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      09-24-2012, 12:32 PM   #1
ATX78703
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ATS 2.0 versus N20 dyno on IL

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http://www.insideline.com/cadillac/a...no-tested.html

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The ATS's 2.0-liter is rated by GM at 272 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque from 1,500-5,500 rpm — pretty strong numbers for a wee four-cylinder. They're facilitated by direct injection and a twin-scroll turbo that heaves out an eyebrow-raising 20 psi of boost pressure.

Though Cadillac says it's not required, we ran premium fuel in the ATS. 91 octane, that is. 91 octane is better described as "middling" rather than "premium" when 93 and 94 octane are plentiful elsewhere in this great land, but it's what we get in Southern California. At least we have the pleasure of paying more for crappier fuel. Anyway, here's what we measured at the wheels:





From low revs the ATS's turbo-4 delivers strong thrust, peaking at 252 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm, easily backing up its rated torque. Peak power of 239 hp at the wheels is right about what one would expect, given driveline loss. Unlike highly boosted four-bangers of yore, there's not an abrupt transition into boost with this engine. This is a civilized power delivery, smooth and fuss-free. The ATS is surprisingly quiet at full whack, too. There's not much personality in the way this engine sounds, but at least it's unobtrusive.

You'll notice that the claimed flat torque plateau from 1,500-5,500 rpm is curiously absent in our chassis dyno result. This is a normal characteristic common among turbo engines we test. In producing an engine's rated output, the manufacturer runs the engine on an engine dyno, which loads the engine differently than does a chassis dyno. Thus our usual chassis dyno pulls cannot replicate the tabletop torque curves shown by manufacturers, and torque never arrives quite as low in the rev range.
That wavy-gravy torque curve characteristic you see above was present on every run that we performed in the ATS, possibly a result of the usual ignition timing modulations to avoid knock.





So far, so good. But how does the ATS's engine stack up to that of its obvious rival, the 2012 BMW 328i? It, too, packs a direct-injected 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.

Well, it just so happens we dyno-tested one of those recently, too:





It turns out these two modern turbo 2.0L DI fours are quite similar. The BMW ekes out a smidge more peak torque and holds its power better at high revs, but the general character is essentially interchangeable among the two engines. Neither are particularly rev-happy things, but there's solid meat in both torque curves where it's suitable for everyday driving.

Here's the wrinkle. BMW rates its engine significantly lower: 240 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque. So while on paper the ATS's engine appears to one-up the BMW N20 by 32 horses, there's very little between the two engines in the real world. In this case at least, German horses are larger.

As expected, BMW continues to underrate these engines. Overall, the numbers are kind of a wash between the 2, but the n20 has a much nicer looking curve for torque and peak for hp.

Thoughts?
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      09-25-2012, 06:43 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATX78703 View Post
http://www.insideline.com/cadillac/a...no-tested.html

Here's the link - was waiting for that. As expected, BMW continues to underrate these engines. Overall, the numbers are kind of a wash between the 2, but the n20 has a much nicer looking curve for torque and peak for hp.

Thoughts?
BMW (and Audi) have been underrating their turbo engines for years. Nothing new here.
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      09-25-2012, 07:33 PM   #3
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It's hard to pass up the German engineering of a BMW.
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      09-25-2012, 08:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATX78703 View Post
http://www.insideline.com/cadillac/a...no-tested.html

Here's the link - was waiting for that. As expected, BMW continues to underrate these engines. Overall, the numbers are kind of a wash between the 2, but the n20 has a much nicer looking curve for torque and peak for hp.

Thoughts?
Very nice output from both engines.
As the article states, in actual driving you'r not going to notice the subtle waves that the dyno will display.

I am impressed with the BMW engines greater high rpm breathing capability.

The tests were run on 91 octane fuel.
It'll be interesting to see dyno's from 93 where available, just to see if either engine has tuning capable of utilizing the higher octane.
Caddies engine may be more sensitive to octane.

Caddy 2.0
1998 CC
3.39 bore and stroke
9.5 : 1 compression ratio
20psi boost
Forged crank shaft
Chain driven cams

BMW N20
1997 CC
3.3" bore 3.5" stroke
10 : 1 compression ratio
Max boost 18.9psi
Forged crank shaft
Chain driven cams

Last edited by RPM90; 09-25-2012 at 09:22 PM.
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      09-26-2012, 12:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
Very nice output from both engines.
As the article states, in actual driving you'r not going to notice the subtle waves that the dyno will display.

