Holden, therefore, could be involved in any future Alpha platform development. Given the existing production and import/export relationships between Holden and GM's U.S. operations, it's an easy move.

The ATS will be part of General Motors' new small car platform family, so the drivetrain layout is likely to find its way into other small GM-branded vehicles, including Buick's upcoming small crossover. With its small size and likely affordable pricing, the ATS is intended to be Cadillac's highest-volume seller.

The new car's styling will be somewhat reminiscent of the current CTS, though it will also be its own vehicle. Going heads-up against BMW's 3-series and Mercedes C-Class in size and performance while undercutting them in price doesn't mean it will have any room to look less than put-together, however, so expect a package at least as tight as the CTS if Cadillac is going to reach its desired sales figures.

Cadillac is also working on a larger, more 7-series/S-Class-sized XTS flagship sedan, which will get some styling influence from the dramatic, long and sleek Sixteen Concept, though with a somewhat softer, more chrome-laden final result.


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Comments (16)
  1. This is one of my highlights at the GM Media meeting - the Cadillacs; the ATS and XTS!! I hope to find out more info on this, and hopefully see leaked spyshots, albeit grainy, or perhaps renderings.
    One thing I'm wondering: there was also reports recently that Cadillac would also get a RWD flagship, based upon a stretched Sigma (CTS), is this still on, or maybe in addition to the Epsilon-2 based XTS?

  2. I'm still hoping for a comeback of the Cadillac ETC. (Etcetera)

  3. Hopefully all-wheel drive system will keep the back end from always slipping out with just a little push of the right foot. Its a need not a want on the Cadillac CTS-V to bad they didnt offer it there. uggg

  4. But that tail-happy behavior is what makes for good drivers and major fun in a 550+hp supercharged uber-sedan!

  5. Wonder what the ATS-V will be like, twin turbo V6, or twin turbo inline 4 (similar to the Lancer Evo)? Should be interesting.

  6. It would be cool with a small capacity V8, maybe 2.5 to 3.5 litres.

  7. I doubt they will use a V8, they are becoming passe in the industry.

  8. for a V series for the mini caddy, id expect a reworked V6.. maybe the 3800.. or a small v6 with turbos. I'd definitely shy against a 4 banger in that car. even the 2.4L turbo would be a little low class for a caddy.
    this is the first i've head about sixteen styling affecting the XTS.

  9. So how big is it? Lutz mentions "1-Series enlarged for bigger wheels" and then the article says its 3-Series sized. ?.

  10. The ATS definitely sounds like a winner, but if they go ahead as planned and make the XTS base FWD, they might ad well quit now! We're not even going to get into the fact that there is not at least a V8, which could be a detuned version of the LSA under the CTS-V for the basic level duty, going under its hood even as a option! Cadillac has come so far,m just to fail for lack of a V8 underneath their upcoming flagship or the necessary rwd architecture needed to be a successful competitor! A 600+ hp LSA-derived XTS-V might help, though!

  11. "Lutz mentions "1-Series enlarged for bigger wheels" and then the article says its 3-Series sized."
    Considering a 128i Coupe is a mere 4 inches shorter in wheelbase and 100 pounds lighter than a 328i coupe...

  12. I currently own and drive a BMW 1-series and a Saab 9-2X - and I love this size of vehicle.
    If Buick and Cadillac come out with similar sized cars and SUV, I'll be first in line to get 'em.

  13. I have heard, can not confirm, the car will fall between the 1 and 3 series in size and maybe price.

  14. I hope Cadillac offers all wheel drive with the 6 speed stick, and the high end V6. Too many cars these days only offer the stick only with the entry level engine, and rarely with AWD. The Cadillac ATS would be a great alternative to consider vs. the high priced BMW's and Audi's which do offer those combinations. With the current exchange rate, GM should be able to offer more content at the same price as these competitors. Bring it on GM!

  15. The ATS-V will have a small block V8.

  16. The new Caddies are cool, as is the new Buick cuv. I really
    like the new Acadia Denali. The Terrain will likely get the
    same treatment soon. I'd really like to see the Silverado.

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