2016 Cadillac ATS-V

Now a real Pedigree contender!

"The 2016 ATS-V is built on the company's excellent ATS lineup and shares the same platform as the new Chevrolet Camaro."

"The ATS-V  accelerates from standstill to 100 km/h in under four seconds!"

"The ATS-V machine is wrapped around a fantastic V6 twin-turbo engine!"

"A street weapon  that I dare to say is as good as the BMW M3 and M4," said Issam.

"The V department offered unreal levels of performance in a very comprehensive platform."

Finally we are talking about a real contender against those German titans, BMW M3 and M4! The ATS-V is striking its engine hard and ready to thunder. Offered in either coupe or sedan versions, it comes with the first twin-turbo 3.6 liter V6 engine, producing 464 hp and 603 Nm. The engine is powered by a rear wheel drive system via an eight speed automatic. Brembo brakes are standard behind 18 inch wheels to ensure an accurate stop. On the interior, Recaro seats are standard, as is Cadillac's updated infotainment system, the CUE.

Since its inception in 2004, Cadillac's V Series has driven remarkable power and performance capability into the brand's growing luxury car range. Building on the strengths of the award-winning ATS product line, the V Series adds impressive track capability to what was already the lightest and most agile-driving car in the luxury compact class. The result is a dual purpose luxury performer - a car with true track capability  direct from the factory that is also one of the most sophisticated luxury cars on the road.

First twin turbocharged V Series
With a more powerful iteration of Cadillac's twin turbo 3.6L V6, the ATS-V represents the first twin turbo powertrain in the history of the V Series lineup. Exclusive features for the ATS-V version of the twin turbo are designed to produce power faster and sustain it longer. Highlights of the ATS-V include:

•Turbochargers with low-inertia titanium aluminide turbines and vacuum-actuated wastegates for more responsive torque production
•Compressors matched for peak efficiency at peak power levels, for optimal track performance
•Patent-pending low-volume charge-cooling system that optimizes packaging efficiency and maximizes boost pressure
•Lightweight titanium connecting rods that reduce inertia of the rotating assembly, complementing the quick-spooling turbochargers
•A high performance lubrication system designed to maintain optimal oil pressure and ventilation during high-lateral driving maneuvers typically encountered on a track

The twin, low-inertia turbochargers' featherweight titanium aluminide turbines are used with a vacuum-actuated wastegate control for precise, responsive torque production. In fact, the titanium aluminide turbines reduce rotating inertial load by 51 percent, compared with conventional Inconel turbine wheels. That means less exhaust energy - which spins the turbines - is wasted in stored inertial loads.

In practical terms, that means the relatively small size of the turbochargers and their lightweight turbines foster more immediate "spooling," which virtually eliminates lag, for an immediate feeling of power delivery. They produce up to 125 kPa of boost.

Unique vacuum-actuated wastegates - one per turbocharger - are used with the twin turbo for better management of the engine's boost pressure and subsequent torque response for smoother, more consistent performance. They are independently controlled on each engine bank to balance the compressors' output to achieve more precise boost pressure response.

The Cadillac twin turbo's patented, manifold-integrated water-to-air charge cooling system also contributes to more immediate torque response, because the compressors blow through very short pipes up into the intercooler. With no circuitous heat-exchanger tubing, there is essentially no lag with the response of the turbochargers. In fact, airflow routing volume is reduced by 60 percent when compared with a conventional design that features a remotely mounted heat exchanger.

Additionally, unique cylinder heads feature a high-tumble intake port design that enhances the motion of the air charge for a more efficient burn when it is mixed with the direct-injected fuel and ignited in the combustion chamber. The topology of the pistons, which feature centrally located dishes to direct the fuel spray from the injectors, is an integral design element of the chamber design, as the piston heads become part of the combustion chamber with direct injection.

Large 38.3 mm intake valves and 30.6 mm sodium-filled exhaust valves enable the engine to process tremendous airflow. In some conditions, the continuously variable valve timing system enables overlap conditions - when the intake and exhaust valves in a combustion chamber are briefly open at the same time - to promote airflow scavenging that helps spool the turbochargers quicker for faster boost production.

