2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe Review
2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe at a glance
BODY STYLE: Compact entry-level luxury coupe
DRIVE METHOD: Rear-/all-wheel-drive; six-speed automatic and available six-speed manual transmission
ENGINE: 2.0-litre direct injection turbo inline four-cylinder (272 hp, 295 lb/ft); 3.6-litre DOCH direct injection V6 (321 hp, 275 lb/ft) 3.6-litre DOHC V6 (321 hp, 275 lb/ft of torque
FUEL ECONOMY: (Premium) 2.0-litre, 11.1/7.9L/100 km city/highway; (Regular) 3.6-litre, 12.8/8.4L/100 km
CARGO: 294 litres
TOW RATING: 454 kg (1,000 lb)PRICE: $41,240-$52,655 not including $1,800 shipping charge
2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe aims to expand the brand
WELLINGTON, ON: If any luxury carmaker is on a roll, it’s Cadillac.
Proof of this is the 2015 Cadillac ATS compact Coupe that equals or exceeds its main German competitors for the first time.
Like the Germans, Cadillac is moving down market from primarily large premium sedans in search of great sales volumes and it?s working.
Cadillac sales have never been better. The ATS Sedan alone saw a 21 per cent increase last year over the year before.
Building on this Cadillac announced last month the brand will be spun off as an autonomous marketing entity from the rest of GM.
The game plan centres on Cadillac?s edgy styling, world-class ride and handling and technology.
For example, the new ATS Coupe is the first and only car in its class with full 4G LTE connectivity through the GM?s OnStar system.
It means the ATS Coupe is its own mobile hotspot with coverage in most of Canada. There be no U.S. roaming charges and it also connects up to seven mobile devices.
Cadillac?s CUE infotainment system has Siri Eyes Free voice recognition for iPhone products with text message alerts and wireless charging.
Driver/passenger safety features include lane keeping and lane change alerts and automatic seat belt tightening if a collision is imminent.
Where the ATS Coupe excels is on interior design and choice of materials.
There are no phony trim pieces here. If it?s wood, it’s wood. The aluminum is the real thing and the same goes for the carbon fibre.
The primary engine is a 2.0-litre direct injection DOHC four-cylinder with a twin scroll turbo producing 272 hp and 295 lb/ft of torque. Optional is GM?s ubiquitous DOHC direct injection 3.6-litre V6 with 321 hp and 275 lb/ft of torque.
Primary transmission is a six-speed automatic with sequential manual shifting with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. There is a six-speed manual available but only about five per cent of buyers are expected to choose it. The manual can be had with the 2.0-litre, but the V6 only comes in automatic.
Every 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe is offered in rear-wheel-drive (RWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD).
Fuel numbers for the 2.0-litre are 11.1/7.9L/100 km city/highway with the V6 at 12.8/8.4L/100 km. Acceleration times from 0-60 mph are 5.6 seconds and 5.5 seconds respectively.
With similar power and performance you?d think the V6 at $2,200 more than the 2.0-litre would make the 3.6-litre the moot choice being slightly thirstier to boot.
But the V6 runs on regular, while premium is recommended for the turbo. Ergo, the less costly fuel over the long run could eventually offset the extra money for the V6.
It?s one of those ?six of one?.? kind of things.
There are four trim levels. With the RWD/AWD choice it makes for eight models ranging in price from $41,240 for the entry RWD up to $52,655 for the fully optioned AWD not including a $1,800 shipping fee.
I sampled both on the drive to and from Wellington, and while the torque and throttle response was about the same, the V6 was marginally smoother and linear in torque delivery.
One of the aims of the ATS Coupe was to equal or exceed its German compact sports coupe competitors.
To do so it starts with a new platform that is the lightest in class and offers a new perfect front/rear weight distribution of 51/49 per cent.
We hear a lot about chassis rigidity and the new ATS Coupe is 42 per cent stiffer than the current mid-size Cadillac CTS. But in addition to spot welds, the body panels are glued on, which is akin to a continuous weld.
Up at the front, the MacPherson strut suspension is the latest double pivot design that is very compliant but also increases tire contact with the road throughout suspension travel.
The 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe offers a rear five-link independent suspension setup and is only the third Cadillac to do so after the CTS and ATS Sedans.
Brakes are discs at all four corners with Brembo-sourced units at the front with fixed calipers, a first for any Cadillac.
Using a patented rotor coating, the Brembos have four pistons and really haul the car down from speed but with very positive modulation.
Adding to all this is the available performance suspension system that starts with GM Magnetic Ride Control that ?reads? the road 1,000 times per second.
It is the most reactive suspension system in the world and is so good that Ferrari uses it.
Along with this is a limited slip rear differential that adds to greater lateral stability especially in cornering.
The electric steering is the best ZF makes and you feel this in just a few miles.
Precise, almost surgical, in operation, it also has ?feel? which is often numb or non-existent in some electric systems.
Because I arrived late after coming from another event, it happened I got a 3.6-litre RWD model in white with a wonderful amber leather interior and carbon fibre trim with a thread of color that matched the seats and it was stunning to behold.
Arriving late also resulted in the bonus of heading off to Prince Edward County from Pearson Airport by myself.
I know ?The County? quite well and where all the ?good? roads are and, believe me, I used almost every one.
The tight body and stiff, but not harsh, suspension demands to be used. No matter how hard I pushed, response and reaction remained the same.
In this car, the only way you could reach the limit would be on the track is at full race speed.
The new ATS Coupe is the harbinger of more Cadillacs to come.
There will be a road-pounding ATS-V model next and Cadillac has already announced an ultra premium sedan as its new flagship.
Cadillac is very focused on elevating its place as a world-class luxury manufacturer and the 2015 ATS Coupe is well on the road to that destination.