With the introduction of its ATS sedan for the 2013 model year, Cadillac issued a bold challenge: It was going to reclaim its position as a preeminent luxury marque, and it was going to do so by taking direct aim at BMW’s hot-selling 3 Series, Audi’s A4 and Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class.
It’s little surprise then that two years later Cadillac has released the ATS Coupe. Indeed you might be forgiven for assuming there always was an ATS Coupe. After all, BMW has its 4 Series, Audi has its A5 and Mercedes-Benz has its C-Class Coupe. But no, the ATS Coupe is a new-for-2015 model, and after a week behind the wheel I must say it’s a most welcome addition to the segment, although not without its issues.
First up is the name. Mercedes-Benz might not have gotten the memo yet, but Audi has long understood that it’s cumbersome, confusing, and not terribly successful from a marketing perspective to give your sedans and coupes the same name and simply slap on a suffix to differentiate them. Especially if you offer a variety of engine, drivetrain and trim options. BMW finally grasped this reality a couple of years back and went through a great deal of hoopla to split its 3 Series sedans and coupes into 3 Series sedans and 4 Series coupes (it subsequently screwed everything up again with the 4 Series Gran Coupe, but that’s a whole different story).
With the ATS we get a mouthful of suffixes and even then Cadillac can’t seem to decide whether the all-wheel drive version is the ATS4 (as my test car’s badge implies) or the ATS AWD (as the car’s official documentation states). It’s too bad Cadillac already used the STS and CTS monikers, because starting things off with C for coupe and S for sedan would have made so much more sense.
But I digress, and anyhow the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe V6 AWD deserves better than pointless complaining about its name. It could be called the Radish and it would still be pretty awesome.
As the name implies, the ATS Coupe is essentially an ATS Sedan wearing sporty clothing, but Cadillac didn’t simply reconfigure the doors and slope the roof. The ATS Coupe is longer, lower and wider by roughly three centimetres in each dimension, and it has entirely different sheetmetal, sharing nothing with the sedan save the hood. The resulting car is nicely proportioned, with a planted stance and an assertive but not unfriendly look. With its striking Opulent Blue Metallic paint and big 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, my test car certainly turned heads.