By Aaron Bragman on January 13, 2014
Competes with: BMW 4 Series, Audi A5, Infiniti Q60, Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Looks like: A Cadillac ATS with two fewer doors
Drivetrain: 272-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or optional 321-hp, 3.6-liter V-6, rear- or all-wheel drive, six-speed manual or automatic transmissions
Hits dealerships: Summer 2014
When Cadillac launched the ATS in 2013, the sedan opened a lot of eyes and brought in a slew of new buyers to showrooms who might not have considered a Caddy in the past. Eager to keep the pressure on the luxury-brand competition, Cadillac has introduced the second variant of the ATS at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the new 2015 ATS coupe.
Meant to go head-to-head with the BMW 4 Series coupe, the Audi A5 and other compact luxury coupes, the ATS coupe builds off the strong bones of the ATS sedan but adds a dose of two-door style to go with the lightweight dynamics of the four-door.
Outwardly, one almost has to look hard to realize that this isn't an ATS sedan. The roofline and shape of the car are almost identical to the four-door, despite Cadillac's insistence that the roof, doors, rear fenders, and trunk lid are all unique. The front fenders and bumper are wider to accommodate the wider track of the coupe, as well. But unlike the last-generation CTS, whose two-door coupe version came with a dramatically more aggressive and sleeker body, the ATS coupe is not a major styling departure from the sedan. Some different grille and front bumper treatments are the only major visual differences from the sedan, aside from the longer doors.
If you like the design of the ATS sedan's interior, you'll be just as pleased with the coupe, which looks the same. The door panels are a bit longer of course, but the same attractive shapes and multitude of optional colors are available here as on the sedan. The Cadillac User Experience multimedia touch-screen is also present — standard on all but the base model — with the Siri Eyes Free concierge feature for iPhone users. The ATS also receives GM's new 4G LTE OnStar system that's meant to provide much faster data connection for passengers' wireless devices.
Powering the ATS coupe is a standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making a healthy 272 horsepower and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual is optional only on the 2.0-liter engine. The optional engine is a 321-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 that's only available with the automatic transmission; it adds the availability of an optional all-wheel-drive system.
The chassis is the same lightweight gem that's underneath the sedan, and it should provide excellent ride and handling. The same Magnetic Ride Control electronically adaptive suspension is available in the FE3 handling package, similar to the sedan. Wheels are 18-inches all around, with wider rear wheels for the FE3 package; brakes are Brembo brand on all trims except the base model.
The same safety features available on the sedan are also present here in the coupe, including a full suite of electronic aids, ultrasonic sensors, six radar signals and two cameras. The car features automatic front and rear braking, which will alert the driver to an impending low-speed collision or brake the car autonomously to a stop. The ATS coupe will also offer Cadillac's Safety Alert Seat that rumbles to warn drivers of impending road hazards or unwanted lane departures. A full-color head-up display is available, as is blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert systems.
The new ATS coupe arrives at dealerships in summer 2014.
Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman grew up in the Detroit area, comes from an automotive family and is based in Ann Arbor, Mich. Email Aaron