Cadillac targets BMW with ATS
Maybe they should have trimmed the seats in nicely-embroidered lederhosen leather. Or shaped the door mirrors like a plump bratwurst sausage. At least they could have used a map of scenic Bavarian highways and byways as the nav systemís home page. One thingís for certain; if Cadillacís feisty, all-new compact ATS sports sedan was targeted any closer to BMWís benchmark 3-Series, itíd be slapping its knees and blasting oompah music from its stereo. Mein gott! A Cadillac that goes head-to-head with a 3-Series? You bet. And since its debut last year, the dynamic little ATS has been scooping-up awards faster than Argo at the Oscars. Itís latest: 2013 North American Car of the Year. Sweet.There are three mechanical flavors to chose from. At the bottom end is the base ATS, priced from $34-grand. It comes with a forgettable 2.5-liter 202-horse four-cylinder and a future with the rent-a-car fleets. Best, by far, is the high-revving, snarly 3.6-liter V6 which cranks out a potent 321 horsepower and delivers more tire-frying wheel spin than Dale Jr.ís stockcar. The base price here is $42,090, but opt for the Premium trim and check all the options boxes and youíre looking at close to $55-large. Best all-rounder - and the car Iíve just spent a week with - is the terrific 2.0T model powered by a new 2.0-liter turbocharged Ďfourí with direct fuel injection and variable valve timing. It packs a healthy 272 horseys and can be ordered-up with either a six-speed manual or six-speed auto. Stickers start at $35,795. Here is one fun-driving car. Youíll love the laser-precise steering, the phenomenal grip and sheer nimbleness of the car, though itís best to skip the notchy stick-shift in favor of the auto. This is just a brilliant effort from Cadillac. Certainly worthy of a rousing tribute from the boys in the oompah band.
The Daystarter: Brace for some cooler weather; new strategies getting to Performing Arts Center on time; candlelight vigil in Seminole Heights; Bucs let one slip away