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Hometownstations.com-WLIO- Lima, OH News Weather SportsCadillac goes after BMW 3-Series with new ATS

By TOM KRISHERAP Auto Writer DETROIT (AP) – With the Cadillac ATS, General Motors is trying to break into the market for small luxury sport sedans now dominated by BMW's 3-Series. The ATS, unveiled Sunday, a day ahead of the North American International Auto Show press days in Detroit, was designed to be among the lightest cars in its class. If Cadillac can gain a foothold in the segment, it will be highly lucrative for GM. Cadillac currently doesn't have a car that can compete with the 3-Series. Last year, BMW sold more than 94,000 3-Series cars, including sedans, coupes, stations wagons and convertibles, according to Autodata Corp. The lowest-price model, the 328i sedan, starts at over $34,000 and decked-out versions can run higher than $60,000. GM wouldn't reveal the price of the ATS, which will be built in Lansing, Mich., and is due in showrooms late this summer. The company says the rear-wheel drive ATS will be quick and nimble, with a sophisticated suspension and the latest in electronic touch-screen technology. It's designed to be quick and nimble. Here are the highlights of the car: POWER: Three engine choices: 2-liter four-cylinder turbo with 270 horsepower, a 2.5-liter inline four with 200 horsepower and a 3.6-liter V-6 with 318 horsepower. Manual and automatic transmissions are available. WEIGHT: About 3,400 pounds, achieved with an aluminum hood instead of steel, lightweight magnesium engine mounts and other weight-saving technologies. The weight is about the same as a 3-series sedan. Has nearly a 50-50 weight balance from front to back. SUSPENSION: Independent rear wheels with MacPherson struts in the front. Magnetic ride control can be adjusted by the driver for sporty driving on twisting roads. BRAKES: Large brakes for quick stopping made by performance parts supplier Brembo. SPEED: Not released. MILEAGE: GM says some versions of the ATS will do better than 30 mpg on the highway. LOOKS: Like a small version of the Cadillac CTS, a larger car, with the same trademark vertical lights and taillights. The ATS slopes from rear to front and has a crease along the top of the doors. Its rear-seat windows are smaller top to bottom than the driver's side. CHEERS: Engine choices and light structure should make the ATS a strong candidate for those who want luxury and performance out of a small car. JEERS: The Cadillac brand still has to overcome quality problems. It ranked 25th of 28 brands in the Consumer Reports magazine's 2011 survey of auto reliability. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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