We’ve already driven Cadillac’s wonderful new CTS-V and ATS-V, but not quite thoroughly enough; as we haven’t scrubbed any tire rubber across Roebling Road Raceway’s asphalt with either of them. Well, it’s time now to right that wrong!
It only seems fitting that we turn some laps in anger around this high speed track in the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V sedan, as we have with every previous generation of Caddy’s mid-size performer; so it’s become somewhat of a rite of passage.
And since Cadillac’s performance division has spread to other cars, we’ve brought along its overachieving younger sibling the ATS-V Coupe for comparison.
Starting with the 3rd-generation CTS-V, we’ve said prior, that this is the Corvette sedan that GM doesn’t actually make; and a few laps around the track here, fully bear that out.
The motor is an absolute beast. Borrowed from the ZO6, it’s a 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 V8, here rated at 640 horsepower with 630 lb-ft. of torque.
It makes the CTS-V rocket out of corners in ways that German sport sedans can only dream of.
Between Track driving mode, with Performance Traction Management, and Magnetic Ride Control, this “V” gets through them quite spectacularly as well. There’s easily enough power to make things interesting at times, but it always seemed to sort itself out before corrections became necessary.
Automatic transmission only in this luxury monster, but it’s a good one; GM’s Hydra-Matic 8L90 8-speed.
Both the CTS-V and ATS-V now share the same chassis, so it makes sense that they have a similar feel. But where the CTS goes about its business with brawn and brute force; the ATS has more of nimble precision to it, slicing through corners more than bludgeoning them.
And doing so quietly, as the ATS-V engine makes very little noise. That silent but deadly propulsion is a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 with 464-horsepower and 445 lb-ft. of torque.
Yet, we also found steering feel in the ATS-V a little more artificial than in the CTS-V. Closer to current BMWs.
Both “V’s” come equipped with Brembo brakes as standard equipment. And both held up well throughout our week of track time.
As for straight line proficiency, no need for launch control, as despite all of that power, the CTS hooks up efficiently with only minor wheel spin to 60 in 4.0-seconds flat.
The automatic shifts in a hurry; and tons of supercharger noise rode along for the 11.9-second ¼-mile, ending at 126 miles-per-hour.
The ATS-V gets off the line almost as quickly, with a barely slower 4.2-second sprint to 60, but there’s no replacement for displacement in the ¼-mile; as it loses a bit of time going down the track, ending in 12.6 at 114 miles-per-hour.
Our ATS-V Coupe also came with an 8-speed automatic, although here it’s an optional replacement. A 6-speed manual is standard.
Both V’s have the tough in a tuxedo look you expect in a cool Cadillac, with the CTS looking the more beastly of the two. The carbon–fiber hood is standard, but you’ll have to pay extra if you want that lightweight material for the hood vent, front splitter, rear spoiler and diffuser.
Of course you can add plenty of carbon fiber on the ATS as well, but we found its compact coupe style more chunky than aggressive compared to the CTS sedan.
Looking around the interiors of these high buck hot rods, you can tell that GM was going for more of a sophisticated elegance than boy racer performance theme. Some might call it bland. But good news, the Corvette’s Performance Data Recorder is available for capturing your on track exploits.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the CTS-V are 14-City, 21-Highway, and 17-Combined, so it does come with a Gas Guzzler tax.
The ATS-V’s numbers are a little better at 16-City, 24-Highway, and 19-Combined.
As for pricing, the ATS-V Coupe starts at $63,660, the Sedan version about 2-grand cheaper at $61,460. As for the big-boy CTS-V, you’re looking at $85,990, and it’s currently only available as a sedan.
GM is on a roll right now, as just about everything they’ve put out lately has been much improved and among the best in their respective classes. Well after finally getting some much needed quality track time in these Vs, we can easily say the same about them. So we’re happy to roll with these cars anytime!
Engine: 6.2 liter (CTS-V) / 3.6 liter (ATS-V)
Horsepower: 640 (CTS-V) / 464 (ATS-V)
Torque: 630 lb-ft. (CTS-V) / 445 lb-ft. (ATS-V)
0-60 mph: 4.0 seconds (CTS-V) / 4.2 seconds (ATS-V)
1/4 mile: 11.9 seconds @ 126 mph (CTS-V) / 12.6 seconds @ 114 mph (ATS-V)
EPA: 14-City, 21-Highway (CTS-V) / 16-City, 24-Highway (ATS-V)