Video: Cadillac ATS goes to Nurburgring

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 26, 2011

The next chapter of the Cadillac ATS video series was at the Nürburgring in Germany. At the Nordschleife, or “North Loop,” the cars were tested by the Cadillac ATS engineering team in the tough but structured environment of this world-renowned road course. With these activities, the team is able to fine-tune the ATS calibrations for the new 270hp 2.0L turbo four-cylinder and 3.6L V-6 engines together with the second- generation Cadillac Magnetic Ride Control suspension.

The Nürburgring is unique since it’s the only place where cars can be tested going airborne, in valleys where cars are subjected to full compression, plus they would also need to do off-camber, on-camber turns.

Each aspect of the car is monitored by Cadillac. The data would be sent to calibration teams in Michigan, who will then upload new algorithms to calibrate shock stiffness and engine dynamics to consistently shorten lap times by a few seconds.

Further details about the ATS will be revealed at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. Set to be unveiled on Jan. 8, the ATS will be produced at the Lansing, Mich. Grand River plant together with the Cadillac CTS Sedan, Coupe and Sport Wagon and V-Series performance cars.

Cadillac’s all-new 2013 ATS is a compact luxury sports sedan developed to challenge the best premium cars in the world. The new Cadillac ATS was developed with a new lightweight architecture and will be available as a part of the most relevant luxury car segment in the summer of 2012. This new rear-drive luxury vehicle brings together Cadillac’s technologically driven performance, its distinctive design, and its brand of elegance.

Further enhancing the ATS’s sophisticated driving experience is the Cadillac CUE, which is a comprehensive in-vehicle driving experience that combines intuitive design with information and media data commands as well as with industry-first controls.

According to Don Butler, Cadillac’s marketing vice president, the ATS was designed with nimble, quick, and fun-to-drive dynamics and it expands the carmaker’s portfolio into a crucial international segment. He adds that the ATS is a car that will be ideal for a new generation of luxury car buyers and their lifestyle.

Moreover, the Cadillac ATS expresses the carmaker’s “Art & Science” execution principle, which is built on the foundation of driving dynamics as well as of mass efficiency. The ATS is also Cadillac’s most agile and lightweight vehicle, having one of the segment’s lowest curb weights, which is less than 3,400 lbs or 1,542 kg.

Nürburgring in Germany was one of the car’s key testing grounds (along with other roads, laboratories, and racetracks around the world), where ATS engineers had balanced the car’s performance with the company’s trademark refinement. The ATS’s features and contributing components include:

· an almost 50/50 weight balance

· a MacPherson-strut front suspension that is multi-link and double-pivot and has a direct-acting stabilizer bar

· Cadillac's first 5-link independent rear suspension that uses high-strength yet lightweight steel and has efficient straight link designs

· an FE3 sport suspension that is driver-adjustable and has real-time damping (Magnetic Ride Control)

· underbody aerodynamic shields

· available all-wheel drive

· four-channel ABS that has Brembo performance brakes

· a premium electric variable-effort steering gear (ZF Steering Systems)

Butler says that more than being just another new Cadillac entry, the ATS is targeting to change the status quo of the luxury car segment, which is European-dominated. And this is the reason for their very extensive and focused approach in all aspects of its development, he explains.

Additionally, the ATS boasts a wide lineup of engines that includes a couple of four-cylinders and one V-6 for North America, and that delivers strength and power to the car and capitalizes on its lightweight architecture to complement its efficiency and performance. The ATS’s optional engines, meanwhile, include a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 270 hp and Cadillac's awarded 3.6L V-6 with an estimated 318 hp. This new 2.0L at 135hp/L is one of the industry’s most power-dense engines, beating other engines from Cadillac’s European competitors. The ATS offers both manual and automatic transmissions, along with an option for a rear-wheel or an all-wheel-drive configuration.

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