The Cadillac Comeback Gets Under Way

2013 Cadillac ATS

Think back to the year 2000, if you will.

Panic about the impending clock change had just passed, Pepsi Twist was the hot new soda, “Gladiator” was the big blockbuster, and nobody bought Cadillacs.

Well, nobody cool or even remotely young bought Cadillacs, anyway.

The Wreath and Shield brand was relegated almost entirely to the retired crowd without a lot of hope for a future turnaround. Today, 13 years later, there’s been a massive shift, as Cadillac has started tearing up showroom floors almost as fast as it finishes hot laps around the Nurburgring.

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Seven Cars We Think Will Do Well in 2012

2013 Ford Fusion

The New Year is a time for resolutions (which usually fail) and for predictions (ditto). So, in the following piece, we will hedge our bets by naming vehicles that have already shown promise, or the hope of promise. That, of course, is the trick behind making predictions—stack the deck a little bit.

There are no guarantees in the auto business, and while everyone looks forward to a banner year, some of the following cars are brand-new and as yet untested. All are reportedly good, and it will be interesting to see how the public responds. Let us know if we are off-base, out of line, or on the money.

Ford moves to a global platform and complete redesign with the 2013 Fusion and, except for some spy photos, its appearance is a secret. Above is a fair rendering of what the car may look like. It will go live at the Detroit Auto Show in January. The new car has lots of tech-y stuff and will be Ford’s big play in the midsize game, with a wide choice of powertrains.

The company should sell some 240,000 Fusions in 2011 and now has about 12 percent of the midsize segment. It is looking for a 50 percent sales increase.

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News and Noise about Cadillac’s New ATS

Cadillac ATS teaser photo

It seems as though the ATS has been ballyhooed, videoed, blogged and reblogged for months now. The latest news is GM’s announcement that the car will have a completely new and very strong turbo 2-liter four that produces 270 hp and a broad torque band and is lightweight.

While we don’t know exactly what it will look like yet, there have been lots of spy photos on the Web of the car testing (see video after the break). The 2013 ATS will be live and in color at Detroit.

A number of writers have termed the new car the “BMW 3 Series fighter,” since GM has encouraged them to think of it as specifically designed to compete with that car—and the C-Class Benz, among others. It might be a good challenge for the Audi A5 and Infiniti G37 as well.

Think about it: If a GM car, first time out, can come anywhere near the style, performance and handling of these cars, all of us should get up and dance. The Germans, particularly BMW, have been at it for years, refining and refining. But there is a design stodginess, especially in the 3 Series, that is growing long in the tooth for many of us.

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