If you get hot and bothered for hot-rodded sedans and coupes, you probably know that Germans have long dominated that cutthroat scene. For years, the Audi RS/BMW M/Mercedes-AMG triumvirate has ruled the microcosm of grunty, mid-level luxury cars. But a funny thing happened when Cadillac's first V car hit the market in 2004. Since the CTS-V crashed the high horsepower party, German tuning houses started thinking less about the "Daddy's Caddy" stereotypes and more about the next imminent threat – in this case, the inevitable high-horsepower spinoff of the smaller, nimbler Cadillac ATS. The standard ATS' defense against the German triad hasn't been triumphant so far (GM's Michigan plant was idled for three weeks in 2014 due to excess inventory), but the souped-up 2016 Cadillac ATS-V presents a fresh bid to put the Teutonic competition on alert. The ATS-V's flared bodywork and quad exhaust pipes offer bits of visual shock and awe, but significant hardware upgrades back up the go-fast looks. Front and center is a twin-turbocharged, 3.6-liter V6 with reworked internals including a charge-air cooler, titanium connecting rods, and titanium-aluminide turbines. The new engine produces 464 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque, up a staggering 262 hp and 173 lb-ft compared to a base, four-cylinder ATS. Those output figures eclipse the BMW M3/M4 (425 hp, 406 lb-ft) and Audi RS5 (450 hp, 317 lb-ft), but lag slightly behind the V8-powered Mercedes-AMG C63 (476 hp, 479 lb-ft), and more so the C63 S (503 hp, 516 lb-ft). The chassis benefits from several structural braces, most notably a shear panel intended to boost front-end stiffness. Extra poundage from the add-ons are minimized through lighter-weight materials – in the case of the shear panel, stamped aluminum. Cadillac says though it intended to make the ATS the quickest car in its segment (stated 0-60 mph times between 3.8 and 3.9 second virtually match the BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG C63 S' 3.9 figure), the development team says they also focused on subjective qualities like turn-in quickness and steering response. As such, toe links have been replaced with ball joints, mounts have been retuned, and reworked magnetic damping offer greater responsiveness. Six suspension bushings have been stiffened and ten have been completely redesigned, and the Performance Traction Management system that tames beasts like the Corvette Z06 and Camaro ZL1 also helps lay down power in the ATS-V. At 150 miles per hour, the optional carbon fiber package (which includes a more aggressive splitter, Gurney lips, a bigger spoiler, and a rear splitter) adds 10 pounds of front lift and 50 pounds of rear downforce, netting 40 pounds of overall downforce. The track package adds a performance data recorder and a lighter battery, and removes the floor mats, tire inflator kit, tow hook, and sunroof. By replacing the hydraulic steering and passive suspension damping with electric steering and a third-gen Magneride setup, Cadillac says the car's limits are more controllable while offering a wider dynamic range. Tens of thousands of hours of CFD (Computational Flow Dynamics) …
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|MPG||17 City / 23 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd man w/OD|
|Power||464 @ 5850 rpm|
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