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Detroit 2012: The 3 Engines Of ATS


William Maley
Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
December 14, 2011

Today, Cadillac has revealed the powertrain lineup for their new ATS sedan. The lineup includes two fours and a six.

The base ATS engine will be naturally aspirated 2.5L I-4 engine. GM hasn't released any details about it, but it looks like to be the same engine found under the new Chevrolet Malibu, which gets 190 HP and 180 lb-ft of torque.

The next engine up is a 2.0L turbocharged I-4.Now before you go out and think this is the same engine you find in the Regal Turbo and GS, it's not. This 2.0L turbo is a part of a new Ecotec engine lineup and will use an electronically controlled twin-scroll turbocharger to keep its torque curve flat. The 2.0L Turbo is rated at 270 HP and 260 lb-ft of torque. The ATS will be the first vehicle to use this engine and could possibly find it's way into the new Malibu.

The top engine is the venerable 3.6L direct injected V6 making 318 HP and 275 lb-ft of torque.

Press Release is on Page 2






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170 Comments

^ Please tell me how a <2% power bump help offset 8 - 12% weight gain? And why cannot the same changes in intake and exhaust be employed to lighter car?
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I hope they eventually replace the 3.6L LFX V6 with a DI Turbo 3.0L V6 with 330-350HP. That would put out more Torque then the LFX and better compete with the present and future competitors! Eventually Cadillac should be all DI Turbo across their range.
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^ Please tell me how a <2% power bump help offset 8 - 12% weight gain? And why cannot the same changes in intake and exhaust be employed to lighter car?

Was just speculation...it just seems for most engines, there are power rating variations for different models.
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I like these engine choices. It'll be interesting to see the take rate on the turbo 4 vs the V6.

We're still waiting on an engine option for the V, so I wouldn't start complaining about the lack of a diesel engine just yet.
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I am not sayin' the 2.0t won't be fairly decent, I'm just sayin' I like understressed engines in my luxury autos.


There is nothing stressed about the 2.0T, even the current one has more torque than a Northstar at a lower RPM.
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Drop the 2.5 now. Who needs a Cadillac with under 200hp? Epic Fail for GM if they make the 2.5 the base engine. If they do decide to include it, they should make it an option (and upcharge) for the dipsh*ts that insist on having it!
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I am not sayin' the 2.0t won't be fairly decent, I'm just sayin' I like understressed engines in my luxury autos.


Stressed? Hardly. It appears it will make nearly as much horsepower while having a flatter torque curve than the V6 being an electronically controlled turbo, get better fuel economy, and best of all weigh less resulting in better wight distribution and chassis balance.
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I am in ambivalence with the 2.5. In someways it represents beancountering, but at the same time, I see a smaller lo-po engine with emphasis on "fuel economy" a selling point. May be GM should have employed an Opel 1.6T and set itself apart from Buick and Chevy brethren.
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SoCal - it will likely be over 200hp for the ATS. Turning the engine 90 degrees allows for better breathing.

Additionally, this is an all new engine, I believe there was some power left on the table when they announced the spec for the Malibu. Even the old 2.4 liter Ecotec could do 180hp with direct injection. They can get more than that from a brand new engine with DI.
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Drop the 2.5 now. Who needs a Cadillac with under 200hp? Epic Fail for GM if they make the 2.5 the base engine. If they do decide to include it, they should make it an option (and upcharge) for the dipsh*ts that insist on having it!

100% agree and this is my favorite post of the year. The engine doesn't belong and l love the idea of upcharging for it.
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SoCal - it will likely be over 200hp for the ATS. Turning the engine 90 degrees allows for better breathing.

Additionally, this is an all new engine, I believe there was some power left on the table when they announced the spec for the Malibu. Even the old 2.4 liter Ecotec could do 180hp with direct injection. They can get more than that from a brand new engine with DI.

But why even bother? The A4, 328i, and C250 all have turbo 4's standard. The ATS should make the thro 4 standard. Who wants a Cadillac with a base model Malibu engine? Even if it has 210 hp who cares, it won't have the 252 lb-ft an A4 has.
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SoCal - it will likely be over 200hp for the ATS. Turning the engine 90 degrees allows for better breathing.

Additionally, this is an all new engine, I believe there was some power left on the table when they announced the spec for the Malibu. Even the old 2.4 liter Ecotec could do 180hp with direct injection. They can get more than that from a brand new engine with DI.

