AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Hosting its annual week-long Test Fest, the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada has announced its picks for Car of the Year in 11 categories with the Cadillac ATS and Ford Focus ST, among others, taking awards.
Back in July, when AutoGuide.com reviewed the 2013 Cadillac ATS, Editor-in-Chief Colum Wood extolled the virtues of its handling, but also commented on the shortcomings of the car’s manual transmission. It appears AutoGuide wasn’t the only one that felt the manual transmission could be better.
The first Cadillac ATS that rolled off the line in Lansing, Mich. earlier this year was held onto by the company, and is now being sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction with all proceeds going to support Team Joseph, a non-profit organization that funds Duchenne muscular dystrophy research.
Ever see the cars in our spy photos page and wonder why they look like that? New paint job trends emerge all the time, like gloss-less matte paint finishes, which are becoming more and more popular in recent years. Some companies like to dial it up to 11 with chrome finishes on their entire cars. But there is one look that is always intriguing: car camouflage. No, not the desert or arctic warfare kind, we’re talking about camera-camo.
If you’ve spent even a smidgen of time on our Auto News page then you’ve probably seen one of our spy photo stories. A recurring trend in these stories is the bizarre magic-eye look on the prototype vehicles that our spies track down.
The truth is that car companies deliberately make their cars look that way so that when and if these prototype cars get snapped by a photographer, certain incriminating details are not visible.
SEE ALSO: Check out the latest spy photos
Also, it’s worth noting that the look isn’t even a paintjob at all, but a vinyl application. The pattern on the application is perfect at tricking even the most advanced auto focus system on a camera. That’s because a camera’s auto focus system uses a subject’s colors to figure out its focus.
Dan Suszko from Graphik Concepts sells these vinyl wraps and confirms that it really works wonders to hide body work in photographs. “Car companies want to put an end to one person exposing their product to the world” Suszko said. “It really hides the way things look in low-res images,” he added.
For what seems like forever, North America has been left behind when it comes to diesel cars. Sure there are a few options, but nowhere near as many as our friends in Europe. In fact, according to the Automotive Industry Data Newsletter, 52% of all new car sales last year in Western Europe were diesel powered.
Diesel engines offer unique advantages, with plenty of torque making tiny power plants more useable in small cars, while making modest size engines a functional alternative to much larger gasoline ones in SUVs. Towing, after all, is not something hybrids are known for. Additionally, diesel engines can provide fuel economy closer to that of a hybrid, without any of the worries surrounding new technology; plus, there’s no battery pack compromising passenger or storage space.
With those advantages, not to mention a push by automakers to meet increasingly strict corporate average fuel economy standards, a slew of diesel models are set to arrive on our shores in the near future. If you’re considering the switch to diesel power, here are a few options you’ll soon be able to consider.
Cadillac has released a dozen or so new photos of its upcoming 2013 ATS sedan along with a new video showing off its lightweight chassis, further teasing us about the new model that hasn’t even had its pricing announced yet.
The luxury American automaker also went so far as to compare the ATS 2.0L turbo variant against its German counterpart, the BMW 328i with a 2.0L turbo motor. The ATS will pack 270-hp and 260 lb-ft of torque compared to the BMW 240-hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. In addition, Cadillac wanted to remind everyone about their Magnetic Ride Control while the ATS will also have massive Brembo brakes with four-piston calipers while the BMW has a single-piston, sliding-caliper design.
The 2.0L turbocharged engine won’t be the only powerplant Cadillac will offer with their new ATS sedan; it’ll also get a 2.5L four-cylinder with 200-hp and 188 lb-ft of torque, and a larger 3.6L V6 with 318-hp and 267 lb-ft of torque.
Hopefully we’ll get pricing info soon on the new ATS sedan and we’ll have a clearer picture whether or not it’ll be a real BMW killer.
Check out a video of the 2013 Cadillac ATS below.
GALLERY: 2013 Cadillac ATS Sedan
Cadillac Global Vehicle Line Executive, Dave Leone, recently disclosed at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show that future models of their new ATS will offer a torque-vectoring system in either its rear- or all-wheel drive configurations.
Even though torque vectoring won’t be available when the ATS hits dealerships this summer, Leone wanted to make sure everyone knew that Cadillac is already looking at future improvements on the 3 Series rival. “That comes later,” Leone said, adding, “Is it necessary? No. But it’s the next step in refinement.”
And the torque vectoring that will make its way to the ATS won’t be the run-of-the-mill pinch-a-brake setup that most automakers describe as torque vectoring. Cadillac is planning to make the ATS differentials deliver extra torque to an individual rear wheel – or front wheel in the AWD models – when required.
Interestingly enough, Leone also said that he expects that 35- to 40- percent of all ATS sales will be all-wheel drive. And even though Cadillac still hasn’t officially announced pricing on the new ATS, Leone still believes it’ll be in the mid-$30,000 range to stay competitive with the BMW 3-Series models and the Audi A4.
GALLERY: Cadillac ATS
[Source: Inside Line]
But now it appears as though Cadillac may have a thing or two to say about its ATS plans – even as vague as they may be. David Caldwell, Cadillac spokesman, was recently quoted saying “There has been no recent radical shift in strategy,” in regards to the ATS. That either means the ATS Coupe hasn’t gotten anywhere on the table, or GM is still working hard at developing the variant. See what Caldwell did there?
As for those who have been reporting different variants on the ATS, including the convertible and wagon versions, Caldwell left the door open again saying “On either end of the spectrum the reporting is inaccurate.” But here’s the real statement that makes us believe that Cadillac hasn’t quite shelved the idea of ATS variants altogether: “We do plan to do variants,” Caldwell said. “We haven’t yet called our shot of how we’re going to execute that.”
