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Car News:  2012 Detroit Auto Show

Cadillac to Use Powerful 2.0-liter Turbo in ATS

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer December 2011
  • Cadillac says the new ATS will feature GM's 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo also used in today's Buick Regal GS.
  • The upcoming sport sedan will also use a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter V6.
  • The ATS will go on sale this summer and is scheduled to square off directly with compact sport sedans like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class.

Cadillac's upcoming ATS sedan will be powered by GM's award-winning 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine when it arrives in dealerships this summer. That's the latest from General Motors, who recently announced the new engine and several other details about the ATS ahead of its debut next month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

According to General Motors, the ATS will feature the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo alongside a base 2.5-liter four-cylinder and an optional 3.6-liter V6. Already in use in the newly released Buick Regal GS, the small engine produces a robust 270 horsepower, easily earning it the title of most horsepower per liter in the automotive industry.

"This engine is the perfect match for the new ATS, which will be a refined performance luxury sedan," said Don Butler, Cadillac's 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."

Scheduled to enter production early this summer, the ATS will compete with sporty, compact premium sedans like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class. Its standard engine, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder lifted from the upcoming Chevrolet Malibu, will likely produce around 200 horsepower, while the direct-injection 3.6-liter V6 will propel the most muscular ATS models thanks to an expected output of more than 300 horsepower.

That puts the ATS in direct competition with the new 3 Series, which features a standard 240-horsepower six-cylinder engine in base-level 328i models and an optional 300-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder in the upscale 335i. It also aligns the Cadillac with the C-Class and A4, which feature similar engine sizes and power outputs. The ATS will further square up against its European competition thanks to crisp, edgy styling, a high-quality interior and a sporty, rear-wheel drive chassis designed to emphasize driver involvement.

Less than a month away from its Detroit debut, the ATS will likely be priced in the low- to mid-$30,000 range when it arrives in dealerships, with well-equipped models easily topping $40,000.

What it means to you:

Choosing the right sport sedan will get a little harder when the ATS debuts next year.

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Cadillac to Use Powerful 2.0-liter Turbo in ATS - Autotrader