2014 CADILLAC ATS CHALLENGES THE WORLD’S BEST COMPACT LUXURY CARS
The Cadillac ATS compact luxury sports sedan challenges the world’s best premium cars with an acclaimed balance of performance and refinement, wrapped in a progressive expression of Cadillac’s Art & Science design philosophy.
With one of the lowest curb weights in the segment – nearly 3,300 pounds (1,497 kg) – the ATS’s driving dynamics are rooted in mass efficiency, which helps make it Cadillac’s lightest and most agile sedan. Germany’s famed Nürburgring served as one of the key testing grounds, along with additional roads, race tracks and laboratories around the globe, where ATS engineers balanced performance with Cadillac’s trademark refinement.
Contributing components and features include:
- 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.
The ATS is offered as a well-equipped standard model and in Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections. A broad lineup of engines – including two four-cylinders and a V-6 for North America – delivers strong power to the ATS and capitalizes on the car’s lightweight and rigid structure to complement its performance with efficiency. The optional engines include Cadillac’s award-winning 2.0L Turbo, rated at 272 horsepower (203 kW) and 3.6L V-6, rated at 321 horsepower (239 kW).
New and revised features for 2014 include:
- Intellibeam automatic high-beam control added to Driver Awareness and Driver Assist packages
- 110-volt power outlet added to rear of the center console on models with CUE and Navigation package
- Frameless inside rearview mirror
- Leather-wrapped, larger-diameter sport steering wheel included on models with steering wheel paddle shift controls.
Four new exterior colors are offered, as well: Phantom Gray Metallic, Mocha Steel Metallic, Majestic Plum Metallic and Red Obsession Tintcoat, along with a larger collection of dealer-available accessories, including: an aluminum sport pedal set, 19-inch ultra-bright machined-finish aluminum wheels, 19-inch Manoogian premium painted wheels, 19-inch gloss black aluminum wheels, 19-inch Y-rated summer tires, black chrome-accented sport grille and black chrome rear applique trim.
The accessories can be ordered and installed where the vehicle is purchased and their cost rolled into the ATS’s monthly payments, for more convenient personalization.
ATS design and exterior features
A long, 109.3-inch (2,775 mm) wheelbase and wide front/rear tracks are the cornerstones of the ATS’s firmly planted stance, which is enhanced by short overhangs and taut sheet metal that appears to wrap tightly around the tires. Seventeen-inch wheels are standard and 18-inch wheels are available.
Bold vertical lighting elements – including LED front signature lighting detail – as well as illuminating outside door handles and active grille shutters, lend technologically advanced style and function to the ATS. The grille shutters close when additional engine cooling isn’t required, to reduce aerodynamic drag and enhance fuel economy.
High-intensity discharge headlamps with Adaptive Forward Lighting are available on models with the 2.0L turbo and 3.6L V-6 engines. The new Intellibeam feature – included with the Driver Awareness or Driver Assist packages – automatically deploys high-beam headlamps when needed and instantly turns them down when oncoming traffic is detected.
Seventeen-inch premium painted aluminum wheels are standard, with 17-inch polished and 18-inch machined-face and polished wheels available. Nineteen-inch wheel-and-tire combinations are available as dealer-installed accessories.
Exterior colors: Red Obsession Tintcoat, Phantom Gray Metallic, Majestic Plum Metallic, Mocha Steel Metallic, Radiant Silver Metallic, Black Raven, Black Diamond Tricoat, White Diamond Tricoat, Opulent Blue Metallic and Silver Coast Metallic.
ATS interior features
A driver-focused interior with integrated technology and crafted materials complements the exterior elements and supports the ATS’s driving experience. Everything from the placement of the pedals to the position of the shifter is designed for effortless and intuitive performance driving. Available performance seats have power-adjustable bolsters to optimize lateral support during high-load cornering.
Contributing to the interior’s intuitive feel is an instrument panel that wraps into the doors and a center stack in the mid-instrument panel that flows into the center console. LED lighting for the bold gauge cluster enables clear, at-a-glance viewing in all lighting conditions, while ambient lighting accents functional elements of the console and doors.
Real wood, metal plating and carbon fiber trim and Cadillac’s cut-and-sewn instrument panel, console and doors enhance the emotional connection to the ATS. Choices of many interior color themes, each with unique accent trim material, cover a wide range of flavors – from light, open and warm to dark and serious, bold technical and sporty.
Interior color and trim choices include: Jet Black with Jet Black accents, Morello Red with Jet Black accents, Light Platinum with Brownstone accents, Caramel with Jet Black accents and Light Platinum with Jet Black accents.
Additional available interior features include:
- Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity with natural voice recognition
- USB, auxiliary and SD memory card ports
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio with three-month trial subscription
- Keyless access and keyless push-button start
- Reconfigurable 5.7-inch instrument panel cluster display
- Full-color reconfigurable head-up display
- Leatherette or leather seating surfaces.
