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dwightlooi

ATS-V caught in Winter Testing

49 posts in this topic

dwightlooi    259

Engine choice will be interesting.

We'll have to see if this can run with the M3 in the corners.

The ATS 2.0 and 3.6 does not suffer a handling deficit against the 3-series. In a way they are better -- more like the E46 than the E90 -- which means they are more connected to the road feel and more direct (before the active steering rubbish isolated the bimmers like they traditionally weren't). That is a good thing.

The problem with the current ATS variants is that they are slower than BMWs of lesser engine power and weight. Not by a tad but about a full second. This suggest that the power train is not being employed efficiently. Either the gearing is sub-optimal, the transient response of the engines are lacking or (most probably) the trannies just suck compared to BMW's ZF supplied mill. The LT1 will go a long way towards addressing the performance deficit, but hopefully the 6L80 or TR6070 transmissions will keep up!

One thing I didn't see on the test mull -- which disappoints me -- is significantly flared fenders and/or much wider tires (ala Audi RS4). RWD cars in this power and weigh class are typically very traction limited. The C55 was, th C63 is. The M3 not so much because of the low torque 4.0 V8. But they can all use the widest rear tires you can mount on the car. Judging from the photos the tires are between 245 and 265 in width. I would have very much preferred 275 or 285s in the back with 245 or 255 fronts.

Edited by dwightlooi

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hyperv6    774

The tires are larger and the fact is larger is not always better if the car is tuned properly. Note the ATS and even the Vette went to smaller tires and have top handling. I went through this with the Goodyear engineers a while ago where they showed me the tip over point that each car has. Once you reach that level larger does not always give you better results. Regardless of the tire it will handle properly.

Besides who is to say it is RWD. It may also have a curve ball thrown here with AWD. Having driven this car in AWD it has a very good system. I am not sure what the limits of the AWD system are but a V having it to put the power down would be at an advantage

Even my HHR SS can take wider 18" tires but most who have fitted them found no advantage and just added weight. With many cars today they are paying a price in un sprung weight in the name of styling.

Who knows it may have the Cheap Corvette 5.3 truck engine. LOL! Just kidding!

Edited by hyperv6

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hyperv6    774

I see in another story that GM was testing a V8 and TTV6 and will go with the TTV6 first in the V. They may still be using the V8 car or they may be doing some work for the V8 in the CTSV.

Who know this also could have some Camaro parts under this body. I expect much of the Camaro work will be done with ATS bodies on them at some point. That may be why we have seen nothing of the new Camaro at this point.


The Other story in Car and Driver said that this car did have larger fenders.

The lower opening Is perfect for a large intercooler.

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number7    0

There was also some articles going around stating that the ATS-V will be the Twin-Turbo 6 and the V8 will actually be something in the sorts of a "ATS-V+."

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dwightlooi    259

There was also some articles going around stating that the ATS-V will be the Twin-Turbo 6 and the V8 will actually be something in the sorts of a "ATS-V+."

I'll take any bet that this will not happen. They'll go one way or the other, but not one then the other. If the ATS-V end up being a bi-turbo V6, it'll stay that way until the next model generation at least (5 years from now). There will not be a ATS-V+ or whatever with a different engine, even if the ATS-V ends up being an inferior car to its competition because of bi-turbo power.

If they are smart, they play the ace up their sleeve which is the pushrod small block V8 and have a superior powerplant to anything BMW and Mercedes can or will field. If they are dumb trend followers chasing after non-existent presumptions a fuel economy from reduced displacement, alphabet soup or simply trying to make the same mistakes BMW makes, they'll pick the the heavier, more expensive and less powerful V6 with two turbos. But whatever it is that they do, that is the ATS-V and that will remain the ATS-V for this cycle.

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dwightlooi    259

Even my HHR SS can take wider 18" tires but most who have fitted them found no advantage and just added weight. With many cars today they are paying a price in un sprung weight in the name of styling.

I have never been a big fan of big wheels, just wide tires. 18, 19, 20" wheels really don't do much for handling or traction. In fact they can hurt these qualities by being excessively heavy. Some of my favorite tire sizes are the 255/40 R17 and the 275/35 R18. Generally, I prefer to go to the widest available width for a given wheel size before going to the next wheel size. And I prefer to go with the smallest wheel size that still has the width and rolling diameter I am looking for.

