2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe Review and Road Test By Larry Nutson
2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe - Alphabet Coupe
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, Chicago Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
Yes, alphabet coupe. My play on words is in reference to Cadillac’s all-new ATS coupe that replaces the CTS coupe in Cadillac’s product portfolio. The CTS coupe has been around only for four years. So, it’s from CTS to ATS if you want 2-doors.
Why the change, you ask? Well, in this day of a global automotive focus and also in selling basically the same vehicle in every global market where you want to compete, product decisions are based on the global market. And they are not based on just your home market, as once was.
The role of the ATS coupe within Cadillac is to expand and elevate the brand, to bring in new customers and to compete, globally, in the heart of the compact luxury segment. Around 70% of ATS sedan buyers are new to Cadillac and 20% are under age 35. Coupe sales make up about 15% of the luxury segment and brings in owners who are passionate and emotional about what they drive, who are motivated by performance and technology, and who want their personality to be reflected in the design of their car.
ATS coupe is offered in four trims - Standard, Luxury, Performance and Premium. Each of those is available in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. All are powered by the 272HP 2.0-L turbo mated to a Hydramatic 6-speed automatic. And, you can get a Tremec 6-speed manual with the 2.0-L turbo in any of the four trims but only with RWD.
Now if you need more go-power the three top trims can be had with the 321HP 3.6L V6 with the 6-speed auto trans only and in either RWD or AWD.
Pricing starts at $38,990 for the Standard rear drive model and goes up to $52,430 for the 3.6-L V6 Premium with AWD.
The best ATS Coupe EPA test fuel economy ratings are the rear drive automatic at 21 city mpg and 31 highway mpg. EPA test ratings for the V6 rear-drive are 19 city mpg and 28 highway mpg.
ATS coupe is the first Cadillac with ONSTAR that includes 4G LTE providing embedded WI-FI. You can go online on-board.
The standard 2-liter Turbo has been upgraded with more boost. The result is 14 percent more torque and faster acceleration – Cadillac says just 5.6 seconds zero to 60.
The Premium model in RWD-only has a package offered that gives you the performance suspension with Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping, performance Summer run-flat tires, mechanical limited slip differential, and extra capacity cooling package.
For the racers there is a track package offered on V6 RWD model only that adds an engine oil cooler and performance brake pads.
A group of Mid-Atlantic based auto writers got to experience the new ATS Coupe in the beautiful rolling hills of the Virginia countryside southwesterly from Washington DC. After a brief Georgetown-based product introduction by Cadillac’s product director Hampden Tener we motored off to the Virginia countryside to drive the ATS Coupe like ATS Coupe owners would.
We had all the drive train variants available to experience. Given the limitations on time and the number of writers along on this program, I got to drive the ATS Coupe with automatic trans in both rear-drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The Virginia countryside offers a multitude of roads including expressway and some of the very rural twisty-hilly two-lane type. My personal take-away is that I preferred the rear drive coupe over the AWD model. I felt it a bit more nimble and responsive in the twisty back roads. Steering is tight and precise with good feedback through the thick-rimmed steering wheel.
To the point, I may not go with the AWD model just because my winters involve lots of snow. A nice set of winter tires on all four wheels could handle the winter very well and I would have a lighter and more nimble car for the non-snowy months.
You can register for updates on the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe and get more information on other Cadillac models at www.cadillac.com. Shopping for other brand coupe models and comparing can be done right here on www.theautochannel.com.
A question that naturally comes to mind is: will there be an ATS convertible? All that Cadillac executives will say is that a convertible is on their wish list.
© Larry Nutson