2013 Cadillac ATS - Wow.

This car won the 2013 North American Car of the Year at the Detroit Auto Show, it’s been seen driving all over the world (racing in Monaco), and it’s a Cadillac. Unlike any Cadillac I’ve ever driven. In a good way. A great way.

The 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD is amazing. 272hp from the Ecotec 2.0 turbo (with absolutely no turbo lag), 260 lb.-ft of torque (smooth power - but you can tell it’s there), double-pivot front suspension with direct-acting stabilizer bar (glides over the Michigan potholes, absolutely no roll into corners, feels like you're stuck to the road).

It was perfect week to drive an all-wheel drive car in Michigan. Snow on the roads, icy conditions, rain...you name it. And I honestly can’t find anything bad to say about the AWD - didn’t feel any rear bias when cornering in less than ideal conditions. The 50/50 weight balance on the car really showed up in less than ideal driving conditions.

This is a world class sports car. It’s that simple. Pulled up to a stoplight and a guy in a BMW was sizing it up. No, I didn’t race him. Swung into Kroger to pick up some groceries, dude in an Audi was checking out the ATS. It’s that kind of car. I had three people here at work asking for a ride. You have to drive it to really understand.

And the technology in the ATS goes well beyond the engine and suspension -- adaptive cruise control, intelligence brake assist, forward collision alert, eight standard air bags (including knee bags and the head curtain side air bags).

Gas mileage? 30 highway. No really.

One thing to remember - it’s not as big as the Cadillac you might know. I’m 6’5” and had to duck my head to get in. But four people sit comfortably and there’s plenty of trunk room.

I love this car. I love driving this car. This is the reason we drive cars. It creates passion. I was looking for excuses to take it out on the road.

Clear your mind of Cadillac preconceptions and drive this car.

(review by Jim O’Brien - @JimInTheD)