Now that Cadillac’s replacement for its STS and DTS sedans has been revealed in the form of the XTS flagship, attention turns to the brand’s next new model, the ATS entry-level sedan. While the ATS is still largely a matter of conjecture and speculation, an insider has revealed that Cadillac is planning several ATS variants including a sedan, wagon, coupe and convertible.

The ATS is expected to go on sale in 2012 and target the likes of the Lexus IS, Infiniti G37 and BMW 3-Series--all models with either coupe, convertible or wagon bodystyles. However, we won’t have to wait that long to see the first tangible evidence of the ATS because a concept version is expected to be unveiled towards the end of the year, most likely at October’s Paris Motor Show or the Los Angeles Auto Show in December.

"We're finalizing the four-door show car of the ATS first," a well-placed source told Inside Line. "Then we'll follow quickly after with a wagon, a coupe and a convertible."

With its small size and likely affordable pricing, the ATS is intended to be Cadillac's highest-volume seller. It will ride on a new rear-wheel drive platform dubbed Alpha, which would likely spawn models for Buick and Chevrolet eventually.

One factor that's still undetermined: whether the convertible variant feature a folding hard-top or a lighter and more cost-effective soft-top. The source said Cadillac is currently "not too sure about the compromises of a folding hardtop."

[Inside Line]