Cadillac is “working on” a new model to slot in below the ATS, where it would go up against small upscale cars like the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, and Audi A3, news that comes to us from Road & Track magazine in an interview with Cadillac chief engineer Dave Leone.
Interesting tidbits include the fact the new car will be rear-wheel drive, which would put the little Caddy in a class of one, sort of: current competitors are all front drivers that can be optioned to AWD. We see the logic in Caddy’s decision to go after that fast-growing segment, but what we can’t see is a car with less rear-seat space than the ATS, something that’s hard to see a way around in a car with a smaller footprint. None of the cars in that burgeoning segment can boast a particularly roomy aft cabin, but they have the benefit of being built around a more space-efficient front-drive layout.
Truth be told, Cadillac could nearly just as well wait till the ATS is due for a redraw, make the second-gen model bigger, and turn the current one into its new entry-level model: Caddy benchmarked the last-generation BMW 3 Series to create the ATS, a plan that proved a bit problematic when the current 3er (introduced in 2012) turned out with a notably larger interior and left the American luxury brand with a fun car that was not terribly spacious for the price.
We’re curious to see what Cadillac comes up with, but we don’t expect it to see the light of day, even in concept form, until at least next year.