GM has also announced an impressive array of engines for the ATS to what the competition has to offer. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Cadillac has taken the wraps off its much-awaited compact luxury saloon, the ATS at the Detroit motor show. And GM officials have made it clear that it’s aimed directly at the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A4, as Mark Reuss, the company’s North America head stressed that it is a car that can “finally challenge the German cars at their own game and win". Clearly, the guys at Detroit should know by now luxury and gadgets alone will not help them compete with the superb offerings from the German rivals. So a lot of words were spoken about the car’s performance than its looks or luxury aspect.

The ATS has been built on a completely new lightweight, rear-wheel-drive platform with a near 50:50 weight distribution that will help make the car “nimble, quick and fun to drive”. GM has also announced an impressive array of engines for the car to what the competition has to offer. The base 2.5-litre naturally aspirated inline-four puts out 200bhp and 255Nm of torque, while returning fuel economy figures of up to 7.8 litres-per-100km. Then there’s the 270bhp 2.0-litre turbo four and the 318bhp 3.6-litre V6 completing the range. These come mated to either a six-speed manual or an auto box with both rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive configurations.

It all sounds good but our eyes are now set firmly on that day, hopefully not far away, when GM announces the ATS-V.