Cadillac has been battling an image issue for some time despite producing some world class cars over the last few years. Case in point I told a friend, who is a car buff, that I was driving the 2017 Cadillac ATS-V and it was a stick shift to boot. His response was….. Cadillac has a stick shift? He then asked if it handled like a land yacht. I said let’s go for a drive, which we did. Needless to say he spent the next ten minutes with his mouth wide open in total amazement. Job done…all you need to do is drive this car to be immediately grinning from ear to ear. It’s better than the BMW M4….period. Save your money.
What makes it go?
The twin turbo V6 is a masterpiece, it pumps out 464-hp and 445 lb-ft at a heady 3,500 rpm, which seems high but isn’t because it creates one of the most linear turbocharged engines I have ever driven. So instead of a huge rush of torque low down, this engine behaves like a large normally aspirated V8. It’s tremendous and it loves to rev. Mated to a six speed transmission our ATS-V coupe hit hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds after a few attempts. We gave up trying to launch faster because the true joy of this car is once you are on the move.
What makes this car great?
In the real world the ATS-V is a remarkable car and I’m not fawning to Cadillac here, it’s simply world class. True it has some faults but I’ll get into that later.
I took it out to the mountains East of San Diego of course, in search of the twisty bits. It didn’t take long for me to be completely absorbed in the car. Firstly the steering, it’s stand out good, has real feel and turn in is instantaneous…. point it in the direction you want to go and it goes…telepathic. It’s perfectly weighted too, heavier than the Germans typically offer, but that makes you have to drive this car, it captures the senses. The electronics simply don’t interfere making for a much better driving experience.
Clutch take up takes some careful modulation but the stick is fairly precise..I didn’t miss any changes during the week, that I can remember. My tester had steering wheel-mounted paddles that initiate the ATS-V’s active rev-match feature if you are unable to do heel-toe downshifts. It makes it much easier and the engine makes a pretty good noise doing so. I spent all week in Sport mode thereby making full use of the tremendous aluminum Brembo brakes, the excellent Magnetic Ride Control, and of course the best tires, Michelin Pilot Super Sports. All this adds up Go to the full article.
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