2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe First Look
The Lightweight Heavy-Hitter
The Yankees versus the Red Sox. The Lakers versus the Celtics. These are just a couple of the greatest rivalries in sports. In the auto world, there’s a growing rivalry between the Cadillac ATS and the BMW 3 Series. With the introduction of the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe, the fight is about to get uglier. At the 2014 Detroit show, Cadillac started yet another verbal assault against BMW when it unveiled the ATS Coupe, saying its compact luxury coupe has what it takes to rival the world's best, and by world's best, we know that means the BMW 4 Series.
Before the match between the ATS Coupe and BMW officially blows up, let's take a look at the numbers. Like the ATS sedan, the Coupe -- available in rear- and all-wheel drive -- offers both the 272-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 and the 321-hp, 3.6-liter V-6, except the 2.0-liter mill has been boosted to deliver 295 lb-ft of torque, 14 percent more than the sedan's 260 lb-ft. This is essentially the Cadillac's golden ticket, as the company claims the two-door ATS has an advantage in power and weight over a similarly equipped 428i. With the base ATS Coupe weighing 3418 pounds with a front-to-rear weight distribution of 51/49, the automaker estimates it can go from 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds. On the other side of the ring: At the 2014 Motor Trend Car of the Year testing, the BMW 428i rocketed from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds and tipped the scales at 3529 pounds with a 50/50 weight distribution. It's shaping up to be a pretty good fight.
Cadillac continues to boast about the ATS Coupe's balanced performance and credits its suspension set-up, which includes multi-link double-pivot MacPherson struts in front and a five-link independent setup at the rear that features light-gauge steel and straight-link designs. However, an FE3 suspension that includes Magnetic Ride Control, a limited slip differential, and 18-inch summer tires is available. Like the sedan, a six-speed automatic is standard on the Coupe, while a six-speed manual will be available with the Turbo. The Coupe also rides on the same 109.3-inch wheelbase as the four-door, but the roof, doors, rear fenders, trunklid, front fascia, and front fenders are all unique. The ATS Coupe has a more aggressive stance thanks to its 0.8-inch wider track, resulting in 1.4 inches added to its waist and an additional 0.8 inch in length. But perhaps the most obvious difference between the two is that the Coupe wears Cadillac's revised crest, which makes it the first Caddy to officially lose the wreath.
As with the ATS sedan, the Coupe will most likely be available in Base, Luxury, Performance, and Premium trims. Base models come standard with 18-inch wheels, projector-beam headlights, LED taillights, Brembo brakes, and capless fuel door, while HID headlights and the vertical LED lights are included on upper trim levels, as well as illuminated door handles. Inside the cabin, you'll find lots of leather, aluminum, carbon fiber, and wood, in addition to the familiar 8-inch touch screen that integrates the CUE infotainment system, which comes standard on all models except for the base. New additions to the CUE system include an available built-in Wi-Fi hotspot that can connect up to seven devices at the same time, a new text-to-voice feature, and Siri Eyes Free for those with an iPhone. A Bose premium audio system with 12 speakers comes standard on upper trim levels (available on lower trims) and features Bose Auto Pilot, which adjusts music volume based on ambient sounds. Other available options include navigation and a head-up display.
Cadillac expects the ATS Coupe to achieve the same overall five-star NHTSA rating as its four-door counterpart, since it offers the same safety technologies, such as front and rear automatic brakes that, with help from radar and ultrasonic sensors, can alert the driver or even apply the brakes to prevent a collision. New safety features to Cadillac in 2015 on the ATS Coupe include lane-keep assist, motorized safety belts, and enhanced side blind-zone alert.
It sounds like the ATS Coupe has what it takes to rival the best, but can it walk the talk? We'll have to wait until we can get the ATS Coupe and the BMW 4 Series in the ring together. Let the countdown begin.