2013 Cadillac ATS will receive a 270 hp 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 15, 2011

GM announced that the upcoming 2013 Cadillac ATS compact luxury sedan will be powered by a new high-performance 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine. According to the official statement, the engine will deliver 270 horsepower (201 kW) and 260 lb-ft. of torque (353 Nm) from 1,500 rpm to 5,800 rpm.

For those who want a bigger engine, the 2013 Cadillac ATS will also feature a bigger 3.6L V6 engine, found also on the Cadillac XTS, but also a normally aspirated 2.5L four-cylinder engine.

Some of the highlights of the engine are: a direct-injection twin-cam, four-valve-per-cylinder engine with continuously variable valve timing; twin-scroll turbocharger with air-to-air intercooler; forged-steel crankshaft with modular balance shaft system; and a two-stage variable-displacement oil pump with jet-spray piston cooling.

In developing the new 2013 ATS, Cadillac set the goal of making it one of the lightest cars in its class. It was however been done in nuanced way so as to guarantee that the driving experience is refined. To make sure that the mass of the ATS was optimized, the company followed what is known as the four-pronged philosophy.

This included making sure that the load management remained measured all around the vehicle while ensuring that the development remained loyal to architectural goals. The third was to keep benchmarking the parts to determine if there are lighter solutions. Finally there is the overall culture of weighing the mass of each part versus all characteristics of the development. An example of this is the rear suspension. While it is indeed mainly composed of steel, this was not the only factor as the company made sure to focus as well on the straight links and the load management. This resulted in a substantial reduction in the weight without any need to use alternative materials.

An advantage of this is that since it made it possible to offset the weight of the transmission and engine of the ATS, both at the vehicle’s front, this allowed the model to get that almost perfect weight balance of 50/50. Another benefit is that it helps lower the vibration and even the noise. This same technique was used on the wheels with additional structural aluminum being put in to lower the vibration even further. Still on the weight issue, helping the ATS deliver that low overall mass included having a hood made of aluminum and the engine mount brackets in magnesium. Then there are the door trim panels made of natural fiber and lightweight.

Indeed, it more than shows the systematic method applied by the company in testing each and every gram that goes inside the car. It is important to know though that not every weight was reduced as those the company felt was important for the driving experience were retained. A good example of this is the part called the cast iron differential.

This is because the engineers realized that when compared to the lighter aluminum differential, a cast iron version could enhance fuel economy. According ATS chief engineer David Masch, having a low weight mean that the ATS would deliver a feel that allowed for more control while being nimble. He added by saying that this also enabled the efficiency and the performance of its powertrains to be optimized. For the team, continued Masch, the company made sure that the refinement levels Cadillac is known for remains present while the weight was being managed.

In developing the new ATS, Masch said further, the team made it a point to count out all the grams. The team knew that they had to be minimized in order for them to placed and used where they would offer the most benefit, added Masch.

It is clear that the Art & Science design language is still in the 2013 ATS but it comes in a new proportion while having the trademarked refinement cues and style observed in a compact Cadillac. At the same time, it maintains the extra attention to detail and the use of technological parts that is uniquely Cadillac.

Press Release

New 2.0L Turbo Engine Boosts the Cadillac ATS

A new high-performance 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine will debut in the all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS compact luxury sedan, which will be revealed at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in January.

The Cadillac-tuned, direct-injected engine will produce an estimated 270 horsepower (201 kW). At 135 horsepower per liter, it will be one of the most power-dense automotive engines, besting the highest-performing engines from luxury competitors such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes.

“This engine is the perfect match for the new ATS, which will be a refined performance luxury sedan,” said Don Butler, Cadillac vice president of Global Marketing. “The 2.0T has an exceptionally smooth and responsive power curve that will make the ATS nimble, quick and fun to drive.”

The new 2.0T highlights a broad engine lineup that will power the ATS which is slated to begin production next summer. Cadillac will also offer a normally aspirated 2.5L four cylinder engine and a 3.6L V-6 engine in the ATS.

The 2.0T builds on the advanced-technology heritage of previous GM turbo engines with features that enhance efficiency, durability and refinement.

Among the 2.0T engine’s highlights: a direct-injection twin-cam, four-valve-per-cylinder engine with continuously variable valve timing; twin-scroll turbocharger with air-to-air intercooler; forged-steel crankshaft with modular balance shaft system; and a two-stage variable-displacement oil pump with jet-spray piston cooling.

Overall engine friction is reduced by up to 16 percent. The low-friction design means engine power is delivered more efficiently.

Proprietary computational fluid dynamics analysis techniques were used to develop an all-new combustion system with a higher compression ratio, which also helped boost efficiency.

“The 2.0T is one of the most advanced and efficient engines of its kind, and contributes to the ATS’s exceptional balance of performance and great fuel efficiency,” said Mike Anderson, chief engineer for the 2.0T engine.

The 2.0T has a wide torque curve, delivering 90 percent of its peak 260 lb-ft. of torque (353 Nm) from 1,500 rpm to 5,800 rpm – giving the ATS the feeling of immediate power, whether from launch at a stop light or during higher-speed maneuvers, such as passing.

The turbocharger generates up to 20 pounds of boost and its twin-scroll design helps optimize power availability, virtually eliminating turbo lag and helping deliver a broad power band.

“It has the exhilarating, responsive power available when you want it, yet can provide the fuel efficiency that will make the ATS a fully competitive vehicle in global markets,” Anderson said.
At 135 hp/L, the ATS 2.0T four-cylinder turbo engine has the highest power density among key competitors, including:

  • Audi A4’s 2.0L turbo (105.5 hp/L)
  • BMW M3’s V-8 (103.5 hp/L)
  • Lexus IS F’s V-8 (83.2 hp/L)
  • Mercedes-Benz C250’s 1.8L turbo (111.6 hp/L)

Additional details on the ATS will be announced at the 2012 NAIAS. The ATS will be built at the Lansing Grand River plant alongside the Cadillac CTS Sedan, Coupe and Sport Wagon and V-Series performance cars.


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