Cadillac ATS On Diet


The new Cadiilac ATS as you know is a direct rival for the BMW 3 Series. Cadillac is not ashamed of admitting that they’re modeling it based on the German saloon.

But in some senses they’re going beyond what the Germans offer. The ATS is set to be the lightest car in its segment. Lightweight parts such as an aluminum hood and magnesium engine mounts help ATS achieve a curb weight less than 3,400 pounds, and highway fuel economy well over 30 mpg. Keeping weight down also enabled balanced distribution of vehicle weight that helps delivers a world-class driving experience.

The combination of lightweight, powerful engines, and a rear-driver chassis will make the ATS a formidable rival for the renowned Bavarian sedan. The ATS, which starts at $33,990, goes on sale this summer.

CadillacATSatlanta02818 Cadillac ATS On Diet

More technical details in Caddy’s press release below:

“We designed and engineered ATS’s vehicle architecture to deliver quick, nimble and fun-to-drive dynamics,” said David Masch, ATS chief engineer. “We distributed mass to key areas, much like an athlete builds muscle where he needs it most. This enabled ATS to achieve the performance characteristics that luxury sport sedan buyers demand.”

One seemingly heavy way the ATS engineering team achieved its performance goals was using cast iron in the rear differential instead of aluminum, a learning taken from the performance-tuned CTS-V.

The differential provides torque and rotation to the wheels, and ATS’s cast iron design helped distribute weight equally between the front and rear wheels to provide agile handling while reducing noise and vibration. Cadillac benchmarked it against world-class competition to deliver a driving experience that is as well-tuned for sound as for ride and handling.

Unlike a differential made from aluminum, which expands and contracts twice as much in response to temperature change, a cast iron differential is stronger and retains its shape better under temperature extremes, which allows the ring and pinion gears to operate more quietly. As a result, a cast iron differential also requires less energy to operate, contributing to higher fuel efficiency. To the consumer, this means more miles between fill-ups.

The ATS team also achieved significant weight reduction in the rear suspension by using specially engineered straight steel links with lightening holes instead of using aluminum.

“The team focused on grams, not pounds, every day of the ATS’s development,” Masch said. “Even the smallest of changes could contribute to the overall mass goal.”

ATS’s wheels also benefited from 50-50 mass distribution between the front and rear. While heavier cars need larger wheels, tires and brakes to account for heavier mass, ATS’s relative light weight enabled the use of optimized high-strength aluminum wheel forgings and Brembo brakes that deliver stopping distance of approximately 129 feet decelerating from 60-0 mph, which is expected to be best in the segment.

Inside the ATS, the vehicle team took advantage of a new process that places sound-absorbing material between two layers of laminated steel. By doing so, Cadillac refined a part and process it pioneered on CTS.

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