2014 DETROIT AUTO SHOW

Cadillac ATS coupe sets sights on rivals BMW, Mercedes

The Cadillac ATS coupe: From 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, a shade faster than the sedan.

Photo credit: GM
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DETROIT -- Cadillac will try to build on the success of its ATS compact sedan with a two-door coupe as the luxury brand vies to keep pace with a proliferation of models and variants offered by German rivals.

The 2015 ATS coupe, unveiled at the auto show here, will arrive in showrooms by summer, General Motors said. It will be the first production vehicle to get a revised Cadillac emblem, which features a wider, more intricate crest than the current emblem and loses the wreath that encircles it.

Cadillac will position the coupe against the BMW 4 series and the Mercedes C Class coupe, part of its broader plan to compete more directly with those luxury stalwarts.

"The 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe is a natural step in the brand's progression, and another distinctive, fun-to-drive and technologically advanced product for a new generation of drivers extending our target groups," said Uwe Ellinghaus, chief marketing officer, Global Cadillac.

The coupe will ride on the same, 109.3-inch wheelbase as the sedan. But both its front and rear tracks are about 1 inch wider, with shorter overhangs and fenders that wrap snuggly around the standard 18-inch wheels (the sedan comes standard with 17-inch wheels).

There are two powertrain options, identical to those of the sedan: a base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 272 hp and 295 pounds-feet of torque; and an optional 3.6-liter V-6 rated at 321 hp and 275 pounds-feet of torque. Cadillac says the coupe won't offer the 2.5-liter base engine that comes standard on the sedan.

GM says the coupe will go 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, a shade faster than the sedan.

Inside, the coupe will get a handful of new technologies that will roll out across Cadillac's lineup for the 2015 model year. They include Siri voice recognition technology for iPhone users, a new text-to-voice feature and 4G LTE broadband service through OnStar.

The coupe's design is more conservative than the brash look of the CTS coupe that Cadillac introduced in 2010, says Dave Sullivan, a product analyst at AutoPacific Inc.

"The CTS coupe really took it to an extreme in terms of coupe design," Sullivan says. "This follows more of a Germanic formula of making a coupe look like a sibling of the sedan."

Cadillac launched the ATS, its first compact sedan in 30 years, in the fall of 2012. The vehicle is intended to attract younger buyers who are likely to graduate up to larger, more expensive Cadillacs as they get older.

GM says the compact segment is the highest-volume part of the luxury market. Cadillac sold 38,319 ATS sedans in 2013. BMW sold 119,521 units of its 3 series sedan and coupe, renamed last year as the 4 series. Mercedes sold 88,251 units of the C class.

Research firm IHS Automotive forecasts 4,000 U.S. ATS coupe sales this year after the summer launch, and it estimates sedan sales for the year of about 33,100. In 2015, IHS predicts sales of about 11,400 coupes and 36,700 sedans.

You can reach Mike Colias at mcolias@crain.com.


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