….says Car and Driver. Not naming. I had to keep the name of the car in front of my face so as to remember it. But they have finally made a car with real dynamic credentials. But does it have to look like a Chevrolet Cruze with aftermarket accessories?
I recommend you read C&D’s review of the car to get the full insight on the engineering efforts Cadillac have made to produce this car. I am impressed by C&D’s own dedication to reporting the work and showing images to explain it. It’s a fine bit of automotive journalism. Try this: ” large aluminum shear plate ties the front subframe to the body structure for increased rigidity. Right: The twin-turbocharged LF4 engine keeps plumbing runs short with liquid-to-air intercoolers straddling the throttle body and exhaust manifolds integrated into the cylinder heads.” And they show an image of the car’s underbody. Not sexy but enlightening.
The ATS-V’s engine is a 3.5 litre twin turbo V6, and that’s not the one going into the upcoming large Cadillac CT-6. C&D conclude by saying “The ATS-V marks the culmination of Cadillac’s concerted efforts to redefine the brand as a leader in driving dynamics and performance. Amid an increasingly competent product range, the ATS-V still stands out as the one astonishing success that manages to pull the whole enterprise together. From a brand that has been closing in on excellence for years, the ATS-V shines as the single star that can guide the rest of the lineup. At least until the CTS-V arrives.”
My problem is that Cadillac’s styling is more Chevrolet Cruze or Pontiac G60 than it ought to be for this price and class of car. I think that what might make this an even more convincing attempt at being a first-class car is to let the engineering and the performance figures speak for themselves.
The over-detailed grille and bumper plus the plain, chromeless sideglass do not live up to Cadillac’s aspirations to be seen to be as good as Mercedes or Jaguar. What would be more intelligent would be to offer the V´s mechanicals in a less aggressive body. Not everyone wants to shout about their car’s performance.
Here’s the standard car:
That’s a fair interpretation of a modern Cadillac. The brightwork is nicely applied (at least in a photo – I have not seen it in the metal) and the front treatment is eye-catching but not overdone. The semantics of high-performance cars are about efficiency and dynamics which is why the chrome of the standard car is ripped off or blacked out. And dynamics demand side skirts.
The sum total of this is to make a very expensive car look a bit too aftermarket. Cadillac need to find a way to signal performance in a way more appropriate to their brand.