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After being rumored for quite some time, the new Cadillac ATS compact sedan has officially been unveiled at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. The car was built to challenge some of the world’s best premium cars like the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes C-Class. It will go on sale in Summer 2012.

The new 2013 Cadillac ATS will be distinguished by its active shutter grille, LED-infused headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome trim, vertical taillights, and integrated trunk spoiler. It is also the first Cadillac model to carry the CUE infotainment system - an eight-inch LCD multi-touch sensitive screen that is integrated into the top of the center instrument panel.

Customers will have the possibility to choose between three engines: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 200 HP, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 270 HP, and a 3.6-liter V6 with 318 HP. All three engines can be combined with either a six-speed manual transmission or an automatic transmission, as well as an optional all-wheel drive system.

"Designed with quick, nimble and fun-to-drive dynamics, ATS expands Cadillac’s portfolio into a crucial global segment," said Don Butler, vice president of marketing for Cadillac. "For a new group of luxury consumers, this is a car that will fit their lifestyle and challenge the segment’s status quo."

UPDATE 06/17/12: Cadillac has released the official online configurator for the ATS sedan. Hop on over to the Caddy website and put on your creative hats and play away!

UPDATE 07/18/12: The new Cadillac ATS will be the star of a new series of videos featuring the sedan traveling the world to challenge some of the most punishing roads on Earth. Watch as the ATS’ advanced features are challenged and set the standard in every corner of the earth.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Cadillac ATS.

  • 2013 Cadillac ATS
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-6 DI VVT
  • Transmission:
    manual and automatic transmission options
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    318 / 237 @ 6800
  • Torque @ RPM:
    267 / 362 @ 4900
  • Energy:
    direct high-pressure fuel injection
  • Displacement:
    3600 L
  • Layout:
    Both RWD and AWD
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2013 Cadillac ATS High Resolution Exterior
- image 433042

The 2013 ATS takes Cadillac’s Art & Science design language and reinterprets it for proportions relative to the vehicle’s compact design. The compact model sits at 182.8 inches/4643mm long, 55.9 inches/1421 mm tall, and 71.1 inches/1805 mm wide. Its wheelbase measures 109.3 inches/2775 mm, with a 59.5 inches/1512 mm track in the front and a 60.9 inches/1548 mm track in the rear. The ATS was built using a new rear-wheel drive platform with a total weight of only 3400 lbs and a 51/49 weight distribution. Cadillac managed to keep the weight as low as possible by using an aluminum hood, magnesium engine mount brackets, and lightweight, natural-fiber door trim panels.

As for the standout features of the car, the Cadillac ATS now boasts of an active shutter grille that closes at certain highway speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag and enhance fuel economy. Added to the mix are LED-infused headlights, a chrome trim, vertical taillights, an integrated trunk spoiler, and 17-18" painted, polished, or machined-face alloy wheels.


2013 Cadillac ATS Interior AutoShow
- image 433052

The elegance and simplicity of the exterior flows inside of the vehicle towards a driver-focused interior with integrated technology and crafted materials like real wood, plated metal plating, and carbon fiber trim. Of course, these features are second to the all-new Cadillac CUE (Cadillac User Experience) infotainment system that includes an eight-inch LCD multi-touch sensitive screen, seamlessly integrated into the top of the center instrument panel and a motorized fully capacitive faceplate at the bottom concealing a 1.8L storage area. The ATS marks the first Cadillac to feature the CUE system.


2013 Cadillac ATS Drivetrain
- image 433033

On the North American market, the 2013 Cadillac ATS will be offered with a choice of three engines: two four-cylinders and a V-6. The base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 200 HP, while the middle child of the group is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 270 HP. The honor of the top version goes to the 3.6-liter V6 with 318 HP. The ATS will be offered with both manual and automatic transmission options, along with rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive configurations.

The new Cadillac ATS will be offered with:

