Punching its Weight — Cadillac Hits Back with 2013 ATS

Cadillac ATS

They say in some spheres that less is more.

This is certainly the case when it comes to compact cars, which are luxury brands’ biggest sellers.

Now, with the launch of the 2013 Cadillac ATS in the Middle East, Cadillac are hitting back at BMW, Mercedes and Audi with a compact car of their own.

People move up to luxury cars by entering the compact market: Cadillac want to strike while that iron is hot. How?

The Reassurance of Safety

Not only does the ATS hit hard: it can take the hits. In the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests, the ATS achieved five stars — the maximum — in each category it was tested in: frontal crash, side crash, rollover, and overall.

In places like the UAE, where the dangerous driving on the roads makes car insurance as essential as it is mandatory, it’s good to know the vehicle can handle a bump or two.

The Convenience of ‘Travelling Light’

Cadillac aimed to produce a car that was light, agile, and fun. Don’t be fooled, however, by the ‘light’ objective. They haven’t sacrificed any vehicle quality to achieve this. Designers and mechanics wanted a 50-50 weight balance: they ruled out anything that disrupted it.

The Pampering of an Adaptive Suspension

The car has a Gen II suspension system, which has a faster processor and four small magnets in each shock rather than two large ones. The system allows a quicker response from the suspension. Instead of waiting for electric current to dissipate, the system pulls the current out of the shocks to make them softer when they need to be.

The Luxury of Choice

One of the 2013 Cadillac ATS’s luxuries is that you can choose from three different types of engine. Teamed up with a six-speed transmission, the top one is a direct-injection 3.6 liter V6 which offers 321 horsepower, 275 lbs per foot of torque. Here, the 2013 ATS gets one over on similar sized V6s from Lexus and Mercedes. Nice.

The second, though not available for a while in the Middle East, is a 2.0 liter engine that delivers 272 hp and 260 lb per foot, and, at 136 hp per liter, trumps the 2.0Ts from Audi and BMW. Meanwhile, the base engine makes the car competitive across the class, with a displacement of 2.5 liters, horsepower of 202 hp and 191 lb per foot of torque.

Cadillac are clearly aiming to appeal to a younger audience, by producing a car that’s cool, quick and nimble. However, even though there are countries like the UAE, where motorists feel the need for speed, Cadillac have respected their design aims and their own principles of quality and still managed to achieve full marks for safety. It all makes for a vehicle that can give BMW, Audi and other brands who produce compact cars as good as it gets from them. Now car buyers in the Middle East must decide who the winner is.


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