GM announced today that the 2013 Cadillac ATS fitted with the fuel-efficient 2.5-liter engine and mated to the next-generation six-speed transmission, will carry price tag of $33,990, including destination charges. That’s right folks, you will pay less than $34k for car with a highway fuel economy of over 30 mpg.
The model fitted with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine will cost $35,795 including destination and will offer automatic and manual transmissions, and rear- or all-wheel drive.
The most expensive version will be the one fitted with the 3.6-liter V6 engine delivering 320 hp, which will cost $42,090 including destination with an automatic transmission and standard content such as CUE, leather 8-way power seats with memory, adaptive start and more.
During the development of the Cadillac ATS, the brand set the goal of making it the lightest car of its segment. Indeed, this was both the basic criteria and the guiding principle. However, Cadillac did it in a nuanced way so that the driving experience becomes more refined. This meant that the mass of the new Cadillac ATS had to be optimized.
Making this possible was the four-pronged philosophy with the first being strictly in line with the architectural objectives that were initially set with the second being to have measured load management all across the vehicle.
The third is that each of the components would have to be benchmarked against lighter solutions, if any are available. Finally, Cadillac also implemented the philosophy of each component having its mass weighed compared with each development phase.
Take the suspension in the rear for example. While it is mainly made up of steel, Cadillac also looked into straight links and load management to make sure that the weight would be lowered without needing to implement any alternate materials.
In doing so, this allowed the brand to offset any of the weight gained in the front section through the engine and the transmission. Thus, not only was the model able to get an almost perfect weight balance of 50:50, it even helped reduced the vibration and the noise.
Cadillac did the same for the wheels wherein the addition of structural aluminum helped lower the vibration further. Helping lower the new model’s overall mass as well is the use of aluminum on the hood and magnesium for the brackets of the engine mount.
Even having natural-fiber for the door trim panels contributed as well. This also shows just how systematic Cadillac’s method was, particularly when it came to assessing each gram that goes to the ATS.
However not all components had its weight reduced especially if the brand found that it was important and beneficial for the driving experience. A good example of this is the cast iron differential. While using the aluminum version would have made it lighter, the engineers found out that using the cast iron differential had a better impact especially in fuel economy.