The Cadillac ATS’s lighter weight is a competitive advantage
Like an athlete training for a major competition like the upcoming Olympics, Cadillac is completing its preparations for the all-new 2013 ATS, including finalising key performance specifications.
The ATS, with a 2.5-litre engine and automatic transmission, has an official base curb weight of 1,503kg — making it the lightest vehicle in its competitor segment. The all-new compact luxury sport sedan translates that mass efficiency into nimble, quick performance.
The 1,570kg rear-wheel-drive ATS achieves 0-60mph (0-96kph) acceleration in 5.4 seconds — among the fastest in its segment compared to mainstream competitor variants — when equipped with a 3.6-litre V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission.
“Being quick and agile are highly valued qualities in the compact luxury sport sedan segment,” said David Masch, ATS chief engineer, when recently questioned about his product. “We designed and engineered the ATS’s all-new vehicle architecture to deliver a spirited driving experience that builds on Cadillac’s sport heritage and success with its performance-tuned CTS-V.”
The lightweight construction combines with sleek aerodynamics and other efficient engineering techniques to enable an excellent GM-estimated fuel economy of 7.35 l/100km highway and 10.69 l/100km in city driving for the 2.5-litre (EPA estimates are not yet available).
An aluminum hood and front suspension parts, magnesium engine mount brackets and natural-fiber door trim panels contribute to ATS’s light weight.
The development team also reduced weight in the rear suspension by using specially engineered straight steel links with mass-reducing holes instead of using aluminium.
The ATS’s performance also benefited from efficient 50-50 mass distribution between the front and rear. The car’s segment-leading lower curb weight enabled the use of optimised high-strength aluminium 18-inch wheel forgings and front Brembo brakes that deliver a 60-0 mph (96-0kph) stopping distance of approximately 39.3 metres.
The vehicle also uses an acoustically laminated windshield and side windows that are lighter than standard tempered glass and provide better wind and powertrain noise reduction for a quiet interior. Acoustically laminated glass offers almost double the amount of ultraviolet ray protection.
“With the ATS, Cadillac set out to deliver a leading compact luxury sport sedan that would be fun to drive year-round, while providing all of the amenities and advanced technologies that luxury car buyers expect,” said Don Butler, US vice president of Cadillac Marketing, speaking at the unveiling of the new model. “ATS provides a new entryway to Cadillac for luxury car buyers, and strives to become a compelling challenger in a segment dominated by Europeans. The only way to achieve that mission was to create an excellent driver’s car.”
The ATS will be available in the Middle East in the last quarter of this year. It will be offered in a 2.5-litre engine and next-generation six-speed transmission and a 3.6-litre V-6 with a preliminary rating of 321 horsepower standard content that includes the Cadillac User Experience (CUE,) a comprehensive, in-vehicle user experience; leather seating surfaces are optional as well as eight-way power front seats plus two-way power lumbar, adaptive remote start and more. All-wheel drive is also available.