Drive A Cadillac, It's Independence Day!
How Are Things Across The Pond?
It being July 4 – American Independence Day – we thought we'd offer an almighty howdy-doody to all of our American readers. Except, being a British-based car leasing company, the likelihood of us having any Cadillac driving American readers is slim.
But this is the internet! Anyone can and will read this if they want to. So if you find yourself to be American whilst reading this, know that although we may not be able to lease you a car, we love you all the same.
Come to think of it, we don't offer much content that might be of interest to the American reader. Why would we? But because it's Independence Day, we thought we'd look across the Atlantic, just for an hour or so, to see what's going on.
And how best to judge the state of a nation's automotive industry? Hell if I know. But one possible avenue might be to look at their motoring awards.
The North American Car of the Year
We're always banging on about the accolades dished out by Top Gear, What Car?, Autotrader et al, but there's a whole world out there. And every January since 1989, a jury of 50 automotive journalists have named the North American Car of the Year at the International Auto Show in Detroit.
Each year, the award recognises an exemplary car and an exemplary truck. The first car to be given this award was the Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe, and since then notable winners have includes the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Chrysler Cirrus, the Ford Focus, the Mini Cooper and the Toyota Prius.
Since 2010, there's been an increase in recognition for cars that manage to be simultaneously green and beautiful, with the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Chevrolet Volt both being granted awards. But 2013 saw a true icon of American motoring being granted The North American Car of the Year award for the very first time – The Cadillac ATS (pictured above).
The Cadillac ATS
Though the Cadillac CTS was nominated for the award in both 2002 and 2008, 2013 marks the first time this iconic American marque has been graced with a North American Car of the Year award.
Made by General Motors and manufactured in Michigan, the Cadillac ATS is a compact luxury sedan and is being marketed as being the smallest vehicle ever made by Cadillac. Fitted with a 2.5 litre petrol (sorry, gasoline) engine as standard, it can also be fitted with a choice of turbocharged and V6 engines to produce up to 321hp.
It's therefore as bold, beautiful and powerful as you might expect a Cadillac to be, but being so compact it's around $1,800 cheaper than its main competitor – the entry level BMW 328i.
The North American Car of the Year award isn't the only accolade to have been bestowed upon the Cadillac ATS. It's also been named the Car of the Year by Esquire magazine, the Luxury Car of the Year by Popular Mechanics and the Vehicle of the Year by the Motor Press Guild.
So if you were an American motorist (and, who knows, you might well be), you'd be all over the Cadillac ATS. But will you, as a British motorist, ever get to drive one yourself?
Don't rule it out completely. Having been rolled out in the United States, plans are afoot to launch the Cadillac ATS in China. Then, “depending on the local market reaction”, Cadillac may introduce their ATS to the European market.
But until then, we'll take this opportunity to wish all of our American readers, real or imagined, a very happy Independence Day – and we do hope you're all enjoying your Cadillacs.
Image via Flickr user: Autoviva