But why even bother? The A4, 328i, and C250 all have turbo 4's standard. The ATS should make the thro 4 standard. Who wants a Cadillac with a base model Malibu engine? Even if it has 210 hp who cares, it won't have the 252 lb-ft an A4 has.


The 2.5 will be for the entry level model I assume so they can keep the starting price at 29,995.
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I agree the 2.5 is there to serve as a low ball price car for marketing. It will also serve well overseas where most people have no issue with small engines like this.

As for power we have yet to see much on the improvments they have planned for the new Eco engine line. 200 HP should not be a hard market to hit.

As for the V6 rating the exhaust has often been pointed to as the difference. Or like the Camaro engine it had the extra power but GM listed it lower. For all we know they may all be the same in the RWD cars but they just add and subtract a few HP to make it look different.

We should be seeing the Turbo DI VVT V6 engines soon. These should prove to be interesting.
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SoCal - it will likely be over 200hp for the ATS. Turning the engine 90 degrees allows for better breathing.

Additionally, this is an all new engine, I believe there was some power left on the table when they announced the spec for the Malibu. Even the old 2.4 liter Ecotec could do 180hp with direct injection. They can get more than that from a brand new engine with DI.

But why even bother? The A4, 328i, and C250 all have turbo 4's standard. The ATS should make the thro 4 standard. Who wants a Cadillac with a base model Malibu engine? Even if it has 210 hp who cares, it won't have the 252 lb-ft an A4 has.


The 2.5 will be for the entry level model I assume so they can keep the starting price at 29,995.

Again, it is a Cadillac, cheap isn't supposed to be what they are selling. 328i starts at $34,600, the C250 starts at $34,800. I'd say $34,700 would be a nice starting point for the 2.0T and dump the 2.5.
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SoCal - it will likely be over 200hp for the ATS. Turning the engine 90 degrees allows for better breathing.

Additionally, this is an all new engine, I believe there was some power left on the table when they announced the spec for the Malibu. Even the old 2.4 liter Ecotec could do 180hp with direct injection. They can get more than that from a brand new engine with DI.

But why even bother? The A4, 328i, and C250 all have turbo 4's standard. The ATS should make the thro 4 standard. Who wants a Cadillac with a base model Malibu engine? Even if it has 210 hp who cares, it won't have the 252 lb-ft an A4 has.


The 2.5 will be for the entry level model I assume so they can keep the starting price at 29,995.

Again, it is a Cadillac, cheap isn't supposed to be what they are selling. 328i starts at $34,600, the C250 starts at $34,800. I'd say $34,700 would be a nice starting point for the 2.0T and dump the 2.5.


It's GM though..if they don't undercut the competition, people will whine....it also has to compete w/ the 1-series and the upcoming A-class...
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SoCal - it will likely be over 200hp for the ATS. Turning the engine 90 degrees allows for better breathing.

Additionally, this is an all new engine, I believe there was some power left on the table when they announced the spec for the Malibu. Even the old 2.4 liter Ecotec could do 180hp with direct injection. They can get more than that from a brand new engine with DI.

But why even bother? The A4, 328i, and C250 all have turbo 4's standard. The ATS should make the thro 4 standard. Who wants a Cadillac with a base model Malibu engine? Even if it has 210 hp who cares, it won't have the 252 lb-ft an A4 has.


People who don't care about performance at all?
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People who don't care about performance at all?

If they don't care at all about performance then they aren't looking at, or shouldn't be buying, a Cadillac sports sedan. Why not then put a 2.0T in a Corvette because I am sure there are people that don't care about speed and like how the Corvette looks would buy it. Plus 270 hp in a 3300 lb car is good enough so maybe GM should do that too.
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People who don't care about performance at all?

If they don't care at all about performance then they aren't looking at, or shouldn't be buying, a Cadillac sports sedan. Why not then put a 2.0T in a Corvette because I am sure there are people that don't care about speed and like how the Corvette looks would buy it. Plus 270 hp in a 3300 lb car is good enough so maybe GM should do that too.

So why is the 328i/528i traditionally the most-visible BMW? They're definitely not the performers of the family. Also, as another example, everyone pretty much agrees that of all the Acura TSX models, the 2.4 with the 6MT is the way to go. (Yes, Acura is fading into irrelevance, but work with me here.) Who's to say that the 2.5 couldn't be comparable to that (but more sporting since it's RWD)?