For a rear drive car with over 400 hp, there is never enough tire width. If there is a tipping point beyond which no additional practical traction benefits exists, its beyond 400mm width and no such production tire exist. The problem is that you need to increase the front width as you make the rears wider to maintain proper balance in cornering traction. And you can only go so far... when you go from say 245 in the back and 225 in front to say 275 in the back, you need to also make the front 245 or 255. The problem is that if you go too wide in the back -- say 335, you cannot proportionately increase the front width because those wheels need to turn and pretty soon they start to rub unless you complete change the suspension geometry and widen the effective tracks.

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hyperv6    774

With the traction aids today and the modern compounding bigger is better does not always apply in many cars anymore.

Also with todays cars balance is more important than anything so the electronics can do their work.

The new C7 is a good case in point. With the electronic and the addition of better tuning to the car it has improved or equal grip with the C6 but with smaller tires. The smaller tires also come into play in the case of increasing MPG with many cars in not just weight but rolling resistance.

Times have changes and tire compounding and construction along with auto technology is starting to render some your thinking obsolete. The days of GM just clapping on stiff springs, big tires and big sway bars are over. We will still see some cases where larger tires are used but they will be to compensate for something lacking in the engineering in many cases.

Even in racing F1 is a good example where they are running much smaller tires and technology has taken the cars to the next level in performance.

The ATS is also a good example where they are now designing cars from the wheel size up vs. the car down and finding a tire to make it work.

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smk4565    321

Next-gen C-class is getting a twin turbo V8 of 4.0 liters. But the 3-series wins on balance, steering, suspension, brake feel and handling. Others have put more power in cars, M3 is still the king. ATS-V can have loads of power, better bring then handling and smoke and mirrors intangibles that BMW uses to win people over.


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hyperv6    774

BMW wins mostly of late because of the badge. People have badge envy and they are more worried about being seen in the car than how it fully performs.

The key to the ATS V is to offer a performance car that will compete and beat a M3 but will leave enough room to make people still want to pay more for the CTS V. This is where marketing is in play and you have to give appeal to each car where the lower one does the job but the more expensive one will still draw buyers to pay $15K more for this model.

Also if you can give different appeal to each model to not only retain the present buyers but also attract those from other brands. To grow the Cadillac brand you must offer some of what these owners like. It is not always rational or logical but it is what they are willing to pay more for.

We can play numbers all night long but the key is what will attract buyer and more importantly conquest buyers. What will it take to steal away present customers from BMW and not alienate the present Cadillac customers.

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smk4565    321

--> What will it take to steal away present customers from BMW and not alienate the present Cadillac customers.

Build quality is a good place to start. Though improved, Cadillacs just don't seem as well made as German cars.

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hyperv6    774

--> What will it take to steal away present customers from BMW and not alienate the present Cadillac customers.

Build quality is a good place to start. Though improved, Cadillacs just don't seem as well made as German cars.

The Germans fool a lot of people too.

Americans have this thing about German cars where they see perceived quality.

Cadillac is on part with the Germans. In some areas they lead in other Caddy leads.

Too many people have this thing about Germany that they think just because the over anal Germans made it that it has to be better. Good case in point. Years ago a Ford Engineer spoke at our school. He pointed out that in surveys of done here in the states that many people were convinced that the orange peel in the paint on many German cars like Benz, BMW and even VW were because they put the paint on thicker and that was because it was better quality. The fact was it was out orange peel from poor quality paint system.

Too often because a group of people do get something right they also get undue credit even when they mess up with the ignorant public.

The only thing holding Cadillac back at this point is perceived quality and as far as I am concerned special engines or tunes to set them apart. They really need to give the 2.0 and 3.6 some more HP to make them appear more premium vs. just a shared engine with a Camaro or HHR SS. It is kind of like the steering wheel in the ZR1. It was the same wheel with a different center cap than my HHR SS. All the better for me but a bit of a disappointment if you just shelled out $120.000. At least it looks like they finally have addressed this simple perceived quality item in the C7.

Too often it is the little things that make a difference and the public can focus on some of the dumbest things but they matter all the same in their eyes. Cadillac looks to be fast reacting short comings of late and it will pay off. Perceived quality must be earned fairly or unfairly it takes time.

