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Motor Authority: New Details On Cadillac's Upcoming ATS Mid-Size Sedan

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cadillac-cts-coupe-concept-grile_1002263 Rear-wheel drive is a defining element of a luxury car for many buyers, endowing a car with superior handling and dynamics despite somewhat more expensive and marginally less efficient packaging. So it's with relief that Cadillac fans heard the news last week that the upcoming 'baby' sedan , dubbed the ATS, is officially confirmed to get ...

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Rear-wheel drive is a defining element of a luxury car for many buyers, endowing a car with superior handling and dynamics despite somewhat more expensive and marginally less efficient packaging. So it's with relief that Cadillac fans heard the news last week that the upcoming 'baby' sedan, dubbed the ATS, is officially confirmed to get rear-wheel drive standard, with optional all-wheel drive available. Today, even more details about the upcoming BMW 3-series fighter has come out.

The latest information on the ATS reveals that the car will possibly reflect some influence from GM's down-under subsidiary, Holden. About five years ago, Holden unveiled a rear-drive, mid-sized concept called the TT36 Torana, which actually previewed the styling of the upcoming VE Commodore (known here in the U.S. as the Pontiac G8).

But according to a GoAuto report, GM's new marketing chief and long-time product guru Bob Lutz has said the Torana is actually the basis for the Alpha platform spoken of so often in the U.S. media.

"Torana is a rear-wheel drive vehicle smaller than the Zeta architecture and smaller than the current CTS Cadillac architecture. It is, or would be, about the size of a BMW 1 Series – maybe just a tiny bit bigger to enable larger wheels," said Lutz.

"Now that is the architecture that has been bandied about the US press under the name of 'Alpha Architecture', and Alpha is still under consideration, but we haven't kicked off any design work or any engineering work because we have to sort our way through this 35 mpg task."

Holden, therefore, could be involved in any future Alpha platform development. Given the existing production and import/export relationships between Holden and GM's U.S. operations, it's an easy move.

The ATS will be part of General Motors' new small car platform family, so the drivetrain layout is likely to find its way into other small GM-branded vehicles, including Buick's upcoming small crossover. With its small size and likely affordable pricing, the ATS is intended to be Cadillac's highest-volume seller.

The new car's styling will be somewhat reminiscent of the current CTS, though it will also be its own vehicle. Going heads-up against BMW's 3-series and Mercedes C-Class in size and performance while undercutting them in price doesn't mean it will have any room to look less than put-together, however, so expect a package at least as tight as the CTS if Cadillac is going to reach its desired sales figures.

Cadillac is also working on a larger, more 7-series/S-Class-sized XTS flagship sedan, which will get some styling influence from the dramatic, long and sleek Sixteen Concept, though with a somewhat softer, more chrome-laden final result.

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This is probably the only GM vehicle that I'm excited about. I hope they get the styling right and it doesn't just look like a baby CTS.

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I'm getting a feeling THIS is why GM won't bring Zeta to US as "Chevrolet" because Holden's zeta is not long for the world.

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I just hope the Alpha architecture is very flexible and can be enlarged to fit a few Malibu-sized sedans and coupes.

"Now that is the architecture that has been bandied about the US press under the name of 'Alpha Architecture', and Alpha is still under consideration, but we haven't kicked off any design work or any engineering work because we have to sort our way through this 35 mpg task."

Uh, how in the hell do you explain what you passed off as a future ATS then? That's not considered as "design or engineering work?"

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I worry that GM will end up making some bean counter stupid move and building the ATS on Delta II instead of this mythical 'Alpha' RWD platform.

Rob

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GENERAL Motors has announced it will build a mid-size rear-drive Cadillac model to compete directly with BMW’s dominant 3 Series for the first time, following a similar proposal hatched by Holden.

Initial details of the as-yet-unnamed premium sports sedan - codenamed ATS and to be positioned under the 5 Series-sized CTS sedan, coupe and wagon range from 2012 - have emerged almost five years after Holden rolled out its stunning rear-drive mid-sized TT36 Torana concept at the 2004 Sydney motor show.

The development of the Alpha platform, which will underpin the new Cadillac, could provide Holden with the base it needs to build its Torana in the next few years if the business case still stacks up in the new economic climate.

more at link:

http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf...A257616001A915B

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I wonder if they should call the new small car CTS, and change the CTS's name to STS. The CTS has always been known as the entry level Cadillac. Ford changed names on the Five Hundred, that forgettable Mercury Montego, and the Zephyr, and it worked fine for them. Although 3-letter combo names are so common, I wouldn't mind Eldorado or Seville making a comeback.

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Well if it was called CTS it could stand for Compact Touring Sedan.

I don't think Eldorado or Seville should be resurrected. At least to me, they conjure up images of land yachts with no handling whatsoever.

