Cadillac ATS (2012) compact exec unveiled at Detroit show

Published: 09 January 2012

Cadillac took the wraps off the new compact Caddy, the ATS, at an event on the eve of the 2012 Detroit auto show.

The new Cadillac ATS is essentially a BMW 3-series rival meeting all the design and engineering criteria of the larger Cadillacs.

Cadillac ATS: what’s new

The ATS is like a baby CTS – the Art and Science design credo has been upheld, with sharp creases and pressed body surfacing to give it the Cady look. It’s 4643mm long.

Cadillac says it was developed at the Nurburgring, like the V-performance models, and the multi-link rear/MacPherson front strut suspension is available with magnerheological damping for driver selected response.

The ATS is rear-wheel drive as standard, although US buyers can pick four-wheel drive too. The base car – with a sole driven axle – weighs less than 1542kg, according to GM. The bonnet is aluminium and there are numerous other weight-saving details throughout the ATS.

So when can I buy a Cadillac ATS?

The sales figures published this week suggest we’ll never see the ATS in the UK; Cadillac failed to sell a single car in Britain in 2011, despite being theoretically on sale here.

A pair of four-cylinder 2.0-litre or 2.5 engines and a 3.6 V6 will be offered in the US.

The ATS is notable for its debut of Cue, or Cadillac User Experience. It’s a multimedia syncing device which can pair data from up to 10 Bluetooth-enabled devices, USBs, SD cards or MP3 players – replacing around 20 buttons with four touch points and voice command.

The Cadillac ATS will be built at the Lansing plant in Michigan.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet