In the last ten years, Cadillac has made great strides in the way it earns new customers; from European styling, modern technological breakthroughs and incredible performance, there seems to be no stopping the wreath and crest brand. Once you bring the V-series line of performance Caddies into the conversation, then you might as well fuhgeddaboudit!
Cadillac has dabbled with their spin on European prestige for decades; first with the ’79 Seville, and later, the rather more embarrassing Cimmaron and Catera. But once they launched the CTS in 2003, then the 400 hp V version as an encore, things took a dramatic turn for the better. Fast forward eleven years and you have the newly released ATS-V (the first-generation CTS-Vs spiritual successor) butting heads with today’s BMW M3 and Mercedes AMG C63s. Fifteen years ago this would have been considered a joke, but times have certainly changed…
Our colleagues over at Motor Trend have recently pitted the ATS-V up against a Merc AMG C63-S to an astonishing outcome. First, we’ll just come out and say that the Caddy trumped the Benz in every measurable performance comparison the two cars were challenged in, and even performed almost on par with a Ferrari 458 Italia in the figure-8 from an earlier test.
Cutting right to it, the sprint to 60 equated to a mind-boggling-for-what-it-is 3.7-seconds, while the 4-piston, steel-rotored Brembo brakes brought it to a halt in 99-ft – beating the Benz’s 6-piston, carbon ceramic brakes by 2-ft. For you dragstrip junkies, the twin-tubo V6 laid down a, get this, 12.1 at 116.2 mph – which is roughly a tick or two of a second faster than the old 556hp CTS-V(2).
Track tester, Randy Pobst, had miles of great things to say about the ATS-V, although he was less than enthusiastic about the brakes, saying they provided him with some fade and not enough confidence on the track and preferred those of the AMG’s better.
Despite this, the ATS-V still beat the C63-S on the circuit; clocking in a 1.31.43, just edging out the Merc with its resulting 1.31.52. On the short course, the V also pulled a higher lateral-G average with a 1.03. Handling and driving dynamics are certainly a strong point with the V.
In closing, we feel that the ATS-V is the perfect bookend for the CTS-V and a potential large performance sedan coming down the pike on the high end. While we don’t know what the next stage of V-series is, we have a strong feeling that whatever is next, it will simply make the world take notice!
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.