2018 Cadillac ATS-V: Fun for All

2018 Cadillac ATS-V: Fun for All

A wonderful sports car with a refined TREMEC 6-speed manual transmission

CarBuzz / Jared Rosenholtz / May 26, 2018

Excerpts from Test Drive Review:

The ATS-V is aimed squarely at the BMW M3 and the rest of its competitive segment which includes the Audi RS5, Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, Lexus RC-F, and Mercedes C63 AMG.

Cadillac rates the ATS-V at 464 horsepower and 445 lb-ft of torque. That’s good enough for a 0-60 mph sprint of just 3.8 seconds if you get the eight-speed automatic. With the six-speed manual I had in my test car (a no-cost option), you’ll take a bit longer at around 4.3 seconds. Take my advice, opting for the manual is worth the half second disadvantage. GM’s eight-speed works great as a comfortable automatic, but it can be lackluster as a performance tool. The Tremec TR6060 has been refined, and it is now slick and joyous to use. The clutch is fairly light, and the throws provide a connection to the car that can’t be matched on the automatic.

Track mode takes things to a whole new level. Everything gets even stiffer, and the engine growls like a mad hyena. While the LF4 engine sounds good enough, it lacks the sense of drama that its competitors offer. Though it rides on the same Alpha platform, the ATS-V is more than just a Camaro with more leather. It is the embodiment of the pure European sports car that many of its competitors have left behind. Cadillac seems to have bottled up everything that made the E43 M3 special and applied it to the ATS-V. In terms of pure driving joy, the ATS-V may possibly be my favorite to drive on a winding road, though the Alfa Romeo Giulia is tough to beat

It even delivers rev-matching and no-lift-shift. Likewise, the ZF electric steering rack is one of the best I’ve driven in a luxury sports car. The BMW M3/4 felt too heavy, and the RC-F was too vague. The ATS-V is just right – comfortable enough during daily driving, yet precise when the roads get twisty. And when the roads do get twisty, the ATS-V is ready for the occasion with sport and track modes. Place the ATS-V into sport mode, and the car instantly becomes more alert. The throttle sharpens up, and the standard magnetic ride suspension stiffens. You also hear a noticeable change in the engine noise as the ATS-V shifts from a docile kitten to an angry cat. The steering also becomes a bit tighter and more involving.

TR-6060 Gear Ratios1st2nd3rd4th5th6thReverseFinal Drive Ratio

The Cadillac ATS-V transmission is a fully synchronized six-speed manual with double overdrive; active rev matching and no-lift shifting features.