2016 Cadillac ATS-V Dissected: Chassis, Powertrain, Design, and More

In spite of our history of doting on the BMW M3 as though it were an internal-combustion golden retriever, we wouldn't mind an American car making the BMW tuck its quad tailpipes between its legs. The previous Cadillac CTS-V came close, but the Corvette-powered special was always too big and heavy to feel like a true M3 rival. We've already praised the smaller ATS for having a more entertaining chassis than the basic 3-series, and now the 2016 ATS-V, in both coupe and sedan forms, is baring its teeth.

The heart of the ATS-V is Cadillac's twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6, an engine that has already distinguished itself in the CTS Vsport. For ATS-V duty, Cadillac engineers swapped so many parts that they renamed it the LF4. (It's known as the LF3 in the CTS.) It features titanium connecting rods, new crankshaft counterweights, and shorter intake runners. New turbos and waste gates provide more boost (up 6 psi, to 18) in conjunction with higher-flow fuel injectors. Chief engineer Dave Leone is proud of the baffling in the new oil pan, which, despite its wet-sump setup, allegedly survived two g's of lateral acceleration through the N?rburgring's Carousel. While official SAE output figures are in the mail, Leone expects more than 450 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque from the revised engine, a modest bump from the LF3's already stout 420 and 430 ratings. As with many modern performance engines, the LF4's vocals are accompanied by recordings played through the audio system's speakers.

GM's own eight-speed automatic, some 28 pounds lighter than the CTS-V's six-speed, comes aboard with the same gearing as in the Corvette. The shift sequences and traction control have been reprogrammed for a slightly softer feel?this is, after all, a Cadillac?but Leone says you'll still be able to "bark the tires on a 1-2" shift, and he claims that it swaps gears more quickly than Porsche's PDK. The six-speed manual will have GM's "no-lift shift" feature as well as automatic rev-matching capability (which, we're grateful to report, can be switched off). Both transmissions send power rearward to an electronic limited-slip differential. With launch control and no pesky 155-mph limiters, Leone expects zero-to-60-mph times of less than four seconds with either transmission and a top speed over 185 mph.

In its first V application, GM's Alpha platform sports torsional rigidity that is 25 percent greater than the regular ATS's. This is attributable to additional bracing in the engine compartment, including an aluminum skid plate bolted to the bottom of the subframe, sealing it off from the road. The front track grows by an inch on the sedan and 0.2 on the coupe, while the rears decrease by 0.5 and 0.3 inch, respectively. But with wider rubber all around, Michelin Pilot Super Sports measuring 255/35R-18 in front and 275/35R-18 out back, the overall footprint is still wider. Spring rates are up 50 percent at all corners, and GM's third-generation Magnetic Ride Control dampers are joined with new bushings and ball joints. The ZF variable-ratio electrically assisted steering is a claimed 14 percent stiffer. Brembo supplies the brakes?14.6-inch discs up front squeezed by six-piston calipers and 13.3-inch discs with four-piston pinchers out back. Carbon ceramics will not be an option, Leone says, as the ATS-V doesn't need a "$9000 brake package to make it track-capable."

The ATS-V wears a fairly subtle disguise; no one but car enthusiasts and insurance companies will recognize you as a deviant. The most obvious detail is its silver-painted crosshatch grille, slimmed down Camaro-style and with another gaping duct consuming most of the lower fascia. Cadillac cut an additional C6 Z06?style slot into the chrome grille surround below the carbon-fiber hood, and additional intakes replace the lower running lights.

The requisite angular chin spoiler, a ducktail decklid spoiler, and quad exhaust tips round out the changes. Hope you want 18-inch wheels, because there are no other sizes available. A black-chrome trim finish will be available, as will bronze or red brake calipers. An optional Track package, shown on the matte Crystal White Frost coupe you see here, brings an unpainted carbon-fiber hood vent, a carbon rear diffuser, a larger spoiler, black wheels, and blacked-out window trim.

High-back Recaro buckets, wrapped in leather and with cutouts for the five-point harnesses that U.S. automakers can't legally install, come dressed in all black or with gold or light-gray faux-suede inserts with matching stitching. Because this is a Cadillac and not a Chevy, the trim is real carbon fiber and, in an Audi-esque touch, even has metal threads woven into it. Traditionalists and outdoorsy types can swap that for wood.

GM's semi-cool, semi-paranoid Performance Data Recorder that made its debut on the Corvette is also available on the ATS-V. With a small forward-facing camera that saves video and in-car audio to an SD card tucked in the glove box, it can record your heroic driving and overlay info such as throttle position, braking force, and steering inputs. Or it can spy on a valet, whatever you prefer. Cadillac's CUE touch-screen infotainment system will do its best to infuriate drivers who are otherwise enjoying themselves, but the more we can drive and the less we have to deal with that screen, the better. The ATS-V seems designed for the same priorities.

Text Source: Car and Driver


New Member
Reading the above report gets me really excited about the ATS-V.

How the hell do you get 450 horses out of a 6 cylinder? The GM engineers must have a magic wand in their development garage. Thats truly amazing.

One thing that kind of annoys me. This car is constantly compared to the BMW M3. Apparently, the M3 is the "Gold Standard". Hopefully, next year, there won't be any more comparisons. The ATS-V should be the new gold standard that all others will wish to emulate. It certainly looks like Cadillac has raised the bar.

I can't wait to get one.


New Member
The M3 is always used as a benchmark because they are the first to come up with the sports luxury concept. But I agree it goes get old and I can't wait for the ATS-V to out perform all the other cars in it's class.


New Member
Hello everybody I bought my first CTS V Sedan I want to switch insurance, I'm paying ridiculously big money to my insurance company and they got me renew it automatically and I dont want to get a cheap one I just want to ask you guys if anyone knows about best insurance deals out there so I looked up in this forum about auto insurance and didnt find anything, is there anybody on same situation

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