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Local News / Automotive

Wednesday, 15 May, 2013 2:17 PM

2013 Cadillac ATS unveiled at SAE Detroit Section meeting in Troy, MI

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The 2013 Cadillac ATS was introduced at the San Marino Club in Troy, Mich. on May 14, 2013.

 

by Jerome Rzucidlo
AmericaJR.com Web Team

 

 

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TROY, Mich. -- The 2013 Cadillac ATS was the featured vehicle at this month's SAE Detroit Section meeting on Tuesday evening at San Marino Club in Troy, Mich. David Masch, Cadillac ATS Vehicle Chief Engineer, gave an overview of the vehicle.

"We began with a focus on the customer. It truly was the case with the ATS. To get customer data, we went to China, Europe and the United States. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it," he said. "We gained a lot of insight in customer perspective. ATS is fun to drive, has an appealing design and has the latest technology to make life easier. The key competitors are the BMW 3-series, Audi A4, Mercedes C-class, Lexus IS and the Infiniti G. We learned from research that the customer wanted a smaller luxury car. Our vision was quick, nimble and fun to drive. It is an expression of Cadillac Art and Science. The design required an integrated body and chassis mass reduction, advanced enhanced safety and engaging intuitive technology. We wanted to win performance enthusiasts."

The Cadillac ATS won the 2013 North American Car of the Year award at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January. The ATS incorporates a 5-link independent rear suspension, enhanced safety system, magnetic ride control, brembo brakes and available all-wheel drive (AWD).

"The underside of the body is highlighted on efficient fundamentals in the design strategy. It also has a five-star crash rating. The material strategy in the body focuses on maximize performance in the thinness gauge possible. We use mild steel, high strength low alloy and bake-hardened steel, advanced high strength steel, ultra high strength steel, press hardened steel and aluminum," Masch added. "ATS is lighter than its competitors. The exterior is exquisite and the interior focuses on the driver."

Kris Keary, GM Powertrain's Model Year Manager/Lead Engineer, says GM brought the first two-liter, turbo injected engine into the ATS. "The four-cylinder market is expanding rapidly. We had to incorporate lessons learned in the marketplace. The engineering team focused on every part. The architecture had to incorporate future change. Spring Hill, Tennessee and Tonawanda, New York are the manufacturers for the four-cylinder engines."

He added: "One of the challenges is the chamber mixture motion starting from the inside out. Another challenge was the pan axle in the all-wheel drive configuration. The ATS 2.0 turbo has a narrower engine and pan axle for the AWD. Engine height was reduced for compact packaging. We focused on each and every part. Stiffness and strength were increased and it also produced improved fuel economy through reduced friction. There was a 16 percent friction reduction."

The 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder model produces 259 Nm of torque with 202 horsepower, the 2.0-liter, turbo four-cylinder version creates 353 Nm of torque with 272 horsepower, and the 3.6-liter, V6 model produces 373 Nm of torque with 321 horsepower. The two-liter turbo engine won the 2013 Wards 10 Best Engine award.

Rob Kotarak, GM's Vehicle Performance Manager for the ATS, says the ATS vehicle performance consists of ride and handling, chassis controls, fuel economy, powertrain integration, noise and vibration, seat comfort and driver interfaces. "We also ran development trips in high altitudes with locations in California and Colorado. The Milford tracking testing was developed to duplicate these extreme exposures to achieve our goal," says Kotarak. "Our main mission of ATS performance was quick, nimble and fun to drive. ATS is the lightest in its class at 3,300 pounds."

He also showed a video on the performance of the ATS. "Its lightweight body structure has mass efficiency and balance, torsional stiffness at 29kN-m/degree, stiff chassis attachment points, better steering and road management. The ATS rear suspension has a 5-link independent with responsive light weight and straight link designs which is a first for Cadillac. ATS brakes has Brembo front brakes with a patented rotor coating protection. The performance suspension features magnetic ride control, limited slip rear differential and performance Algorithm shifting. Regarding noise and vibration, the goal for our Cadillac brand is 'smooth and refined' yet powerful sounding. We spent a lot of time in the aero tunnels."

Ken Kornas, GM's Global Product Manager for the ATS, noted that the automaker did an incredible amount of research on the ATS. "Who are the ATS customers? Obviously, they are complex and diverse. They are younger, entrepreneurial and goal oriented who wants a great design and latest technology that makes their life easier. The ATS launch phases: First is to 'declare' to get ATS in the same conversation as the BMW 3-series. Second is the 'preparation' phase to get the wider world involved in our quest. Third is the 'compete and win' phase to seize tier-1 status setting new world standards."

He added: "We took the ATS to the most challenging roads in the world to demonstrate the turbo engine and lightweight architecture. All of the ATS efforts have captured the media's attention. Customer response has been extremely favorable as well. ATS customers love their vehicles."

SAE Detroit Section Chairman Jeremy Goddard announced the outstanding Section member awards. They went to Lou Dixon, Priya Playle, Randy Floresca, Kristina Vujic and Rosana Hull. He also congratulated the organization's 50- and 70-year members.

The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder will be the featured vehicle at next month's meeting of the SAE Detroit Section on Tuesday, Aug. 13 at Burton Manor in Livonia, Mich.

For more information about the SAE Detroit Section or to purchase tickets to an upcoming meeting, visit www.sae-detroit.org.

Related Stories: 2014 Toyota Avalon introduced at SAE Detroit Section meeting; The automotive industry has turned a corner, panelists agree; 2013 Ford Fusion revealed at SAE Detroit Section meeting; 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel debuts at SAE Detroit Section meeting

 

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Ken Kornas is GM's Global Product Manager for the Cadillac ATS.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Rob Kotarek is GM's Vehicle Performance Manager for the Cadillac ATS.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Kris Keary is GM Powertrain's Model Year Manager and Lead Engineer.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

David Masch is the Chief Engineer of the Cadillac ATS.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Several different models of the 2013 Cadillac ATS were parked outside the San Marino Club.

 

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