Lap Time: 2:59.8
Base Price: $63,460
As-Tested Price: $64,545
464 hp | 3809 lb | 8.2 lb/hp
There are moments on the track when you’d swear that GM just went out and hired half the Le Mans grid for its development team. Really, the ATS-V sedan’s chassis is that good. After rumbling out of the pits, you’ve got at least three solid laps of peak performance to extract your time. That may not sound like very many, but we’ve seen cars of much higher pedigree go soft after a lap or two. The Cadillac’s tires and brakes—especially the brakes, those wonderful, unbreakable brakes—soak up the abuse with a shrug and keep going.
Entering the two spots on this circuit that often provoke peak frustration—the tight turns after the long straights—the ATS-V does its business with such expert confidence that you’re encouraged to push harder. Getting the car turned here is no problem, and there’s no bawling fuss from the hardworking Michelins as you apply inputs through the fast steering. Lift the throttle if you must; the chassis tucks nicely in response to adjust your line. Your lips flash a smile.
Up out of the infield through the gentle macaroni-shaped lefts and rights, the ATS-V does an amazing impersonation of those German DTM racing sedans you’ve seen on YouTube, digesting curbs and drifting sideways at max grip toward the next apex. Sparks should be flying from underneath, the driver always certain of exactly how hard to push to make the corner. The ATS-V leaves nothing on the table, and both it and the ATS-V coupe beat the BMW M4 we tested at the last Lightning Lap by about a second.
Yes, we’d like a better interior and more back-seat space, but on a track those issues fade in importance. The ATS-V has got the goods. Huh, a Cadillac.