Cadillac has announced today that it will launch two brand new models next year starting with the XTS full-size sedan in the spring of 2012 and the ATS compact sedan in the summer of that same year.

Along with that exciting announcement, the upmarket GM division also released this teaser image previewing the new ATS. Importantly, GM states that “ATS” is only a codename for the new car so we could see something else used by the time it arrives in showrooms.

However, for now, Cadillac states that its ATS will be rear-wheel drive and targeted at the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. Eventually, coupe and convertible models could be launched to better align the ATS range with its intended rivals. A high-performance ATS-V model is a given, also.

Production of the ATS, which is likely to come onto the market as a 2013 model, will take place at GM’s Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant in Michigan, creating some 600 jobs in the process.

In terms of styling, the prototype confirms Cadillac’s designers are sticking with the brand’s ‘Art and Science’ design language, with plenty of influences from the CTS evident in this teaser. Under the sheet metal is believed to be GM’s brand new ‘Alpha’ platform, a compact rear-wheel drive design that’s expected to be used for the next-generation CTS and even the Chevrolet Camaro.

GM is also slated to reveal a new Cadillac concept, either a preview of the ATS or XTS at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, which kicks off later this month.

In the meantime, check out our previous report with more details and exclusive spy shots of the ATS, and stay tuned for an update.