The Cadillac ATS’s dynamic driving experience, which continues to be a leader among the world’s best premium cars, is rooted in a lightweight architecture that is complemented by a sophisticated and finely tuned chassis system. The result is world-class agility, responsiveness and exceptional driver feedback.
The performance platform is also the foundation for other award-winning luxury performance Cadillacs: ATS-V sedan and coupe, CTS, CTS V-Sport, CTS-V super sedan and the championship-winning ATS.V-R Coupe race car.
Cadillac ATS braking performance is among the best in the segment. Low vehicle mass, optimal brake sizes and four-wheel disc brakes with Brembo performance front brakes contribute to 60-0 performance of approximately 129 feet (39.3 meters). Exceptional braking is matched with a four-channel ABS system integrated with standard StabiliTrak stability control and full-function traction control.
Up front, a multi-link MacPherson strut suspension uses a double-pivot design for a more precise feeling of control, including more linear and communicative steering and a smoother ride overall. It also improves impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces.
The double-pivot system incorporates a pair of ball joints and lower control links that replace a conventional wishbone at each wheel. The optimal balance of ride and handling is achieved via a suspension geometry that decouples road inputs by integrating a soft fore/aft "ride link" that provides greater isolation from impacts and a stiff, laterally positioned "handling link" for more direct steering feel and quicker lateral response.
The control arms, the spindle and the body form an effective four-bar link for each side of the suspension, creating virtual pivot points with reduced spindle length, significantly reducing steering wheel feedback due to wheel impacts. There is also a direct-acting stabilizer bar.
The front suspension’s design also enables a shorter spindle and positive-offset steering geometry for optimal steering control, excellent straight-line stability and a more refined ride. High-durometer rubber and hydraulic bushings are used with the front suspension for an excellent balance of ride comfort and precise response when cornering.
At the rear of the Cadillac ATS is a five-link independent suspension, designed to help reduce roll center motion, enable positive lateral control, reduce "squat" during acceleration and promote excellent dynamic stability. In short, it helps keep the tires planted on all surfaces and during all hard-cornering maneuvers.
Four handling links (upper and lower control arms) are used at each side to control wheel motion and a toe link at each wheel provides additional horizontal control, particularly during hard cornering. The upper and lower links create an effective double-wishbone design, although the links are mounted independently. As with the front suspension, the five-link design creates virtual pivot points that the Cadillac ATS’s engineers used for geometry optimization. The stiff links are mounted on a cradle that contributes to a smoother, quieter and more isolated ride. The cradle is made of steel (with hydroformed side rails) to help optimize the car’s structural stiffness and mass.
On the Sedan, 17-inch wheels are standard, with 18x8-inch wheels available, all matched with 225/40-series tires. Cadillac ATS Premium Performance sedans feature wider 18x9-inch rear wheels with 255/35 tires (all FE3 tires are summer-only). On the Coupe, 18x8-inch front (225/40 tires) and 18x9-inch rear wheels (255/35 tires) are standard. As with sedan, the ATS Premium Performance coupe features summer-only tires.
The segment-best mechanical limited-slip differential feature is not matched by all other competitors and gives the Cadillac ATS an edge when it comes to ensuring all of the powertrain’s torque is applied to the tires during hard cornering. It is standard with ATS Premium Performance sedan and coupe models and is housed in a robust 8.6-inch carrier. Other models feature a 7.67-inch carrier.
Supporting the Cadillac ATS’s suspension is Cadillac’s famous Magnetic Ride Control (MRC). Featured on the ATS-V, CTS V-Sport and CTS-V super sedan, MRC "reads" the road and delivers precise body motion control to suit conditions by changing the damping every millisecond.
Selectable driver mode settings are standard with automatic transmissions and include Sport, Touring and Snow/Ice. On MRC-equipped vehicles, each mode is optimized for Magnetic Ride Control damping, as well as transmission shift algorithms and stability control and traction control system intervention.
All models come with a ZF electric, variable-assist power steering system designed to deliver excellent response and on-center characteristics, while also saving fuel because engine power isn’t directly required to assist gear movement. It also has great torsional stiffness and low operating friction, enhancing the steering feel with almost perfect linear response. Additionally, the steering column and intermediate shaft feature stiff, direct-acting and low-friction ball bearing designs. That means there is almost no "lash" in the entire steering system, leading to a more immediate and connected-to-the-road feel for the driver.
The Cadillac ATS’s available all-wheel-drive system, which is available with all trims except for 3.6L Premium Performance, is designed to make the most of handling and stability in all driving conditions. It is an advanced, fully automatic and on-demand system that includes wheel-slip management.