2013 Cadillac ATS Preview

Jeff Youngs | Apr 23, 2012
  • Brand-new model to Cadillac lineup
  • Standard CUE infotainment system
  • Numerous safety technologies
  • Four- and 6-cylinder engines
  • Rear-wheel drive


Cadillac is repositioning its luxury sedan lineup, moving the CTS up a notch to slot in underneath the new XTS and to make room for the new ATS. The ATS is a compact luxury sport sedan designed to compete with the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Exterior Features

Cadillac says the new 2013 ATS evolves its now-familiar Art & Science design language. The ATS is equipped with a long wheelbase combined with compact dimensions, as is reflected in the 10.2 cubic-foot trunk. Features such as an aluminum hood save weight, while active grille shutters and aerodynamic underbody shields are installed to improve fuel economy. The ATS features illuminating door handles and LED front lighting, as well as standard 17-inch aluminum wheels. Weight is distributed 51:49 front-to-rear.

Interior Features

Real wood and metal-plated trim decorate the new ATS's cabin, which also features LED gauge illumination, a reconfigurable gauge display, and a variety of color themes.

Standard Cadillac User Experience (CUE) technology allows up to 10 different devices to be paired to the car's infotainment system via Bluetooth, USB port, SD card slot, or auxiliary input jack. CUE is equipped with an 8-inch, capacitive-touch LCD screen allowing the user to spread, pinch and swipe menus and data just as they might on a smartphone or tablet computer.

Optional Features

In addition to a standard level of trim, the new Cadillac ATS is available in Luxury, Performance, and Premium Collection trim levels. Extras include a navigation system, Bose Cabin Surround premium audio system, reconfigurable color head-up display, performance-bolstered seats, carbon fiber interior trim, and Brembo brakes.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Cadillac ATS is equipped with a standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine featuring direct fuel injection. It makes an estimated 200 horsepower and 188 lb.-ft. of torque.

A turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is available, generating an estimated 270 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, the latter available as low as 2,400 rpm. Premium fuel is recommended for this engine, but is not required.

The most powerful engine is a direct-injected 3.6-liter V-6 good for an estimated 320 horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of torque.

A 6-speed manual transmission is standard with all three engines, delivering power to the ATS's rear wheels. A 6-speed automatic is optional, as well as an all-wheel-drive system and a Magnetic Ride Control suspension.


The new ATS comes standard with 8 air bags, traction and stability control, 4-wheel vented disc anti-lock brakes with brake assist, and one year of OnStar service with Automatic Collision Notification.

Safety-related options include Adaptive Forward Lighting, full-speed-range adaptive cruise control, Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Collision Preparation (pre-fills the brakes for maximum braking force), lane-departure warning, Side Blind Zone Alert, Intelligent Brake Assist, and a rearview camera.

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