Cadillac ATS, 2013: Agile, lightweight, hi-tech, luxurious (video)

James Raia

Hoping to compete in the increasingly popular trend of small luxury cars, the 2013 Cadillac ATS, a compact sports sedan and the smallest vehicle in the 107-year-old carmaker's history, has debuted at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

The Cadillac ATS, which will be available in dealerships nationwide in the summer of 2012, is being marketed as the most agile and lightweight Cadillac. It weights less than 3,400 pounds.

The ATS will be available in two four-cylinder engines and as a V-6. They new sedan will range from 200 to about 320 horsepower, and will be available in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive and with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

Cadillac hopes it can challenge segment leaders, particularly the BMW 3-Series, a perennial top seller and long-time top-10 choice on car of the year lists.

Intertior of the 2013 Cadillac ATS

Some of the new model's feature and components:
* 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;
* Four models — Base, Luxury, Performance, and Premium;
* Premium model comes standard with Bose sound and satellite navigation;
* Options include a new connected infotainment system called CUE, for Cadillac User Experience;
* Available safety features include adaptive cruise control, brake assist, and lane departure warning.

Prices for the Cadillac ATS have not been announced, but starting points in the mid-$30,000 range are predicted.

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