With its new TTY, the luxury brand permanently signed the death sentence for papis tanks. Remains to be seen if the new compact American will succeed to attract those who are looking for a sports – you know, the ones who visit instead the German showrooms.
Lincy Jean, who mourns the loss of the Cadillac DTS and Cadillac STS, won’t the find funny. At the turn of the Millennium, Cadillac announced its “renaissance”. A renaissance passing by an angular style cut with a knife and that well, if he was innovative, never really took off.
Too bad, because, beyond the style which, after a decade, begins to date, Cadillac has been able to present colourful, fun to drive cars and have nothing to do with the ‘American boat’ of the past. Think CTS – V and now, 2013 Cadillac ATS.
No middle ground
Expected closed foot, this ‘baby’ Cadillac. Especially Cadillac itself, which is eager to compete with the BMW 3 series, the reference has always been. And this time, no half-measure to save a few pennies in production: this is a new architecture (Alpha) that lies beneath this design inspired by the big sister – and almost new – XTS-powered.
A tour force was succeeded by the engineers side weight to the GM approach, which was to leitmotif during development: «Gram (less) per day per engineer.»
And it worked: with its 1 504 to 1 542 kilos divided almost perfectly, the ATS is one of the lightest in its class. (By comparison, the 3 series BMW four cylinder turbo with manual gearbox, made in 1,528 kg.)
Other good ‘structural’ shots: the chassis is stiff, balanced stack-hair (we told you that the hood is aluminum?) and, when launched on the track, everything is committed without roll. More than 160 km/h, the caisse does not bronchus.
Management adopt electric assist, she delivers the right and good resistance in order to place the car accurately, without floating. The braking is free, thanks to exclusive Brembo brakes (on the most elegant variants). The suspension has a nice mix of firmness and smoothness on Road, in addition to adjusting to MS in the different aspects of bitumen when we pay is the optional Magnetic Ride.
On the track, Plumb is not compromised for as much: a trip to Mosport with the owner of the Ontario circuit and Canadian driver Ron Fellows has proven to us that, even pushed to the limit, the ATS left manhandle ungrudgingly. What made exclaim our illustrious driver: “Oh Baby, that’s good!
Three mills under the hood
Good, and if it was engine? Basis (from $35 200) variant is equipped with a four cylinder direct injection (2.5 litres) (today) found in the Chevrolet Malibu. Certainly, it is gentle and the six-speed automatic transmission interact seamlessly 202 horsepower and 191 lb – ft of torque.
But performance noted, you will get with the four-cylinder turbo 2.0-liter (also direct injection) which produces 272 horsepower and 260 lb. – ft. of torque.
Good news: this last mill, already found in the Buick Regal and Verano, pushed the Bill barely $ 3 million compared to the cost base of the TTY. Therefore, it would be crazy to deprive, as it is the only one of the range to be offered with the manual six-speed. It is certainly not the ‘punch’ of the German competitors, but we love it for its flexibility and docility.
This manual variant of the TTY that we personally initiated on the track and, if the force does not equal that of the V6 (be discussed in a moment), near perfect distribution of weight front/rear gives the car a nice agility. Things get tough? A slight modulation of the accelerator enough to replace all.
The problem is the turbo ATS with manual transmission does not accept all-wheel drive. And the all-wheel drive, with the ATS, you do not want to do without, summer and winter. Yes, the AWD system did good job. But above all, without it, the back of the car hunting shamelessly in the case of free acceleration on wet – now imagine on the snow.
Traction control? Too slow to react. And when it reacts, it’s erratic and brutal manner. What denature the behavior to which we attach, otherwise, a beautiful A +.
Wanted to tell you: Take your turn for the V6 (a version that starts at nearly $ 44,000), but do you want to: is the 3.6-litre direct-injection, already known in the CTS, that has more deception with its 321 horsepower and 275 lb – ft of torque, developed in a beautiful soaring guttural.
It is flexible, powerful, never in lack of air. Yes, he must be satisfied with a six-speed automatic (when the competition offers seven or eight), but the paddle shifters allow almost instantaneous passages which are experience.
Inside, the ATS is offered in seven combinations of materials and colours – we particularly like red Morello. Beyond these choices, there is this impression of elegance, or even internal glamor found in the Audi – and this is not little say.
The front seats are more than comfortable and if behind, knee clearance is not miraculous, tell you that competition is much better – what do you want, in the compact or it is not. On the instrument panel, it sounds simple and logical – and it is true that has (finally) been slate of thousand and one covered with hieroglyphics commands to which GM has accustomed us in recent years.
Except that, the new CUE (for Cadillac User Experience) interface is complex and crazy. Yes, we can “pinch” the road map to enlarge or reduce, as on a smart phone, but both the touch the on-screen Touch controls just below do not respond immediately. It’s superbly annoying.
Also, unable to read its texting when driving (However, the Camry and Altima of this world do it well, they). And information consumption and conduct, before the eyes of the driver, are difficult to tame, to be young or not. Notice to those who like to consult the owner’s Manual: you will be served!
Otherwise, nothing is missing, on the side of safety. If you need to choose, start with the reversing camera, that you bless each operated recoil. It’s ice back, thin and highly inclined, doesn’t see much behind.
Can also offer the latest gadgets of the time for some US $ (good, several dollars…), such as the speed controller smart (we love), as well as blind alarm (an evil necessary) or lane change (us, it disables) and cross traffic in decline (it also, we love).
Be aware that some of these alerts are reported… through vibration from the driver’s seat. It also, we love.
Nothing to said, nothing is promised, but he can expect that Cadillac to benefit its new Alpha platform. In some time so watch variants Coupé, family and maybe even convertible of the TTY.