New for 2014 is a thicker-rim sport steering wheel on models equipped with the magnesium steering wheel paddle shift controls, as well as a frameless inside rearview mirror that contributes to the ATS’s technologically advanced and clean aesthetic. Also, a 110-volt power outlet has been added to the rear of the center console on models equipped with the CUE and Navigation package.
A seven-speaker Bose ® premium sound system with Active Noise Cancelation technology is offered on the standard model and Luxury Collection. A 10-speaker surround sound upgrade is available on standard and Luxury, and it is included with Performance and Premium Collections. A navigation system is also available with Luxury and Performance Collections and is standard with the Premium Collection.
Cadillac CUE details
The ATS is offered with Cadillac CUE (with or without navigation) – a comprehensive, in-vehicle experience that merges intuitive design with auto industry-first controls and commands for information and entertainment data. It is designed to be unique for each consumer, from the “simple user” to the fully connected “super user.”
CUE is available on base models and standard on Luxury, Performance and Premium collections. It pairs entertainment and information data from up to 10 Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices, USBs, SD cards and MP3 players with a vehicle infotainment system that reduces complexity through customized information, voice commands and fewer buttons and larger icons. For example, most of today’s luxury cars have around 20 buttons controlling the radio and entertainment functions. CUE has only four.
The heart of CUE is the eight-inch LCD multi-touch sensitive screen, seamlessly integrated into the top of the central instrument panel and a motorized, fully capacitive faceplate at the bottom concealing a 1.8L storage area. The vibrant LCD screen displays CUE’s home page, which resembles a smart phone’s screen, by using large, easy-to-target icons to execute commands. Capacitive technology refers to using electrodes to sense the conductive properties of objects, such as a finger.
The engine lineup includes a standard 2.5L four-cylinder, with an available 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder or 3.6L V-6. The four-cylinder engines were designed and developed specifically for the ATS, with the 2.0L Turbo offered with a manual transmission – a choice unavailable in many luxury competitors do not offer.
Increased efficiency was a priority for the new four-cylinder engines. It was achieved partly through lower engine friction, which was reduced by up to 16 percent from previous benchmarks, using new technologies such as a variable-displacement oil pump and, with the 2.5L, an actively controlled thermostat. Cadillac proprietary computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis techniques were used to develop an all-new combustion system with a higher compression ratio, which also helps boost efficiency.
The 2.5L is rated at 202 horsepower (151 kW) and 191 lb.-ft. or torque (259 Nm), while the award-winning 2.0L Turbo is rated at 272 horsepower (203 kW) and 260 lb.-ft. of torque (353 Nm). The award-winning 3.6L V-6 is rated at 321 horsepower (239 kW) and 275 lb.-ft. of torque (373 Nm).
At 136hp/L, the 2.0L Turbo is one of the most power-dense engines in the industry, topping engines from European competitors.
All of the engines feature direct injection and dual overhead camshafts with continuously variable valve timing, which help optimize power and efficiency, as well as reduce emissions. And all of the engines are matched with six-speed transmissions, including the Hydra-Matic 6L45 automatic with tap-shift control, and a six-speed manual available with the 2.0L Turbo.
ATS driving experience
Proportion and balance are on the ATS’s side, with a low curb weight near 3,300 pounds (1,497 kg) and power-dense powertrains that are also lightweight to achieve a 50/50 weight distribution and a greater power-to-weight ratio. They complement wide front and rear tracks – 59.5-inch/1,512mm (front) and 60-inch/1,548mm (rear) – and a low center of gravity, promoting greater stability.
Low vehicle mass and optimal brake sizes give the ATS braking performance that is among the best in the segment, with Brembo brakes contributing to 60-0 performance of approximately 129 feet (39.3 meters).
Up front, a multi-link MacPherson strut suspension uses a double-pivot design for a more precise feeling of control, including more linear and communicative steering, and a smoother ride. It also improves impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces.
The double-pivot system incorporates a pair of ball joints and lower control links that replace a conventional wishbone at each wheel. The optimal balance of ride and handling is achieved via a suspension geometry that decouples road inputs by integrating a soft fore/aft “ride link” that provides greater isolation from impacts and a stiff, laterally positioned “handling link” for more direct steering feel and quicker lateral response.
The control arms, the spindle and the body form an effective four-bar link for each side of the front suspension, creating virtual pivot points for reduced spindle length, significantly reducing steering wheel feedback due to wheel impacts and imbalance. There is also a direct-acting stabilizer bar.
The front suspension’s design also enables a shorter spindle and positive-offset steering geometry for optimal steering control, excellent straight-line stability and a more refined ride. High-durometer rubber and hydraulic bushings are used with the front suspension for an excellent balance of ride comfort and precise response when cornering.
