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    William Maley

    Review: 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe

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      A 464 horsepower zoot suit German fighter

    It has been about five years since a Cadillac V series model has graced either one the Cheers & Gears’ garages (if you’re wondering, that would be the 2011 CTS-V Coupe that our Managing Editor drove). It isn’t for our lack of trying. I can give you a stack of emails to the person who handles General Motors’ fleet in Detroit that list the ATS-V and CTS-V as a possible test vehicle. But if you keep bugging someone over time, something is bound to change. That is what happened this summer as a Cadillac ATS-V coupe rolled into the Cheers and Gears’ Detroit garage. Was it worth the wait? 

    The standard Cadillac ATS coupe is already a model that stands out in crowd thanks to an aggressive look. The V turns that aggressiveness up to eleven. The front features a dual mesh grille setup (a small one on top and a larger one below), a narrow slot between the grille and hood; and a new bulging hood with an air extractor. A set of optional eighteen-inch alloy wheels fill in the wheel wells nicely and show off the massive Brembo brakes. The back comes with a rear wing and diffuser with quad exhaust tips.

    Our ATS-V tester featured the optional Carbon Fiber package that adds an exposed carbon fiber weave for the front splitter, hood extractor, and rear diffuser. It also comes with a larger rear wing and extensions for the rocker panels. I’ll admit I found the carbon fiber package to be a bit much with our tester’s red paint at first. It’s like going into an important meeting wearing a zoot suit and alligator shoes. You’ll make an impression, but is it the one you want to put out into the world? I did grow to like this combination as the week went on. That said, I would skip the carbon fiber package. For one, you have to very careful not cause any damage to lower parts when driving over speed bumps and other road imperfections. For example, the low ride height makes it easy for the front splitter to be cracked. Second, this optional package is $5,000. There are better ways you can use that $5,000 such as getting a new set of tires or a plane ticket to get you over to Cadillac’s V driving school.

    Inside, the ATS-V is a bit of a disappointment. For the nearly $80,000 price tag of our tester, you would think that it would look and feel the part. In certain areas, the ATS-V does. Cadillac has appointed parts of the interior with carbon fiber and suede to give it a sporty feel. Our tester featured the optional Recaro seats which are the first set I actually liked sitting in. A lot of this is due to how you could adjust seat bolstering to make yourself actually fit into the seat, not sitting on top of it. 

    But this where the good points end with the ATS-V’s interior. Despite all of the premium touches Cadillac has added, it doesn’t feel like it is worth the price. Take for example the center stack with CUE. It is just a sheet of piano black trim and makes the interior feel somewhat cheap. You’ll find more piano black trim throughout the interior which reinforces this. The instrument cluster is the same that you’ll find in the standard ATS only with a different font. It would have been nice if Cadillac could have pulled the 12.3-inch screen setup they use on the CTS-V as it looks nicer and would provide the key details needed for a driver. CUE still hasn’t gotten any better in terms of performance and overall usability. Yes, Cadillac has added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration to CUE. But we had issues with CarPlay with the system not recognizing our phone and apps crashing. The back seat? Just use it for storage. Trying to fit someone back there could cause you to be accused of cruel and unusual punishment.

    Power for the ATS-V comes from a twin-turbo 3.6L V6 with 464 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. This can be paired with either a six-speed manual or our tester’s eight-speed automatic. Start up the engine and it delivers a meaty, if somewhat muted growl. Don’t let that fool you, this engine will throw you in the back of your seat with no issue. Yes, the turbos do mean you’ll have a moment or two for that rush of power to arrive. But once the turbos spool, hold on. Power comes on at a linear rate and never lets up. The eight-speed automatic delivers crisp upshifts, but it does take a second or so for it to downshift. If you’re wondering about fuel economy, the EPA rates the ATS-V automatic at 16 City/24 Highway/19 Combined. Our average for the week landed around 18 mpg.

    Where the ATS-V truly shines is in the handling. The first time I took the ATS-V down a curvy road, I was gobsmacked at how well it hustled around the corners with no issues. Enter into a corner and ATS-V hunkers down thanks to sticky Michelin Pilot Sport. There is little body roll and the steering provides quick and precise turn-in. The ATS was already a pretty decent handling car, but Cadillac knew that it could be better. The stiffness of the chassis has been increased by 25 percent and there is the newest version of GM’s Magnetic Ride Control system that is faster when it comes adjusting the damping characteristics of the shocks. Three modes (Touring, Sport, and Track) can vary the stiffness of the shocks along with the behavior of the engine and steering. 

    When you decided that you had enough fun and it is time to go back to the daily grind, the ATS-V turns into a comfortable cruiser. With the vehicle in Touring mode, the ride is compliant with some bumps making their way inside. Road and wind noise is kept to very acceptable levels.

