Cadillac has had its sights set on the usual suspects from Europe for some time now, and the latest volley in that direction comes in the form of the Cadillac ATS-V. Packing a 3.6-liter, twin turbocharged V6 making 450 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, which is mated to either an eight speed automatic or a six-speed manual gearbox with C7 Corvette-style rev matching, the hopped up ATS boasts quite a bit of grunt for its size.
Along with the 14.5-inch discs clamped by six-piston Brembo calipers fitted up front and four-piston units grabbing 13.3-inch discs in the rear, third generation Magnetic Ride Control suspension keeping everything composed, it’s clear that the ATS-V has been designed to go directly toe-to-toe with BMW’s new M3 sedan and M4 coupe.
But more often than not, numbers are one thing and on-track performance is another. So to demonstrate the new car’s performance prowess, General Motors’ engineer John Buttermore took the ATS-V to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas for some hot laps around the course.
Much like the Corvette, the ATS-V also sports a Performance Data Recorder that gives us an onboard view of the action and in-car audio, along with a host of real time telemetry and diagnostic information. Buttermore clearly knows his way around CoTA, and gives us a guided tour of the track’s various corners at the limit, which includes speeds in excess of 140mph on the main straight.
Does the new ATS-V have the goods to go up against its German rivals? Well, as the saying goes, a car is only as good as its driver, and Buttermore’s experience behind the wheel goes a long way in making it a convincing argument. But as the video also indicates, it’s obvious that the ATS-V is no slouch, with little sign of push or dive and lots of torque to pull the car out of tight exits. That V6 has some character here too, so turn up your speakers and enjoy.