The ATS was launched in 2013 as Cadillac’s smallest sedan yet. Aimed at the BMW 3 Series , Audi A4 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class , the ATS was the first vehicle to ride on GM’s Alpha platform, which would later underpin the larger, third-generation Cadillac CTS . Three engines have been offered since its introduction, including a 202-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-banger as the entry-level plant; a turbocharged, 2.0-liter with 272 ponies in the mid-range model; and a range-topping, 321-horse, naturally aspirated, 3.6-liter V-6. As we move into the 2015 model year, the ATS range expands to welcome a coupe and a long-wheelbase version of the sedan.
Dubbed ATS-L, the model is exclusive to China, a market that’s overwhelmed by long-wheelbase sedans. Not to be left out in a segment that already includes longer versions of the Mercedes -Benz C-Class and the Audi A4, Cadillac is joining in with a model set to satisfy China’s need for luxury and added legroom. How does it stack up against German competition? Read on to find out.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Cadillac ATS-L.
Visually, the Cadillac ATS-L is the same, mildly facelifted 2015 ATS we can buy in the United States, except for the longer wheelbase and elongated rear doors. Stretched by nearly 3.4 inches, the wheelbase measures 112.6 inches and increases the car’s overall length from 182.4 inches to 186.2 inches. The sedan is also 0.7 inches wider than the standard ATS.
Other noticeable changes include a slightly different Cadillac emblem on the front grille, reminiscent of the wreath crest that got dropped last year, ATS-L badging around back and new, 18-inch, twin-five-spoke alloy wheels.
2015 model year updates also add a reshaped bumper with a single air dam that stretches from one side to the other and slightly revised DRL units to the ATS -L. Expect a couple of new exterior colors to join the options list, including hues that are exclusive to the Chinese market.
The main feat of the ATS-L lies in the cabin. Thanks to its longer wheelbase and wider body, the China-exclusive ATS provides additional legroom, headroom, and shoulder room. The sedan offers seating for just two people in the back, but with plenty of space in front of the leather-wrapped rear bench.
The ATS-L also benefits from all the technology and convenience features specific to the regular ATS. Chinese customers will find a CUE infotainment system with an eight-inch touchscreen, the brand-new OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity and many more once inside.
All seating surfaces are covered in handcrafted, cut-and-sewn upholstery, while aluminum, wood, carbon-fiber inserts and a bevy of color combinations make the ATS-L’s cabin a great place to be. A Bose premium audio system provides the perfect acoustic experience, while the Caddy’s Active Noise Cancellation technology will make sure no unwanted noises enter the cockpit. Both features come standard.
The ATS-L is available with two of the three engines offered on the U.S.-spec ATS. First up is the turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder unit that cranks out 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Updated for 2015, the mill delivers an extra 35 pound-feet of torque starting from 3,000 rpm and peaking at 5,500 rpm. The second engine is the familiar, naturally aspirated, 3.6-liter V-6 rated at 321 ponies and 274 pound-feet of twist.
Both powerplants mate to six-speed automatic transmissions (no manual is available), while all-wheel drive can be had as an option. With the four-banger, the sedan can reach 60 mph from a standing start in about 6.1 seconds, while the V-6 should enable it to complete the same sprint in about 5.5 seconds.
2015 Cadillac ATS-L: Drivetrain Specification
|Type||2.0-liter, four-cylinder unit, turbocharged||3.6-liter V-6|
|Output||272 HP @ 5500 RPM||321 HP @ 6800 RPM|
|Torque||295 LB-FT @ 3000-4600 RPM||275 LB-FT @ 4800|
|0 to 60 mph||6.1 seconds||5.5 seconds|
Pricing is still a mystery as of July 2014, but word on the street has it Cadillac will price the ATS-L from CN¥270,000 ($43,685 as of 07/29/2014).
Introduced in early 2009, the Audi A4L is the first long-wheelbase, compact sedan to hit the Chinese market. The L model is 2.4 inches longer than the regular A4 and can be had with a choice of four engines.
The lineup begins with a 1.8-liter, four-pot that generates 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Next up is a 2.0-liter four-banger, which is offered with either 180 ponies and 236 pound-feet or 211 horses and 258 pound-feet. Lastly, the range-topping A4L gets its oomph from a 3.0-liter, inline-six mill that’s rated at 270 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. All units are available with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed S-tronic.
While none of the engines can match the performance of Caddy’s 3.6-liter V-6, the A4L is equally impressive as far as technology and convenience features go. Granted, the A4L is a well-established player on the Chinese market, and the Germans aren’t willing to step aside. Pricing-wise, the A4L starts from CN¥272,800 ($44,139 as of 07/29/2014)
Gallery Audi A4L
The C-Class is also new to the long-wheelbase sedan market, as it’s scheduled to arrive in Chinese dealership for the 2015 model year. 3.1-inches longer than the regular C-Class, the L model’s wheelbase is longer than that of its German rival from Audi, but slightly shorter when compared to the Cadillac ATS-L. Its rear bench is also one-inch longer, a distance that can be compensated by a passenger seat that can be adjusted from the rear.
The C-Class L will be sold in two different exterior designs. The entry-level model will be offered with the classic Mercedes front grille, while the more aggressive version will carry a number of sportier, AMG body parts. Engine-wise, the range will begin with a C180 L rated at 156 horsepower, but output will go up into 300-pony territory with the sportier iteration of sedan. Pricing has yet to be revealed as of July 2014, but expect the C-Class L to start from around CN¥270,000 ($43,686 as of 07/29/2014).
Gallery Mercedes C-Class L
Gallery Cadillac ATS-L
Launched for the 2013 model year, the Cadillac ATS received a mild facelift for 2015. The bland update includes a revised bumper with a single air dam configuration, upgraded daytime running lights, and new wheel designs and exterior colors.
Inside, the sedan gains all the new features available on the 2015 ATS Coupe. An eight-inch touchscreen for the CUE infotainment system and OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with built-in Wi-Fi are the main highlights. The handcrafted upholstery, the premium Bose audio system with Active Noise Cancellation technology continue as standard.
The engine lineup remains unchanged, but a small update adds 30 pound-feet of torque to the mid-range, turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which now delivers 272 horses and 295 pound-feet. The lineup also includes a 2.5-liter four-banger rated at 202 horsepower and 191 pound-feet and a 3.6-liter V-6 that generates 321 ponies and 275 pound-feet.