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smk4565    321

It isn't just the engines it is how they hold up over time. My mom has a 136,000 mile Audi that has had hardly any mechanical problems, zero electrical problems, there are no squeaks or rattles in the interior, the trim pieces all still fit together tight and the car drives like it did when new. That car will blow by 200,000 miles easily. Compared to my GM car with 145,000 miles that has loose interior trim pieces, the carpet on the side of the footwell is loose, check engine light always on, etc. I've put about $4,000 in unscheduled maintenance into my car since 100,000 miles. It isn't perceived quality, it is reality, my car routinely has problems and isn't as durable as her German built car. Cadillac needs to build a car that holds up over time, any car looks good the first year, but how will it hold up over 10-20 years or 200,000 miles.

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hyperv6    774

My SSEI had no rattles just one water pump and no loose trim or carpet out of place in over 100,000 miles. same for my trucks too. The GTP was noisy from the time I bought it but the noise was not from the trim.

The fact is they all make good and bad cars.

I have never had to put $4,000 in any of my GM cars. My most expensive cost was tires. In the 30 plus GM car my family has had only the one 78 Buick lost a cam. Other wise repairs have been minimum.

Oh and my carpets have all stayed in place.

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Drew Dowdell    4,988

It isn't just the engines it is how they hold up over time. My mom has a 136,000 mile Audi that has had hardly any mechanical problems, zero electrical problems, there are no squeaks or rattles in the interior, the trim pieces all still fit together tight and the car drives like it did when new. That car will blow by 200,000 miles easily. Compared to my GM car with 145,000 miles that has loose interior trim pieces, the carpet on the side of the footwell is loose, check engine light always on, etc. I've put about $4,000 in unscheduled maintenance into my car since 100,000 miles. It isn't perceived quality, it is reality, my car routinely has problems and isn't as durable as her German built car. Cadillac needs to build a car that holds up over time, any car looks good the first year, but how will it hold up over 10-20 years or 200,000 miles.

Your mom better call Audi and have them examine the car.... it is likely the only Audi over 100k miles.... or even over 60k miles that has no squeaks or rattles. You're driving an orphan that was an orphan when it was sold and it was sold by a company that, in the strictest of legal terms, no longer exists today. My mother beat the hell out of her Aurora of the same generation, it survived 2 accidents with the 3rd one being terminal.. yet it put in over 200k miles even with her poor care of the vehicle. She sold it to her employee who ran it a few more months before running it without oil and blowing the motor.

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dfelt    1,771

I will put up my 1994 suburban to anything Germans build. 225000 miles and like new. If you do the scheduled maintenance and wash, wax and take care of it, any auto can last and be rattle free.


To many americans have gotten into a disposable mind set and I just want to buy and drive and not do anything and then they complain about the car not being well made.

Yes American made auto's were last to building auto's that had 100K mile tune ups and other maintenance at 100K, 200K, etc.

I have seen many BMW/MB/Audi auto's that have trim falling off, clear coat paint is peeling off and it smokes oil out the tail pipe and the auto is only a few years old.

Every Auto maker has their good years and bad years and one cannot just assume the Germans build the best.

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hyperv6    774

The more I think about it this is what GM really lacks.

GM needs to emotionally connect with their customers again. Look at of even with the problems a BMW has and the high cost of upkeep the car still sells. Why? Because of an emotional bond.

We still see here a emotional bond to the past here with many members. Look at Camino while he is frustrated that GM has yet resurrected the UTE here he will still by one. Other here the same. The fact is there are no perfect cars but the more emotionally attached people become the greater the product in the eye of the consumer.

The emotional attachment of BMW has been the performance and the ego. They have built some good performing cars over the years but they also have generated an image that people feels that it reflects back on them. you just do not own a BMW but you are seen in their eyes as a BMW owner.

Audi has been working hard on building this image too but it had a set back with 6o minutes with the shame unintended acceleration and it still takes time to build this image. BMW started in the mid 70's starting with the Ultimate Driving machine program and built it from there.

Cadillac had that image but the market changed and Cadillac did not. Back when they were still trying to reinvent the Deville as a floaty sedan the others were tuning suspensions and drawing younger customers.

