Cadillac Tunes The 2013 ATS On The Nürburgring Nordschleife: Video

The 2013 Cadillac ATS gets a workout on the 'Ring.

The 2013 Cadillac ATS gets a workout on the 'Ring.

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Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife (or North Loop) has become the darling of automakers from all around the world. The track’s 12.9-mile length contains some 73 corners, numerous elevation changes and plenty of off-camber stretches to test both car and driver.

As Cadillac’s energy and powertrain integration engineer, Dave Mikels, explains, a manufacturer can learn more about a car in one lap of the ‘Ring than by running a dozen tracks in the United States. The elevation change at a corner called “Flugplatz,” for example, will cause a car to momentarily get airborne, just before a 100-mph right-hand corner.

Such a turn tests both car and driver, since you need to brake just enough to slow the car and put a little weight on the front tires. Brake too hard, and the car is likely to rotate, or oversteer, probably putting you into the barrier at near-triple-digit speeds.

If you don’t have enough weight on the front wheels, the car will likely lack front grip and present understeer, which means you get to look straight at the Armco Barrier you’re about to hit. If you get the feeling that the Nürburgring Nordschleife doesn’t leave much margin for error at the limit, you’d be correct.

Perhaps the most revealing part of the video, the third in a series, comes in the closing seconds, when the ATS is said to have lapped the ‘Ring in “28.09.” Presumably, that’s a time of 8:28.09, which makes the new ATS nearly as quick as an Audi S5 or a BMW 335i Coupe.

Which, of course, leaves us wondering what the lap times for an ATS-V version will be. Assuming such an animal is under development, that is.

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Comments (7)
  1. i applaud Cadilac's attempts to broaden its appeal by testing at the Green Hell. But, BUT the reason for doing so is only for bragging can see it alreay, "tuned at the Nordschleife" blah blah blah. until Caddy gets some better desingers for the exterior of the car they will never obtain the respect they so clearly crave or their powertrains at times deliver

  2. Still Ford and Toyota can't eliminate Cadillac..

  3. you are missing the point Sero Rose. Cadillac's market and competition in its eyes arent Toyota or Ford, its BMW, Merc, Audi and Lexus (not Toyota). at the moment they are in the middle. Too expensive to challenge the higher volume cars like Taurus, Mondeo, Camry, Aurion. But jsut not executive or good enough to challenge the ranges of the Germans and high end Japanese. Even Volvo produces a finer product.

  4. @WizardsLore, you're correct that Cadillac wants to play in the same sandbox as BMW and Mercedes. They've made some significant gains in quality in recent years, and the ATS is a milestone car for them. If Cadillac is to be taken seriously as a luxury brand, the ATS has to be a true rival to the 3-Series.

  5. emphasis on the statement "has to be a true rival". its entirely up to Caddy in how they deliver the car. I continue to maintain that the design of the front end of all Caddys is ordinary beyond belief with it looking horrbly front heavy, while its main rivals; sportiness - BMW, Luxury - Merc, in between - Audi, are quality offerings without peer for what they intend to achieve in their desired space. If anything Caddy shoudl be follwoing the Audi 80/A4 growth model to a T. Get every single piece of the drivetrain spot on, then once accepted as a quality car maker, make the car as attractive as possible.
    you then gain the license to print money !

  6. @WizardsLore, the problem is that Cadillac, until recently, lacked any kind of clear direction. In the shadow of GM, I wonder how innovative the brand can really be.

    An in-your-face, over-the-top halo car like the Ciel might help if put into production, but only if the quality, craftsmanship and engineering were world-class.

  7. the Ciel isnt a nice looking car though. there was another with a similar name from the 90's that was far better and should have been made !
    Caddy needs new designers full stop. or shoud i say new designers for their front ends and rear ends of their cards.

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