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Rocky Mountain Driving Experience 2013


the is at this year’s Rocky Mountain Driving Experience.

Unfortunately not a Cadillac in sight.

However, if you want to follow the goings-on, check out our related twitter feed at:


for our latest ‘pico reviews’ of the cars at this year’s event.

2013 Cadillac ATS 3.6 Review

2013 Cadillac ATS - Firearms

The Challenge

tCE gets access to Cadillac’s latest models for reviews on occasion and this time we have had the opportunity to drive around in Cadillac’s latest and possibly riskiest model to date, the ATS.

Risky because ATS enters a space in the market dominated by entries such as the Infiniti G, Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class, and the grand-daddy of them all, the BMW 3-Series. This is a segment that was practically invented by BMW decades ago with the 2002 and later expanded with the 3-Series. Before the advent of this class by BMW a sedan with sports car moves just didn’t exist.

In models past, Cadillac has attempted to compete by creating products that live in spaces between the competition’s offerings. The CTS, the first piece of Cadillac’s rebirth, was priced against the 3-Series but was half a size larger. Its larger size and a price-point a size down left Cadillac with a car that buyers didn’t understand if they even thought to check out Cadillac at all. This left the company looking like they were unable to build competitive product or perhaps that GM didn’t have the will to build a car.

Here we are 10 years later, Cadillac has developed credibility their latest products including their world-beating V-Series. However, being a one product company was never going to be enough – and they still had a perception problem with their tweener CTS. How was Cadillac going to take the next step?

That brings us to the ATS. Built on a brand new platform that GM calls ‘Alpha’ that will also serve as a basis for several other GM products (the 3rd generation CTS, next Chevrolet Camaro, as well as a rumored small crossover), it had the rumor-mill churning for years.

In fact, the ATS rumors were probably the most skillful playing of the media GM has ever executed. Go back through our own ATS posts and you’ll see how the rumors were stoked by reports that the ATS was way over-weight, a CEO that reported that the ATS is expected to be ‘competitive’ rather than class leading, and even rumors that the Cadillac team was constantly layering in requirements on the platform that were taking it further and further from its intended targets…all feeding into the press’ penchant for expecting GM to over promise and under deliver.

Which is why everyone was so shocked when the production ATS was announced. Rather than the bloated, under-developed car we might have feared…the ATS sized right on top of the previous generation BMW 3-Series and undercuts practically every car in the segment for weight. Weight is not the only bogey that a car in this class needs to hit, but missing it would have been a serious sign that development went wrong. That weight is also split nicely 50/50 front/rear. So the bones were apparently in place.

Suddenly, our expectations are turned on their ears and we, like everyone else, have been eager to spend some seat-time.

Our tester was an ATS V-6, rear-drive, automatic (the only ATS that gets the manual as an option is the 2.0 turbo which we hope to spend some time with soon), equipped with the Performance Collection.

How does this new Cadillac drive? How does its brand-new infotainment system compare to the earlier offerings that have left us unimpressed?

Stay tuned for further installments in our review coming very soon.

Cadillac ATS in the Caddy Edge Garage

20130125-124854.jpgCadillac has dropped of an ATS with V-6 and automatic for our review.

Let us know in the comments anything about the car you are interested in knowing and we’ll make sure to include it in the review.

Car and Driver compares the Cadillac ATS 2.0 Turbo vs BMW 328i

Hmmm, you think there might be a burning question in the compact sport sedan segment now that Cadillac’s ATS is on the scene?

This time we have the folks over at Car and Driver, a group that has held the 3-Series in high regard for literally decades. You won’t be surprised with the winner, but as with all the prior reviews, it is notable that the ATS is right there as the closest challenger ever to the 3-Series’ dominance. Honestly, it is obvious that dynamics and performance are so close that buyers are a winner no matter which they choose.

It’s also notable that Cadillac could correct the niggling reasons the reviewers are having with the ATS in a running change.

The compact sport sedan segment is quickly becoming a two car segment for those who take driving seriously.

Enjoy C&D’s video review below:

Source: Car and Driver Reviews ATS 2.0 Turbo

2013 Cadillac ATSWhile tCE patiently waits for GM to get an ATS built and delivered out here to the thin air of the Rocky Mountains, hopefully before too much snow starts to fall and ruins our chance to really wring out a compact sports sedan – we have to live vicariously through the bigger outlets.

This time, we have, which got a chance to drive the ATS in 2.0 Turbo manual transmission guise.

Of note is something that MotorTrend also uncovered – that the ATS and the BMW 328i (both packing 2.0 Turbo 4-cylinders) are packing almost the same horsepower at the wheels. MT concludes that BMW is understating their power output. Edmunds decides that it must be GM overstating. Whichever, they are closer than the spec sheets would let on.

Performance numbers are similar to the MT review with the ATS slightly slower to 60 and in the 1/4 mile. However, the ATS outbrakes the BMW by ‘a few feet.’

For their full review and impressions – click through the source link below.

Source: pits Cadillac ATS 2.0 Turbo Against BMW 328i

Motor Trend has driven the new Cadillac ATS 2.0 Turbo manual transmission and compared it against the 4-cylinder, turbo, manual version of its arch nemesis the BMW 328i.

Overall, the ATS is the better driver’s car than the BMW (when could you ever say that with a straight face about any competitor to the all-powerful BMW).

Even more telling is that the Mr Lieberman comes out and says that he’s own the ATS over the BMW…except for one obvious flaw that may not matter to most buyers of either car.


CNet’s CarTech TV Reviews Cadillac XTS

Brian Cooley,’s car tech guru, gives his take on Cadillac’s new XTS and its included CUE system.

Until tCE gets our hands on the XTS next month, this will have to do as a critical eye at Cadillac’s new, tablet-inspired, electronics suite.



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