Driven: 2016 Cadillac ATS-V

By Bradley Iger
July 03, 2015
Winding Road Magazine

GMís luxury brand has made it a cornerstone of their mission as a company to beat the Europeans at their own game, and those marching orders continue with their latest V-Series offering. The segment is a hotly contested one filled with worthy contenders Ė from Audi weíve got the RS5, Mercedes-AMG has the new C63, and BMW, the company that defined this segment in the first place, has a new M3/M4.

But Cadillac hasnít been one to back down from a challenge, and the last full-blooded V-series vehicle in their roster, the second generation CTS-V, proved that the company was a force to be reckoned with when the car broke the 8 minute barrier around the Nurburgring and captured the production sedan lap record from the Germans upon its release in 2008. And despite being down nearly 100 horsepower from that car, Cadillac says the ATS-V is faster around the track Ė a lot faster. So we headed out to Willow Springs International Raceway to find out for ourselves.

Whatís the idea behind the Cadillac ATS-V?

When we drove the standard ATS sedan and coupe last year we found a lot to like about Cadillacís new smaller, nimbler platform, one which clearly showed a lot of attention to detail in terms of driving dynamics, but from a packaging standpoint, leaned more heavily on the luxury side of the equation than sport in comparison to other cars in its competitive set, and we looked forward to seeing how the car would perform after Cadillacís V-Series engineers had their way with it.

The results are subtle in some ways, and utterly transformative in others. In terms of the latter, the ATS-V now sports a twin turbocharged, direct injected V6 that belts out 464 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque, up a whopping 262 horsepower and 173 pound-feet from that of a base four cylinder ATS. Helping reign in all that newfound grunt is a set a six-piston Brembo brakes up front and four-piston units in back, while a heavily revised suspension that features third-generation Magnetic Ride Control helps keep the car planted in the corners.



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