Taking to the Track with Cadillac’s Two Big Dogs, the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V and 2016 Cadillac ATS-V.
While Top Gear frequently refers (or should I say referred) to itself as a “poky little motoring show,” they did so with the utmost irony as they are, in fact, the yardstick by which all other motoring media are measured. TickTickVroom is in reality a poky little motoring blog. So, when we get invited to do something like drive the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V and 2016 Cadillac ATS-V around the track at Homestead-Miami Speedway, we get justifiably excited. And, that’s exactly what happened.
The Cadillac CTS-V has for the past several years been America’s answer to the Audi RS6, BMW M5 and various Mercedes-Benz E-Class AMG variants. Each generation of CTS-V has had the more than enough performance to keep up with the best Germany had to offer, but they’ve always lacked the interior style and material quality that have been the bywords of German luxury super-sedans. Not so anymore.
Not only is the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V blindingly fast (sixty comes in a quick 3.6 seconds and top speed is at the two century mark), it’s built like Cadillac actually gives a damn. Recaro seats, dry-fit carbon fiber, Alcantara, leather… They’re all present in spades.
The 2016 CTS-V’s Performance comes from a 6-liter supercharged and inter-cooled V8 boasting 640 horspower and 630 pound-feet of torque hitting the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Not bad for a $84,990 base MSRP.
The 2016 Cadillac CTS-V isn’t the only thorn in German luxury sides. Now, the BMW M3/M4, Audi RS4 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG have a red, white and blue rival in the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V. Like its bigger brother, the ATS-V is built from all the fun stuff you’d hope and has the performance to back up its looks. Zero to sixty comes in at 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 189 mph.
A twin-turbocharged V6 puts 464 horsepower and 445 pound-feet to the ground through the back wheels via a choice of gearboxes. Not only does the ATS-V have a paddle-shifting 8-speed automatic, but you have the glorious option of rowing your own gears via a six-speed manual transmission.
Now that you have the background on the two cars, how are they on the track? Let us just say that it’s fairly obvious these two members of the Cadillac V-Series share a fairly large amount of DNA with the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Z06.
For starters, the CTS-V gets a moderately de-tuned (only 10 hp) version of the 2016 Z06’s supercharged V8. That explains the oomph. It seems, however, that General Motors has learned quite a bit about handling, finesse and dealing with earth-rippling amounts of torque after developing three generations of über ‘Vettes.
Both the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V and CTS-V are incredible neutral on the track. With a variety of driving modes to choose from (also from the Corvette), you can drive like a hero or really get a good forearm workout in as you lap Homestead-Miami Speedway.
In an mode, however, I was amazed at just how much you can push these Cadillacs. I’m not a pro driver by any stretch of the imagination, but each lap I found myself going faster and faster in the turns as I gained confidence in the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires and the Magnetic Ride Control present in both the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V and Cadillac ATS-V
Turn-ins on both cars are last-minute, thanks to manhole cover-sized Brembo brakes offering very late braking. Although, the ATS-V is much nimbler thanks to its diminutive size (when compared to the CTS-V). Pass the apex and the CTS-V takes over. The CTS-V and ATS-V are monstrously quick, but the ATS-V’s 464 hp will NEVER hold a candle to the crazy-ass 640 hp coming out of the 2016 CTS-V.
Every time you brake, hit the gas or turn the wheel is recorded onto an SD card through the on-board Performance Data Recorder. A front mounted camera shows just how good or bad a driver you are. So, there’s no massaging of the track-day truth.
So… are the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V and 2016 Cadillac CTS-V any good on the track or, indeed, any good in general? Yes. Should BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz be scared? Yes. Both Cadillacs finally have the fit and finish to go along with the worldclass performance to compete with the best Germany has to offer. Now, with the new Jaguar XF coming in 2016 and the 2017 Jaguar XE and the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia coming shortly thereafter, those seeking a luxury super-sedan and mini super-sedan will have many to choose from. I, personally, think I’ll be opting for the Alfa.
2016 CADILLAC ATS-V PERFORMANCE SPECS:
- Top Speed: 189 mph
- 0 to 60 mph: 3.8 seconds
- 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h): ~4.0 seconds
- Engine: 3.6-liter Twin-Turbocharged V6
- Power: 464 hp @ 5850 rpm
- Torque: 445 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm
- Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic or 6-Speed Manual
- Price (MSRP): $61,460 base
- Standing ¼-mile: 12.1 sec @ 122 mph
- Braking from 70-0 mph: 154 ft
- Skidpad: 1.02 g
- Brakes: Brembo
2016 CADILLAC CTS-V PERFORMANCE SPECS:
- Top Speed: 200 mph
- 0 to 60 mph: 3.6 seconds
- 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h): ~3.8 seconds
- Engine: 6-liter Supercharged & Inter-cooled V8
- Power: 640 hp @ 6400 rpm
- Torque: 630 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
- Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic
- Price (MSRP): $84,990 base
- Fuel Efficiency: 16 city / 24 highway mpg
- Standing ¼-mile: 11.8 sec @ 124 mph
- Braking from 70-0 mph: 149 ft
- Skidpad: 0.98 g
- Brakes: Brembo