    One item that we were disappointed not to have on our test ATS-V was blind spot monitoring. This is part of a $1,500 Safety and Security package that also adds lane keep assist, forward collision alert, rear-cross traffic alert, and more. For a vehicle that begins that begins just a hair over $62,000, you think blind spot monitor would be standard. It should.

    Cadillac has been making great strides since the first-generation CTS-V and the ATS-V is the beneficiary of it. The powertrains will nail you to your seats and the handling can match or surpass the class leaders. But Cadillac is still stumbling over some simple things such as the interior materials and the infotainment system. It is an amazing driving vehicle, but it is let down by the interior.

    At the end of the week, I couldn’t deny this is an impressive vehicle even with the interior issues. It was very much worth the long wait.

    Cheers: Jaw-Dropping performance, Sharp handling, Looks that make it stand out from the crowd
    Jeers: Carbon Fiber package isn't worth the money or worry, Interior doesn't feel like it is worth the price, CUE

    Disclaimer: Cadillac Provided the ATS-V, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2016
    Make: Cadillac
    Model: ATS-V Coupe
    Trim: N/A
    Engine: 3.6L SIDI DOHC Twin-Turbo V6
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 464 @ 5,850
    Torque @ RPM: 445 @ 3,500
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/24/19
    Curb Weight: 3,803 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Lansing, MI
    Base Price: $62,665
    As Tested Price: $79,205 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Carbon Fiber Package - $5,000.00
    Recaro Performance Seats - $2,300.00
    Luxury Package - $2,100.00
    8-Speed Automatic Transmission - $2,000.00
    Performance Data Recorder - $1,300.00
    Power Sunroof - $1,050.00
    18-inch Polished Wheels - $900.00
    Dark Gold Brembo Calipers - $595.00
    Sueded Microfiber Steering Wheels and Shifter - $300.00

    Edited by William Maley

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    I freaking love this car. The options really add up fast, when I build one of these on the Cadillac website, I keep it well under $70k even w/recaros. I don't need the carbon fiber pkg or the rest of the option groups.

    Jalopnik had a red ATS-V sedan last week and put it on the dyno. It put out 450 whp and nearly as much torque! I know everyone complains about the lack of V8, but I don't mind the powertrain variety and this is a pretty damn good V6. Besides, it's not like GM lacks V8 performance car options for those that want it.

    Jalopnik article:
    http://jalopnik.com/here-s-how-much-horsepower-the-cadillac-ats-v-really-ma-1786968718

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    The hp is pretty much 500 at the crank if that number is correct.  They did the same with the  LT4 and determined that it was pushing upwards of 700, with cylinder deactivation no less.  As far as the Carbon Fiber..  It was a necessity for me as I just had to have it on my CTS.  On this car,  which looks like a mini version of my car with two less doors,  it looks stupendous 

     

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    The ATS range needs work as a whole, mainly on the interior.  I'd like to see them replace the 3.6 NA V6 with the 3.0 turbo.  They also need all wheel drive on all V-series Cadillacs.  

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    Having seen very few ATS coupes ever, i saw a beautiful red one while on a short vacay stay recently.  There was great bling to the front and overall the car was stunning in its setting.  Pretty amazing considering the mundane profile of this car.  The CTS coupe was so radical, and Caddy decided to tone down the ATS coupe styling.  I don't really think the V treatment does much to amp up the looks of the car.  The greenhouse / side profile is just too generic.  I keep thinking 'second ever G6'.  This really is a pontiac in drag.

    That said, yes the biggest flaw is the interior as it is with the rest of the ATS.  Apart from the content and quality of it, a bit smallish too.

    Cadillac has to make whatever profits it can off the V cars, the few that sell because the rest of the ATS line can't sell and make profit.

    I'd get a v6 Camaro and call it good if i wanted the same handling and 80% of the engine for 50% the price.

