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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First, Happy and Healthy New Year, GMI friends!!!!!!!!!




It seems we've been talking about this sub-ATS car, back and forth on various threads in the past few days. I'm thinking it deserves a thread of it's own. The products this vehicle would be competing with are the Audi A3, the BMW 1 series, and the MB CLA - all front drivers. Cadillac's marketing chief, Uwe Ellinghaus, is on record stating more than once that he would like this car to be a RWD, thus separating Cadillac from the competition.
This is a good article to read: http://blog.caranddriver.com/what-comes-before-a-cadillac-planning-a-sub-ats-sedan/

There are some pros and cons here. Ellinghaus wants RWD, for the styling potential and proportions more than anything else. He concedes that the targeted buyers will be clueless as to which wheels do the driving. FWD has the advantage of both cost and interior room and packaging. And one idea being proposed is to move ATS up a size class in order to make room for an Alpha based sub-ATS about the same size as the current ATS.

Although there have been several interviews stating that RWD is desired, the latest one with I believe Johan De Nysschen, concedes that it would have to be a front driver, just like the Germans.

What does the GMI nation think?
 
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Selfishly I would say something like the ULC. It would be a unique vehicle that would have tons of style. I have zero interest in yet another tiny 4 door sedan that has a cramped interior. A ULC type of car would get the interior benefits that a hatch gets while keeping the footprint much smaller for people who want a smaller exterior size without having a cramped interior size.

You could also do this with a FWD platform to keep the tidy exterior size (weight) while still maintaining a nice interior size. Doing that would allow a more efficient drive train without having to go to AWD to get sales in the top half of the country. With this type of vehicle I don't think the RWD purists would have a coronary since it would be under 300hp.
 

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Cadillac's sub-ATS should be tabled in the near-term, until Cadillac can get the flagships and a compact CUV out the door.


And while I understand the need for RWD for a sub-ATS... People are going to be complaining that it's "too small." People never complained that way about the 1-series. FWD would allow for more space. But then that would open up another can of worms, wouldn't it?
 

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Two options:

1) Something like the ULC making it a city type luxury small car.

or

2) ATS-L becomes the standard ATS and Sub ATS removes a little room from the back seat area (yes, making them largely unusable except on rare occasion for a very short period).

No one is buying this car for its' back seat space and it should be a 2 door car to allow the easiest ingress and egress for the driver and front passenger. I'd even argue that either option should be a hatchback or shooting brake as well for maximum storage space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Two options:

1) Something like the ULC making it a city type luxury small car.

or

2) ATS-L becomes the standard ATS and Sub ATS removes a little room from the back seat area (yes, making them largely unusable except on rare occasion for a very short period).

No one is buying this car for its' back seat space and it should be a 2 door car to allow the easiest ingress and egress for the driver and front passenger. I'd even argue that either option should be a hatchback or shooting brake as well for maximum storage space.

I think Cadillac is favoring a 4 door
 

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And one idea being proposed is to move ATS up a size class in order to make room for an Alpha based sub-ATS about the same size as the current ATS.
Then it wouldn't be a sub-ATS model, it would be a ATS replacement.

There's no value using RWD as a matter of "principle" in the sub-ATS class, as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are all demonstrating that 100% of customers in that sector don't care and 99% wouldn't know the difference - and the Range Rover Evoque sits on a Ford Mondeo platform.
 

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I think it depends on the intended market. If the goal is urban and global markets where a smaller size is an advantage for parking, maneuverability, etc then think outside the existing boxes with something as bold as the ULC. Not necessarily that car but offer the market a unique solution to the challenge rather than another me-to car. It would be a great place to see an improved Voltec approach.

But, if the market is about a cheaper, more accessible Cadillac, I'm not sure Cadillac should go there. Cadillac is still nowhere globally and needs to lead with truly lux offerings, not volume product. And, in North America and China, shouldn't Buick be groomed to answer that entry-luxury role? At least Buick is off to a start with the Verano: how about they build on and continually improve what they've got, rather than trying to invent a solution for Cadillac.

The BMW 1-series struck me as an attempt to maintain some core brand values as the 3-series grows bigger and less focused on solely being a driver's car. If Cadillac sees the need for a more focused, smaller, lighter car under the ATS, RWD makes sense. But, the market for such a focused car seems quite small (as you are giving up a usable back seat). The ATS already seems to be at the sweet spot for size vs. weight and performance. Not sure why you would go much smaller.
 

