The Mayweather-Pacquiao boxing match may never happen, but the automotive equivalent of that superfight will begin this summer, as Cadillac has just announced availability and pricing for its all-new 2013 ATS sports sedan. It’s a vehicle Cadillac has designed from the onset to rival the compact luxury sports sedan establishment, launching with a starting price of $33,990, including destination and handling charges.
For that coin, buyers can expect the base Cadillac ATS to come equipped with the all-new 2.5-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine that’ll make in the neighborhood of 200 horsepower, as well as highway fuel economy expected to be “well over 30 mpg.” But that’s the loss leader to get people in the door, as it’ll be priced between the base front-drive Audi A4 and the 204-horsepower Lexus IS250.
The more feature-packed mid-level Cadillac ATS will come with an estimated 270-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a choice of six-speed automatic or manual transmissions, and rear- or all-wheel drive. It starts at $35,795, which, coincidentally, is the exact same as a 2012 BMW 328i sedan. A less-powerful Mercedes-Benz C250 sedan starts at $35,675 with MB Tex upholstery, the German euphemism for “vinyl.”
At the top of the heap will be the 3.6-liter V-6-powered Cadillac ATS, expected to come with about 320 horsepower, an automatic transmission, the new Cadillac CUE infotainment system, eight-way power leather front seats, and available all-wheel drive. It’ll start at $42,090, which undercuts the 335i by more than $1,000 but comes in at about $1,200 more than a comparable Lexus IS350.
All of this sounds well and good, but there’s an elephant in the room Cadillac isn’t mentioning: Its larger, similarly powerful Cadillac CTS sports sedan, which starts at $36,810. The current car has been on sale since 2008, lending credence to its impending redesign and higher starting point, as it’ll probably go after the Lexus GS/BMW 5 Series/Mercedes-Benz E-Class set in its next iteration.
Until then, though, the 2013 Cadillac ATS looks like it could be in for tough competition both from the benchmarked BMW 3 Series and, more interestingly, its own big brother. We’ll see when the ATS goes on sale this summer.