Without a doubt, the most exciting American sport sedan in decades is the Cadillac ATS. Since it arrived for 2013, the ATS has fully stood its ground against the best four-doors that Germany has to offer. Now Cadillac is following that up with a coupe version. So, let’s see if, even with two less doors, it’s just as able.
As the first compact sporty coupe to ever wear the Cadillac crest, the 2015 ATS Coupe has got a tall bar to top, to make headway into a small, clearly European dominated segment.
Now, being drawn from the wonderful ATS sedan certainly helps. Indeed, GM hasn’t done anything major here beyond crafting a 2-door body onto the ATS chassis. So if you liked the sedan, chances are you’ll really like the Coupe.
Unlike many sedan/coupe siblings, wheelbase stays the same, though the 2-door’s track has been widened for better handling, and a more muscular appearance, especially at the rear.
Only the hood is shared, the rest of the body panels are unique. Though sleek and stylish, it comes off a little conservative compared to ATS and CTS sedans, and that’s apparently intentional. Still dynamic and very well done overall, lots of emphasis is placed on aerodynamics, including extensive underbody shielding. 18-inch wheels are standard, with a wider footprint at the rear.
The ATS Coupe also launches a new Cadillac crest. A big large for our taste, it will quickly work its way throughout the lineup.
What’s under that shared hood is not quite as shared as the 2.5-liter I4 is not available. Just the delightful 272-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo, uprated to 295-lb ft of torque, and our car’s 3.6-liter V6 with 321-horsepower and 275 lb-ft. The V6 is automatic only, but, like the sedan, you can choose a 6-speed manual for the turbo-4.
Watching weight is still an ATS hallmark. But, poundage does see a slight increase over a comparably sedan. 3,530-pounds total in the case of this V6, with a little more of the weight over the front wheels.
That’s barely apparent from 0 to 60 as this 2-door gets the job done in 6.2-seconds. The automatic yields quick, nearly seamless shifts, pushing through the ¼ mile in 14.6 seconds at an even 100. That’s only slightly off the pace of the last turbo-4 sedan we tested.
When it comes to handling, there’s the same 5-link IRS, and double pivot MacPherson strut front suspension, but with unique tuning that feels a tad stiffer than the sedan. For best results, you can upgrade to the FE3 sport suspension with Magnetic Ride Control, as well as a mechanical limited-slip rear diff.
The belt-driven, variable effort electric steering works well, with precise inputs and decent feel. All-wheel-drive is available with both engines. Brembo brakes are standard, but just for up front. And that was enough to bring things to a halt in a short average distance of 120-feet from 60.
The interior is well-crafted. We especially like our car’s carbon fiber accents. The enhanced CUE system makes for easier smart phone use. Most info is easier to find, and the touchscreen seems more responsive. Front seats are as comfortable as we remember; the steering wheel still feels great in your hands; and the gauge panel is still clear and comprehensive. This Coupe is a 2+2 so rear legroom is tight. Still, the seats cushions are comfortable.
Two different safety packages are available: Driver Awareness and Driver Assist; and include back-up camera, full-speed range adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, front and rear automatic braking, head-up display, and of course GM’s safety alert vibrating seat. Trunk capacity stays the same as the sedan at 10.4 cubic-ft.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the V6 are also the same as the sedan at 18-City, 28-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged a fine and fun 23.8 miles-per-gallon of Regular. The Energy Impact Score falls about average at 15.0-barrels of yearly oil use with CO2 emissions of 6.8-tons.
Base pricing for a standard 2.0-liter ATS Coupe is $38,990; V6 pricing begins at $46,145.
If Cadillac had come to us for advice before building the 2015 ATS Coupe, we would have told them to keep the sedan’s performance intact and keep the price under 40. Well, they did us one better by keeping the price reasonable, and packing in even more total performance. We think that much like the sedan, the ATS Coupe should be an instant sales success and have no problem carving out a spot among the luxury sport coupe elite.
Engine: 3.6 liter
Torque: 275 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
1/4 mile: 14.6 seconds @ 100 mph
EPA: 18 mpg city/ 28 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 15.0 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 6.8 tons/yr