I am impressed with the BMW engines greater high rpm breathing capability.

The tests were run on 91 octane fuel.
It'll be interesting to see dyno's from 93 where available, just to see if either engine has tuning capable of utilizing the higher octane.
Caddies engine may be more sensitive to octane.

Caddy 2.0
1998 CC
3.39 bore and stroke
9.5 : 1 compression ratio
20psi boost
Forged crank shaft
Chain driven cams

BMW N20
1997 CC
3.3" bore 3.5" stroke
10 : 1 compression ratio
Max boost 18.9psi
Forged crank shaft
Chain driven cams
good point on the octane - I actually think caddy is putting out a pretty decent product here, fully competitive; sales of course will be the ultimate judge...
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      10-03-2012, 04:59 AM   #6
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This the best run of the 328i as stock on our maha dyno:
almost exactly as claimed (as usual, most dyno are generous, and US car are low on power...)
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      10-04-2012, 07:37 AM   #7
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In this case at least, German horses are larger.
Yup!
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      10-04-2012, 08:28 AM   #8
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I wonder why BMW is so conservative with their ratings on the turbo motors. Could it be horsepower taxes somewhere?
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      10-04-2012, 08:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I wonder why BMW is so conservative with their ratings on the turbo motors. Could it be horsepower taxes somewhere?
270 would be too close to the 335i's 300hp. That engine is also underrated because 350hp is too close to the current M3's 414hp
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      10-04-2012, 08:57 AM   #10
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I'll say it again - finally, a decent airport rental car option, now with a decent motor.
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      10-04-2012, 09:14 AM   #11
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Seriously would someone buy a Cadillac over a 328i?

No one in Canada even owns a Cadillac. Not sure if they even sell them here. Is it really that popular in the US?

Any the styling...thats an ugly car.
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      10-04-2012, 09:19 AM   #12
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Seriously would someone buy a Cadillac over a 328i?

No one in Canada even owns a Cadillac. Not sure if they even sell them here. Is it really that popular in the US?

Any the styling...thats an ugly car.
Good grief, it's not like the F30 is a looker. I actually prefer the ATS over the 3er, but I like ugly cars. Cadillac is still sort of confused in the US. They make some cool stuff, like the CTS-V wagon, but they also make some dogs like the new XTS (an XXL Avalon).

However the ATS having a mechanical limited slip and better discounting after then initial new toy factor wears off make it interesting to me. If they don't go crazy with the ATS-V pricing, I will seriously consider one, or especially the IS-F, if there is another.

I can't believe I'm saying this, as I hate Lexus/Toyota in general, but I dislike how large the 3er and ATS are and I find myself hoping the next Lexus IS remains about the size it is and has a manual option on the more powerful engine.
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      10-04-2012, 09:28 AM   #13
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Seriously would someone buy a Cadillac over a 328i?

No one in Canada even owns a Cadillac. Not sure if they even sell them here. Is it really that popular in the US?

Any the styling...thats an ugly car.
I don't think they have a place in the US but that's just my opinion. I don't really see too many around the streets except for the ctsv model. I always grew up thinking Cadillac was an old persons car
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      10-04-2012, 09:40 AM   #14
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Nice comparison. It's always nice to see comparison dynos run on the same dyno, even if they're not on the same day. It provide a lot more confidence in the comparison.

Regarding Cadillac and the ATS in the US. I think it's kind of silly how much hate gets piled on the Cadillac brand. Yes, there were several years where the product coming out of Detroit was garbage. The big three have paid the price for that blunder.

If this car weren't a Cadillac, would you really call this old person styling?

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog....ac-ats-026.jpg

I honestly think Cadillac makes some of the most modern looking cars on the road. Their angular designs with sweeping headlights and LED tails look very futuristic to my eye. They're very minimalist, which is a contemporary design technique. I mean, can you picture this with a vynil top? I can't.

Would I take an ATS over an F30? I've driven both, and I can confidently say that's a "no". While Cadillac has improved significantly, I still prefer the driving character of a BMW.

