Cadillac ATS-V Makes Chuck Norris Look Girly

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

BMW is probably frowning today because Cadillac just revealed the 2016 ATS-V.

The latest chapter in Cadillac’s V-Series performance lineup will source power from a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 that pushes an estimated 455 hp and 445 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. General Motors’ recent performance products set a high bar for incoming products and at first blush it sounds like the baby Caddy is up to the challenge.

Not only does it have a blisteringly powerful engine, but Cadillac saddled its new compact performer with an impressive list of technologies to boot.

Production begins next spring at GM’s Lansing assembly plant where it will be borne as both a coupe and a sedan equipped with either a six-speed Trememc TR6060 manual transmission or GM’s new eight-speed automatic. The manual gearbox includes the same active rev-matching ability that Chevrolet imbued the Corvette Stingray with, but it also comes with launch control and no-lift shifting. The eight-speed automatic also includes launch control.

Cadillac says the car will hit 60 MPH in 3.9 seconds, although the company didn’t qualify that claim with either the manual or automatic gearbox. Our best guess is that it’s the automatic, which Chevrolet swears up and down to be a legitimate dual-clutch competitor. Top track speed for the new car is a claimed 185 MPH.

It also comes with serious Brembo brakes and rotors that measure 14.5 inches in the front and 13.3 inches in the rear hiding behind model specific lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels. Oh, and both the front and rear ends are also wider than the normal ATS.

If you peeled those away, you would also see the latest version of GM’s magnetic ride shocks that are supposedly 40 percent quicker to respond than the version they succeed. The appreciable difference in driving dynamics is almost impossible to picture, but Cadillac also says it increase chassis stiffness by 25 percent over the normal ATS, which is saying something because cars based on the Alpha platform are already known for their rigid handling.

2014 L.A. Auto Show Preview

Cadillac is trying to make a point with the ATS-V. Specifically, that it doesn’t plan to tip-toe into the compact luxury performance market. For example, it wears Pilot Super Sport tires that Michelin developed specifically for this car.

Nevertheless, it also comes with tamer driving modes that are meant to make the ATS-V a tolerable long-distance cruiser. Accordingly, it comes with drive modes that meant for touring, sport and track driving.

Cadillac also offers optional “carbon fiber” and “track” packages that make what is already an aggressive car even more imposing. It’s covered in paint, but the hood is formed from carbon fiber and designed to vent heat out over top of the car. If you opt for the carbon package, the car also gets a bigger front splitter, hood vents trimmed in carbon and a bigger rear diffuser along with extended rocker panels and a bigger spoiler.

The track package uses some of those components and adds the same performance data recording system that the Corvette gets while also deleting the standard floor mats and tire inflator kit to cut weight.

You can also expect the interior to be up to par with Cadillac’s recent products, which of course means that it will be dressed in especially premium materials. Fancy dressing aside, the centerpiece of the cabin is a pair of 20-way adjustable Recaro front seats.

Cadillac didn’t say what the car will cost when it arrives in dealers next year, but it will probably be priced to compete with the BMW M3 and M4, meaning things will likely kick off somewhere around $60,000.

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GALLERY: 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe Live Photos

GALLERY: 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan Live Photos

GALLERY: 2016 Cadillac ATS-V

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Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

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2 of 4 comments
  • Mark S Mark S on Nov 19, 2014

    Good article and looks another great Caddie car. Any ideas on the weight of the car? Seems like Caddy can under cut weight compared to others in the segment with this platform without using lots of carbon fiber.

  • Ambrose19 Ambrose19 on Feb 25, 2015

    I'm disappointed that the ATS-V doesn't have the great four-wheel drive the ATS has. With more power, it's even more desirable.