Hardened AR20 valve seat material on the exhaust side is used for its temperature robustness, while the heads are sealed to the block with multilayer-steel gaskets designed for the pressure of the turbocharging system.

The heads also feature integral exhaust manifolds with upper and lower water jackets that provide uniform temperature distribution and optimal heat rejection.

Paddle-shift eight speed automatic transmission
The new Hydra-Matic 8L90 eight speed paddle-shift automatic transmission is available in the ATS-V. Designed and built by GM, it delivers world class shift times that rival the best dual-clutch designs.

For performance driving, the transmission offers full manual control via steering wheel paddles. A new transmission control system and unique algorithms deliver shift performance that rivals the dual-clutch/semi-automatic transmissions found in many supercars - but with the smoothness and refinement that comes with a conventional automatic fitted with a torque converter.

The transmission controller analyzes and executes commands 160 times per second. Wide open throttle upshifts are executed up to eight one hundredths of a second quicker than those of the dual-clutch transmission offered on some competitors. Additional performance enhancing features include: Performance Algorithm Shift and launch control via the Performance Traction Management system.

Stronger foundation and track-honed driving experience
The underlying ATS structure is highly mass-optimized and designed to meet higher performance requirements, with enhancements to the V Series developed to respond to cornering and torque loads that go significantly beyond the levels experienced by the non-V models.
The new elements include:
•             Unique shock tower-to-plenum brace
•             Strengthened rocker bulkhead
•             Stronger rear cradle-to-rocker braces
•             A unique aluminum shear panel at the front of the chassis
•             V-braces for the engine compartment
The result is 25 percent greater structural stiffness than non-V models, which contributes to more precise handling and more direct steering responsiveness.

With the stronger body structure - and more than a decade of V Series production models and the CTS-V racing program experience under their belts - engineers tuned the ATS-V to deliver greater body motion control for a more agile feel, while maintaining excellent ride quality.

A key component of the car's dual purpose performance are Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires developed specifically for the ATS-V. They feature a tri-compound tread that delivers not only excellent grip in performance driving situations, but also delivers excellent ride quality characteristics and extended tread wear.

Also, the V Series models share the same 2,775 mm wheelbase as other ATS coupe and sedan models, but feature wider front and rear footprints that enhance grip, reduce body motion in turns and contribute to more direct feeling steering.

Additional contributors to the ATS-V's dual mode driving experience include:

•             A revised multi-link double-pivot MacPherson strut front suspension delivers a quicker response and increased lateral control, incorporating new ride and handling links where traditional elastomeric bushings are replaced with zero-compliance cross-axis ball joints, higher-rate springs and a stiffer stabilizer bar - for 50 percent greater roll stiffness
•             The ZF Steering Systems Servotronic II variable-ratio electric power steering gear, with increased system stiffness offering an improved feeling of precision and greater driver feedback
•             Cadillac's five-link rear suspension features reduced roll center migration, stronger lateral control and effective anti-squat geometry, complementing the front suspension with greater body motion control. Contributing components include stiffer bushings, new cradle mounts, higher-rate springs and a stiffer stabilizer bar
•             A standard electronic limited-slip differential supports optimal traction and enables maximum corner exit acceleration
•             Larger prop shafts and greater half shaft asymmetry (stiffer driver's side shaft) mitigate power hop during acceleration
•             A Brembo high performance brake system provides durability, consistency and the capability for track day performance. The system includes 14.5 inch diameter (370 mm) front rotors with staggered six-piston calipers and 13.3 inch diameter (339 mm) rear rotors with four-piston calipers.
The ATS-V also features third-generation Magnetic Ride Control and Performance Traction Management. Five driver-selectable settings include the segment's only competition-level settings for stability and traction control.

