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Cadillac to Reveal New ATS-V at LA Auto Show

New performance model will be first from Caddy to go with a V-6.

by on Aug.28, 2014

The ATS is going high performance with a V-Series option that will be on display at the LA Auto Show in November and in showrooms in early 2015.

Cadillac will introduce an all-new performance model at the L.A. Auto Show in November, the new ATS-V sedan expected to target the formidable compact luxury segment benchmark the BMW M3.

It will be the first new V-Series model introduced in several years, and precedes the next-generation CTS-V model that Cadillac is also developing. That model is expected to debut early next year as one of several key new offerings the maker is currently working on, including an all-new flagship sedan.

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The new ATS-V will be powered, according to several Cadillac sources who have spoken to, by a version of the twin-turbo V-6 that was launched recently for the new CTS V-Sport, and is expected to match or slightly exceed the power of the latest BMW M3, which also uses a twin-turbo V-6 powerplant.

Cadillac’s V-Series has been positioned to put a halo around the Detroit brand, much as BMW has done with the M line, and Mercedes-Benz has done with its AMG models. They aren’t expected to generate significant sales volumes but, rather, to draw potential customers inttheo showrooms for other models in the line-up.

Cadillac could use the boost, the maker lagging behind the rest of General Motors at a time when the U.S. auto industry is recovering to sales volumes not seen in nearly a decade – despite the addition of several new Caddy models, such as the broader ATS line and the big XTS. Sales of the ATS are down nearly 21% for the year.

The 2015 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe is getting jumped in the "debut" line by a new ATS-V next year.

Cadillac has been reticent to talk about plans for the new V-Series line, other than confirming the ATS-V and CTS-V are under development and set to launch in the months ahead. Internally, the smaller performance car generated significant debate as some within the broader Cadillac family had argued that the brand needed to stick with large V-8s for the V-Series.

In the end, it appears, those favoring a smaller, more advanced turbocharged approach won out. The ATS-V is expected to use  specially tuned for version of the twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6 that is currently being offered in the mid-range CTS V-Sport model. It was GM’s first-ever twin-turbo powertrain when it debuted for the 2014 model-year.

Under the hood of the bigger sedan, the engine produces 420 horsepower of torque and 430 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel the CTS V-Sport from 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds, the automaker claims. In the lighter ATS-V, it would almost certainly trim that launch time down to around 4 seconds flat – and there have been hints Cadillac will actually squeeze a bit more power out of the twin-turbo V-6 in the ATS-V.

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That would provide a potentially formidable challenge to the all-new BMW M3 which migrated to a twin-turbo V-6, as well, though one displacing a smaller 3.0-liters. The German package turns out 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque.

As for the next-gen CTS-V, it is expected to have the more traditional V-8 under the hood when it makes its debut, likely at the Detroit Auto Show in January. It is expected to pack significantly more of a punch than the current version which churns out 556 hp from its supercharged 6.2-liter engine – enough to hit 60 in 3.9 seconds. It would need more power to maintain that number because the new CTS itself is bigger than the old sedan.

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Insiders hint that the next CTS-V will be powered by a version of the 650-hp 6.2-liter V-8 that is the fast-beating heart of Chevrolet’s all-new Corvette Z06.

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Cadillac is in the midst of a major product offensive that also includes a new version of the big Escalade SUV. And it has confirmed plans to introduce an all-new flagship sedan next year that will target the likes of the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes S-Class. An entry-class model smaller than the ATS, and aiming at the popular new Mercedes CLA, is also under development, company insiders hint, with Cadillac planning to replace its aging SRX crossover and add a new compact crossover, as well, in the next several years.

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