ATS Delivers New Levels of Control and Refinement

Cadillac ATS / Overview / ATS Delivers New Levels of Control and Refinement

The 2013 Cadillac ATS delivers a driving experience that advances the brand's performance legacy with a balance of racetrack-honed control and uncompromising refinement.

That experience is supported by new chassis and suspension systems, excellent power-to-weight ratios across ATS's power-dense powertrain lineup and a robust body structure that enables finer chassis tuning and greater crash protection. Highlights of the chassis and suspension features include:

Cadillac's first five-link independent rear suspension, using high-strength steel and efficient straight link designs
A multi-link, double-pivot MacPherson-strut front suspension with direct-acting stabilizer bar
Driver-adjustable FE3 sport suspension with Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping
Premium electric variable-effort steering gear by ZF Steering Systems
Four-channel ABS with available Brembo performance brakes
Available all-wheel drive.

Before selecting even the first fastener, engineers launched targeted research projects that helped determine the best design and optimal geometries for the front and rear suspensions. Early suspension prototype vehicles were constructed and tested in diverse environments, before complete Cadillac ATS prototypes hit the pavement at GM's global proving grounds, as well as highways and racetracks around the world.

"ATS engineers built on the legacy of the acclaimed CTS-V Series and picked up the challenge of well-established competitors to create an American sports sedan to rival Europe's finest," said Chris Berube, lead development engineer. "More than the roster of its chassis components, the Cadillac ATS's driving experience is derived from the whole of the car - a low curb weight, optimal balance and excellent dynamics refined during countless hours of racetrack testing."

Proportion and balance are definitely on the ATS's side, with a low curb weight of less than 3,400 pounds (1,542 kg) and power-dense powertrains that are also lightweight to achieve a 50/50 weight distribution and a greater power-to-weight ratio. They complement wide front and rear tracks - 59.5-inch/1,512mm (front) and 60-inch/1,548mm (rear) - for a lower center of gravity that promotes greater stability.

The low curb weight also helped engineers optimize performance by not having to go big on components that contribute to unsprung weight, including the wheels, tires and brake components.

"A heavy car needs larger wheels and tires and larger brakes to account for its overall mass," said Berube. "With the ATS, its low weight meant we didn't have to spec the largest wheels and brakes in the segment - the performance is among the best in the segment with smaller, optimized parts that save weight and enhance efficiency."

Low vehicle mass and optimal brake sizes are expected to give the ATS's braking performance that is among the best in the segment, with Brembo brakes contributing to 60-0 performance of approximately 129 feet (39.3 meters).

A strong body structure is the backbone for the Cadillac ATS's driving experience. It ties the chassis and suspension elements together with great stiffness that enabled a higher degree of tuning precision.

"This is a rock-solid architecture that supports a rock-solid driving experience," said Berube. "But even the stiffest body can't ensure great ride and handling. That comes from an optimal suspension geometry and advanced damping control - and the ATS packs both."

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