Cadillac didn’t hold back in launching the ATS sedan in the Middle East in December. No, The Wreath and Crest brand aggregated 40 members of the region’s media, gave them a chance to drive the ATS on some public roads in Abu Dhabi, and then took them to the famed and prestigious Yas Island… specifically, to the Yas Marina F1 Circuit.
Anyone who has ever been to Yas Island, let alone the Yas track — as it’s informally known — will tell you that it’s like Monaco… but maybe even more exclusive. If that sounds like a great place to launch the newest, most competitive vehicle from a brand that stands for Performance, Luxury, and Exclusivity (emphasis on Exclusivity) for the Middle East, that’s because it is.
Best of all, the exclusive media drive coincided with the ATS’ horizon-crossing journey that started at the Nurburgring Nordshleife in Germany and ended at the Yas Marina — all in an effort to demonstrate to certain members of the press the reliability, performance, and agility of the ATS. You remember Crossing Horizons, don’t you? It’s the 6,000-mile (10,000 km) trek across 12 countries for a select team of four journos, riding in two ATSes. We wish we were there, don’t you?
But enough with the media mumbo-jumbo, let’s get back to the ATS — which is offered in the Middle Eastern market with two engine choices: the (standard) 2.5 liter four-banger (LCV), and the 3.6 liter V6 (LFX), making 202 and 321 horsepower, respectively. Notice that the turbocharged 2.0 liter, 270-horse (LTG) unit is absent. Outside of that, however, the Middle East-bound ATS is pretty much the same there as it is in North America: advanced active and passive safety features — check; Cadillac CUE (with or without navigation) — check; agile and lightweight chassis — check. Yupp, it’s the same ATS we’ve come to know and love. And now, it’s available to the fine folks of the Middle East to enjoy. So… enjoy. Let’s hope Caddy sells the ATS by the boatload there, as it’s well on its way to doing in the United States.
But isn’t in interesting that GM elected to bypass the 2.0 liter turbocharged Ecotec engine (LTG) in the Middle Eastern-market ATS and the Middle Eastern-market Chevy Malibu? Instead, GM offers the 3.0 liter V6 LF1 engine as the top-of-the-line powerplant in the new Malibu. Interesting, wouldn’t you say?