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I'm a cuv hater but consider that the high roof, small footprint model goes hand in hand with entry level. Should be the Cadillac of econoboxes - and I mean that sincerely.

Alpha is small enough for performance rwd - any smaller and it's just a chevette.

Yet in a bow to Ellinghaus, I'd make it a longitudinal engine but with a transverse FWD style transmission and the axle shafts become prop shafts to a differential on each end.

Standard 4wd.

Selectable front, rear or 50/50 split.

You sit back farther in the chassis due to longitudinal engine, but there's the higher roof and rear seat seat further between the rear wheels than in a sedan.

There, I've said it. Make it a long hood, three box almost-subcompact cuv.

Kill the entry Caddy and cuv 'issues' in one stroke.
 

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I think it depends on the intended market. If the goal is urban and global markets where a smaller size is an advantage for parking, maneuverability, etc then think outside the existing boxes with something as bold as the ULC. Not necessarily that car but offer the market a unique solution to the challenge rather than another me-to car. It would be a great place to see an improved Voltec approach.

But, if the market is about a cheaper, more accessible Cadillac, I'm not sure Cadillac should go there. Cadillac is still nowhere globally and needs to lead with truly lux offerings, not volume product. And, in North America and China, shouldn't Buick be groomed to answer that entry-luxury role? At least Buick is off to a start with the Verano: how about they build on and continually improve what they've got, rather than trying to invent a solution for Cadillac.

The BMW 1-series struck me as an attempt to maintain some core brand values as the 3-series grows bigger and less focused on solely being a driver's car. If Cadillac sees the need for a more focused, smaller, lighter car under the ATS, RWD makes sense. But, the market for such a focused car seems quite small (as you are giving up a usable back seat). The ATS already seems to be at the sweet spot for size vs. weight and performance. Not sure why you would go much smaller.
my thought is the ULC in Batt electric using the spark EV system in the 33K price range making it a desirable i3 / ELR alternative + a BETTER option to the LEAF/Volt and a "rebooted" ELR would be the "premium" step up from the ULC-E (UL3 and UL5)
and the naming scheme avoids the BMW 1 series becomes 2 series to allow a NEW 1 series with the ATS

and Buick is NOT and NEVER WILL be a cheap CADDY out side of GM's own halls as a buyer is NOT going to buy a Buick to get the CADDY prestige and will = a 1 series OR CLA sold
it is the same as BMW and MINI MINI sells in its OWN right BUT is NOT a BMW for the "cheaper" set
 

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I'd hate to see a Sonic based sub-ATS. I would go for a shortened, front and back, ATS based hatchback. Stick a 2.0 turbo in it as the top engine and we'd have a legend.
 

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With premium materials and some styling changes, the Sonic could be made into a Cadillac and GM could make easy money with it if they don't go too crazy with the upgrades. Just basically charge a premium for the Cadillac name for some chrome, leather and wood.

Actually, I'm kidding. I don't think they need a sub ATS model at all so the question of the form it should take is moot to me. They need to be all about building the brand up and returning some luster to the Cadillac name by building higher priced, more upscale cars not smaller, cheaper stuff. I think the CLA is a terrible car for Mercedes but they can somewhat pull it off because they have the high end covered. Cadillac most assuredly doesn't so they really aren't in a position to also be going down-market.
 

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4 cylinder only. 1.6T and 2.0T gas enginee with a 1.8TDI. Very expressive exterior design.
If Fwd based:
- independent suspension is a must have.
- I would suggest AWD only.
- base it on the next gen Open GTC.
- offer in sedan and 3 door hatch
- Performance Hybrid AWD option

If RWD based:
- AWD option.
- base it on a ATS w/ 2-3 inches less wheel base
- offer a Vsport appearance and engine package.
- offer it in 3 door hatch and sedan flavors
- Performance Hybrid AWD option

Actually market the car in its most sporty or expensive trim with the LED Drl's.
 

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Just out of curiosity, I looked up the dimensions of the original Mercedes 190e -- a car that seemed to successfully translate Mercedes-ness into a much smaller car.

Wheelbase: 104.9 in (2,664 mm)
Length 175.1 in (4,448 mm)
Width 66.1 in (1,679 mm)
Height. 54.7 in (1,389 mm)

That leaves a lot of space between the current ATS. So, perhaps Cadillac could do a RWD car, slightly bigger but closer to the 190e-sized package. I'd guess it would need to be limited to three and four cylinders for packaging reasons and have a very compact rear suspension. But maybe it could work and preserve the feel of the current ATS and CTS. But is there really a big market for such an old-school small car?
 
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