In favor of your point, though, I would hope that if the 2.5 isn't substantially upgraded for Cadillac duty, it should be rather hard to find on lots.
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The 328i until the 2012 model was a 230 hp six cylinder, the new turbo 4 has 240 hp (and 260 lb-ft @ 1250 rpm). And it is the cheapest BMW sedan that is why you see it the most. So if for 2013, the benchmark car has a 2.0 liter turbo with 260 lb-ft, why would Cadillac match up with an engine that belongs in a base model Malibu/Sonta/Camry. This is the sort of thinking that keeps Cadillac chasing the Germans, everything they build has a compromise in it.
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The 328i until the 2012 model was a 230 hp six cylinder, the new turbo 4 has 240 hp (and 260 lb-ft @ 1250 rpm). And it is the cheapest BMW sedan that is why you see it the most. So if for 2013, the benchmark car has a 2.0 liter turbo with 260 lb-ft, why would Cadillac match up with an engine that belongs in a base model Malibu/Sonta/Camry. This is the sort of thinking that keeps Cadillac chasing the Germans, everything they build has a compromise in it.

The BMW 128, though, still has a 230hp 6 cyl in the US...don't know if it will get the 4 cyl for 2013, but the ATS will compete with the 1 series also (sort of, since a 4dr 1 series isn't offered).
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The 328i until the 2012 model was a 230 hp six cylinder, the new turbo 4 has 240 hp (and 260 lb-ft @ 1250 rpm). And it is the cheapest BMW sedan that is why you see it the most. So if for 2013, the benchmark car has a 2.0 liter turbo with 260 lb-ft, why would Cadillac match up with an engine that belongs in a base model Malibu/Sonta/Camry. This is the sort of thinking that keeps Cadillac chasing the Germans, everything they build has a compromise in it.

The BMW 128, though, still has a 230hp 6 cyl in the US...don't know if it will get the 4 cyl for 2013, but the ATS will compete with the 1 series also (sort of, since a 4dr 1 series isn't offered).

But why does Cadillac even care about that car, it hardly sells. The new 1-series M is said to be a really fun sports car, but it is more of a true sports car like a 370Z (but more expensive). It is a niche product, not mainstream and the ATS should only be concerned with the 3-series, C-class, and A4. That is where the sales volume is.

Cadillac also needs younger buyers in a bad way. 74% of CTS buyers are over age 65, and that is supposed to be the younger person's Cadillac. Time to scare off the old people with sheer performance.
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The 328i until the 2012 model was a 230 hp six cylinder, the new turbo 4 has 240 hp (and 260 lb-ft @ 1250 rpm). And it is the cheapest BMW sedan that is why you see it the most. So if for 2013, the benchmark car has a 2.0 liter turbo with 260 lb-ft, why would Cadillac match up with an engine that belongs in a base model Malibu/Sonta/Camry. This is the sort of thinking that keeps Cadillac chasing the Germans, everything they build has a compromise in it.

Fair enough. What would you say, then, if that engine came standard with eAssist? (no one's really discussed it, but it is a possibility)

But why does Cadillac even care about that car, it hardly sells. The new 1-series M is said to be a really fun sports car, but it is more of a true sports car like a 370Z (but more expensive). It is a niche product, not mainstream and the ATS should only be concerned with the 3-series, C-class, and A4. That is where the sales volume is.

Cadillac also needs younger buyers in a bad way. 74% of CTS buyers are over age 65, and that is supposed to be the younger person's Cadillac. Time to scare off the old people with sheer performance.

1M is discontinued after spring of 2012.

And that 74% applies only to the CTS Sportwagon. The CTS line as a whole sees about 48%.
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The 3.6L is certainly understressed compared to the turned-up 2.0, that much is blatantly obvious.
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The 328i until the 2012 model was a 230 hp six cylinder, the new turbo 4 has 240 hp (and 260 lb-ft @ 1250 rpm). And it is the cheapest BMW sedan that is why you see it the most. So if for 2013, the benchmark car has a 2.0 liter turbo with 260 lb-ft, why would Cadillac match up with an engine that belongs in a base model Malibu/Sonta/Camry. This is the sort of thinking that keeps Cadillac chasing the Germans, everything they build has a compromise in it.

Fair enough. What would you say, then, if that engine came standard with eAssist? (no one's really discussed it, but it is a possibility)

Still no, make eAssist optional on the 2.0T and V6. Sports sedan: performance first, fuel economy second.
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What does this creepy e-assist thing do to weight distribution? Curb weight?
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