Pedro Arrais review: ATS-V definitely isnít your fatherís Cadillac

Pedro Arrais / Times Colonist
April 8, 2016 06:00 AM

Cadillac got tired of the competition kicking sand in its face in the luxury-car segment, so for 2016, its muscled ATS-V now kicks butt.

The compact Cadillac ATS started life as the new entry-level model in the luxury brandís line in 2012. It is the brandís smallest four-door, five-passenger vehicle, aimed directly at the BMW 3-Series, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A4, among others.

The ATS is available either as a four-door, five passenger sedan or as a two-door, four-passenger coupe.

But if just luxury is not good enough for you, or you have had enough of Europeans embarrassing you at stoplights and on the highway, Cadillac has raised the ante with the ATS-V. This high-performance car is meant go headlight-to-headlight against performance versions from the Germans.

I drove an ATS-V coupe with a list price of $68,305.

At that price, the V coupe is up against some serious machinery ó the BMW M4 and the Mercedes AMG C63 sedan.

Here, the Cadillac shines, with a list price about $8,000 less than the BMW and $6,500 less than the Benz.

It more than holds its own in the power department as well, the 464 horsepower and 445 lb.-ft. of torque more powerful than the BMW. Cadillac boasts the V can go from zero to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds (with an automatic, no less) with a top speed (on a track) of 304 km/h.

Although my tester was an automatic, those wishing the maximum of control can order their ATS-V with a manual six-speed transmission. I canít remember the last time I drove a Cadillac with a manual transmission. Then again, I canít remember any Caddy that is as fast as a Porsche, either.

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