Magnetic Ride Control "reads" the road a thousand times per second, sending data to magneto-rheological fluid-filled dampers that can independently control the damping characteristics of all four dampers. Third generation improvements enable 40 percent faster damping response. In fact, at 60 mph, the third generation magnetic ride control system calculates the optimal damping force for every inch of the road.

Almost every exterior panel on the ATS-V is unique, from the fascias and fenders, to the hood, rear spoiler and rocker moldings - and every one was designed to support the car's capability.
The unique elements include:

•A lightweight carbon fiber hood features an air-extracting vent that not only pulls hot air out of the engine compartment, but helps reduce lift at speed by channeling air pulled through the radiator out and over the top of the car rather than allowing trapped air to exit under the car
•Unique front and rear fascias provide optimal aero performance, with larger grill openings in the front fascia to feed more air to the new twin turbocharged engine. Even the mesh pattern of the signature grill openings is enlarged to allow more air into the radiator and multiple heat exchangers
•A front splitter enhances handling by forcing air to push down on the front of the car rather than flow under it, where it can cause lift
•Wider fenders to accommodate 18 x 9 inch front wheels and 18 x 9.5 inch rear wheels that are wrapped with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires
•The aluminum wheels, unique to the V Series, are constructed of a low-mass forging that helps reduce unsprung weight for greater agility and a more direct feel to steering inputs
•The rocker moldings and rear spoiler are aero-optimized

Available Carbon Fiber and Track packages 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 low mass battery. It also removes the standard floor mats and tire inflator kit to save weight.

Also, the lightweight forged aluminum wheels and brake calipers are offered in three finishes, allowing owners to personalize the presence of the ATS-V.

The aura of track inspired precision carries over to the interior, where the design and relationship of key components are aimed squarely at performance-driving ergonomics.

New, 16-way adjustable RECARO performance front seats are the lynchpins for the driving experience, with aggressive, adjustable bolsters that help hold the driver and front passenger in place during high-load cornering. They also have a luxury-performance feel, trimmed in Mulan leather with suede microfiber inserts and seatbacks.

The rest of the interior features Cadillac's handcrafted cut-and-sew elements, with decorative stitching and authentic materials, including carbon fiber. Three interior color combinations are offered: Jet Black, Jet Black with Saffron accents (available 2016) and Light Platinum with Jet Black accents.
The ATS-V also features a unique version of the 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.

The Performance Data Recorder is controlled via CUE's color touch screen and recordings can be reviewed on the screen when the vehicle is parked.

The 2016 Cadillac ATS-V also features the latest in phone integration technology through Apple Car Play, which allows smartphone users to connect with applications such as navigation, hands-free text messaging, entertainment and news directly through the CUE display screen. Android Auto compatibility will be available later in the 2016 model year.

How was the drive on the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi?
As a man who drives a Camaro as a daily driver, many will think I might be speaking subjectively towards the American vehicles. But let me  be clear : I drove the CTS-V during the same event  and liked it, but I couldn't see myself in such a huge and heavy sedan. As for the ATS-V, I loved it! Why is that? Well, because it is close (in terms of driving dynamics) versus my Camaro. The ATS-V is certainly a lot of power  for the money, and as a circuit suggestion, it's responsive and pluckier than any German rival. But as a reputable car? Well, Cadillac needs more time since there's something substantial missing. As we all know, that is the beginning with such a segment! Good luck to them.

4.5 stars
One word: Pedigree
Rivals: BMW M3, BMW M4, Mercedes-AMG C63 Sedan, Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe, Audi RS5, Lexus RC F
Pros: Superb handling, excellent acceleration, smooth ride, all new model ensures uniqueness
Cons: Missing insubstantial object, CUE system interface can be a bit confusing to use


Body style / driveline:

2 door luxury sport coupe (RWD) or 4 door luxury sport sedan (RWD)



3.6L V6 twin turbocharged DI VVT


464 hp @ 5850 rpm


603 Nm @ 3500 rpm

Recommended fuel:








Hydra-Matic paddle-shift eight speed, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive with torque converter clutch



1678 kg



0-100 km/h: 3.9 secs, top speed: 304 km/h

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