I won't allow myself to fall victim to a false dichotomy though. Just because one car is good does not make all the others bad. The ATS is a great car, even if it's not for me.
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      10-04-2012, 09:54 AM   #15
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Any way you look at it, its still an american made car...which I will (hope) to never own again.
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      10-04-2012, 10:03 AM   #16
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And this is why BMW underrates their engines. Their competitors come out with a car that they think has 30 more hp, but in reality it has less or an equal amount.
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      10-04-2012, 10:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
However the ATS having a mechanical limited slip and better discounting after then initial new toy factor wears off make it interesting to me.
Both of those things make it interesting to me as well. I would love to see more manufacturers start doing the mechanical LSD in compared to the "standard" e-diff that has become so popular.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyland View Post
Nice comparison. It's always nice to see comparison dynos run on the same dyno, even if they're not on the same day. It provide a lot more confidence in the comparison.

Regarding Cadillac and the ATS in the US. I think it's kind of silly how much hate gets piled on the Cadillac brand. Yes, there were several years where the product coming out of Detroit was garbage. The big three have paid the price for that blunder.

If this car weren't a Cadillac, would you really call this old person styling?

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog....ac-ats-026.jpg

I honestly think Cadillac makes some of the most modern looking cars on the road. Their angular designs with sweeping headlights and LED tails look very futuristic to my eye. They're very minimalist, which is a contemporary design technique. I mean, can you picture this with a vynil top? I can't.

Would I take an ATS over an F30? I've driven both, and I can confidently say that's a "no". While Cadillac has improved significantly, I still prefer the driving character of a BMW.

I won't allow myself to fall victim to a false dichotomy though. Just because one car is good does not make all the others bad. The ATS is a great car, even if it's not for me.
I agree completely with everything you said. I, too, have driven both, they are both great cars in their own right, but for what I am looking for in a car, the F30 wins this one. At the rate that Cadillac has been improving though, I wouldn't be too surprised to see them start to get on par with or better than a large majority of the competition in the coming years.
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      10-04-2012, 10:08 AM   #18
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It's hard to pass up the German engineering of a BMW.
+1
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      10-04-2012, 10:11 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by rjd598 View Post
I don't think they have a place in the US but that's just my opinion. I don't really see too many around the streets except for the ctsv model. I always grew up thinking Cadillac was an old persons car
Maybe they aren't very popular in your region of the country or something. Everybody and their mom has one where I live. Esp. soccer moms driving the big extended caddy truck.
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      10-04-2012, 11:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
Good grief, it's not like the F30 is a looker. I actually prefer the ATS over the 3er, but I like ugly cars. Cadillac is still sort of confused in the US. They make some cool stuff, like the CTS-V wagon, but they also make some dogs like the new XTS (an XXL Avalon).

However the ATS having a mechanical limited slip and better discounting after then initial new toy factor wears off make it interesting to me. If they don't go crazy with the ATS-V pricing, I will seriously consider one, or especially the IS-F, if there is another.

I can't believe I'm saying this, as I hate Lexus/Toyota in general, but I dislike how large the 3er and ATS are and I find myself hoping the next Lexus IS remains about the size it is and has a manual option on the more powerful engine.
Sorry bud, but the next gen IS is definitely going to be closer in size to the ATS/3 Series. It's supposed to be based on an extended version of the FR-S/BRZ platform but I recently heard from a friend in Japan that it will be instead based on the GS platform but just shrinked. Turbo engines are definitely in the pipeline though.
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      10-04-2012, 11:03 AM   #21
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I don't think they have a place in the US but that's just my opinion. I don't really see too many around the streets except for the ctsv model. I always grew up thinking Cadillac was an old persons car
C'mon what would suburbia America and Rap stars do without Escalades? Cadillac actually sells well across the US and in China. One of GM's few profitable brands.
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      10-04-2012, 11:03 AM   #22
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Sorry bud, but the next gen IS is definitely going to be closer in size to the ATS/3 Series. It's supposed to be based on an extended version of the FR-S/BRZ platform but I recently heard from a friend in Japan that it will be instead based on the GS platform but just shrinked. Turbo engines are definitely in the pipeline though.
Ack, oh well, I didn't really want a Toyota/Lexus anyway. If it were based on a stretched GT86 that would be great, but a GS platform is not going to be good for what I want. I will just continue to hope for a 1er sedan, or that the A3 sedan somehow ditches Haldex for a true quattro system.
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