As Cadillac works on the compact ATS sedan for the Detroit Auto Show, the idea of a “baby Caddy” becomes less and less of an oxymoron. And to ensure that the ATS will be competitive against the likes of the Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series, GM is giving it a whole host of engine choices, including a spicy turbocharged number to match those from the German brands.
The ATS’s new engine will be a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, equipped with the most advanced features GM can throw at it. Direct injection, twin cams, and variable valve timing for each of its 16 valves all conspire towards its output of 270 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.
The thing is, there’s another engine in GM’s lineup that sounds suspiciously similar. If you asked, “why didn’t GM just use the engine from the Buick Regal GS,” you’d be forgiven. That engine is also a turbo four-banger, and eerily, it also produces 2.0 liters in size and 270 horsepower. Yet GM wants to make it clear that the Cadillac engine is a completely new unit, derived from a new lineup of four-cylinder engines, while the Buick’s is a carryover from the dearly-departed Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky twins. Got it? Good.
Besides, at 295 lb-ft of torque, the Buick produces 35 more than the Cadillac’s engine. So there’s that.
When the ATS starts production, it will be available with two more engines in its lineup: a non-turbocharged 2.5-liter four cylinder, and a 3.6-liter V-6. Coupled to an available six-speed manual transmission on a rear-drive platform, it aims to create a level of “baby Caddy” performance more on par with those smaller, peskier Germans.