To build a car that’s optimized for the racetrack means sacrificing the comfort that luxury sedan buyers expect from their daily driver. Likewise, to build a luxury sedan that envelopes the driver in comfort means sacrificing performance at the track.

Very few cars blend superior performance and superior comfort, but that’s the exact goal of Cadillac’s new ATS sedan. It’s expected to compete head-to-head with the likes of BMW’s 3-Series and the Audi A4, both of which can be ordered with an emphasis on luxury, an emphasis on sport or a reasonable blend of both worlds.

As the video below explains, Cadillac is sweating even the smallest details on the new ATS. It’s being developed not just on Germany’s Nürburgring circuit, but on the Autobahn as well, with careful attention being paid to both ride comfort and handling.

Cadillac has done a superior job of blending performance with handling in the CTS-V performance luxury sedan, but finding the “sweet spot” in a lower-priced sedan like the ATS may prove to be more difficult. We’ll know soon enough, since the ATS sedan is set to launch in 2012 as a 2013 model.