Mike Stevens | Dec 19, 2011

GM has taken its new Cadillac ATS midsizer to Germany's hallowed Nurburgring Nordschleife for shakedown testing, and a new video this week offers a look inside the car's development program.

"There's no other facility in the world like this," ATS Powertrain Integration Engineer, Dave Mikels said. "You can accomplish more in one lap running around the 'ring than you can on probably a dozen tracks in the US."

"There's places you go airborne around the track. There's full compression loading as you come through a valley. You get on-camber and off-camber, compression loading in the cornering in the carousel... you can't experience all of those things in any one facility in the world except for here."

The 3 Series-rivalling ATS will be offered with three engines, including naturally-aspirated 2.5 litre and 3.6 petrol engines (likely those used with Holden's upcoming Malibu and the Commodore family), along with a newly-announced 2.0 litre turbo engine.

“The 2.0 litre turbo is one of the most advanced and efficient engines of its kind, and contributes to the ATS’s exceptional balance of performance and great fuel efficiency,” the powerplant's chief engineer Mike Anderson said

“It has the exhilarating, responsive power available when you want it, yet can provide the fuel efficiency that will make the ATS a fully competitive vehicle in global markets."

GM says the 2.0 litre turbo is a brand-new engine, developing 201kW and 353Nm of torque. Among its features are direct injection, continuously-variable valve-timing and a two-stage variable displacement oil pump with jet-spray piston cooling.

The carmaker has also talked up the engine's performance credentials: at 135hp per litre, GM says it offers "the highest power density among key competitors".

Listed rivals include the Audi A4's 2.0 litre turbo (105.5 hp/l), the Mercedes-Benz C 250's 1.8 litre turbo (111.6 hp/l) and even the BMW M3 (103.5 hp/l) and the Lexus IS F (83.2 hp/l).

Watch for the ATS to make its debut at Detroit next month, but don't expect to see it in Australia anytime soon: Cadillac is off the table for the foreseeable future.

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