I feel the ground work has been set with the CTS and ATS. The next thing is to build on it with the new CTS and the Coming LTS. The key is to continue to build. Once they start to earn the trust of the people they will earn the emotional attachment and image they need.

I really think they should take the CTS and ATS to Collages and universities to build a image that we are no longer a car for the old blue hairs and let these younger kids see that these cars are the real deal. They may not have the money now but plant the seed and they will remember taking the CTS V on the auto cross track they ran.

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hyperv6    774

By the way guys stay creditable. German cars are still pretty good. While they are not perfect they are not the second coming of AMC some like to make them out to be. I think that The Germans, Japanese and Cadillac are all on equal footing today quality wise. They all have their good points and they all have their recalls. The one area I think Cadillac has a real leg up is the less need for routine maintenance. Often the other require service and it is not cheap.
My uncle just had the valves adjusted on a 911 Carrera for near $200 and that was a deal.

Edited by hyperv6

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dwightlooi    259

To be honest, the ATS's interior beats the 3-series and/or the 5-series. The stitched dash and overall perceived material quality is superior. BMW is also notorious for being cheap on really basic stuff... the entry 3-series and 5-series don't even have leather -- they have vinyl leatherette. Seat heaters are optional. Even the arm rest is optional! BMWs are also notorious for electrics and switch gear failures. In fact, you'll be hard pressed to find a BMW owner who -- new or used -- have owned a BMW for a total period of 5~6 years without something electronic or electrical failure.

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smk4565    321

A lot of the German cars have free scheduled maintenance and free loaner cars for the first 50k miles, and the certified pre-owned take it to 6 year 100k miles. So the cost of maintenance isn't too much of an issue there. But my earlier point wasn't cost of scheduled maintenance, it is that German cars tend to hold up well over over time. If the Germans didn't know what they were doing they won't each be selling about 1.3 million cars a year while the rest struggle.

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dwightlooi    259

Actually, it depends... Germans are not very good with some of their high performance models. For instance, nobody dares to own an E60 M5 without an extended warranty. The SMG replacement or failed V10 means a $20K repair bill. This severely affected the resale value of the E60 M5. The E63 AMG is another car whose resale value is in the dumps because of unreliable hardware. All E63s come with Airmatic shocks -- air springs basically which allow dynamic ride height adjustments. Every single owner of E500, E55s and E63s I know have had an Airmatic issue -- either the bags leaked, the fittings leaked or the pump goes kaput. For this reason the E63s sell for less than the C63s of the same vintage -- sometimes by as much as 5~8K less even though this was a $20K more expensive car when new. The Germans have a habit of putting stuff into production -- especially their high end models -- which hasn't been perfected. That hurts them really.

GM has an ACE up their sleeve for the ATS-V. It's called the pushrod small block V8. More compact, lighter, cheaper and generally more reliable than DOHC V8s and Bi-turbo sixes of a similar output, it allows the ATS-V to be a lighter, faster, more balanced, better handling car, while at the same time permit a price tag advantage over the more expensive to build engines the competition relies on. That it is also probably have better fuel economy compared to Bi-turbo sixes and smaller displace DOHC V8s comes as a bonus. The question is... will they play the card or will they be dumb enough to try to simply do what BMW does and put a V6 with a pair of turbos in the car.

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hyperv6    774

You can twist the push rods anyway you want but the key to all this is what engine will people pay more for and buy more cars with. Also with driveline would attract more people to Cadillac and buy the cars leaving other brands?

It again is more about marketing vs just numbers on paper.

That is the one key area that hurts the ATS. While it has a sweet engine in a Turbo 4 and V6 the issue is they ate the same engines I can buy in a GMC and Malibu.

If Cadillac wants to continue using these engines and the push rod V8 they need to set them apart more with their own tunes and with better trim than just a plastic cover over it to make it look as sophisticated as the DOHC engine.

I have not issue with the numbers on the push rods but if it will not draw in new fresh buyers then it will be of no help no matter how light, small and powerful they are. This is about selling the most cars at a profit and building a new customer base not of present Cadillac or GM buyers. What are their expectations, wants and needs to get them to make the jump. Most of these people are not engineers and only believe what they are told and that often more is better. You can not treat this completely rationally.

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