  • Nearly 50/50 weight balance
  • Cadillac’s first five-link independent rear suspension using lightweight, high-strength steel and efficient straight link designs
  • A multi-link double-pivot MacPherson-strut front suspension with direct-acting stabilizer bar
  • Driver-adjustable FE3 sport suspension with Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping
  • Underbody aerodynamic shields
  • Premium (belt driven) electric variable-effort steering gear from ZF Steering Systems
  • Four-channel ABS with available Brembo performance brakes
  • Available all-wheel drive
2.0L Turbo DI VVT
Displacement (cu in / cc): 122 / 1998 150 / 2457 217 / 3564
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86 3.46 x 3.97 / 88 x 101 3.7 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6
Block material: cast aluminum cast aluminum cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum cast aluminum cast aluminum
Valvetrain: DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing DOHC, four valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing DOHC, four valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing
Fuel delivery: direct high-pressure fuel injection direct high-pressure fuel injection direct high-pressure fuel injection
Compression ratio: 9.2:1 11.4:1 11.5:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 270 / 201 @ 5300 (est) 200 / 149 @ 6200 (est) 318 / 237 @ 6800 (est - gas)
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm): 260 / 353 @ 2400 (est) 188 / 255 @ 4500 (est) 267 / 362 @ 4900 (est - gas)
Recommended fuel: premium recommended but not required regular unleaded regular unleaded or E85
Maximum engine speed (rpm): 6350 7000 7200
Estimated fuel economy: TBD TBD TBD


The 2013 Cadillac ATS will go on sale in Summer 2012. Prices will start from $35,195, including destination charges. The 2.0L turbocharged version will cost $35,795, while the V6 version comes with a price of $42,090. The top version will be offered with an automatic transmission and standard content that includes CUE, leather 8-way power seats with memory, adaptive start, and more.


2013 Cadillac ATS High Resolution Exterior
- image 433045

Cadillac built the ATS as a cheaper alternative to models like the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes C-Class.

The new BMW 3-Series is offered with a choice of four engines - two petrol and two diesel - with powered ranging from 184 to 306 HP. The Mercedes C-Class is offered in a choice of 11 different models, both petrol and diesel, with the most powerful delivering 306 HP. These figures provide the ATS with the advantage of being a bit more powerful than both challengers, with what we can easily assume will be a cheaper price tag.

2013 Cadillac ATS High Resolution Exterior
- image 433044
  • Leave it
    • Cadillac doesn’t hold the appeal BMW and Mercedes do.
Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (365) posted on 06.26.2012

I can’t actually say my judgment when I still have not seen the competitor.

  (830) posted on 06.25.2012

The interior is promising and keeps me wanting it.

  (224) posted on 06.22.2012

Performance can only tell which is better between ATS and its competition.

  (542) posted on 06.21.2012

I don’t think that Mercedes needs to compete with Cadillac. Just look on the body and read the specifications you can have your bet right away.

  (194) posted on 06.20.2012

Whatever might be its competition will be thoroughly beaten.

  (683) posted on 06.18.2012

I’m glad that Mercedes will have to compete with this Cadillac.

  (830) posted on 06.15.2012

Really, there isn’t a single component that I have not spotted in others.

  (599) posted on 05.29.2012

It’s most probably made for enthusiasts with infinite craving for elegance.

  (441) posted on 05.17.2012

It isn’t too late for Cadillac to produce more innovative cars; they shouldn’t be disheartened by the fact that what’s new to them is already old from the others.

  (466) posted on 05.13.2012

I feel like Cadillac’s awareness of high-tech features have only been happening now. I hope the spurt continues; ATS is still an entry-level car to me if you compare it with its competitions.

  (553) posted on 05.10.2012

I guess it’s left behind in time; all the features it’s boasting about are already existent in other models of the other brands.

  (474) posted on 05.9.2012

Its initial attempt is wonderful; sooner or later, this would captivate plenty of enthusiasts because this something new to Cadillac.

  (300) posted on 05.9.2012

Cadillac might be a late bloomer, but they have proven with this ATS that they can be on par with the most recent innovations by other brands.

  (558) posted on 05.8.2012

For a first timer, I think that Cadillac has a brilliant packaging. This needs to be more recognized.

  (287) posted on 05.7.2012

I think all are pointless if it doesn’t appeal to the people. It’s great, really, but it’s no use if consumers are not able to see the featured specifications.

  (630) posted on 05.7.2012

I can tell that Cadillac’s technology is slow on development because as stated, this is their first vehicle with a CUE infotainment system yet. Regardless of that matter, I think it’s impressively innovative anyway. The concern for its performance should be set aside too as it is proven than most of its competition. From what I can see, the trouble that this faces is that it isn’t as popular as the said competition cars.

  (526) posted on 03.9.2012

If you have the hunger for luxury, why not buy this Cadillac? You will be the talk of the town if you have one this. smiley

  (463) posted on 02.16.2012

What a great look! I think this is more powerful than more expensive competitors. When it comes to the body paint, its very luxurious to look at.

  (517) posted on 02.7.2012

Wow! It offers more features making it a great look. Good thing about Cadillac will be offered a choice of three engines and that’s more awesome to hear off.

  (676) posted on 01.31.2012

Wow! Amazing high technology the first Cadillac with CUE system. It’s a simple but elegant car. I love everything about this car.

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