Cadillac ATS PAL Technology | Performance Algorithm Liftfoot
By Jack Kazmierski, Toronto Sun
If you’ve seen the TV commercial for the new Cadillac ATS, you’re well aware of the fact that Cadillac is positioning this vehicle as a performer. The commercial portrays a couple of driving enthusiasts pushing the ATS through hairpin turns and having a wonderful time testing the sedan’s limits.
So is this just a marketing ploy, or is there something special about the ATS that allows it to push the proverbial envelope in terms of performance? Truth be told, the ATS comes with a new gadget GM is calling a Performance Algorithm Liftfoot, or PAL for short.
PAL detects when the driver wants, and needs, a bit more performance from the ATS while negotiating a curve. Once PAL figures out the driver’s intentions, the system automatically drops the transmission to a lower gear, improving braking, control and acceleration.
When driven in “Sport” suspension mode, the ATS uses PAL to determine the vehicle’s lateral forces – the forces that rise whenever a vehicle negotiates a turn or a curve. If the lateral forces surpasses a set threshold, PAL then determines that the driver is pushing the ATS into a curve, at which time PAL concludes that the driver is going to need a bit more oomph coming out of that curve. Instantly, PAL downshifts the vehicle into a lower gear.
So instead of thinking about changing gears, the driver can focus on controlling the vehicle while PAL figures out which gear is best, taking into account the speed of the vehicle, the lateral forces, and the driver’s input.
Cadillac says the lower gears aid in both braking into and maintaining control through the turn, and then accelerating out of the corner.