2014 Camaro Convertible

Three words: neat, chic and smart

"Action Caddy" said Issam

"A return to form?"

"Lightest car in its class according to Cadillac"

"Toe-to-toe with any German rivals" 

The whole story begins in 2012 when I first drove the ATS Sedan. Today, the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe has come as a pleasant surprise to me, and I'm questionable about those numerous motorists who have not considered a Caddy before, whether or not it is a rival for the BMW 4-series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A5.

What are the differences?
Largely speaking, the 2015 ATS Coupe is a two door version of the ATS Sedan; nevertheless, unexpectedly, the only mutual exterior constituents are the hood, headlamps and various trim pieces on the front fascia. The grille is somewhat larger, a wider lower air intake, different mirrors and the redesigned Cadillac crest.

Exterior
The 2015 ATS Coupe rides on the same 277.6 cm wheelbase as the sedan, but features its own bodywork. The Coupe also has an aggressive stance, with wider front/rear tracks than the sedan, enhanced by short overhangs and sheet metal that wrap tautly around the tires. Standard 18 inch wheels are exclusive to the Coupe.

Bold lighting elements are a Cadillac signature feature and the ATS Coupe advances that tradition with available light emitting diode, or LED, headlamps with adaptive forward lighting. Base models feature projector-beam headlamps, while high-intensity-discharge headlamps and front vertical LED light signatures are included. Illuminating outside door handles on Performance and Premium Collections lend technologically advanced style and function to the distinctive Coupe. All models feature LED tail lamps and rear-center stop lamp. The ATS Coupe also includes capless fueling.

Interior
Inside, the sedan's driver-focused cabin carries over to the Coupe, featuring handcrafted cut-and-sewn upholstered interior combinations, decorative stitching and authentic materials, including leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and wood, intended to enhance the emotional connection to the driving experience.

Choices of many interior color themes, each with unique accent trim materials, range from light, open and warm to dark and serious, to bold technical and sporty.

Available interior features include:

•             Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity with natural voice recognition

•             Text-to-voice that converts incoming text messages to speech and reads them over the audio system speakers

•             USB, auxiliary and SD memory card ports

•             Reconfigurable 5.7 inch, three-window instrument panel cluster display

•             Full-color reconfigurable head-up display.

A Bose premium audio system with Active Noise Cancelation technology is standard on all models and includes electronic sound enhancement on models equipped with the available premium surround sound audio system. Exclusive to ATS Coupe and differing from other manufacturers' systems that pipe recorded engine sounds through the audio system; Cadillac's system enhances only the car's authentic powertrain sounds to enhance the performance experience.

The 12 speaker surround sound upgrade is included with Performance and Premium collections. It includes Bose Audio Pilot, which continuously monitors ambient sounds and adjusts the music volume and program content to make the most of the listening experience.

Additionally, a navigation system is available on Performance Collection, and it is standard with the Premium Collection.

Cadillac Infotainment CUE system
Cadillac CUE is the centerpiece of the ATS Coupe's comprehensive collection of technologies designed to enhance the driving experience and complement customers' increasingly connected lifestyles. It is standard on Performance and Premium Collections, with enhanced connectivity and convenience for 2015, including a new Text-to-Voice feature for smartphone users with Bluetooth profile (M.A.P.) and Siri Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6 and iOS 7 users to enhance connectivity and convenience. Each enables voice-controlled connectivity - and helps keep the driver's hands on the wheel.

The heart of CUE is the eight-inch LCD multi-touch sensitive screen, integrated into the top of the central instrument panel and featuring a motorized, fully capacitive faceplate at the bottom concealing a 1.8L storage area. CUE's vibrant liquid crystal display, or LCD, screen resembles a smartphone screen with large, easy-to-target icons to execute commands.

Additional technologies that make life with the ATS Coupe more convenient include the capability to remotely start the engine or lower the windows with the key fob. EZ Key passive entry and push-button starting is standard, too, so the key never needs to leave the driver's pocket or purse.

Features
ATS Coupe delivers the same safety technologies found in the ATS Sedan. Additionally, Cadillac provides available advanced safety based on Cadillac's "control and alert" strategy, which employs up to two cameras, eight ultrasonic sensors and six radar signals to help prevent crashes.

The safety features bolster driver vision and awareness of road hazards, and can even help the driver avert potential crashes. In certain situations, Cadillac's advanced crash-avoidance systems, such as automatic braking, can pre-fill and automatically apply braking in response to potential hazards.

Among the most sophisticated of the features is Front and Rear Automatic Braking. It relies on radar, camera and ultrasonic technology to help the driver prevent front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary.

Many of the advanced safety features are bundled in the Driver Awareness and Driver Assist Packages. The Driver Awareness package is included in Performance and Premium Collections. It includes:

•             Safety Alert Seat

•             Forward Collision Alert

•             Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist - new to Cadillac for 2015

•             Intellibeam high-beam control

•             Front and rear park assist

•             Rear-vision camera with dynamic guidelines.

The Driver Assist package is available on Performance and Premium collections and includes all of the Driver Awareness package content, plus:

•             Full-Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control

•             Automatic Collision Preparation

•             Automatic Safety Belt Tightening

•             Electronic Park Brake

•             Front and Rear Automatic Braking

•             Enhanced Side Blind Zone Alert - new to Cadillac for 2015

•             Rear Cross-Traffic Alert

•             Full-color head-up display

The advanced technologies complement other ATS safety features, including eight standard air bags, safety belt pretensioners and load limiters, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with full-function traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel ABS, patented rotor coating protection and auto-dry functionality.

Drivetrain
The engine includes the award-winning 3.6L V6 is rated at 321 horsepower and 373 Nm. The engine feature direct injection and dual overhead camshafts with continuously variable valve timing, which help optimize power and efficiency, as well as reduce emissions. And it is matched with the Hydra-Matic 6L45 six speed automatic transmission with tap-shift control.

Driving Impressions
When I drove the ATS sedan back in 2012 at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, it delivered impressive handling, and this carried over with the ATS Coupe. On tight corners, the ATS Coupe is intensely self-reliant, yet agile grip on the road. When driving and behind the steering wheel, I felt as if the ATS treated those corners like professional buddies instead of difficulties to overcome. I was impressed by that feeling, may I say.

On my way to Jebel Jais, I was cruising peacefully on board the ATS Coupe. I had the opportunity to try the new lane-keeping assist system, which pushes the car to stay within the lane, but it would not let me jump from lane marker to lane marker with my hands off the wheel. Up to the hills, I shifted to sport mode and I noticed a degree over the standard suspension. It yanks hard to redline! The body roll of the ATS Coupe really felt as a 50/50 weight distribution.

Verdict
Cadillac's first-ever compact luxury Coupe goes on sale this month in December. Perhaps my only concern is that Cadillac execs said in the past that apart from ATS sedan they will make the ATS Coupe visually distinctive. It seems they stayed on the elegant development, as it was justified when they mentioned to us that a "V" version will be produced later on. Anyhow, we all know that Coupes are about independence, and the ATS Coupe's great interior and wide range of configurations surely makes it a car that one should truly ponder as a daily vehicle.

One word: Fashionable
4 stars
Rivals: BMW 4-Series, Audi A5, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Infiniti Q50
Pros: Stylish interior, exterior design cues, powerful and responsive engine
Cons: Not really a sporty Coupe rather than an elegant Coupe

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