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Cadillac ATS-V driving report: M3 rival from USA in motorway test

Thorsten Weigl
Driving report Cadillac ATS-V (2016)
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The Commodores once sang about heaven, which is supposed to be in the back seat of a C adillac would be. They must have meant it differently. Because in the case of the ATS-V Coupé, the rear seats are not that easy to reach. The Recaro seats in the front row can be folded forwards helpful, but it is still quite cramped. But let's leave that, if we wanted to drive in the back, we would have chosen the ATS-V sedan. At 69,900 euros, it is even a few thousand cheaper than the elegant coupe. In addition, with 470 hp the driver's seat is heavenly anyway, but definitely more tempting, isn't it?

Thorsten Weigl
The ATS-V is also available as a coupé.

Cadillac ATS-V priced on M3 /M4 -Niveau

The Coupé is available from 72,500 euros, which would clear up one question: The Cadillac is not that much cheaper than the M3 /M4 and AMG C63. A few thousand or not, in this class it is more what the car can do that counts.

Come on, Cadillac. 470 HP and almost 1800 kg weight are not such a bad combination, because the automatic converter does not interfere either - according to the manufacturer, the ATS-V slams to 100 in 3.9 seconds - even as a four-door model. The gears can of course also be selected manually, and shift paddles made of magnesium alloy are fitted to the steering wheel as standard. The chassis with adaptive dampers is also standard, four drive programs can be selected: Tour, Sport, Track and Snow /Ice. For now we'll leave it at tour.

Thorsten Weigl
The ATS-V sedan accelerates just as fast - in 3.9 seconds to 100 km /h

Cadillac ATS-V with software for the racetrack

Incidentally, the Performance Data Recorder is more than just a gimmick for 1500 euros extra. It saves driving data, lap times, video images and interior sound on a memory card, a real joy for the children of the Playstation generation. The software developed together with partner Cosworth is also suitable for serious track use.

But we wanted to drive. The ATS-V feels a bit stiff for the first few meters: the dampers are bulky and the steering has a high restoring force. All of this is forgotten when the twin turbo is warm and working hard. He sprints casually on the country road. Manual shifting can be safely forgotten, with a maximum torque of over 600 Nm the V6 doesn't really care which planetary gear configuration is currently in use class='v-A_-article__inline__img'>

Thorsten Weigl
Unlike the BMW M3 or Mercedes AMG, the US speedster is allowed to run over 300 km /h on German highways as standard.

Cadillac ATS-V with strong trigger, but weak sound

It's busy on the highway going south is only enough for a few short sprints. Gears 4 and 5 of the eight-speed automatic are enough between 160 and 240 km /h to make pretty much everything else in the rearview mirror very small. If the lane changes in front of the Cadillac, no problem. The Brembo system with six-piston calipers at the front and four pistons at the rear pack vehemently and in the best possible way.

Very neat, what theATS-V delivers there. But of course there is also potential for improvement. The quality of materials and workmanship in the interior has already been seen better in this price range and the sound of the V6 from the GM engine family LF seems a bit tortured at high speeds. Well, whine at a high level. Whether the ATS-V is really within striking distance of BMW M3 (click here to the test ) and Mercedes C63 AMG S (test) drives, that has to show a comparison test. The systems are there, whether with four doors and the Commodores in the back seat or as a two-door coupé.


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