Ever since the launch of the successful Cadillac ATS sedan, I’ve humbly admired its presence and determination for going toe to toe with its German rivals. Styling alone gives the competition cause for concern, as it appears striking, balanced and well refined. From the well sorted proportions to its svelte, yet simple surfacing, the ATS is a welcome progression from the hard-edged and boxier designs of recent Cadillac past.
This all bodes well for something else to be derived off the ATS platform; yes that’s right – a rather luring Coupe version.
Initial indications from prototypes spotted out in the wild suggest it won’t be a radical departure in the same way the out-going CTS coupe distinguishes its self from the CTS sedan. Instead, it will take on a more conservative approach for broader buyer appeal. What it largely means is that the basic lines and bodywork will carry over – albeit slightly massaged for coupe duty. Casting an eye over the roofline in particular highlights the ‘play-it-safe’ approach, which appears more in line with the Audi A5 than the sleek hard angles of CTS format.
In processing this visual information, one’s rebel section of the brain does pose a question: what if super-strength chili was added to the mix and ‘V’ edition badging were added? Well I’m glad you asked, because I was thinking the same thing – thus introducing our illustrated interpretation of the Cadillac ATS-V coupe.
To look the part, a subtle dose of madness has been added to Cadillac’s ‘Art and Science’ design language. It wouldn’t be a V-specced car without the hood bulge, bigger wheels and bodykit – with specific attention being given to the latter for looking as integrated as possible. Making the car appear menacing is a dark chrome grille inset into an aggressive new front bumper design – the hood character lines now flow down to the base of the lower grille, flanked either side with recessed dark chrome air intake surrounds incorporating vertical LED’s. These new details are aided by a prominent lower lip that enhances the cars sporting stance whilst improving aerodynamics.
Inside this staunch bodywork is a plethora of expected interior upgrades to match the car’s sporting aspirations. Cue optional Recaro leather wrapped performance seating, Alcantara shifter, headliner and steering accents, plus a more performance oriented version of Cadillac’s ‘CUE’ infotainment system.
Hidden out of sight is the potential gem in this equation: what power plant should sit at the business end of the ATS-V? As much as one would love to see the GM 6.2-liter V8 squeezed under the hood, probability would have it stepping on the toes of the larger CTS-V. The wreath and crest brand’s all-new 420hp twin-turbocharged, direct injection 3.6-liter V6 from the 2014 CTS would be a viable option. Making the most of these potent horses would be an 8-speed automatic channeling power to the rear wheels, and hopefully for the driving purists amongst us – a slick shifting 6-speed manual gearbox option.
Other goodies keeping things in control would be potent, large-diameter brakes with 6-piston calipers and lighter forged alloy wheels wrapped in wider rubber. In sharpening (or smoothing) the ride to one’s desire, MRC (magnetic ride control) combined with more performance orientated multi-link suspension could be employed with individual damping settings – and even incorporate a track mode for those who have Laguna Seca aspirations.
The ATS V Coupe will have some very established and ballistic rivals – from the likes of BMW’s upcoming M4, Audi’s RS5 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. Arguably, while it may have its work cut out, don’t rule out the ATS-V in creating a performance segment upset.
Is the ATS-V coupe a no-brainer for Cadillac and should there be a potent wagon thrown into the mix as well? Let us know in the comments below.