What’s it all mean? To us it appears that Cadillac will play it safe by seeing how well received (or not) the ATS is in the marketplace before determining whether it’ll be ripping into variants of the model for public consumption.
Putting profits ahead of product, General Motors has reportedly decided to shelve production plans for a coupe version of the recently introduced Cadillac ATS.
While not cancelled, the model has been delayed as part of a larger plan by GM to slow spending and increase profits, helping bolster its slumping share price.
The ATS was long rumored to also get convertible and wagon versions, but those models have reportedly been dropped completely. One of the few variations of Cadillac’s 3 Series rival that will head into production is one with a diesel powertrain, although no announcement has been made as to when that version will join the lineup.
See AutoGuide’s First Look Video of the Cadillac ATS below:
Car companies, much like any other, can go one of two routes when dreaming up a Superbowl commercial: funny or serious.
Cadillac chose the latter this year for their ATS commercial, but their ad didn’t do it for us. Throwing a deep commanding voice over an uninspiring electric guitar track and recycling what’s mostly old teaser footage of the ATS running around the Nurburgring race track was a let down. Most disappointing of all, the original teaser video was probably more exciting. The comparison they make between the BMW 3-Series and the ATS makes sense and so does hinting at testing in enemy territory, but it doesn’t impart the rah rah go USA spirit we would have expected.
The Superbowl represents grandeur, excess and most of all pride. One day out of the year a single stadium becomes football’s cathedral. In keeping with that theme, commercials have no choice but to make us double over in laughter or jump from our seats in excitement, or just crack a prideful smirk.
Chrysler pulled that off last year with their “imported from Detroit’ commercial, but telling people to “go to green hell” is just plain cheesy. Hopefully you disagree, watch the video below and decide for yourself.
GALLERY: 2013 Cadillac ATS
10. Chevy Tru 140S Concept
For some of the more minor auto shows, a Top 10 list of the most important cars often covers most of the new debuts, but not so at the North American International Auto Show. Held each January in Detroit it’s the obvious launch site for major products by the Big Three domestic automakers and over the years has also become the venue for important new models by the rest of the auto industry.
Domestics made their mark at this year’s Detroit show, starting with one very different concept car revealed by Chevrolet. Called the Tru 140S it may look like some outrageously fast and expensive exotic machine, but it’s neither. Based on the same front-drive platform as the Chevy Cruze, it is powered by the same 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which makes just 138 hp in that car. Designed, along with the Code 130R concept, as part of an initiative to attract youth buyers back to the brand, Chevy seems serious about the concept, even announcing that if it made production, the target price would be around the $20,000 mark.
Unveiled on the eve of the Detroit Auto Show, we had our first chance to run our paws over Cadillac’s new luxury sports sedan, the ATS. The car is a bold move by Caddy, which claims the ATS was built not just to compete along segment hallmarks like the BMW 3 Series, but to beat them.
Notable highlights include a low 3,400 lb curb weight, an optional 270-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, real carbon fiber on the interior, Brembo brakes and magnetic shocks absorbers – a first for the segment.
GALLERY: 2013 Cadillac ATS
For more on the new ATS, watch the video below:
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
GALLERY: 2013 Cadillac ATS
At the car’s official unveiling on the eve of the Detroit Auto Show, GM North America President Mark Reuss confirmed that along with three gasoline engines the ATS will be available with a diesel powerplant. Reuss didn’t provide any details on exactly what that diesel engine could be, nor did he say when it would arrive. Instead, he told the assembled journalists that the ATS will get a diesel powerplant “within its lifecycle” suggesting the oil-burner is still a long way off.
GALLERY: 2013 Cadillac ATS
Amid news of an introduction for both the Cadillac ATS and Chevrolet Sonic RS at this year’s 2012 North American International Auto Show comes news of a third vehicle – a Buick crossover – that will also make its debut.
The crossover will reportedly be based on a platform that underpins the Opel Meriva (above) though it will ditch the minivan-look for a more traditional crossover bodystyle. The Meriva also shares a platform with the Chevrolet Sonic, though dimensions and powertrain choices have not been revealed. A small four-cylinder turbo with forced induction is a likely candidate. The Meriva is about 5 inches shorter than a Sonic, and it would be reasonable to expect GM to make the car larger to suit North American tastes.
[Source: Automotive News]
Speaking to the Automotive Press Association (APA) today, Barra disclosed that GM will debut four global concept or production vehicles with one of the four being Cadillac’s new ATS.
The 2013 ATS will be Cadillac’s entry-level compact luxury sedan, featuring rear- and all-wheel-drive options making it a perfect competitor to BMW’s 3-Series, Audi‘s A4 and arguably Mercedes-Benz‘s C-Class. The ATS’s production should begin this summer and will be built alongside Cadillac’s CTS sedan, coupe and wagon in Michigan.
Cadillac has high expectations for their ATS, doing plenty of testing out in Germany including on the Nurburgring. They plan on making it competitive with the best vehicles in that segment, if not better.
Cadillac is drumming up a lot of excitement for its upcoming ATS model, which will be GM’s answer to BMW’s ever popular 3-Series. To get everyone excited about the new ATS, Cadillac has been releasing a series of videos teasing the vehicle as it gets put through its paces of testing and tuning.
The newest video highlighting the ATS’ journey shows Cadillac developing and refining the sedan on the Autobahn and the Nurburgring. By gathering an elite team of drivers and engineers, Cadillac threw everything it possibly could at the ATS in order to develop the perfect sports sedan.
Check out the video below: