2016 Cadillac ATS-V First Drive Video Page 2

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2016 Cadillac ATS-V

2016 Cadillac ATS-V

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But—and there always is one—none of this is to deride the German cars competing with the ATS-V. In fact, they’re both brilliant. They’re also different—from each other, from the ATS-V, and from what each was just a few years ago.

The BMW is no longer the purer performance car, the more performance-centered perspective. The AMG is no longer the portly, rich uncle. And the Cadillac is no longer the in-betweener, mastering no trades.  

Instead the BMW has grown more luxurious, more high-tech, and more refined. It’s a very civilized place to be, for the most part, and quite the capable sports car, too, if grown larger and less nimble than it once was. At speed, it is a fearsome weapon, capable of great pace, but it is largely devoid of the joy of speed.

The Mercedes has come up on its performance chops, and remains just as fun as the ATS-V to drive. It’s not quite as on-the-limit as the ATS-V, and unlikely to be quicker around a track, but it has character, a playfulness, that is very rewarding. And yet it boasts one of the most impressive interiors in the business, too.

The Cadillac is no longer aiming somewhere between 3 and 5, or C and E, and it’s hitting its new mark perfectly—if you’re of a certain mind. Performance is the bread and butter of each of these cars, to be sure, but each also has to balance its ferocity with civility, and therein lies the magic.

While BMW and Mercedes have shifted their targets eying each other, Cadillac has taken both into account, and hit right at the vulnerable underbelly: sheer flat-out ability. Fueled by a racing program that works closely with V series development (as are M and AMG) and being willing to push as close to a four-door Corvette as we’re likely to come (or a rather more luxurious Corvette coupe, if you choose) they’ve nailed the power, handling, and driver feedback elements—the very core of the thing—while doing a fine job on all the rest, too.

For a comfortable, capable, high-tech car that’s utterly satisfying and massively capable when pushed to the limit, the ATS-V is my pick of the three every time.

2016 Cadillac ATS-V

2016 Cadillac ATS-V

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