When the brand-new Cadillac ATS luxury compact debuts in January, it will feature an all-new I4 engine that will be one of the most power-dense powerplants in the industry. In fact, thanks to some cutting-edge technologies, Cadillac is able to extricate 270 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque out of just 2.0 liters of displacement—surpassing supercars like the Lamborghini Aventador.
Among the engine’s features:
• Direct injection
• A twin-scroll, electronically controlled turbocharger with an air-to-air intercooler
• Four valves per cylinder
• A low-friction design
• Continuously variable valve timing
• A forged-steel crankshaft with a modular balance-shaft system
• A two-stage variable-displacement oil pump with jet-spray piston cooling
Truth be told, however, the engine is noticeably down on torque as compared to the 2.0-liter, 270-hp turbo I4 driving the Buick Regal GS. According to Cadillac, that’s because its next-gen powerplant was developed with a sharper focus on reducing noise, vibration and harshness, and will deliver even more refinement and “appreciably” better fuel efficiency. In addition, the Cadillac engine’s peak torque is available both earlier and later in the power band than is the Buick’s, coming on at just 1,500 rpm and remaining on tap through 5,800 rpm.
The party line, from Don Butler, Cadillac vice president of Global Marketing, “This engine is the perfect match for the new ATS, which will be a refined performance luxury sedan. The 2.0T has an exceptionally smooth and responsive power curve that will make the ATS nimble, quick and fun to drive.”
The ATS also will offer two other engine choices: a naturally aspirated, 2.5-liter I4 that will be the car’s choice for optimum full efficiency, as well as the proven 3.6-liter V6 that is currently available on the Cadillac CTS and Cadillac SRX. Specs have yet to be released on the ATS, but that engine makes 318 hp while delivering 27 mpg highway in the CTS, so the smaller ATS should benefit from plenty of power, along with strong EPA numbers.
The 2013 Cadillac ATS will be revealed to the public at the upcoming North American International Auto Show, which kicks off in January in Detroit. It will then start production next summer at the same Lansing (Mich.) Grand River assembly plant that currently builds the Cadillac CTS lineup.