Cadillac’s latest sedan, the compact ATS, is an all-new product for the luxury automaker. Starting with a clean sheet of paper, the ATS was designed to be a driver’s car, but it also had to carry on with Cadillac’s distinctive design language.

The ATS shares common traits, like vertical taillights and a rear spoiler that doubles as a brake light, with other models in the Cadillac portfolio. Rather than simply copying these elements, the ATS’ designers opted to modernize them.

Taillights now use LEDs, as do the headlights. Cadillac’s “shield” grille is pared back to give the ATS a more sporting appearance. Every line on the car was sculpted to reflect a level of athleticism not previously associated with Cadillac (CTS-V models excepted, of course).

Materials and details were selected to give the ATS a quality appearance, allowing it to successfully compete with luxury brands from Germany or Japan. Inside, there’s more room than you’d expect from a compact car, and fake wood trim is nowhere to be found. Even carbon-fiber trim is genuine, not merely vinyl-wrapped plastic.

Will the combination of performance, style, luxury and value be enough to draw new buyers into Cadillac showrooms? We’ll know more when the ATS hits dealers later this spring.