The Cadillac ATS is smart enough to tell when you want to hoon a bit. Its Performance Algorithm Liftfoot (PAL) technology makes shifting faster and minimizes unneeded shifting in pursuit of a higher-performance driving experience.
According to a press release from General Motors, the PAL technology detects when drivers are demanding more performance from the car while taking a curve and automatically drops a gear to help the car accelerate faster.
While it sounds at first read like a standard algorithm for any automatic transmission, the release explained that the PAL technology takes it one step further by tuning the transmission’s response based on lateral forces, enabling the transmission to drop into lower gears suitable for both faster deceleration into a corner and faster acceleration out of it. When it detects lower lateral forces– i.e. you’re driving through the turns at relatively mundane speeds– the transmission will exit PAL mode and return to its regular modus operandi, upshifting to a higher gear. The PAL mode will become operational only when the driver has selected the Cadillac ATS “Sport” suspension mode and sufficient lateral g-force has been achieved.
Cadillac engineers tuned the ATS, including the PAL technology, on Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife, according to the press release. Cadillac ATS Ride and Handling Engineer Adam Dean said, “The ATS is built to deliver inspired driving dynamics when the driver desires it. When PAL is engaged, the driver will notice the ATS kick into a higher RPM.”