Experience the Driver’s Seat: ATS-V Coupe

The ATS-V Coupe is not your granddaddy’s Caddy.

Superbly balanced and strutting a chiseled body, Cadillac’s stereotype buster is adorned with enough carbon fiber, scoops, vents and turbocharging to star in a “Fast and Furious” sequel—if that tuner franchise was into tasteful wheels.

Underscore fast. It’s said it’ll do 185 mph. Short of the space or time to corroborate that claim, we’ll take Cadillac at their word. But what we can attest to is that 434 horses, 445 lb-ft of torque, a locked-down chassis, the latest version of the Corvette’s magnetic ride control and primo Michelin tires, this luxury two plus- two has moves that rival Elvis doing “Jailhouse Rock.”

We can’t say whether Cadillac’s transferring its headquarters to Manhattan has anything to do with the carmaker’s new attitude, but the ATS-V Coupe’s razorsharp response and commanding acceleration quickly become addicting. The deep dives into the corners is made possible by (who else?) Brembo.

No surprise that the ATS-V was designed to run with European status machines like BMW’s M3 and M4, the Audi RS5 and Mercedes-Benz’s C63.

As hard as the ATS-V romps, in normal use its road manners can be summed up as confidently The ATS-V Coupe is not your granddaddy’s Caddy. comfortable. Seat fitment is highly personable, of course, but even the optional, aggressively bolstered, performance Recaros our example came with cradled occupants nicely.

The entry price for the ATS-V is $62,665. The fire-breathing 3.6-liter V6 is paired with a high-performance 6-speed manual gearbox featuring some nifty technology: The driver doesn’t have to lift off the gas when shifting, which helps keep the turbochargers in their sweet spot for maximum acceleration.

Prefer an auto? A performance oriented 8-speed automatic with magnesium paddle shifters can be selected for $2,000. If you plan to spend serious time on racecourses, consider the $6,195 track performance package. In addition to several carbon fiber aerodynamic pieces, the bundle includes a performance data recorder and windshield mounted video camera. The digital recorder captures video and key instrument readings and performance parameters on an SD card for later playback and analysis. Just the ticket for YouTube jocks.

If you need more passenger room or crave the muscle car music of a supercharged V8, Cadillac also offers the 640-horsepower, 200-mph CTS-V.

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