No. 770,
October 29, 2014

About The Autoextremist@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of

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Editor-in-Chief's Note: The Great Sergio takes the unified FCA to Wall Street, and the response has been underwhelming to say the least. Too much smoke and mirrors, too many huge gaps in his fantasy "Plan" and too much skepticism in general to impress the Wall Street sharks. Those sharks are savvy enough to see that selling Jeeps and pickup trucks is one thing, betting on the come that Alfa Romeo can achieve even a shred of the success promised is quite another. It was a lot easier to take Chrysler off of the government's hands, wasn't it, Sergio? - PMD

Editor-in-Chief's's Note: This week our "Quick Take" has us in the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe. This new Coupe gets to the heart of the "new" Cadillac. It's handsome and pleasing to look at - with crisp lines and pleasing exterior design details (thanks to the very talented Bob Boniface & Co. at GM Design) - but the real pleasure comes when you get behind the wheel. It's no secret that the True Believers in GM Product Development - led by Mark Reuss - have BMW plainly in their sights with this new machine, and they have done a spectacular job with it. The ATS impresses the moment you get behind the wheel and the feeling grows with each passing mile. Steering, braking, handling and overall feel are all excellent and the 2.0-liter engine has plenty of power and torque. The only thing I would work on is the sound of the engine, because it sounds way too pedestrian for a car of this caliber. - PMD

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe 2.0T RWD Performance: $46,960 ($44,935 Base Price; Radiant Silver Metallic, $550; Light Platinum with Jet Black interior; 2.0-liter, Direct-injected, Turbocharged 4-cylinder with Variable Valve Timing with 272HP and 295 lbs-ft of torque, Tremec 6-speed manual gearbox; ZF premium electric variable steering; Sport suspension; Dual bright exhaust tips; Brembo performance four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes; STABILITRACK stability control with traction control; Tire pressure monitoring system; 18" polished aluminum wheels, All-season run flat tires; Handcraft cut & sewn interior; Leather seating surfaces; Performance driver and passenger 12-way seats with power lumbar; Split folding rear seat; Driver and front passenger heated seats; Leather wrap steering wheel; Heated steering wheel; Dual zone climate control; Air filtration system; Cadillac User Experience (CUE) with Surround Sound; 8" full-color touch display; BOSE surround sound stereo; Noise control with electronic sound enhancement; SIRIUSXM and HD radio (subscription sold separately after three months); Illuminating door handles; Sport alloy pedals; Auto dimming inside rear view mirror; Power, heated outside mirrors with driver side auto dimming; Universal home remote; Remote keyless entry; EZ key passive entry system; Keyless push-button start; Wireless charging; Front and rear park assist; Rear vision camera; capless fueling; Power outlet, 110 volt; Cadillac User Experience (CUE) with Navigation, includes 8" full-color touch display, AM/FM stereo, $1,000; Destination charge, $995)

 Adherence to Brand Image: The heart of the matter? The Cadillac ATS Coupe is every bit as impressive as any 3 Series you'll drive, save for the full "M" models (not the packages, the models). And therein lies the challenge facing Cadillac. How do you get buyers with 20 and 30 years of accumulated preconceived notions about the driving goodness of BMWs to even look at the new ATS Coupe, let alone consider one? It's much, much more than conducting the obligatory "butts in seats" marketing programs, it's getting at the hidebound culture of enthusiast motoring in this country - which states that German performance machines are still far superior to anything else on the road - an idea that Cadillac, despite the magnificence of the V-Series models, will have to crack if they ever hope to breakthrough the Euro luxury-performance clutter. - PMD