Cadillac ATS Performance Tech Explained

Cadillac counts heavily on the ATS to give them a new sporty image in the global car market. This supposed BMW 3 Series rival features stuff the Cadillac has never used before. It’s been to the Nurburgring more than the new Porsche 911. So it should be good.

Here GM wants to talks us through some of the performance technologies they’ve used in the ATS, in hope that we recognize their effort. But the only way to judge that is a head to head comparison with the benchmark in this segment, which is of course the BMW 3-Series.

Some of the most striking features of the new car are the Brembo brakes and segment-exclusive Magnetic Ride Control suspension. But it isn’t just enthusiasts who will benefit from cstuff like this. Each has its own practical, real-world benefits.Each has its own practical, real-world benefits. Cadillac is trying to say the car works both on the track and the on the road. Again, that is what the bimmer is good at, so let’s see what’s it like…


Cadillac press release:

“When we talk about the ATS having quick, nimble, fun-to-drive dynamics, we’re talking about qualities that contribute to better safety and efficiency as well,” said Don Butler, vice president of Cadillac Marketing. “And thanks to Cadillac’s advanced technologies, the ATS is a vehicle that’s as comfortable as it is quick. It’s a no-compromise luxury sport sedan.”

When equipped with Brembo brakes, ATS’s estimated stopping distance from 60-0 mph of 129 feet is among the best in the class. On race tracks, that equates to less time spent in a slow corner; on public roads, shorter stopping distances can reduce the damage caused in a collision or prevent one altogether.

 “Performance, safety and style are the trademarks of all Brembo high-performance brake systems, whether on the road or on the track” stated Dan Sandberg, president and CEO of Brembo North America. “With the Cadillac ATS, we see a perfect example of how Brembo’s advanced technology can be used to substantially improve the safety of what is already a great performance luxury sedan”.

The ATS’s Luxury, Performance, or Premium model packages will use front brakes from the industry’s most well-known supplier, with high-performance fixed calipers grabbing down on ventilated brake rotors measuring 12.6 inches in diameter.

Shorter braking distances are also aided by ATS’s low curb weight, made possible by advanced materials and engineering techniques. At less than 3,400 pounds, ATS is more than 100 pounds lighter than a Mercedes-Benz C250 or an Audi A4. Lower weight also equates to less work for the vehicle’s engine and fewer stops at the gas pump.

Magnetic Ride Control, a class-exclusive technology pioneered by Cadillac and adopted by automakers such as Ferrari brings on-demand suspension performance and comfort adjustments to any ATS equipped with the FE3 Sport Suspension package. With the push of a button, the car can transform from a sharp sports car to a comfortable luxury sedan.

This duality is made possible by electronically controlled shocks filled with a magneto-rheological fluid containing minute iron particles. Under the presence of a magnetic charge, the iron particles align to provide damping resistance almost instantly. Sensor input determines the amount of resistance required, varying the magnetic charge to optimize damping.

Magnetic Ride Control also uses sensors and processors to constantly study the road surface and make small adjustments in just one millisecond to fine-tune the suspension beyond the driver-selectable presets of “Tour,” “Sport” and “Snow/Ice,” ensuring an optimal ride-and-handling balance for any condition.

The 2013 Cadillac ATS goes on sale this summer at a base price of $33,990, including destination charges. It will be built at Cadillac’s Lansing Grand River assembly plant in Lansing, Mich.

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