Fast facts

1. Base 2.5L 4-cylinder models make 202 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque, with the 2.0T rated at 272 hp and 260 lb-ft and the 3.6L V6 at 321-hp and 275 lb-ft.

2. 0-60 times for each motor list at: 7.5, 5.7 and 5.4 seconds.

3. Fuel economy is 22/32 mpg for the 2.5L and 2.0T, or 19/28 mpg for the V6.

4. Optional extras include Cadillacs CUE system, lane departure warning and forward collision alert with the vibrating safety seat, as well as adaptive cruise control, a heads up display and front and rear auto braking.

5. ATS models start at $33,990 for the 2.5L, $35,795 for the 2.0T and $42,090 for the V6.

Quickly headed down the next short straight Im pointed forward, not by my own volition, but the machines. Now confident in the cars capabilities, not to mention my knowledge of the 14 corners of a track Ive never heard of, let alone driven on, its time to step beyond Cadillacs Competition mode.

Heading out of the pits at the super new Atlanta Motorsports Park I approach the same sequence with equal enthusiasm and this time it happens. The rear comes out, and keeps on coming, and then well, I lift lightly and it steps back in line, the rear-wheel drive ATS sports sedan showcasing its balance, precision and ease of use.

But the impressive attributes of Cadillacs new BMW 3 Series fighter dont stop there, earning it that title and the honor of being legitimately classed in the same league as the German four-door that for decades has defined the term sports sedan.

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