Cadillac ATS Offers Performance Through Lightness

Cadillac, as you may know, is desperately trying to become known in the world of sports saloons with the new ATS. A solution to make this car more dynamic and sporty is to lose as much weight as possible. They claim the ATS is the lightest in its segment.

The ATS with the 2.5L engine and automatic transmission has an official base curb weight of 3,315 lbs. (1503.7 kg) – making it the lightest vehicle in the U.S. segment that includes the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. That weight results in decent performance figures. The rear-wheel-drive ATS achieves 0-60 mph acceleration in 5.4 seconds – among the fastest in its segment compared to mainstream competitor variants – when equipped with a 3.6L V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission.

So how did they exactly got around arriving at these figures? Read on for find out.


Cadillac press release:

The lightweight construction combines with sleek aerodynamics and other efficient engineering techniques to enable excellent, GM-estimated fuel economy of 32 mpg highway and 22 mpg in city driving for the 2.5L and 2.0L turbo (EPA estimates are not yet available).

An aluminum hood and front suspension parts, magnesium engine mount brackets and natural-fiber door trim panels contribute to ATS’s light weight. The ATS development team also reduced weight in the rear suspension by using specially engineered straight steel links with mass-reducing holes instead of using aluminum.

ATS’s performance also benefited from efficient 50-50 mass distribution between the front and rear.  ATS’s segment-leading lower curb weight enabled the use of optimized high-strength aluminum 18-inch wheel forgings and front Brembo brakes that deliver a 60-0 stopping distance of approximately 129 feet.

ATS also uses an acoustically laminated windshield and side windows that are lighter than standard tempered glass and provide better wind and powertrain noise reduction for a quiet interior. Acoustically laminated glass also offers almost double the amount of ultraviolet ray protection.

“With the ATS, Cadillac set out to deliver a leading compact luxury sport sedan that would be fun to drive year-round, while providing all of the amenities and advanced technologies that luxury car buyers expect,” said Don Butler, U.S. vice president of Cadillac Marketing. “ATS provides a new entryway to Cadillac for luxury car buyers, and strives to become a compelling challenger in a segment dominated by Europeans. The only way to achieve that mission was to create an excellent driver’s car.”

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