2014 Cadillac ATS-V First Look
Big power, little package. That’s what the industry is touting for the 2014 Cadillac ATS-V compact luxury performance sedan. Despite the success of the big brother CTS-V supercharged V8 sourced from the Corvette ZR1 program, industry rumors are spreading of a new twin-turbocharged V6 pushing roughly 400 horses under the right foot of early adopters – although we think that number is conservative now that the 3.6L DI V6 option was confirmed at 318hp for the standard ATS.
Based on the GM ‘Alpha’ platform, the ATS will be a familiar front-engine/rear-drive design, with an AWD option. Manual and automatic transmissions are offered in the plain-jane ATS, and we’re guessing the ATS-V will follow the CTS-V with a proper driver’s gearbox. It is unlikely that Cadillac will have an AWD system capable of handling the V’s power in time, but don’t count it out entirely. After all, GM has shipped plenty of vehicles with tire-melting power and marshmallow rear ends through the years.
The clear target is the BMW M3 which weighs about the same and outputs 420hp from its high-revving V8. The ATS-V has the opportunity to utilize its rumored turbochargers for more torque at a lower peak RPM and carry it longer than the Bavarian competition. The result would be a substantial seat-of-the-pants improvement and should put the 0-60 acceleration in the mid-4s.
According to online sources, Cadillac considered adding a station wagon and convertible to the ATS range. However, for the time being, those plans appear to have been put on ice. Luckily, the ATS Coupe is still on track, and we expect the production version to appear later this year at the L.A. Auto Show, or early next year in Detroit. An ATS-V Coupe powered by a turbocharged V-6, delivering somewhere in the region of 400 to 450 bhp (latest rumor puts it 470hp), is also likely and could be revealed at the same time. But let’s not rule out a small-displacement V8 with forced induction just yet.
If the new ATS-V can combine good power with a proven suspension, like the magneto-rheological system found on the CTS-V, all for around $55,000, it could be a huge success. For comparison (USD): the M3 starts at $60,000; the C63 at $58,930; IS F $61,300.
No word yet on a release schedule, but expect the 2014 ATS-V to hit showrooms late 2013 or early 2014.
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