The new Cadillac ATS sports sedan, as you know, is designed from the ground up to be as good as BMW 3 Series in terms of handling and driving fun. It seems, however, Cadillac is getting a bit carried away in their quest to achieve that.
Performance Algorithm Liftfoot, or PAL, is a new system they came up with, and its job is to provide you with more mid-corner fun!
It comes only for the models equipped with the six-speed automatic gearbox – which is fine actually, because the ATS’ manual gearbox turned out to be rubbish – and engages when you put the car in the Sport mode. Basically, it automatically downshifts for you at the right moment, so you can focus on handling the corner.
PAL drops a gear when the suspension lets it know it’s having sufficient cornering lateral force. That is translated in the car’s brain as an act of spirited driving, which triggers PAL. With continued high-throttle driving and aggressive braking, the transmission will maintain the lower gears to assist in acceleration and in preparing for the next corner.
Cadillac has developed and honed this system at the Nurbugring. It is great how much they care about joy of driving and fun handling, but last time we checked more electronic interference meant less fun for the driver.
Still, let’s wait and see how it works in the real world.