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 |  Jan 08 2012, 10:34 PM

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Speaking in bold proclamations, GM North America President Mark Reuss said the new Cadillac ATS compact luxury sports sedan “will win” against German rivals. What makes that statement so much more significant is that no one but the Germans, with cars like the BMW 3 Series, have been able to achieve success in the segment.

Reuss said the ATS “represents the new soul of Cadillac”. Marketing VP Butler commented that the three words that can best describe the car are “nimble, quick and fun” – with Reuss even admitting that the term “light weight” isn’t one that could be applied to past Cadillacs.

And yet, the ATS is “mass efficient” weighing “well under” 3,400 lbs say Reuss and commenting that it will be 100 lbs less than either an Audi A4 or Mercedes C-Class. It’s that weight that helps translate into a dynamic vehicle, not to mention the all-original chassis, 50/50 weight balance, Brembo brakes and magnetic ride shocks – a first in the segment. As for those brakes, they’ll bring to ATS to a top from 60 mph in just 109 ft.

Motivating the car in the opposite direction will be a choice of three engines, a 200-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, a 270-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and a 318-hp 3.6-liter V6. Reuss also dropped a bombshell at the cars unveiling, stating that during it’s lifecycle, GM will offer a diesel engine option in North America.

As a proper sports sedan the ATS is, of course, rear-wheel drive, though an all-wheel drive option will be available.

Looking like a flatter CTS and borrowing the wider grille from the new XTS flagship sedan, Caddy promises big with the interior of the ATS. Along with real wood and metal there’s genuine carbon fiber trim on some models, while gloss black plastic helps give a high-tech look – as does the massive CUE telematics screen.

For more on the ATS, including available features, see here.

GALLERY: 2013 Cadillac ATS Debut

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GALLERY: 2013 Cadillac ATS

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