At the rear of the ATS is the first five-link independent suspension in a Cadillac. It’s a design that helps reduces roll center motion, enables positive lateral control, reduces “squat” during acceleration and promotes excellent dynamic stability. In short, it helps keep the tires planted on all surfaces and during all hard-cornering maneuvers.
Four handling links (upper and lower control arms) are used at each side to control wheel motion and a toe link at each wheel provides additional horizontal control – particularly during hard cornering. The upper and lower links create an effective double-wishbone design, although the links are mounted independently. As with the front suspension, the five-link design creates virtual pivot points that the ATS’s engineers used for geometry optimization. The stiff links are mounted on a cradle that contributes to a smoother, quieter and more isolated ride. The cradle is made of steel (with hydroformed side rails) to help optimize the car’s structural stiffness and mass.
Seventeen-inch (17x8-inch) wheels matched with 225/40-series tires are standard, and 18x8-inch wheels and 255/35-series rubber are available on the ATS, with run-flat tires. Models with the FE3 Performance Suspension Package feature 18x9-inch rear wheels.
A mechanical limited-slip differential is a feature not matched by all other competitors and gives the ATS an edge when it comes to ensuring all of the powertrain’s torque is applied to the tires during hard cornering. It is standard with the six-speed manual transmission and included with the FE3 Performance Suspension Package. It is housed in a robust 8.6-inch carrier. Other models feature a 7.67-inch carrier.
Supporting the ATS’s new suspension designs are advanced damping, steering and braking systems, including Magnetic Ride Control (MRC), which is the heart of the FE3 Performance Suspension Package (included on the RWD Premium Collection) that also includes a mechanical limited-slip differential, high-capacity engine cooling system and 18-inch summer-performance tires. MRC is a real-time damping system that delivers more precise body motion control. It “reads” the road and can change damping every millisecond.
Selectable driver mode settings are standard on ATS. With FE3-equipped vehicles, the modes allow the driver to select different ranges of damping for Magnetic Ride Control, including a competitive mode in “Sport” that also adjusts the transmission shift algorithm and the intervention of the stability control and traction control systems.
All ATS models come with a premium electric, variable-assist power steering gear from ZF Steering Systems. It is designed to deliver excellent response and on-center characteristics, while also saving fuel because engine power isn’t directly required to assist gear movement – as is the case with conventional hydraulic systems.
The steering gear has great torsional stiffness and lower operating friction, which enhance the steering feel with almost perfect linear response. Additionally, the steering column and intermediate shaft feature stiff, direct-acting and low-friction ball bearing designs. That means there is almost no “lash” in the entire steering system, for a more immediate and connected-to-the-road feel for the driver.
Four-wheel disc brakes – with patented rotor coating protection and auto-dry functionality – are standard on all models, with Brembo performance brakes available on the standard model and included on the Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections. They are matched with a four-channel ABS system that is integrated with standard StabiliTrak stability control and full-function traction control.
ATS safety features
ATS provides standard NHTSA 5-Star all-around and overall crash safety ratings, the highest safety ratings available.
In addition, Cadillac provides available advanced safety in the based on Cadillac’s “control and alert” strategy that employs advanced technologies – including radar, cameras and ultrasonic sensors – to help prevent crashes. The safety features bolster driver vision and awareness of road hazards, and can even assist to help the driver avert potential crashes. In certain situations, Cadillac’s advanced crash-avoidance systems, such as automatic braking, can pre-fill and automatically apply braking in response to potential hazards.
Among the most sophisticated of the features is Fr ont and Rear Automatic Braking. It relies on radar, camera and ultrasonic technology to help the driver prevent front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary.
Many of the ATS’s advanced safety features are bundled in the Driver Awareness and Driver Assist Packages. The Driver Awareness package is available on Luxury and included in Performance and Premium Collections and includes:
- Safety Alert Seat
- Forward Collision Alert
- Lane Departure Warning
- Rainsense ® wipers
- Intellibeam ® high-beam control
- Rear thorax air bags.
The Driver Assist package is available on Performance and Premium and includes all of the Driver Awareness package content, plus:
- Full-Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
- Automatic Collision Preparation
- Electronic Park Brake
- Front and Rear Automatic Braking
- Side Blind Zone Alert
- Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
- Full-color head-up display.
The advanced technologies complement the ATS’s other safety features, including eight standard air bags (10 optional), safety belt pretensioners and load limiters, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with full-function traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel ABS, patented rotor coating protection and auto-dry functionality. Hill Hold/Start assist is also standard on ATS with both automatic and manual transmission.
A rearview camera system with dynamic guideless is included with CUE, which is standard on Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections and available on Standard Model.
ATS and OnStar
One year of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on ATS. OnStar is the global leading provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology.
OnStar’s RemoteLink Mobile App allows smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle. An opt-in service called FamilyLink allows subscribers to stay connected to loved ones by checking the location of their vehicle online or by signing up for vehicle location alerts.
More information about OnStar can be found at www.onstar.com.