The launch of the 2013 Cadillac ATS is just around the corner. 2012 promises to be a big year for Cadillac. For the past few years it has been sorely in need of a fresh direction. The CTS and SRX are the only truly competitive, volume vehicles in the lineup. The competition, on the other hand, has different segments of the market well covered.
For 2012 that will begin to change somewhat, as Cadillac prepares to introduce what it calls its two “bookends” – the 2013 Cadillac XTS and ATS. The ATS is the volume model of the two, and the one we are looking forward to the most. That is because its rear-wheel drive. The Alpha platform that underpins it is an all-new architecture designed specifically for the ATS.
The CTS has been successful straddling the compact and mid-size sedan segments, but for the first time Cadillac will go straight for the BMW 3-Series. Cadillac has just announced pricing information for the ATS. The base model is powered by a 2.5-liter, 200 horsepower four-cylinder mated to a six-speed automatic. This option enables a low price of entry. During development Cadillac engineers have mentioned the E46 3-Series as a benchmark and these specifications put it on par with the 328i of that era.
It starts at $33,990. Shelling out $1,805 will net you an extra 70 horsepower with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder model. Odds are the 2.0T will be the best-selling ATS model. Unlike the other two it is available with rear- and all-wheel drive, as well as automatic or manual transmissions. Those who want six-cylinder power can opt for the 320 horsepower, $42,090 3.6-liter V-6 model.
Cadillac is showing confidence with its pricing of the ATS, not attempting to undercut the 3-Series by a large margin. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder model comes in at about $910 less, but with 40 less horsepower. At $35,795 the 2.0-T commands about $895 more than the 328i, but offers 30 more hp. The ATS promises to be the stiffest challenge to the 3-Series yet. Let the competition begin.