by Hib Halverson
November 26, 2014
imagery by GM Communications.
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The 8L90 automatic has paddle shifters and a lot more. Designed and built by GM, it delivers shift times rivaling those of dual-clutch manuals. For performance driving, the transmission offers manual control via the steering wheel paddles. A new transmission control system delivers shift performance which matches that of the dual-clutch/semi-automatic transmissions but with the smoothness and refinement one gets from a conventional torque-converter-equipped automatic. The transmission controller can execute commands 160 times per second. Wide-open throttle upshifts take place up to eight-hundredths of a second quicker than those of the dual-clutch trans in a Porsche 911. The 8L90’s smaller steps between gears, compared to a six-speed auto, keep the engine closer to the sweet spot of the engine’s torque curve, making the most of ATS-V’s 445-lbs/ft of torque on the highway or on the racetrack. Additional performance-enhancing features are available with PTM, including “Performance Algorithm Shift” and launch control.
But wait–there’s more! Check out the ATS-V’s exterior design. Almost every body panel on the ATS-V is unique–from fascias and fenders to the hood, rear spoiler and rocker moldings–and designed to compliment the car’s performance, especially it’s race track capability. “All of the design elements have a purpose,” Cadillac Global Design’s Andrew Smith, told the V-Net. “They contribute to reduction of aerodynamic lift, better cooling, reduced mass or all of the above.”
The design elements Smith talked about include: a vented, carbon fiber hood which not only pulls hot air out of the engine compartment, but reduces lift at high speed by directing that air over the top of car rather than it being trapped under the car where it generates front end lift. The front fascia has larger grille openings and the mesh pattern of the grilles was enlarged. Both these changes to increase air flow to the engine. Under the fascia, a front splitter enhances handling by forcing air to push down on the front of the car rather than flow under it and cause lift. The rocker moldings, rear fascia and rear spoiler are also “aero-optimized.” The fenders were widened to accommodate the wider front and rear wheels and the Pilot Super Sports. The wheels and the brake calipers are offered with three finishes, allowing owners to personalize their ATS-V.
“Carbon Fiber” and “Track” packages will be available and will take aero performance and mass optimization to higher levels. The “Carbon Fiber” package includes a more aggressive front splitter, hood vent trim and rear diffuser along with composite rocker extensions and a taller, body-color rear spoiler. The “Track” package includes the components of the Carbon Fiber package, plus the Performance Data Recorder and a lightweight battery. It, also, deletes the standard floor mats and tire inflator kit to save weight.
The design and relationship of key interior components are focused on performance-driving ergonomics. All of the “contact points”–steering wheel, seats, shifter and pedals–are designed to enhance performance driving experiences. Optional 16-way-adjustable Recaro front seats have firm, adjustable side bolsters which hold the driver and front passenger in place during aggressive driving. They have luxury-performance feel, trimmed in Mulan leather with sueded microfiber inserts and seatbacks. The rest of the interior features Cadillac’s handcrafted, cut-and-sew elements with decorative stitching and premium materials, including carbon fiber.
The ATS-V also features a unique version of Cadillac’s 5.7-inch, three-window instrument panel cluster display, with V-Series graphics and distinctive gauge readouts. It is also equipped with the latest connectivity technologies from Cadillac, including: CUE with Bluetooth connectivity and voice recognition, text-to-voice which converts incoming texts to speech then reads them over through audio system speakers, USB, auxiliary and SD memory card ports and finally, OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. The optional Performance Data Recorder is controlled via CUE’s color touch screen and recordings can be reviewed on the screen when the vehicle is parked.
So there you have it: the technical low-down on Cadillac’s ATS-V a track-worthy, BMW-busting, American-made sports-coupe or sports-sedan.<< Previous Page