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    • I didnt catch the humour. LOL.  Words on a screen. Words on a screen.....   Yeah... The Expos downfall...   Many reasons.... But NONE of them are because the fans let down the team and soured and let them die only for the Expos to leave town just because... MLB economics and politics failed The Expos.  Ownership...the original owners, the second owners, the third owners being Jeffrey Loria and his little puppet Samson and finally MLB ownership failed the fans of Montreal, the city of Montreal and the the team. The Quebec government and the city of Montreal also failed the fans and the team.  Although I could not expect public funds to help build a stadium....especially when the province of Quebec, the city of Montreal was in deep deep deep economical crisis with a a dilemma of separating from Canada being front and center.   The Expos drew more attendance than the Canadiens in the 1980s.   Not fair you say because the Olympic statdium sat 50 000 people as compared to 18 000 at the forum and the Expos played 80 home games versus 40 for hockey?  Yeah but hockey IS  religion in Montreal and when baseball season starts in the Spring is when hockey season really starts in Montreal...but in the 1980s...the Canadiens werent all that hot. They won the Cup in 1986...but the Expos WERE the team of the 1980s...and the team of the 1990s...    The Expos drew MORE attendance than the Yankees in those 1980s... https://exposnation.com/en/montreal-expos-attendance-per-year/ You will see in link above that the fans in Montreal...ARE baseball fans.    This video...from urinatingtree...sums up the truth with the Expos part.  Urinatingtree usually makes fun of sports teams, and usually stretches the truth...as all humour, sarcastic satirical medias do but with the Expos part...the truth is more sarcastic and funny than comedic satire itself...   The chronic underachieving of the Expos never really soured the fan base. We always had awesome diamonds in the rough players to root for.  Larry Walker being one of those players.  It was the constant fire sales and the two strikes/lock-outs and the spiraling payrolls that we couldnt afford that drove us away from MLB....   NOT from our Expos or baseball the sport.  But from MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL. The Expos left, but parents kept on enrolling their kids in baseball and the kids continued playing baseball. In fact. Baseball grass roots GREW over the time that the Expos left town...  
    • Oh I was just joking about going in in a Cardinals' uniform. I would expect him to go in in a Rockies uniform. That was when he had his best years. He had a pretty good send off here in STL being able to play in a World Series and making another playoff run the following year... he only had one playoff series prior to STL and he got 5 playoff series in STL. in 1.25 seasons.  It's a shame what the Expos organization turned into. I have very little personal history of them being in Montreal because of my age but before they moved nobody went there and they were always losing. It seems like they were once a great organization and there had to have been a change in ownership or management that turned them south(both literally and metaphorically). 
    • To be honest, he won more awards and stuff with the Rockies. He spent more years in Colorado. I want him in a s an Expo because his years as an Expo were great too. But maybe not as a Hall of Famer great. But rookie year and young and all. He did have 2 Gold Gloves with the Expos out of the 6 years he spent in Montreal...33%, but he did win 5 in Colorado. 5 out of the 10 years he spent there. 50% of the time he was there.  He also had 3 batting titles...in Colorado.   MVP of the league  while in Colorado. He was supposed to be a hockey goalie, but that never panned out. "Twas the Expos that scouted him...by chance. But the Expos organization always had the knack of finding such talent that no other in the League could ever do.    The Cards?   I always respected the Cards.  In baseball for me though, I HATE all other ball clubs.  Especially the Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, the Blue Jays, The A's...   But I have the utmost respect for the Yankees and the Red Sox.      The Cards, The Cubs, The Pirates, The Phillies, The Reds, The Giants, the Dodgers ... Yeah...teams like these I may not like...hate might be tooo strong of a sentiment, but these are teams that are...dare I say...likeable?   The Dodgers and the Giants...I kinda like their New York origins.  I may not like their California destination... So...I could see the Rockies as a choice for Walker.  I cant see the Cards though.   PS:  I HATE the Nationals...  NO! Not because the Expos moved there. But because they NEVER acknowledged the Montreal tie-in.  NO!!!  They dont absolutely have to acknowledge Montreal...  Rightfully so Ill say!!! BUT!!! In NO WAY should they also acknowledge Raines, Dawson, Carter, Guerrero as part of their history if that is the case. Carter gets inducted...no acknowledgement.  Dawson and then Raines...nothing...  Finally Guerrero gets in and all of a sudden, the Washington owners and fans want to be tied in with Montreal?    Why?   Because that ballclub now has 4 inductees?  PHOQUE OFF is what I say to them!    Im happy for him for that too...  I do not know about Colorado...but that statement for Montreal is 100000000000000000000000000%  FALSE!!! People in Montreal LOVED him.   First of all...CANADIAN.... Second of all...we lOVED our Expos. Every single one of them.   Listen to the Lyrics. The refrain...of all the Expos that played in Montreal for close to 40 years..."Larry Walk"  is mentioned... Says a lot about how Montreal fans feel for him.  Keep in mind that this Montreal song artist made this song in 2010.  Waaaaaay before Gary makes the HOF.  Waaaaay before the Expos might be returning back to Montreal.  This song was made shortly after the Expos left town.  "This one’s for the Kid and the Cat and the Hawk And this one’s for Grip, Larry Walk and the Rock This one’s for El Presidente, Mo and O-Cab and this one’s for Spaceman, Crow and Vlad"  
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