2016 Cadillac ATS-V Review


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Article here http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1507-2016-cadillac-ats-v-review/

Tony Roma's secret sauce has nothing to do with babyback ribs.
The Tony Roma we're talking about is an engineer at Cadillac rather than the man behind the barbecue restaurant chain. This Tony takes cold metal and raw data and turns them into saucy, soulful machines. He's had a hand in all of the V-Series cars and is the chief engineer of the second-generation CTS.
Now, Roma and his team have cooked up something new: the first-ever 2016 Cadillac ATS-V.

I'd already taken a fair measure of the cars, both coupe and sedan, six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic, and had come away relieved. A Caddy is by definition a soft and livable space. Draw your fingertips around the interior of the ATS-V and that still holds true. But the car's details show that it's not a luxury cruiser with a few bolt-on performance parts; it's a carnivore crafted from the inside out, performance always in mind. The cushy bits are the things that seem to have been added on last.
To the buyer mulling whether to buy a M-something or a V-something or just something else, this is a significant point. A lot of carmakers have been introducing performance badges, and some have as much legitimacy as an attendance prize at a kids' three-legged sack race. At best it can seem glib and at worst predatory: an opportunity to add thousands onto a sticker in return for glossier wheels and an ineffective spoiler. Even BMW and Cadillac could be called into question for their respective M Sport and Vsport lines. Only careful consumers will realize they aren't quite the real things.

Possibly the least informative aspect of the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V are its specs. Like seemingly every new sports car these days, a twin-turbo has been bolted on to the ATS-V's 3.6-liter V-6. It may sound suspiciously similar to the one found under the CTS Vsport's hood, but the ATS-V version gets all manner of turbo-centered innovations, as well as an all-new crank, titanium rods, and pistons.

If the ATS-V has a soul, it dwells in the suspension. Roma and his crew will deluge you with tales of zero-compliance cross-axis ball joints, new handling links, higher-rate springs, and stabilizer bars stiff enough to keep the Empire State Building ramrod rigid in hurricane-force winds. I've heard these stories before-on every single car launch since the 1990s, in fact-which promise the new model is somewhere between 10 and 100 percent stiffer than the car that came before it. Usually, you can't feel the difference on the road. In the case of the ATS-V, however, the marriage of the stiffer suspension with GM's ever-improving, third-gen Magnetic Ride Control is a thing of glorious revolution.

Puttering around town in Austin's ever-growing traffic mess, the sedan is utterly livable, as compliant and mannered as you'd hope. Its modest size makes it easy to shoulder your way into narrow spaces. At freeway speeds, you begin to notice how precisely you can position the car. It shifts weight effortlessly, is light on its feet, and very willing to tuck into turns. Then you ride over a big bump and realize you didn't feel it. The magnetorheological system simply deals with road imperfections without fuss-a magical martyr that suffers in silence.

But it is on track, and specifically at COTA, where these elements really shine. The road course has lots of curbing. It's rough and unfriendly, meant to keep drivers as corralled and best-behaved as possible. The ATS-V makes a mockery of the stuff. If you're feeling particularly cheeky, you can take a straight line through the esses, ramming full blast over the scalloped ridges like a bulldozer atop a sand castle. It does wonders for your overall time, and you feel only a slight shudder under your backside.

Speaking of one's backside, buyers can opt for Recaro seats that help make the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V shine. Specially designed for the car in a back-and-forth process between Cadillac and Recaro, they adjust 16 ways, including the bolsters, and are coated in microfiber suede. They keep you locked in, but they're also supremely comfortable. Like the BMW M3/M4, the sedan is a smidge cheaper than the coupe, which start at $61,460 and $63,660, respectively. Fun stuff, such as the same performance data recorder found on the Corvette Z06, costs more.

Wait, did we mention the BMW M3/M4? Roma isn't afraid to bring them up. "We heavily benchmarked the M3 from a performance perspective. When it comes to tuning, however, the point is not to out-BMW BMW. The ATS-V's mandate is track-capable luxury. It's bi-modal."

Lap after unfettered lap at COTA, with speeds routinely above 135 mph, the ATS-V held up under heavy braking and left me feeling hugely confident in its capabilities. It has none of the Jekyll and Hyde power delivery of the current M3, and the ride is far more comported.

But, also unlike the M3, it isn't bonkers. It's a chore to get the back out on the ATS-V, with none of the drift happy mannerisms of the BMW. By all appearances it's more grown up. Almost, well, mature. For some would-be buyers, that may be a drawback. But that's what you might think when you first meet a guy like Tony Roma, too. Buttoned-down. Calm. Right until you let him loose on a racetrack.



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Reviews are very promising.
The color combination is damn killer, nobody can beat this.

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