Track Ready » 2016 Cadillac ATS-V

28-Mar-2016
Tested

We’ve learned to expect good things from V-badged Caddys, but the new entry level high-performance sedan knocked us off our feet! Born on the track, yet so much at home in the city, the ATS-V rewrites the luxury performance sedan rulebook.

Our V experience started off with the launch and track test of the all-new high performance Cadillacs at the end of last year. Both the ATS-V and the CTS-V were unveiled and introduced by the engineers, who shared the technical info on the development of the new cars. What really struck me at the time was that every team member working on the V models is actively involved in some kind of racing, a great sign if I may, which is largely reflected in the approach to building this dynamic duo.

The all-new ATS-V is a great addition to the high-performance family, and is the model that impressed me the most on the race track. Offered in both coupe and sedan versions, the new model sports sharp and dynamic styling, with a number of slick aero components that enhance aerodynamics and improve cooling. The car's low stance, sculpted carbon-fibre hood, wide fenders and even wider rollers result in aggressive looks - the word "subtle" was obviously not part of the design brief! Beautifully crafted carbon-fibre splitter, hood vents, rear diffuser and trunk lid provide the best finishing touches for a high performance saloon of this caliber. The staggered wheels are another fine muscle car touch, with the rears fitted with whopping 305mm rubber!"

Powered by a 464hp twin-turbo 3.6-litre V6 engine, the ATS-V is a true sprinter, with a 0-100km/h time of 3.9 seconds and an impressive top speed of 304km/h! Small turbos translate into greater engine response, with virtually no lag in releasing the massive torque that is readily available from low rpm. Mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, the car can be driven in both auto and manual modes, with steering-mounted shift paddles for some "manual" action."

As interesting as the new turbocharged powerplant is, the chassis is another example of great development and extensive track testing. For starters, the shell is 25 percent stiffer on the new model. But further targeted stiffening is where the race experience of the engineers comes handy, with a number of strategically placed chassis braces helping maintain geometry under load and preventing any chassis twisting during hard braking and cornering. Stiffer sway bars and springs, ball joints and firmer bushing rubber, combined with new, more responsive dampers and the updated Magnetic Ride Control complete this extremely capable package.

With such an exhilarating performance, the choice of brakes was critical in order to create a well-rounded athlete. This is why the ATS-V is equipped with massive front brakes featuring 6-pot Brembo callipers, while the rear gets smaller discs with 4-pot callipers. Firm, efficient and fade free, the brakes performed effortlessly during the track test, stopping the low flying sedan, lap in, lap out. The custom-made triple compound Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires provide great grip while outlasting the standard models."

The interior isn't something we're concerned about when we dissect performance cars, yet the cabin of the ATS-V, as you'd expect from a contemporary Cadillac, is luxurious, well appointed, functional and great looking. The 16-way-adjustable Recaro front seats - trimmed in Mulan leather with sueded microfibre inserts and seatbacks - feature aggressive, adjustable bolsters to hold you in place during high-load cornering. The rest of the interior features the brand's typical design, lots of decorative stitching and materials like carbon-fibre. There is also a 5.7" three-window instrument panel display with V-Series graphics and unique gauge readouts."

We've had plenty of quality time at the wheel of the ATS-V, both at the Yas Marina Circuit and on the roads of Dubai, most of it used exploring the car's dynamics. All of the chassis and suspension stiffening, race-spec brakes and sticky tyres came real handy when attacking the apexes at Yas, with the car feeling completely at home on the race track. The handling and braking inspired plenty of confidence, allowing us to explore the limits of the car and push harder, as we got to know each other better. The turn-in of the car was out of this world, by far the most impressive ability of this high performance sedan, with such a neutral behavior and the ease of pointing the car where you want it to go. Let's not forget the potent engine and its exhilarating performance, pumping hard and delivering the goods at any engine speed, in any gear. In many regards, this experience was comparable to tearing down the track in the C63 AMG, only with better handling and steering feel."

On the street, the dual nature of the beast allows for relaxed cruising in full luxury and takes care of your occasional bursts of ‘Need For Speed’. The many presets enable you to find the right settings for every given situation, be it a leisurely stroll down Beach Road, a sprint off the traffic lights or hard cornering up the Sheikh Zayed road interchanges. The ATS-V is an all-rounder with multiple talents and skills that appeals to a broad range of drivers and their families. Competitive in every aspect, including its pricing, the new member of the V-family is expecting to be doing well in our market against the likes of the C63 AMG and BMW M3."

Engine: 3.6L V6 twin-turbo
Layout: Front engine / RWD
Power: 464hp @ 5850rpm
Torque: 603Nm @ 3500rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Starting Price
ATS-V sedan - AED 265,000
ATS-V coupe - AED 275,000"