The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Cadillac ATS Takes On Nürburgring’s North Loop for Continued Testing +VIDEO

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Latest stage in the development of Cadillac's "agile sport sedan"

• SEE ALSO: Cadillac Wants to be the Best...Again

DETROIT - December 23, 2011: The Cadillac ATS engineering team traveled to the world famous Nürburgring in Germany to give the cars an opportunity to perform in a strenuous, yet predictable environment. There, on the Nordschleife, or “North Loop,” the next chapter in the Cadillac ATS video series continues.

At this world-class road course, the team can fine-tune the ATS calibrations for the new 270 horsepower 2.0L turbo four-cylinder and 3.6L V-6 engines, along with the second- generation Cadillac Magnetic Ride Control suspension.

Watch Chapter 3 of the Cadillac ATS development story "The Journey"

“No other facility in the world is like this. You can accomplish more here in one lap around the ring than you can on dozens of tracks in the U.S.,” said Dave Mikels, energy and powertrain integration engineer. Mikels and his colleagues on the ATS team are Nürburgring-certified performance test drivers.

“There are places where you’re airborne, and then there are valleys where you’re in full compression. There are off-camber, on-camber turns. There’s no other place in the world where you can test for all of that, except here.”

Cadillac monitors every aspect of the cars and can transmit that data back to calibration teams back in Michigan, who can then upload new algorithms to calibrate shock stiffness and engine dynamics to continually shave seconds off of lap times.

Additional details on the ATS will be announced at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. The ATS, which will be revealed on Jan. 8, will be built at the Lansing (Mich.) Grand River plant alongside the Cadillac CTS Sedan, Coupe and Sport Wagon and V-Series performance cars.

Handpicked engineers tasked to create agile sport sedan

It’s a given that the luxury cars contain high technology, but the finest must have something that cannot appear on the specification chart: expertise. Engineers working on the all-new Cadillac ATS, which begins production in 2012, were handpicked based on their roles in developing other top Cadillacs – and how well they can drive and evaluate cars on grueling test tracks.

Watch the original series preview video

Their shared goal: Create a new compact sport sedan challenging the best cars in that category. Most of the engineers on the team also developed Cadillac’s CTS and V-Series high-performance models, and have the highest level of training as test drivers. Some are certified drivers on Germany’s famed Nurburgring test track.

“It's been the persistent attention to detail in noise-vibration-harshness, the gram-by-gram mass reduction, and consistent focus on ‘fun to drive’ attributes that led this team to hone the suspension and steering in the demanding environments of the German Autobahn and Nurburgring Nordschleife,” said ATS lead development engineer Chris Berube.

The ATS will be unveiled in 2012 and will be built at the Lansing Grand River plant in Lansing, Mich., alongside the CTS Coupe, Sedan and Sport Wagon family.

Watch Chapters 1 and 2 of the ATS development video series