Cadillac ATS comes to Europe in autumn 2012

Published: 28 August 2012

Cadillac's ATS compact saloon will go on sale in Europe following the car's centre-stage appearance on the Cadillac stand at the 2012 Paris motor show next month.

With provisions made for right-hand drive versions, Cadillac is clearly serious about entering the UK market again, despite the sink-without-trace disappearing act that was the BLS.

Why is Cadillac muscling into Europe with the ATS?

It's a good question. Given the minuscule sales register of the CTS and BLS over here in recent years, you'd be forgiven for wondering exactly why Cadillac persists with European sales. 

Yet the ATS stands a better chance than most recent launches, reckons Cadillac. This is an all-new effort, rather than simply a chromed-up Saab 9-3 masquerading as a Caddy BLS. And the ATS is in the heartland of Europe's most popular exec sector - BMW 3-series territory.

Based on an all-new architecture , the rear-drive ATS is said to have been designed with an emphasis on light weight, which could equal the sort of honed driving dynamics needed to challenge the class best from BMW, Mercedes, and Jaguar. Interior fit and finish will also need to banish those old Yankee car stereotypes if Caddy is to get a look in beside the Teutonic might of Audi's much-lauded cabins.

What hardware is the ATS packing to give Cadillac a fighting chance?

The specs for the ATS are promising. Besides the lightweight platform, there's an engine directly aimed at downsized European tastes. The 2.0-litre turbocharged engine being offered from launch will power the ATS to 62mph in 5.9sec, thanks to its 272bhp.

In comparison, an equivalent 1997cc four-pot BMW 328i only musters 245bhp, though still manages to match the Caddy ATS's 5.9sec 0-62mph sprint. Could there be a monumental upset in the inevitable twin test when the ATs reaches our shores in the coming months? Watch this space. Fact is though, the vast bulk of compact execs are sold in more lowly diesel spec... 

Any other new Cadillacs coming to Paris?

Of most petrolhead interest is the full family of CTS-V variants. The coupe, saloon and estate all pack the same 556bhp punch, thanks to a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine,

If that offends your eco-consciousness, then fear not, as Caddy will also showcase a hybrid version of the gargantuan Escalade SUV. The favourite of rap videos now boasts, says Cadillac, a 33% improvement in fuel economy, thanks to its electrically variable transmission, while in city driving. Should be good for mpg into double figures now, then...