crankandpiston.com welcomes the latest addition to the Management Fleet, a 2014 Cadillac ATS.[Not a valid template]
|Date acquired:||May 2014|
|Kilometres this month:||N/A|
|Costs this month:||$0|
|L/100km this month:||N/A|
Given that we recently put this nimble minx in a head-to-head against the Lexus IS350 F-Sport and driven another model for an entire month from Hockenheim to Abu Dhabi last year, you’d think we’d have had our fill of the Cadillac ATS by now. But no, and when Cadillac Arabia turned around and kindly offered us a loan of its test model for three months, we were more than happy to take them up on the offer.
Why the enthusiasm, I hear you ask? Well for one, crankandpiston.com is no stranger to nippy performance saloons, and our 2014 test model falls nicely within that bracket. Stapled down under the bonnet is a 3.6-litre V6, which kicks out 321bhp and 275lb ft of torque, enough for a 0-100kph time of 5.4 seconds and a 245kph top speed.
We’re also rather keen on the ATS’ looks. Granted it may not have the same butch charisma of the premium XTS saloon nor the aggressively pointed front end of its bigger CTS sister, but there’s no denying that Cadillac’s Art and Science design philosophy has given the ATS looks some serious oomph, thanks to some subtle bonnet ripples and menacing headlights. It’s a look that far outweighs the rather dour physique of the short-lived BLR the ATS replaced as Cadillac’s entry level saloon. Swing round the back and the beefy alloy wheels and razor-thin taillight across the bootlid are nothing new to CTS and XTS owners/enthusiasts amongst you, but then that’s hardly a bad thing.
The main reason though that the crankandpiston team is so enamoured with the ATS is simple: its drivability. When Cadillac dared to suggest in 2013 that its new entry-level saloon could handle the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz’ C-Class, the air was rich with mocking laughter. And yet, having taken in more than 6000km across Europe, we were staggered to find that, actually, Cadillac had a point. There was poise and nippiness, a connection between the driver and the front wheels, genuine comfort in the leather seats, and good build quality. Almost none of these attributes defined Cadillac in the 1990s, and for a model to come along and prove that the brand had taken a big step forward was a potential warning shot across the bows of the big German three.
And that, as you’ll find over the next three months, is just the tip of the iceberg with our long term ATS…
|Engine:||V6 / 3564cc|
|Power:||321bhp @ 6800rpm|
|Torque:||275lb ft @ 4800rpm|
|Transmission:||Six-speed automatic / rear-wheel drive|
|Front suspension:||Magnetic Ride Control / monotube struts|
|Rear suspension:||Magnetic Ride Control / monotube shocks|
|Brakes:||Vented discs / 321mm (front) / 315mm (rear)|
|Wheels:||18 x 8in (front) / 18 x 9in (rear)|
|Tyres:||225/40 R18 front and rear|