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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New Cadillac ATS May Boost Demand for Used CTS

2013 Cadillac ATS

2013 Cadillac ATS

In its quest to finally field some decent competition to the BMW 3 Series, Cadillac has finally brought its ATS to the masses. While it’s a fantastic car, it probably won’t be the BMW-slayer GM wanted.

The ATS to best compete with the 3 Series is the V6 version, which starts at $42,990. That’s within a few dollar bills of the bigger CTS, so I don’t envy the salespeople who want to steer folks to the smaller sedan. The two 4-cylinder ATS models obviously cost less, but don’t offer the giddyup needed to adequately play in BMW’s league.

The biggest competition to the ATS, I think, is a decked-out late-model CTS. Or dare I say it, a CTS-V.

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How Cadillac Hopes to Catch the Germans

2013 Cadillac XTS

In a rather inconclusive interview with MSN Autos, ATS engineer David Masch was asked, “How long is it going to take for Cadillac to regain brand perception as ‘the standard of the world’”?

He replied it may take a little time to improve “some of the public perception.” That, friends, is the understatement of the year.

Lexus was 30 percent ahead of Caddy in sales last year; BMW and Mercedes more than 60 percent.

With only three active models now, the brand needs more and better offerings and better-looking cars. We’ll show you a few that were on display in New York; you be the judge. Above is the XTS, the company’s new full-size luxo-sedan, which looks good: the proportions are right.

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Battle of the Sports Sedans Heating Up

2013 Audi S4

The battle for the best sports sedan has never been much of a battle. More of a mild scuff, really, with winner always being the BMW M3. There’s just been nothing better over the years. Lexus hasn’t beat it. Jaguar tried once and failed. It will try again, but first needs to dust itself off from the beating the X-Type received. Audi has come close with the S4, but never threw the knockout punch.

Not many other automakers have even tried to dethrone the great M3. The few that have — Acura, Infiniti, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz — not a single one has produced an M3-killer. Or even a 3 Series-killer.

But the landscape could be changing, as at least three competitors have learned what it takes to compete with the Ultimate Driving Machine.

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