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Review: Cadillac’s 463bhp ATS-V driven in Europe
Review: Cadillac’s 463bhp ATS-V driven in Europe

Review: Cadillac’s 463bhp ATS-V driven in Europe

by Jack Rix
Top Gear Magazine

What’s this, then?

The car, potentially, to put an end to all those hilarious jokes about American muscle machines being designed for the ‘strip, and unable to navigate corners.

Driven here in its slinkiest coupe form (a four-door saloon is also available), the ATS-V is the smallest and nimblest Cadillac ‘V’ series model ever, and the first with a twin-turbo engine – a 3.6-litre V6, no less.

At 1,693kg all-in, the ATS-V is around 100kg heavier than the BMW M4, but with 463bhp it’s got 38bhp more in its locker. It can’t outgun the 1,800kg, 503bhp Mercedes-AMG C63 S with its big burly V8, but the Cadillac can match its 0-62mph time of 3.9 seconds and doesn’t stop until 189mph.

Yup, no cop-out 155mph limiter here, a fact confirmed as we hit 170mph on a quiet piece of autobahn. Purely for scientific reasons, of course.

It’s got a potent engine, then. Anything else?

Quite a lot, as it goes. The entire body is 25 per cent stiffer than the standard ATS, courtesy of several braces straddling the car’s underbelly and engine bay. To counteract the lardiness that brings, there’s a carbon-fibre bonnet and lightweight 18-inch aluminium wheels, plus an optional full carbon fibre aero pack.

A track pack adds a ‘Performance Data Recorder’ that let you film your greatest/most embarrassing moments via a built-in forward-facing camera, and overlays them with 150 possible streams of driving data to let you identify what went right/oh so wrong.

Does the V6 deliver?

Emphatically, though the turbo engine has a very different character to its bigger brother, the 640bhp CTS-V with its supercharged 6.2-litre V8. Especially the sound.

Whereas the V8’s rumble is drowned out by the supercharger’s whine, the V6 makes a rawer, more metallic rasp, apparently subtly enhanced by the speakers. Pin the throttle and there’s a moment of lag, but nothing more than you get with an M4, before it picks up sharply then bolts past 4,500rpm.

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Robert M. Loszewski is the Owner and Site Administrator of the Cadillac V-Net; a quality-driven Cadillac V-Series news and information web site that he started in 2007.