Finally, after years and years of development, testing and teasing, Cadillac’s BMW 3-Series rival enters mass production at GM’s Lansing Grand River assembly plant in Michigan. Cadillac ATS will hit the showrooms across America in August, introducing the brand to a segment it has never tried before: sports sedan.
With all the work GM engineers put into this thing, it’s not likely to be rubbish. Maybe not as good as the 3-Series, but not terrible either.
The ATS production site is where Cadillac also makes the CTS Sedan, Wagon and Coupe and V-Series performance models of each. But for the arrival of the new boy GM spent $190 million upgrading the facilities, and created 600 new jobs.
To take on the BMW in its own game, the ATS relies on a lightweight body, good engines including two four-cylinders and a V-6 for North America, and tons of features including Magnetic Ride Control, the Safety Alert Seat, and CUE, a new in-car user experience for connectivity and control using industry-first capacitive touch and natural voice recognition systems.
To make sure it also handles as well as the Bimmer, the engineers spent countless hours at Germany’s Nurburgring fine-tuning the chassis and suspension. The ATS has rear-wheel-drive, nearly 50/50 weight balance, and multi-link double-pivot MacPherson-strut front suspension with direct-acting stabilizer bar.
On paper it’s got all the bases covered. But only a head to head challenge will reveal if it’s a real match for the 3er, the definitive sports sedan.