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Well if it was called CTS it could stand for Compact Touring Sedan.

I don't think Eldorado or Seville should be resurrected. At least to me, they conjure up images of land yachts with no handling whatsoever.

You clearly never drove the last FWD Eldog ETC or Seville STS.

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You clearly never drove the last FWD Eldog ETC or Seville STS.

Our 1996 Seville STS could handle its 3800 lbs and 300HP

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I wonder if they should call the new small car CTS, and change the CTS's name to STS. The CTS has always been known as the entry level Cadillac. Ford changed names on the Five Hundred, that forgettable Mercury Montego, and the Zephyr, and it worked fine for them. Although 3-letter combo names are so common, I wouldn't mind Eldorado or Seville making a comeback.

No. :P By the time the ATS comes out, CTS will have been established for too long as the product that it currently is.

BTW, changing the Five Hundred/Montego to Taurus/Sable didn't help much in the way of sales. The inclusion of an engine worthy of the D3 chassis (the 3.5 replacing the 3.0) was responsible for that. I can't speak on Zephyr/MKZ since the former had only been in place for exactly one year before they changed it to the latter... but then again, they put the 3.5 in that car too.

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I worry that GM will end up making some bean counter stupid move and building the ATS on Delta II instead of this mythical 'Alpha' RWD platform.

Rob

I was trying to push those thoughts out of my head... but then here YOU go... :angry:

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You clearly never drove the last FWD Eldog ETC or Seville STS.

This is true, but I wonder ow many of the coveted younger buyers market have, or if they too think old person's car when they here such names?

Could be me, as I have never liked the Seville (or Deville) name and only associate Eldorados with the classics.

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I'm curious about the size of the ATS. 180 inches would be a good target length, 3500lbs a good target weight.

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This is could turn out to be a real hit. The CTS really has moved up in size and price some closer to the 5'er so the ATS about the size or the 3'er would be great. (I just speced out a RWD 3.6L CTS Wagon and it came close to 50 large! Its hard to find one on a dealers lot for less than 40K and by the time you check even a few options your pushing 40 or closer to 45 easy.) They could shove a 2.4L DI Turbo in her and then have an optional 3.0L DI and would love turbo'd V6 or even a small-block V8. I am really excited to see this car along with the XTS, I do wonder how it will be priced? Right around the CTS or alot more... I also wonder if it will get a new small block V8...

Edited by gm4life
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The Torana was brilliant, so maybe there is some hope left. But, it likely won't be shared with Chevy beyond a possible Camaro.

In any case, it would seem that a car of the size and type I would want is now forever extinct at GM.

Zeta was perfect for me.

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Here is the most disparaging line: "Going heads-up against BMW's 3-series and Mercedes C-Class in size and performance while undercutting them in price"

UNDERCUTTING THEM IN PRICE DOES NOT WORK! This has always been GM's mentality, so the end result is they will cut corners on the ATS, and end up with a car that is subpar to the competition. They should price it HIGHER than the 3-series, and make it by far the best small car in the world.

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Here is the most disparaging line: "Going heads-up against BMW's 3-series and Mercedes C-Class in size and performance while undercutting them in price"

UNDERCUTTING THEM IN PRICE DOES NOT WORK! This has always been GM's mentality, so the end result is they will cut corners on the ATS, and end up with a car that is subpar to the competition. They should price it HIGHER than the 3-series, and make it by far the best small car in the world.

So many Americans view GM likw Wal-Mart, though...'Low Prices Everyday'...not to mention all the cheapskates not willing to pay a premium price for a compact...

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Here is the most disparaging line: "Going heads-up against BMW's 3-series and Mercedes C-Class in size and performance while undercutting them in price"

UNDERCUTTING THEM IN PRICE DOES NOT WORK! This has always been GM's mentality, so the end result is they will cut corners on the ATS, and end up with a car that is subpar to the competition. They should price it HIGHER than the 3-series, and make it by far the best small car in the world.

If they can undercut them in price without skimping on features and execution, then I don't have a problem with it. It's when they position the brands and products as price leaders with significantly decontented trim levels that undermine the purpose/position/perception of the brand (like GM is doing with the 2010 LaCrosse), then I find the practice to be a scary compromise. I don't expect every whizbang technological feature to be standard on every Buick or Cadillac product, but I do expect their products to be comprehensively equipped with standard features at a level that enables them to be perceived as being on par and fully competitive within their segment.

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UNDERCUTTING THEM IN PRICE DOES NOT WORK!

That is EXACTLY how lexus started off vs. 'them'.

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That is EXACTLY how lexus started off vs. 'them'.

Good point.. I recall the original Lexus LS400 described as an S-class competitor at 2/3 the price or something to that effect.

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